Fine Art BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAB - ABB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Students working in Fine Art studio

You'll develop an ambitious and creative body of work produced in our excellent studio facilities, supported by artist-lecturers and visiting practitioners, while gaining a critical awareness of your own identity as an artist, preparing you to become a critically aware artist graduate.

Your portfolio 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 supported by a series of professional practice modules in which you acquire skills to enable you to pursue a wide range of art-related careers. You'll initiate and organise curated exhibitions to develop both your practice and your ability to connect your practice with contemporary culture.

Specialist facilities

The School has excellent facilities and resources. You'll work in 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 audio production, video editing animation and image manipulation;
  • printmaking workshops for etching, relief and screen printing;
  • a photography darkroom for film developing and printing;
  • a woodworking and casting area;
  • digital and 3D printing.

In addition to the wide range of museums and galleries in the city and beyond, the University campus features:

The University Library offers online books, journals and databases, has a wealth of archive material in its Special Collections, including manuscript, archive and early printed material, and provides a range of spaces for individual study or group work. You’ll also benefit from access to Box of Broadcasts, an archive of over 2 million TV and radio broadcasts.

Course details

Your degree is centred around studio work, giving you the time and space, through speculative making, to explore and 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 contextualise your own creative work.

From the start of the course, you are encouraged to find your own direction as an artist.

During term time, we invite arts practitioners from around the world to talk to our Fine Art students. The Visiting Artists Talks provide an excellent opportunity to engage with national and international contemporary artists, art writers and curators.

Year 1

Through engaging with a range of artist/tutors you’ll explore exciting responses to a variety of initiatives, opening up creative possibilities that will add potential to your own experiences.

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 will also continue to develop your individual practice, which will be explored and developed throughout the year.

Year 2

You’ll build upon and critically apply the knowledge and skills learned in your first year and further pursue your own individual interests. Compulsory modules will deepen your understanding of the complex nature of art practices from a 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.

Year 3

You’ll consolidate your individual practices, which will culminate in planning and organising a curated exhibition and public degree show. You have full authorship of this project where you can apply your artistic and professional skills as you interact with your fellow students, outside agencies, sponsors and the media.

This is supported by a professional practice module that consolidates both the practical and intellectual skills that you have developed in years one and two.

It will provide an awareness and understanding of the complex and diverse nature of contemporary practice.

You’ll undertake a self-directed research project to explore concerns and aspects of your research that support your visual art practice.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Fine Art BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Elements of Visual Culture I 20
Elements of Visual Culture II 20
Professional Practice (Introductory) 20
Introduction to Studio Work 30
Studio Work 2 30

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Studio Work 60

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
The New York School 20
The Wanderers. Critical Realism in Nineteenth Century Russia 20
Cinema and Culture 20
Image, Music, Text: Reading Roland Barthes 20
Seeing in Asia 20
Showing Asia 20
Live Issues and Contemporary Art Practice 20
The Art Market: Moments, Methodologies, Meanings 20
African Art I: Context Representation Signification 20
The Museum 20
Danish Golden Age Painting 20
Borromini and the Roman Baroque: Skill, Knowledge, and Material's Potential 20
Developing Your Professional Identity: Preparing for a Career in Within The Arts, Heritage and Creative Industries 20
Students Into Schools (Arts Humanities and Culture) 20

Year 2 discovery modules

You may study discovery modules.

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Professional Practice Level 3 20
Dissertation 40
Studio Work 60

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Studio tutors are practising artists, writers and curators who are contributing to national and international exhibitions and publications. Their research informs and contextualises your learning and teaching.

This course combines studio, exhibition and curatorial work, screenings and visits with traditional teaching and learning methods such as lectures, seminars, studio crits, tutorials and workshops. You’ll also have the chance to enhance your knowledge and learning by attending talks by nationally and internationally renowned visiting artists and creative practitioners, as well as attending exhibitions and conferences both on and off campus.

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.

We encourage you to carry out small research projects, on your own or as part of a group. The final-year dissertation enables you to undertake substantial independent research in a topic of particular interest to you.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


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.

The University Library offers free classes and resources on topics such as exam technique, public speaking, research and structuring essays throughout the course of your degree.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB - ABB

Other course specific tests:

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.

Alternative qualification

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.



Cambridge Pre-U

M1, M1, M2 to D3, M1, M2

International Baccalaureate

34-35 points overall including 16 at Higher Level with 4 in English

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 to H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR B in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers OR AABBBB in Highers TO AB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR A in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR AAAABB in Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 75-80%.

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

Alternative entry

We’re 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.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

If you would like to study arts, humanities, and cultures at university, but don't currently meet the typical entry requirements for direct entry to a degree, you might be eligible to apply for the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year course.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

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.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £22,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll 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.

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.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK 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

Due to the ongoing situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, our usual admissions procedures are currently under review and subject to changes which will make them Covid secure. Information on the revised selection procedures will be issued shortly. If you have any concerns or question in the meantime, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office by email

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

Contact us

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies Undergraduate Admissions


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.

Some of our graduates have gone onto postgraduate study and some have completed PhDs and are teaching in higher education institutions around the world.

The School is committed to helping you achieve your career ambitions - you'll be able to work closely with staff in the School to source opportunities throughout your degree to gain experience, develop your skills and build networks.

The optional study abroad or work placement year offer opportunities to gain transferable skills, develop your experience and build your networks.

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures offers a number of paid internships every year too.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s 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 about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners 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.

Taking a work placement year will extend your degree to four years and is a great way to gain valuable experience before you graduate.

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

Student profile: Daniel Cole

When choosing an institution that would best prepare me for the art world, I became aware of the diversity that Leeds offers, providing diverse facets of culture coupled with a rich history.
Daniel Cole, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies
Find out more about Daniel Cole's time at Leeds