Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts & Communications

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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The critical approach the Fine Art course at the University of Leeds takes made art seem worthwhile, poignant, disgusting, empowered, meaningful and progressive.

Kimbal BumsteadGraduated in 2008

BA Fine Art

In this section:


UCAS code Qualification Duration and mode of study
W150 BA

3 Years Full Time

Why study

The uniqueness and prestige of this programme lies in its integrated practice and theory content and its reputation for producing high calibre and critically aware artist graduates. At the heart of your degree is the development of an ambitious and creative body of work produced in the studio with the support of artist-lecturers and visiting practitioners. Your portfolio is also informed and enriched by modules in art history, museum and curatorial studies as well as cultural and media theory, and contextualised through a practice-related dissertation. Studio work is complemented by a series of professional practice modules in which you acquire skills that will facilitate working in a wide spectrum of art-related careers.

What you study

Students are encouraged to find their own direction as artists. They work across all fine art media with on-site facilities for digital media, painting, photography, printmaking and 3D processes.

The diversity of contemporary Fine Art practice is also addressed through critical debate, studio-based seminars and crits, student presentations, lectures and technical workshops. A range of teaching strategies are applied and a collaborative relationship exists between students and tutors. Studio tutors are practising artists, writers and curators, contributing to national and international exhibitions and publications.

A regular Visiting Artists and Lecture Programme, comprising established artists, curators, writers and theorists, complements student learning.

The final year of the degree focuses on a curated exhibition and public degree show. Students put their artistic and professional practice skills to the test through the interaction and mediation with outside agencies, sponsors and the media. The work assessed is a culmination of intense academic research activity and developing an individual art practice.

Current modules taught

For a full list of modules taught please visit the Module and Programme Catalogue.

What facilities are available

In 2016, the School moves to a new location on the University’s inner city campus. The listed building provides a fully redesigned and refurbished learning environment. Among others, it offers professionally laid out studios, versatile exhibition spaces and social areas.

Fine Art facilities include a printmaking workshop with facilities for etching, relief and screen printing, a wet darkroom, and a computer suite with dedicated workstations for offline video editing and other applications. There is also a 3D workshop and fabrication area with a dedicated space for casting.

Study abroad opportunities

Students have the opportunity to study abroad for up to one year at Level Three by transferring on to our 4-year BA Fine Art (International) programme. A year abroad scheme gives you the opportunity to study at partner universities in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia.

Why Leeds?

The University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of Universities, representing the elite group of 24 leading research-intensive universities in the UK. We have an esteemed international reputation and are able to draw on the extensive experience of our research and teaching staff to provide an undergraduate education of the highest academic quality.

As one of the largest universities in the northern United Kingdom we have invested extensively in enhancing the student experience, providing our students with state-of-the-art resources and an all-encompassing support network to create a first-rate experience. The University has a number of museums and galleries readily available on campus, including the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, the Marks and Spencer Exhibition Space and Archive, The University of Leeds Textile Archive (ULITA) and the History Science, Technology and Medicine Museum.

Leeds is one of the most youthfully vibrant, ethnically diverse and international cities in the North, with a fantastic cultural organisations, theatres, clubs and bars, and some of the best shopping. Leeds has an extensive range of museums, galleries and heritage spaces, including nine sites that make up Leeds City Museums and Galleries, several country houses, the Royal Armouries, and a number of independent museums and contemporary art spaces. Our students make regular formal and informal use of these organisations as part of their programmes.

Leeds also has concert seasons for both classical and contemporary music, and hosts music and literature festivals. It is home to the celebrated Opera North and the West Yorkshire Playhouse. International and national exhibitions regularly come to Leeds, and with such a rich variety of settings and events at their disposal, students have opportunities to gain relevant work experience during their studies.

The City of Leeds provides a vivid backdrop for student life with its wide range social and cultural experiences, all of which enhance and enrich the student educational experience.

Entry requirements

A Level: AAB from any subject excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking.

Where an applicant is undertaking an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), the School may make an alternative offer that is one A level grade below that of our standard offer – on the condition that the applicant achieves a grade A in their EPQ (e.g. AAB at A level / alternative offer ABB plus grade A in EPQ).

NB: An EPQ is optional and not a requirement of application.

Art Foundation Diploma: Merit/Distinction with an A Level at grade A.

Scottish Highers/ Advanced Highers: AABBB at higher level with AB at Advanced higher level or AAABB at higher level with A at Advanced higher level. For applicants just undertaking the higher level, grades of AAAABB will be required.

Irish Leaving Certificate: AAAABB-AAABBB.

Cambridge Pre-U: D3/D3/M1-D3/M1/M1 in three principle subjects.

BTEC Extended Diploma (formerly National Diploma): DDD-DDM.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: Pass with 60 credits overall including 45 credits at Level 3 of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits must be at Merit level.

European Baccalaureate: 77-80% overall and at least 60% in English.

International Baccalaureate: 34-35 points (with a minimum of 4 in English Language).

English language requirements for international students: please follow this link.

Plus satisfactory portfolio submission.

Further details can be found in the School Admission Policy.

For details on other UK or international qualifications please contact the School Admissions Officer:

Telephone: +44 (0)113 343 1822

Email: finadm@leeds.ac.uk

How to apply

Apply through UCAS. The deadline is 15th January 2016.

Selection principles

For full details on the selection process, please refer to School Admissions Policy.


For information about our fees and details of the financial support that may be available to you, please visit www.leeds.ac.uk/yourfinances.

Scholarships and bursaries

For more information on Scholarships and Bursaries please visit http://www.leeds.ac.uk/info/30503/financial_support.

Learning and Assessment

The programme combines studio, curatorial and exhibition work with lectures, seminars, screenings, tutorials, workshops and visits. Assessment is usually by a combination of studio and exhibtion crits, module presentations, essays and examination-based learning.

In addition to formal teaching, you can enhance your learning by attending talks by visiting artists and speakers, workshops, conferences, exhibition openings and other events.

In the upper years we encourage you to carry out small research projects, on your own or in student teams. The final-year dissertation enables you to undertake substantial independent research in a topic of particular interest to you. Many skills-focused, blended and online opportunities complement your studio, classroom and library work.

Careers and employability

Work placement opportunities

If you opt for a four-year BA Fine Art degree with Professional Placement, you spend an extra year (between your second and third) getting work experience and training in the art world, either in the UK or abroad.

Placements might be in a commercial gallery, a museum, as an artist’s assistant or in a community project; and you get involved in finding and setting up your own training opportunity.

Combined with the real-world experience of making, curating and exhibiting that the BA Fine Art at Leeds already provides, this is an opportunity to graduate with knowledge and experience of, and contacts in, the cultural industries.


Successful Leeds Fine Art graduates offer a unique combination of intellectual, artistic and professional skills; this makes them highly employable.

Some students continue their education at a higher level. Many graduates combine careers as artists with work in (higher) education and museums and galleries or establish new cultural enterprises themselves (for instance The Tetley, Leeds’s contemporary art space). Others move 'sideways' into fields like journalism, broadcasting, marketing, technology, design or business.

Contact Us

If you wish to contact the School of Fine Art for more information about the course or to book a department visit, please use the details below:

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

Education Services Officer for Admissions

Tel.: +44 (0)113 343 1822

Email: finadm@leeds.ac.uk

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