University of East London

BA (Hons) Fine Art

The BA Fine Art course at the University of East London offers a dynamic, critical and interdisciplinary learning creative environment for students wishing to specialise in making contemporary art that will lead to board career paths in the cultural and creative industries.  

As part of the unique Visual Arts Cluster, we understand how contemporary art can engage with many disciplines. Our course is taught by practising  artists, curators, cultural directors and writers; many of whom have international exhibition or publication profiles, experience working with public and private organisations, who share their practice and expertise with the students. The programme provides opportunities to engage with external organisations and practising creatives in our Detour Ahead, Cultural Manoeuvres, Guest Lecture series and visits.  

Our students work across a range of disciplines including painting, sculpture, installation, video, photography, printmaking, film, new media involving 3D scanning, virtual reality, augmented reality and robotics. 

We're proud of our reputation for igniting the talents of brilliant fine artists with the help and support of some of the biggest names in British art. This extended course is perfect if you want a degree in fine art but you don't meet the standard entry requirements.
First we prepare you for your degree during the Foundation year, bringing you up to speed with academic skills and a firm grounding in the subject. Then you can go on to do the full undergraduate degree.

Our fine art students work across a range of disciplines, including drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, film, photography and performance. What exactly distinguishes fine artists? Well, they usually work independently, without a client. Their work may stand out for its beauty or meaningfulness thanks to innovative practice or a high level of craft or conceptual skills. Experimentation and risk-taking are an essential part of their individualism, too.

The emergence of such singular talents has long marked out UEL's Fine Art course as exceptional. We've been well known for nurturing groundbreaking artists since the Chapman brothers started making their dramatic impression back in the 1980s. It's the diversity of our students and staff, with their wide, vastly differing backgrounds and experiences, which helps make this a uniquely rich and fascinating course.

Entry Requirements


Without Foundation Year

 96 UCAS Points from

  • A LEVEL- Must include passes at A2 in at least one subject.
  • BTEC- Extended Diploma or Diploma.
  • INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE- Diploma with 24 points including a minimum of 15 points at Higher Level.
We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths. All applicants are required to attend an interview and submit a portfolio of their work.
With Foundation Year

 64 UCAS Points from

  • A LEVEL- Must include passes at A2 in at least one subject.
  • BTEC- Extended Diploma or Diploma.
  • INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE- Diploma with 24 points including a minimum of 15 points at Higher Level.

Additional entry route

Foundation in Art and Design grade Pass and 1 subject at A2 Level

Portfolio and interview advice

Your portfolio should contain between ten and fifteen works in any medium, e.g. drawing, painting, video, sculpture, installation, etc – that demonstrate your interest in developing as an artist.

Large or site-specific works should be represented photographically.

You should include some preparatory work, e.g. drawings or sketchbooks, as well as completed pieces. In addition to questions about your portfolio you will be asked about artists who interest you and exhibitions you have visited.

Other entry routes

Access to HE Diploma (QAA approved) with 60 credits overall and 45 credits at Level 3

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking (or recognised equivalent).
If you do not meet the academic English language requirements for your course, you may be eligible to enrol onto a pre-sessional English programme. The length of the course will depend on your current level of English and the requirements for your degree programme. We offer a 5-week and an 11-week pre-sessional course.

Alternative GCSE qualifications

Level 2 equivalences such as:

  • Level 2 Functional Skills in English / Maths,
  • Level 2 Key Skills in Communication / Application of Number and
  • Level 2 Adult Literacy / Adult Numeracy

Mature applicants and those with no formal qualifications

As an inclusive university, we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have the relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application – in particular your personal statement - to help us decide on your eligibility for the course.

Career Prospects

As graduates you will leave as a confident and well-connected creative. Many of our students win places on postgraduate courses run by RCA and the Royal Academy. Other students set up their own studios or businesses in the creative industries. Students have found work as curators, teachers and in arts administration.  

You will benefit from our close links with the vibrant East London creative scene and all major art venues in the city. 

Course Details

As first years, you will be introduced to elective workshops involving specific and multidisciplinary skills that will allow you to grow in many areas. Alongside these electives, will be modules that help you contextualise your ideas and practice as creatives. You will have the opportunity to showcase your work externally at the end of term.  

During your second year, you will become more independent practitioners in your studio and become involved in team work learning. Practical and contextual modules will enable you to enhance your creative skills. A discursive environment gives you the space to build up your confidence with fellow students and external guests.   

The third year is where you focus your ideas and practice as independent creatives. Preparation for your next step beyond university is supported by practical and contextual study modules. There will be opportunities to test your ideas in external spaces and engage with external projects.

Foundation Year

Professional Life (Mental Wealth)
Art & Design Workshops, Processes & Skills
Art & Design Studio Practice Practise & Portfolio
Art & Design Specialist Workshops, Processes & Skills
Art & Design Specialist Studio Practice & Portfolio
Art & Design Contextual Studies

Year 1

Design Investigation
Design Integration 1
Contextual Studies (Creative Writing)
Research into Practice 1
Experimentation and Application 1A
Experimentation and Application 1B

Year 2

Professional Life 2 (Mental Wealth)
Design Investigation 2
Contextual Studies 2
Design Integration 2
Advanced Experimentation and Applications
Advanced Practice

Optional Placement

This course offers the opportunity of year-long placement between years two and three. If you choose to take this option, you’ll spend your third year on a placement with a relevant company or organisation, adding valuable practical experience to your growing academic knowledge.
The extra placement year means it will take four years to complete your studies, instead of three.

Year 3

Mental Wealth: Professional Life 3 (Rising East)
Integrated Technology
Independent Major Project Part A
Design Investigation 3
Research into Practice 3 – Contemporary Practice in Fine Art
Research into Practice 3 – Extended Research Project

*The information’s are correct at the time of publishing, however it may change if university makes any changes after we have published the information. While we try our best to provide correct information, It is advisable to call us or visit university website for up to date information.

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