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Course starts: 18 September 2023Apply now
Britain’s creative industries are worth £92 billion, employ two million people and are growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy. This course will give you the skills to join this growing industry.
The tradition of art runs deep at Sunderland, but we don’t stand still. We’ve built on this history and experience, adding innovation and modern teaching approaches to create a course that gives our graduates the edge.
Our Fine Art team, all working artists, have a wealth of professional practice and subject expertise to help you realise your art aspirations. Guided by these experts you'll have the freedom to explore your creative interests across a broad range of Fine Art practice including painting, printmaking, digital photography, film, sound, drawing, sculpture and performance.
Working collaboratively, you’ll learn to see the bigger picture and will develop highly adaptable skills, alongside your technical abilities. Throughout the course you’ll work towards live outcomes, building your confidence as an artist to promote yourself, your art and to understand the impact you can have as an artist in society.
You’ll be taught via a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and studio-practice. You’ll be allocated your own studio space from day one. This will be your space to build and develop your creativity alongside fellow students.
The first year is all about exploration. You’ll experience a range of working methods, honing and testing your technical, making and artistic ability, while building your studio practice. At the end of the year you’ll show your achievements at your first exhibition.
In the second year you’ll start to link your artistic practice with live experiences. You’ll work collaboratively with students from other disciplines in the ‘Integrated Creativity’ module; replicating the practice of some the world’s biggest artists who draw on a range of creative talents. You’ll also start to consider your place in society; how you want to work and where your art can take you. You’ll undertake a project with a live outcome that could be a group exhibition, a workshop in the community or a project with a local school. All of this will also extend your understanding of the creative industries and develop your team working skills, which will be essential for professional life.
Your final year is about building your professional practice, skills and experience to prepare you for your Final Degree Show, graduation and beyond. You’ll produce your own book, showing a window into your practice and skills, which will help you promote yourself to employers. Understand what it takes to bid for funding or secure an exhibition space; all before critically selecting your work for public exhibition at your Degree Show.
Assessment methods vary between modules. They include studio presentations of artwork, a variety of written projects, and exhibitions.
Part-time students study the same course as full-time students. If you study this course on a part-time basis you will typically complete 40-80 credits in a year, rather than the 120 credits of full-time students. All modules are taught during the daytime, and you will be studying alongside full-time students.
Start to develop your own personal studio Fine Art practice. Have the freedom to develop your own self negotiated project from the wide portfolio of Fine Art approaches, which might include painting, drawing, sculpture, print making, and digital subject areas. Work collaboratively with peers to select and install work, fundraise, design posters, organise publicity and arrange opening night catering and hospitality for the Fine Art Year 1 public show. Exhibit your body of work that you have developed throughout the year.
Gain an introduction to core Fine Art practical skills in painting, printmaking, digital photography, sound, and sculpture, via a series of set projects. Engage with health and safety inductions regarding the use of materials and stainability. Set up your own professional individual studio space and learn how to access and use the School of Art and Design’s workshop facilities.
Get an introduction to drawing principles through a series of structured drawing projects, including drawing both two and three dimensionally, and digitally. Engage with traditional, diverse and contemporary approaches to drawing, using a wide range of ideas, materials and working methods. Expand your own definition of drawing and develop a portfolio of drawing experiences that examines a traditional, contemporary and your individual response to the subject of drawing.
Learn about some of the key art movements and ideas which shaped, and continue to shape, the world culturally. Engage with themes including, for example: Symbolism, Expression, Surrealism and Abstraction. Examine the importance of feminism, multi-culturalism, and political activism, as generators of change, by discussing art from a range of different cultural contexts, histories, and traditions at a time of increasing globalisation. Explore new models of contemporary art practice, in particular, the impact of new technologies, social media, and the different ways artists are interacting with audiences. Develop essay skills in terms of theoretical research, debate and analytical critical writing.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Further consider the form and the appropriateness of the medium for the articulation of your ideas, choosing from Fine Art’s wide portfolio of subjects: painting, drawing printmaking, sculpture, digital, performance and installation. Examine through practical work the creation of an artwork from concept to realisation. Experiment and learn about possible new combinations of media and forms. Benefit from workshops delivered by the Employability and Enterprise Hub and Enterprise Place, which will enable you to further develop your understanding of professional routes for art graduates and begin to reflect on your aspirations.
Develop your own studio practice towards installing a live exhibition open to a public audience, learning how to install, curate and advertise your exhibition, including poster design, managing a budget, organising an exhibition opening, and recording your live project outcome in an appropriate media. Alternatively, research and present a proposal for a socially engaged arts project, with a supporting body of artwork. Locate your ideas within a wider audience outside of your studio, finding a place and context for your art in society.
Develop your understanding of how Fine Art practices are shaped by and help shape historical, social, cultural and political issues. Explore key contemporary debates around inclusivity, diversity, ethics and sustainability. Consider the broader social role of the artist, both gallery and socially engaged artists and identify artists who you admire as professional role models.
Prepare for real world and live collaborative creative projects. Build your work experience, establish and enhance your creative and professional networks and broaden your understanding of graduate opportunities, creative enterprise and career pathways. Negotiate a relevant placement where you will position your practical and creative skills, build networks and begin to identify relevant professional pathways. Alternatively, work with fellow students from across our different Arts disciplines to create a group negotiated outcome.
Focus on the research and production of an advanced, self-negotiated project with a professional focus. Prepare your practice for future exhibitions, arts-related and wider professional applications. Develop a studio presentation, publish a digital STUDIOzine and present your ideas live to an interview panel. Benefit from a weekly careers-practice programme which includes: Artists Voice Film programme, Employability and Enterprise Hub seminars, application and funding advice for postgraduates, and seminars on writing applications, artists statements, how interviews work, support for postgraduate applications including teacher training, art therapy, artist residencies, internships and participatory-arts career information.
Take advantage of an intensive period of studio practice, working towards the realisation and completion of an individual personal project. Participate in a critically selected solo exhibition, presented for both your final degree assessment and the public degree show exhibition audience. Work collaboratively towards event fundraising, catalogue publication, photographing work, posters, press releases, opening night hospitality, invigilation, and exhibition tours. Learn to make work that confidently communicates your ideas effectively to an audience.
Select your own topic of research related to Fine Art or visual culture, relevant to your practical work. Demonstrate your research by either written dissertation (3,500 – 4,500 words) or by a word document outlining your Fine Art research practice, including preparation for an arts funding application. Contextualise and gain a broader knowledge of the ideas underpinning your art practice. Develop a range of transferable skills appropriate for future professional development opportunities and further study.
Our typical offer is:
|High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade: SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement||GPA 3.0 or above and: Sat score of 1100/1600 from SATs AP (Grades 3+ in at least 2 subjects) ACT (score of 26+)|
If you don't meet our standard entry requirements, you can take one of the foundation pathways at our partners ONCAMPUS Sunderland. Find out more information and whether your course is eligible on our ONCAMPUS page.
If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice.
If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.
If you are studying a HND or Foundation Degree you may be able to enter onto the final year of our degree courses. For more information, please contact email@example.com
We are interested in your creative potential so please prepare a portfolio of work you have completed so far. We are not looking for perfection as we appreciate you may still be developing work. We would like to see:
If you are an international applicant, please send a link to your online portfolio.
The annual, full-time fee for this course is:
Tuition fees for part-time students are £6,935 per 120 credits. Please note that part-time courses are not available to international students who require a Student visa to study in the UK.
*European Union (EU), EEA (European Economic Area), and Swiss nationals who do not qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme are classed as international, however, for 23/24 admission you will receive a European student fee scholarship and will pay the home tuition fee rate for the duration of your studies. The discounted fee will be reflected in your offer letter. Learn more in our Help and Advice article.
Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
Fine artists gather skills that are essential to the world of work. Creative thinkers are called for in a range of sectors beyond the creative industries thanks to the range of transferable skills. This course is an opportunity for self-development and exploration. We’ll support you to develop your professional practice, build your confidence as an artist to promote yourself and your art, help you to understand the impact you can have on society, and explore where your art can take you.
To enhance employability, we encourage you to develop a Professional Portfolio throughout your time at university.
This includes an online art blog and art book publication of your work, with an artist statement and a CV – this will be invaluable for promoting your skills to future employers.
We aim to prepare you to become a confident professional, with transferable skills. Increasingly, creative workers follow a ‘portfolio’ career comprising a range of roles such as teaching in schools, colleges and universities; artist residencies; creative practitioner; and as a practising fine artist. This makes for a really flexible lifestyle enabling you to extend your professional contacts, build your artistic practice and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
Many creative workers are self-employed, and this course provides sessions on becoming self-employed and our ‘Creative Lives’ lecture programme offers case studies of creative careers.
Destinations for Fine Art graduates also include public arts, curating and other areas within the creative industries. Some of our graduates work as artists and show their work in commercial galleries. Others have gone on to work in museums, galleries, and many different types of employment and self-employment. This course will encourage you to consider employment options both in the creative sector as well as in other types of industry. A number of our students have chosen to progress to postgraduate courses, such as our MA Visual Practice course, Teacher Training PGCE, PCET SCITT teacher training courses.
Sunderland Culture is a collaboration between the University, council and the city’s key cultures organisations. This partnership brings big-name creatives in contemporary visual arts, glass, ceramics and performance to the city; showcases exciting local talent; and gives our students unique experiences including exceptional career-enhancing opportunities.
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