Oxford Brookes University Fine Art

Oxford Brookes University LogoOxford Brookes University Fine Art

BA (Hons) – single BA (Hons) – combined

Studying Fine Art will enable you to produce challenging contemporary artworks, and investigate the role of the artist in the 21st century. This programme will develop you as an artist. On graduation your confidence, skills and knowledge will support you in your artistic practice and in the broader cultural industries.

You will be introduced to a range of practices that link traditional skills and approaches with alternative media in order to develop imaginative, critical and informed fine art practice.

Your work will consider audience and context, and you will benefit from our special relationships with galleries and art organisations in Oxford.

The course will equip you with creative, interpretive, critical and analytical skills to develop an informed understanding of contemporary art and its cultural and historical contexts. It will help you to develop into a confident, reflective and self-motivated graduate within an environment that is supportive yet intellectually challenging.

Please note that the following course combinations will not be available for September 2018:

  • Fine Art/Film Studies
  • Fine Art/Music
  • Fine Art/Publishing Media

Course details

The course will engage you in creative strategies for the production of contemporary artwork, equip you with basic and specialist technical skills, and encourage dialogue on a variety of issues within art and culture.

You will be able to develop your ideas and working methodologies in traditional media areas such as painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture, as well as in lens-based media, sonic art, artists’ books, live/time-based art, installation, site-specific work and interdisciplinary practices.

In Year 1 you will be introduced to a range of technical skills, theoretical perspectives and creative strategies for generating and developing experimental contemporary artwork in a range of media.

Year 2 will support and develop your individual working methodologies. You will be engaged with your own work through a core spine of Fine Art Practice modules and Media Pathway options in which you will be able to develop your technical skills to an advanced level. You will also further engage with critical debates in contemporary art through theory modules, and will learn about career prospects through the Professional Practice module.

In Year 3 you will research and develop a body of independent visual work, which will culminate in the end-of-year degree show. In addition you will write an extended Critical Essay on a topic of your choosing. Outside formal teaching sessions, which include individual and group tutorials, lectures and seminars, you will continue to work independently in your own base studio.

Study modules

As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules available may vary from those listed here.

Year 1

  • Fine Art Practice I: Media and Context
  • Fine Art Practice II: Studio/New Media Practice
  • Introductory Technical Skills for Artists
  • Fine Art Theory I: Modernism and Avant-Gardes
  • Fine Art Theory II: Postmodernisms

Years 2 and 3

  • Fine Art Practice IIIA: Developing Studio/New Media Practice
  • Fine Art Practice IIIB: Alternative Media Practices
  • Fine Art Advanced Media Pathway
  • Fine Art Theory III: Critical Issues in Contemporary Art
  • Fine Art Theory IV: Critical Essay
  • Professional Practice for Artists
  • Placement in the Creative and Cultural Industries
  • Independent Study in Fine Art
  • Fine Art Practice IV: Research and Development
  • Fine Art Practice V: Major Project
  • Professional Writing for Artists

Work placements

The optional work placement module in the second year may involve travel costs depending on location. Students are encouraged to identify opportunities for this experience, but are given full support to ensure a sound and effective placement. In past years students have worked in casting foundries, with arts management organisations and with public galleries. In most cases, these placements occur in and around Oxford. For this reason, travel costs usually amount to no more than approximately £50. In cases where students opt to go further afield, cost may be higher and may be close to £100. In all cases, these costs will be discussed and agreed in advance with the student.

Field trips

Field trips are undertaken to a variety of national and local galleries and exhibitions throughout the 3 year course, and in addition an optional foreign field trip takes place on an annual basis. Previous destinations include Venice for the Biennale, Barcelona, Berlin and Lisbon. Costs for travel and accommodation, which is booked by the University, are kept as low as possible and in the past have amounted to approximately £350 per student.

Your course tuition fee covers the cost of all mandatory field trips.

Study abroad

You may choose to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:

  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your experience of different cultures
  • engaging with and meeting artists and students from other communities.

While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.

We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.

Free language courses for students – the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Additional costs

Studio fine art materials are not included in the course fee. There is no specific equipment required, although students are advised to equip themselves with the basics; pencils and sketch book.

Most art students will be aware that art materials can be expensive. Students are required to fund the materials they use for their artistic practice. While advice on appropriate media is provided, it is not possible to offer a definitive guide on these costs. All students will be expected to maintain workbooks where they record their research and most practice will involve some form of initial mark making: you should budget approximately £100 a year for these very basic materials. Written self-evaluation of art work produced on the programme offers you opportunities to record cost constraints and alternatives. The programme expects students to be aware of and respond to opportunities for recycling the materials they have utilised in their work.

Technical equipment is provided.