Our Fine Art degree course at Swansea College of Art UWTSD has an established reputation of excellence in the visual arts.
Our course gives you access to your own dedicated studio space, as well as a range of excellent sculptural based facilities, including kilns; plaster and resin rooms; water jet cutter; also lens based support amongst other 3D technical areas.
You are taught by internationally practising and recognised artists, which draws the professional world closer to your educational experience. This ensures that our course enjoys an excellent working relationship with local and national galleries and museums, where there are opportunities to participate in residencies, internships and training and mentoring activities to help develop your career.
UWTSD has ranked 1st in Wales for overall student satisfaction in Art (9th in the UK) in the 2019 NSS.
Fine Art Studio Site and Context (BA)
UCAS Code: 2T12
Apply via UCAS
How to apply
All applications to study for a full-time undergraduate degree programme are made through UCAS - Swansea College of Art UWTSD is part of University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
All our courses come under the institution code T80
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Why choose this course?
- Dedicated individual studio spaces based in a supportive, dynamic and vibrant art school.
- Taught by internationally practising artists who provide excellent contact time.
- Access to excellent workshops and facilities, including wood, metal, ceramic and digital.
- Excellent connections to the contemporary art world and students are encouraged to exhibit/connect with local galleries and spaces.
- Regular one-to-one tutorials and contact with staff throughout the three years.
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What you will learn
Fine Art: Studio, Site and Context encompasses and celebrates a broad and open approach.
You are able to draw upon, and utilise, an expansive range of materials, media, concepts and philosophies to develop your work and convey your ideas.
Studio practice is at the core of our teaching and encompasses the use of a wide range of workshops, together with personal studio spaces. The studios are our powerhouse, a place where your ideas are explored and developed through material practices - painting, drawing, sculptural practice, video, sound, installation and performance.
Site is also key to our teaching in Swansea, both in terms of concept and place. The relationship between our Fine Art department and the city has developed over many years, resulting in our graduates developing artists' studios and gallery complexes. Our staff are professionally involved with major art institutions that have formed links with the course, enabling you to engage in cultural activities beyond the university.
The notion of Site in relation to Context is an important consideration and you are encouraged to explore this relationship. Explorations of Context form a central pillar of your course. The importance of Context is taught through theory lectures, practice-based lectures, seminars and workshops. Our teaching investigates Context, from the contemporary, political, conceptual, philosophical and the practical, including explorations of site responsiveness as well as developing an awareness about the appropriateness of materials.
Experimentation, investigation and questioning are vital aspects of both practice and theory throughout the course. Grasping these key themes enables you to respond to the expanding field of contemporary practice and the broad spectrum of interdisciplinary opportunities. This articulation between concept and media is a fundamental characteristic of contemporary fine art practice. To this end, our Fine Art: Studio, Site and Context course encourages you to think creatively and enables you to be free to explore media and push your ideas to the limits and beyond. The emphasis is placed on the relevance and significance of materials/medium in relation to your ideas and contexts.
In our course, we believe that there is no hierarchy of medium.
We do however place significant emphasis on the concepts of ‘time and place’, as artists often work within the context of their social, historical, political and geographical positions.
Our programme encourages you to consider your position within society, both historically and contemporaneously. This historical and contemporary contextualisation ensures you are able to locate your own work, and it also provides you with a multitude of references and inspiration for comparison and example. Our Fine Art: Studio, Site and Context course thus encourages you to be aware of theoretical debates, contemporary practice and the historical precedents relevant to your creative development; consequently, the studio becomes an energised and animated forum for both discussion and practice.
Our course also places great emphasis on the relationship between the professional processes of making art and its long-term sustainability. Our teaching team has a considerable international reputation within their individual fields and these combined experiences provide a range of expertise from painting, drawing, video, installation, site-specificity, curatorship and publishing. These ventures all contribute to a very hands-on experience-based knowledge of both curating and exhibiting.
This programme provides a direct connection between the international platforms of contemporary practice and your dedicated studio space situated in our Dynevor building, at the heart of Swansea city centre.
- Introduction to Material Practice
- Construction and Deconstruction
- Ways of Thinking
- Visual Studies
- Conceptual Development
- Site and Audience
- Ways of Perceiving
First year students undergo a ‘carousel’ of skills-based workshops in their first semester.
These different processes are therefore at their disposal for the remainder of their studies, enabling them to utilise the most appropriate methods for their conceptual concerns, facilitating a rigorous and refined visual language with which to express their creative ideas.
This leads to the Major Module in the third year when the degree show is a vehicle to address issues of curatorship. Students engage in key curating tasks, including designing the show, fundraising to produce a catalogue and developing expertise in the appropriateness of scale and materials. The External Liaison project further develops the student’s understandings of context and links with the city beyond the institution.
The modules are delivered through a series of lectures, workshops, seminars and one-to-one tutorials, which deal with diverse, approaches to Fine Art practice in a contemporary context and the acquisition of both practical and critical knowledge. Through tutorials and critiques, students are encouraged to question constructs, to develop an individual creative enquiry and language of communication.
Assessment is carried out through coursework, both written and practical. There are no exams on this course.
Students are formatively assessed throughout a module; summative assessment takes place at the end of a module. A variety of teaching and learning methods are used throughout the course, including:
These tutorials are given across all levels. A more intense period of one-to-one tutorials occur for the third year students who are by now working more independently. Students can request a tutorial when the need arises. However, as a team, we ensure that students are given valuable and regular support from all members of staff. We strongly believe in students receiving individual tutorials in order to support their creative journeys. The work, including practical and conceptual development, is discussed, along with the future intentions of the student. It is an opportunity for any issues/concerns by either party, to be raised. A written account of the tutorial is duplicated, one copy kept by the student the other stored in record files.
These are held across all levels. They provide an excellent opportunity for students to share and exchange ideas with their peers in a structured manner in addition to valuable input from staff.
Informal & Formal presentations
All students are given opportunities to talk to their fellow students about their work, allowing them to understand the importance of presentation within a fine art practice. Formal Presentation in the third year is part of their Major project leading up to the final assessment at the Degree Show.
The nature of this varies within the context of the years. All assessments for first and second years are presented at the individual student’s studio space, followed by an end-of-year joint show within the prepared spaces, as vacated by the degree show. The preparation of these spaces, from take down of studio spaces to conversion to exhibition, is taught, and understood, very much within the context of professional practice, for the third year.
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We are interested in creative people who demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and, therefore, we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds.
We arrange interviews for all applicants to assess suitability for the chosen course. Your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered, as well as your portfolio of work.
Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. We also accept a range of Level 3 qualifications, including:
- Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
- Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
- BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject, with minimum grades of Merit
- International Baccalaureate score of 32
- Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis
Qualifications are important; however, our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you do not have the required UCAS points, then please contact the course's admissions tutor, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.
See our Interview Guide for more information.
There are numerous opportunities ahead of our Fine Art students, where their multi-skilled approach allows them to develop into a number of professional artistic avenues, including:
- Professional practising artist
- Curator/museum and gallery management
- Art therapy
- Project leader in community art
Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study.
We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities.
However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice, for example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing.
Students are expected to bring their own personal art and design equipment with them when they commence the course. We can advise on the correct equipment needed for your programme of studies and signpost appropriate suppliers if you wish to purchase essential items before, or during, your studies.
A basic ‘art and design kit’ will cost approximately £100 but you may well already have much of the equipment required, so check with us first. While we have extensive dedicated digital design studios (PC and Mac) for you to undertake your coursework, you may also wish to bring your own digital devices. Check with us first before making a purchase.
"The course provides a golden opportunity to think and work like an artist. There are no limits to your imagination. This is a challenging but a really exciting three-year journey. The course allows you to use multimedia, such as performance, photography, painting/drawing and so much more. Working with lovely staff is a real bonus."
"Returning to education after a 40-year interval, UWTSD has a great impact on me at every level. The quality of the experience is enriching and inspiring. It's expanded my self-concept and continues to be a creative adventure."
"The lecturers are amazing, they push you out of your comfort zone while providing support and the safety net needed to really follow every crazy avenue of your process. I fell off many metaphoric cliffs while studying at Swansea; but in doing so, I now know where the edge is. I learned when to put the paintbrush down, to really look before making a mark, to approach my practice with determination and a playfulness; but most of all I have learned that I can do anything I set my mind to. The whole experience transformed me as a person."
"In the past three years, I have been truly blessed with amazing studio spaces, caring tutors, an amazing group of friends who are all passionate about fine art and also the freedom to explore any avenue, material or concept I choose to. I can't imagine what kind of artist I would be without studying at UWTSD but I don't think I would be where I am today by any means if I hadn't."
You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Scholarships and Bursaries section.
During your time with us, you will have the opportunity to study abroad with the Erasmus exchange programmes currently running with universities in Norway, Barcelona and Sweden.
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the US and Canada.