BA (Hons) Fine Art and Contemporary Arts Practice - (Level 6 | Top-up)

The Conservation and Education Centre at the former Bristol Zoo Gardens site remains open to students.

You will have private access to the zoo grounds during lectures, to carry out your observations and data collection, but as more animals are moved, this will gradually be carried out at the Bristol Zoo Project. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Course Description

The BA (Hons) in Fine Art and Contemporary Arts Practice allows students who have completed a 2-year FDA in Fine Art or Design &Materials to top-up their studies to a full BA (Hons) degree. This one-year programme forms effectively the third year of a BA programme and is also open to external applicants with similar relevant previous education. The aim of this programme is to support students in finding their individual voice as artists, makers or creative practitioners and providing the studio experience, practical skills, contextual knowledge and professional practice to prepare you for a career in the creative sector. The programme is built around studio practice and full time students have dedicated studio space. Delivery takes place in form of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. Scheduled visits to galleries and exhibitions, a varied programme of Visiting Lecturers and the opportunity to exhibit at the Bristol School of Art degree show will make this an unforgettable experience.

Bristol School of Art

At the heart of Bristol School of Art lies a dynamic team striving to support and develop your creative thinking. This unique environment has been a centre for art education for 160 years. Located in the beautiful Royal West of England Academy building, it is located within minutes from art galleries and museums in Bristol’s city centre, such as RWA, Bristol City Museum and Gallery, the Arnolfini and Spike Island. A particular feature valued by our alumni is the small group sizes, which help forge an atmosphere where everyone is valued for who they are. The school has an ethos for interdisciplinary approaches to idea development that fosters both individual and collaborative outcomes. Our HE programmes are awarded by the University of Gloucestershire.

Degree Show Video 2023

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Study Modules
Fine Art: Professional Practice

The aim of this module is to deepen your understanding of professional issues relating to your practice and to prepare your next steps as professional practitioners. You will choose and research an art opportunity or an agreed alternative relevant to your practice. In response to your findings you are going to produce practical work, for example a response to a public art commission or competition. In seminars we will be addressing professional issues such as the roles of artists in society, budgets and funding in the art world or how to create and maintain a professional profile. You will be supported by regular group and 1:1 tutorials throughout the module, seminars and presentations.

Portfolio of practical artwork: 50%

Portfolio of documents relating to professional practice: 50%

Fine Art: Studio Practice 1

You'll be developing self-critical awareness and evaluative thinking around the production of preparatory works in a range of media and the writing of an ongoing proposal for sustained, self-motivated, study. It is expected that this proposal will be subject to regular change and updating as your ideas evolve. You will then begin to develop your proposed project with an investigative approach to themes, theories and practices that have been identified. A creative attitude to the module is engendered through an engagement with ideas that is inherently experimental. As the module progresses, increasingly evaluative critical reflection leads to a synthesis of these ideas into works that represent them. Whilst all practical work (including research and experiments/ sketches) contribute to Assessment 001 of this module, you will be asked to give a 10-minute presentation as part of your assessment (element 002) in which you review / evaluate your work and lay out a proposal for FA6003 allowing you to move straight into this module after assessment.

Portfolio of practical artwork: 85%

Individual presentation of a proposal for FA6003: 15%

Fine Art: Studio Practice 2

This module aims to develop your studio practice to a high level and enable the ideas and methods you've developed over the previous modules to find expression through the completion of resolved works to a professional standard in chosen media. You will develop your Fine Art practice based upon the project proposal you presented as part of module FA6002. You will use previously acquired skills and knowledge and build upon these. Extensive research, practice and debate and on-going critical evaluation will inform your progress and outcomes. The module will be supported by seminar discussions and group critiques in order to share individual intentions within the cohort. You will present work as required within the module timetable to consider the progress and appropriateness of your work developments. Formative feedback will be given through regular 1:1 studio tutorials. Assessment will be through the presentation of a body of work suitable for exhibition.

Individual portfolio: 85 %

Coursework: individual, standard written 15 %

Dissertation: Research Project

This module will lead you to write a dissertation about an art related topic of your choice and gives you the enjoyable opportunity to follow your interests through primary and secondary re-search. A series of 4 dissertation skills workshops at the beginning of the module will equip you with relevant skills and help with practicalities of research and planning. A schedule of regular 1:1 tutorials with your supervisor will support you on the way. This module will run between October and April giving you plenty of time to use independent study time for reading, research and writing. In January there will be an assessment point in the form of a 15-minute presentation, followed by a 5-minute question and answer session. This is a key opportunity to present your dissertation work and receive tutor and peer feedback. Before the final deadline we will ask you to submit a draft of your dissertation in addition to gaining detailed feedback on your dissertation work, this will also enable you to manage your time appropriately. There is also an option to carry out a combined practice and theory project.

Dissertation: 75% (6000 words OR 3000 words plus practice-based outcome)

Presentation: 25% (15-minute presentation, followed by a 5-minute question and answer session, on your chosen dissertation topic)

Course Video
Vera Boele-Keimer
Subject Area Lead, Art & Design/ BA (Hons) Fine Art Programme Lead
*This programme is subject to validation and delivery approval by the University of Gloucestershire.
Queens Road Campus
Top-up Degree
Full-time Duration:
1 Year
Full-time Fee (Per Year):
Part-time Duration:
2 Years
Part-time Fee (Per Year):
UCAS Application Code:
UCAS Entry Tariff:
Entry Requirements

For direct entry onto a Level 6 (Top Up) course, you will need to have achieved a level 5 qualification e.g. HND, Level 5 Diploma or Foundation Degree in a related subject.

Course info last updated:
April 20, 2024
Delivery Format

The delivery format for your degree-level programs is primarily face-to-face and in-person sessions. However, there may be some hybrid sessions offered occasionally, mainly for flexibility purposes, such as tutorials or for larger events like visiting lecturers. Additionally, it's mentioned that all degree programs are well-supported by Virtual Learning Environments, which include Teams or Google Classroom.

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