Fine Art: Studio Site and Context

Our Fine Art degree course at Swansea College of Art UWTSD has an established reputation as a centre of excellence and innovation in the visual arts. This is a studio based course where students have access to excellent facilities and are taught by internationally practicing and recognised artists which draws the professional world closer to the students educational experience.

The course enjoys good working relationships with local and national galleries and museums which are all proactive in offering our graduates residences, internships, training or just simply advice for various expanded careers.


Pathway Options

BA Fine Art 
UCAS Code: 2T12
Apply via UCAS 

MArts Fine Art  
UCAS Code: M5A7
Apply via UCAS

(The MArt gives students the opportunity to progress from undergraduate to master's level within an integrated programme structure. The fourth year is designed to facilitate the creation of creative enterprises or collaborative working with industry. The programme aims to educate creative individuals proficient in meeting the needs of contemporary and future demand. The programme is underpinned by the Research and Knowledge Transfer activities of the faculty as a whole). 

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 course come under the institution code T80

Visit the University's apply section to find out more.

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Course Length:
3-4 years Full-time
6-8 years Part-time

5 reasons to study this course

  1. Centre of excellence and innovation
  2. Studio- based with allocation of own space
  3. Daily discourse with staff
  4. Broad range of workshops and facilities
  5. Excellent connections to the contemporary art world and its community

What you will learn

Course Overview

Fine Art: Studio, Site and Context encompasses and celebrates a broad, open approach. Students draw upon an expanding range of materials, media, concepts and philosophies with which to convey their work and ideas.

The title of the course conveys the key pedagogical approaches. ‘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 the powerhouse; a place where ideas are explored and developed through material practices - painting, drawing, sculptural practice, installation and performance. ‘Site’ is also key to teaching at Swansea both in terms of concept and place. The relationship between the Fine Art department and the City has developed over many years resulting in our graduates developing artist studios and gallery complexes. The staff are professionally involved with major art institutions that has formed links enabling students to engage in cultural activities beyond the institution. We encourage students to establish possibilities for career development.

The notion of ‘Site’ in relation to concept is an important consideration and students are encouraged to explore the relationships their work has to ‘place’. Explorations of ‘context’ are developed from level 4 through to level 7 and from central debates within the course. Context is taught through theory lectures, practice-based lectures, seminars and workshops. Teaching investigates context, from the contemporary, political,  conceptual, philosophical and the practical i.e. site responsive and appropriateness of material.

Experimentation, investigation and questioning are vital aspects of both practice and theory throughout the course responding 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, Fine Art: Studio, Site and Context at Swansea encourages students to think creatively, are free to explore media and push their ideas to the limits and beyond. The emphasis is placed upon the relevance and significance of materials/medium in relation to ideas and context. At Swansea we believe that there is no hierarchy of medium.

There is a significance of ‘time and place’ as artists often work within the context of their social, historical, political and geographical positions. The programme encourages the student to consider their own position within society, both historically and contemporaneously. This historical and contemporary contextualisation ensures that a student is able to locate her/his own work, and also provides a multitude of references and inspiration for comparison and example. The Fine Art: Studio, Site and Context thus encourages students to be aware of theoretical debates, contemporary practice and the historical precedents relevant to their creative development, consequently the studio becomes an energised and animated forum for both discussion and practice. 

Fine Art: Studio Site and Context at Swansea places great emphasis on the relationship between the professional processes of making art and its long-term sustainability. The teaching team has a considerable international reputation within their individual fields and these experiences combined 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 the students’ studio spaces in Swansea.

  •  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 the 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 which include amongst others:


These tutorials are given across all levels. A more intense period of one to one tutorials occur for the third and fourth 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 all 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 is discussed, practical and conceptual development, future intentions of the student etc. 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.

Group critiques

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 the opportunities to talk about their work to their fellow students allowing to understand the importance of presentation within a fine art practice. Formal Presentation in the  3rd year is part of their Major project leading up to the final assessment at the Degree Show.

Exhibiting work

The nature of this varies within the context of the years. All  assessments for 1st and 2ndyears 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 3rd year.

Our Facilities, Graduates and Industry Links

Student and Swansea Life

Key Information

Entry Criteria

We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which 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. Plus we 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 don’t have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.

See our Interview Guide for more information.

Career Opportunities

There are numerous opportunities ahead of our Fine Art student where their multi-skilled approach allows them to develop into a number of Professional artistic avenues including the following:

  • Professional practicing artist
  • Curator/museum and gallery management
  • Art therapy
  • Project leader in community art
  • Teaching/lecturing
Additional Costs

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.  Also, although we have extensive dedicated digital design studios (PC and MAC) for you to undertake your coursework you may wish to bring your own digital devices, again check with us first before making a purchase. 

Student Quotes

Sheree Naqvi

"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"

Bursary/ Scholarship Information

Swansea College of Art at UWTSD offers two Academic awards:  

  • Swansea College of Art 1853 Scholarship
  • Cert HE Foundation Bursary

Information on these as well as University wide offers can be found here.

Study Abroad Opportunities

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.

Study Abroad 
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.

For more information please click here