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Course starts: 14 September 2020Apply now
Britain’s creative industries are worth £92 billion, employ 2 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 will 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 allocated your own studio space and this will be your space to build and develop your creativity alongside fellow students.
This year we have moved to a hybrid model of learning, where many of your class materials will be online but will be enhanced with on-campus sessions; meeting you in person is important to us and enables tutors to work more closely with you to aid understanding of your subject.
There will be a mix of materials online, including some lectures and directed exercises, with a series of tasks to do each week. You are going to be taught some really interesting topics this year, including celebrity, creative practice, identity and new technology, as well as Essential Study Skills and Practical Maths, to help you succeed in your chosen undergraduate degree.
There will be lots of opportunities for both face-to-face and online contact, and you will be assigned a personal tutor, as well as having your pathway leader and module leaders for support and guidance. Regular contact between tutors and students will be encouraged via the use of technologies including Canvas, email, Skype and Microsoft Teams.
In the first year – the foundation year – you will study five modules; a module about the foundations of art, design, performance and media production, an essential study skills module, a foundation project module, practical numeracy skills, and an introduction to creative practice module. After completion of this foundation, you will then move onto the Fine Art honours degree course.
In your second year 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 your third 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.
The Creative Industries: Arts, Design, Performance, Media Production Integrated Foundation Year includes five modules:
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Start to develop your own personal studio Fine Art practice and exhibit work in the Fine Art Stage One show. You’ll be allocated your own studio space and have access to printmaking, wood, metal and digital/FabLab workshops.
Start to develop your Fine Art practical skills in painting, printmaking, digital photography, sound and sculpture.
Get an introduction to drawing principles, engage with diverse approaches to drawing using a wide range of ideas, materials and working methods.
Learn about some of the key art movements and ideas which shaped, and continue to shape, the world culturally.
Produce and expand your own visual work, and consider the form and the appropriateness of the medium in relation to idea, choosing from Fine Art’s wide area portfolio of subjects; painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, digital, performance and installation.
Develop your own studio practice towards installing a live exhibition open to a public audience or alternatively research and present a proposal for a participatory arts project.
Explore key cultural themes, examine your own ideas about local and global cultural developments and generate discussions about your creative arts practice.
Build your team working skills and expand your creativity by collaborating with students from other creative disciplines such as design, graphics, illustration and fashion.
Research and produce a self-negotiated project, produce and publish an artist’s online and hard copy ‘Blurb’ art book, which reflects and evaluates your practice.
Pursue an individual programme of work for your final exhibition, selecting from drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture or new media. Take a look at our 2018 Fine Art Degree catalogue.
This is a self-directed module where you select your own topic of research related to Fine Art or visual culture. The module offers two approaches in the way the research is demonstrated: a 6000-word written dissertation or a 6000-word document which includes a comprehensive arts related career plan outlining your research practice. This also includes preparation for an arts funding body application towards: a curated show, to set up a studio group, community-based activity or public commission.
The Integrated Foundation Year is specially designed to support you where you have just missed the grades required for direct entry onto a three-year degree, or if you have relevant work experience and are now looking to broaden your subject knowledge but want more time to develop study skills before starting your degree.
Entry requirements are provided for guidance only and we may offer you an entrance interview which will help us determine your eligibility for your chosen degree. This enables us to consider making you an offer if you are perhaps a mature student who has been out of education for a period of time, or you have gained significant knowledge and skills through employment rather than traditional education.
Eligible entry qualifications:
1. Normally a minimum of three Level 2 qualifications (NVQ, GCSE or equivalent), including Maths and English at grade C or above** and a minimum of 40 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A or AS Levels, BTEC certificates/diplomas, access courses or equivalent)
2. Demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of post-school work experience.
Find out how many points your qualifications are worth using the UCAS Tariff calculator.
If you are unsure of whether you think you might be suitable for the course, please contact us!
** If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above. Equivalent alternative qualifications are also accepted, such as Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have not achieved a grade C in Maths and English we may be able to work with you to ensure that you are able to gain these in the first year of the course, depending on your experience.
If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.
For more information about our Integrated Foundation Year courses please see our Help and Advice articles.
The annual fee for this course is £9,250 but you will receive £3,000 cashback in Year 1 of the full undergraduate course.
In addition, you may receive free travel across the Tyne and Wear region and a University of Sunderland StudyPLUS Card loaded with additional offers up to the value of £200, plus a bundle of study skills books worth £80.
If you are a full-time UK student you may be eligible to receive financial support to cover your fee and maintenance loan for the full four years.
Please note, this course is not available to international students.
If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out 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.
Use our scholarships calculator to see what you may be entitled to.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
Working in the creative sector is all about following your passion for originality – using your imagination to develop new ideas and techniques and to challenge the norm.
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, your art, 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 the 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.
Almost half of creative workers are self-employed, compared to 15% across the workforce as a whole and 95% of creative businesses are micro-businesses with less than ten employees according to The Creative Industries Federation, July 2017. 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 well-regarded MA Fine Art course, Teacher Training PGCE, PCET SCITT teacher training programmes.
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