Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

School of Fine Art on Facebook @FAHACS on twitterSchool of Fine Art on Instagram

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

This information is for 2019 entry only. Information for 2018 entry.

This course allows you to develop an ambitious and creative body of work while gaining a critical awareness of your own identity as an artist. You'll develop your work in our excellent studio facilities with support from artist-lecturers and visiting practitioners. This will be informed and enriched by modules in art history, museum and curatorial studies, and cultural and media theory – all put into context through a practice-related dissertation.

Studio work is complemented by a series of professional practice modules in which you acquire skills that will enable you to pursue a wide range of art-related careers. You'll take part in a curated exhibition to develop both your practice and your ability to connect your practice with contemporary culture.

Specialist resources

The University has a variety of resources to support your learning and practice.

Housed within a single central campus location, the School has been designed to best meet the needs of our students. You'll work in professionally laid-out, well lit studios with 24 hour access and will benefit from versatile exhibition spaces and social areas.

Resources include dedicated Mac and PC computer suites for video editing, animation and image manipulation, printmaking workshops for etching, relief and screen printing, and a photography darkroom for film developing and printing. A woodworking and casting area are also housed within the School, with additional facilities for digital and 3D printing available at the University.

From the start of the course, you are encouraged to find your own direction as an artist. You’ll have the chance to work across all fine art media with on-site facilities for digital media, painting, photography, printmaking and 3D processes. Your degree is devoted to studio work, giving you the time and space to develop your ideas. You’ll take field trips to exhibitions, galleries and fine art fairs and combine lectures with group seminar sessions to discuss contemporary art practice, which you can use to inform your own creative work.

To support these studies, in year 1 you’ll be introduced to the key concepts, formal approaches, and critical discourses of fine art as viewed from a broad range of time periods and cultural perspectives. Compulsory modules will examine contested ideas about the artist and art, how the theory and history of art relate to practice, and the role of dissemination in the contemporary art world. You'll also explore your own direction as an artist by developing a creative portfolio across a range of media.

In year 2 you’ll build upon and critically apply the knowledge and skills learned in year 1 and further pursue your own individual interests. Compulsory modules will deepen your understanding of the complex nature of art practices from an historical and contemporary perspective, as well as allowing you to further develop your portfolio. You'll choose from a wide range of optional modules, which include medieval European art, the New York School and the context of African art.

In your final year, you’ll undertake a self-directed research project to explore aspects of your own visual art practice. This awareness will inform your studio work, which forms the main focus of the year. You’ll work on a curated exhibition and public degree show, applying your artistic and professional skills as you interact with outside agencies, sponsors and the media. This is structured through a professional practice module that consolidates both the practical and intellectual skills that you have developed in years 1 and 2.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Elements of Visual Culture I 20 credits
  • Elements of Visual Culture II 20 credits
  • Professional Practice (Introductory) 20 credits
  • Introduction to Studio Work 30 credits
  • Studio Work 2 30 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Studio Work 60 credits

Optional modules

  • Seeing in Asia 20 credits
  • Live Issues and Contemporary Art Practice 20 credits
  • The Art Market: Moments, Methodologies, Meanings 20 credits
  • African Art I: Context Representation Signification 20 credits
  • The Museum 20 credits

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Professional Practice Level 3 20 credits
  • Dissertation 40 credits
  • Studio Work 60 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Fine Art BA in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Studio tutors are practising artists, writers and curators who are contributing to national and international exhibitions and publications. See the School website for staff biographies to find out more.

This course combines studio, exhibition and curatorial work, screenings and visits with traditional teaching and learning methods such as lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You’ll also have the chance to enhance your learning by attending talks by visiting artists and speakers, as well as attending exhibitions and conferences among others.

Independent study is a vital element of this degree, allowing you to develop your creativity and build important skills in areas such as research, analysis and interpretation.

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.


We usually use a combination of assessment methods that allows you to develop diverse skills. These include your studio work, exhibition crits, module presentations, essays and exams, depending on the modules you choose.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB not including General Studies or 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.

All applicants will also be required to submit a satisfactory portfolio of work.

Alternate Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Pass with 60 credits overall including 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 must be at Merit level.


Extended Diploma: DDD-DDM.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, D3, M1 – D3, M1, M1 in three principle subjects.

International Baccalaureate

34-35 overall (with at least 4 in English Language).

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)


Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AABBB (AB at advanced level) OR AAABB (A at advanced level). For applicants just undertaking the higher level, grades of AAAABB will be required.

Other Qualifications

Art Foundation Diploma: Merit/Distinction with an A level at grade A (excluding General Studies or Critical Thinking).

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

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies Undergraduate Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Next steps

Qualified applicants are invited to interview in groups. You’ll be expected to bring your portfolio to the interview, and we will inspect this while you take part in activities run by our current students in our fine art studios to get a sense of what it is like to study with us. You will then have a short interview where you can discuss your portfolio and demonstrate your awareness of both the course and your own practice.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Undergraduate Admissions Policy 2019


UK/EU: See fees section below

International: £19,500 (per year)

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2019, the fee for 2019/20 will be £9,250. 

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in the 2019/20 academic year will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, youll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Career opportunities

This course offers you a unique combination of artistic, intellectual and professional skills. As a result, you’ll be well equipped for a variety of careers. Our graduates become proactive and energetic artists, curators, critics, journalists and innovative initiators working across wide creative fields.

Many of our graduates combine careers as artists with work in education, museums or galleries, or go on to establish new cultural enterprises themselves –The Tetley, Leeds’ contemporary art space, is just one example. Others use their knowledge and skills to launch careers in fields such as journalism, broadcasting, marketing, technology, business or design.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Placement opportunities

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

Some recent examples include placements at Harewood House, the Cultural Institute, Urban Outfitters, Tigerprint, Leeds Museums and Galleries, Pyramid of Arts and Hang-Up Gallery.

© Copyright Leeds 2018