Skip to main content
Undergraduate study
Fine Art Fine Art Fine Art

W100 BA/FA (W104 BA/FAFY for Year 0 entry)


Course overview

A fine art degree course at Teesside University provides studio-based learning that allows you to specialise in painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography and/or new media. You have open access to all media workshops to develop your personally defined project themes.

Lectures, seminars and studio-based critique raise ideas and themes to explore the shifting status of beauty in visual culture and contemporary practice. You work with visiting artists, curators and writers who share their expertise during lectures and give direct tutorial support to your individual research projects.

Designed as an epic creative journey which, as well as producing a strong academic basis for the future, will live in your imagination for the rest of your life. At the heart of this course is the understanding that this is a huge personal adventure during which you test, unearth and begin to shape a voice that will be your creative foundation for the future.

The degree is underpinned by a visiting artist talk series, MIMA Mondays, where all academics and students gather to plan and co-develop projects and MIMA’s Community Day (Thursdays) where you are supported to connect with a broader public. You are invited to undertake an international learning experience alongside a series of national opportunities as well as exhibit.

Our fine art graduates have been instrumental in setting up a broad range of artist-led studio groups and galleries in the Tees Valley including Platform-A Gallery.

Study this course and you may be eligible for a £2,500 scholarship.

Discover what it would be like to study one of these degree subjects and get advice on careers in the industry with one of our interactive sTUdio12 sessions.

Teesside University provides you with individual studios from the very start, and access to latest facilities with skilled technicians that can help you create and innovate. We have a dedicated print room with bookbinding, a media centre that loans cameras and equipment, sound proof recording studios, green-screen production studios, Mac and PC labs, and a stellar workshop for wood, 3D printing, metalworking and welding. We are also one of the only art programmes in the UK with dark rooms to work with analogue photography and all enhanced by excellent technical support.

Interested in studying this course?
If you are a Year 12 student living outside the North East, you can apply to our residential Summer School this July to get a taste for your subject and university life. Find out more.


Course details

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

Creativity and Design

You develop your design and drawing styles, essential for the creative development of interesting and innovative visual solutions.

You are guided through a range of techniques and encouraged to push your ideas and designs in alternative directions, expanding your creative thinking and developing your ideas in new ways.

You produce a range of visual images and worksheets to develop your drawing and image-making styles and process. Throughout the module, you are encouraged to experiment with a variety of drawing and mark-making media and techniques.

You are also encouraged to make connections between seemingly unrelated beginnings and outcomes with briefs that allow creative freedom and broad interpretation.

Critical and Contextual Studies

You gain an historical and contextual overview of the history of art, animation, film and games. Aimed at technical, arts, games and animation students, this module equips you with an introductory level of understanding in the context of your chosen field of study.

Through a series of lectures and seminars, you engage in research and discussion based on your chosen areas of art, animation and game history. You learn how to effectively seek out appropriate academic sources on which to base and construct these discussions in seminars and in writing.

Drawing Principles

You gain confidence in creating rudimentary images using traditional tools such as pencil and charcoal. The teaching enables you to develop your drawing technique and approach, and helps you produce images that effectively communicate simple ideas.

With a range of traditional materials, you are encouraged to experiment with different approaches to drawing. You learn methods and techniques to improve your observational skills in relation to still life drawing. You also look at other formal elements including tone, proportion, perspective and basic human anatomy.

Foundation Project

You are guided through the production of a small-scale individual project, defined in part by you with guidance from your tutor. The foundation project guides you to a more autonomous working approach developing your project management skills and consolidating other skills already learnt in other modules.

You develop original ideas and concepts for the pre-production of an appropriate project in your chosen field of study. This may take the form of a game design document, modest game prototype, animation or game pre-production, concept art or another appropriate form related to the games, animation and film industries.

Modelling Principles

You learn some of the basic principles of 3D computer modelling, lighting and texturing. You use 3D software to produce a simple 3D model that will be textured and rendered with basic lighting. Through guided tutorial tasks, you learn some of the first principles of 3D modelling with the view to creating a small collection of elementary assets for computer games and animation. You create simple textures in appropriate software, such as Photoshop, and consider basic CG lighting.

Problem Solving Principles

You are introduced to problem solving, using simple tools and techniques. You develop your logical thinking and problem solving abilities. From recognising and defining problems to selecting an approach to problem solving or decision making, to evaluating the difference between the current and the desired state.

You may use recreational problems, like games and puzzles, to convey the important concepts and provide a more limited context to work within.


Year 1 core modules

Introductory Contextual Studies A: Encompass

This module challenges you to rethink our location within an ever-evolving community of artists in the twenty-first century. You are introduced to concepts and working practices associated with contemporary art in order to understand the approaches that it encompasses as a constellation for navigating future work.

You look to find new models for understanding, making sense, perceiving, and re-thinking the world we inhabit within an international and outward facing perspective. Through lectures, group activities and gallery visits, you critically reflect upon and explore new modes of thinking that challenge your own preconceptions about what might constitute art and art practice.

You produce a negotiated study plan, attend lectures and tutorials on new directions in contemporary art, keep a journal of notes and reflections from these lectures, write a short essay, and develop a presentation on a contemporary artist. The teaching is centred towards building and facilitating a community of learners to negotiate art’s shared space within the MIMA School of Art & Design and beyond.

Introductory Contextual Studies B: Rise

You develop your own frameworks and conceptual outputs as research informed learning in order to understand the relationships between diverse approaches in artistic practice. Through this, you consider how themes and approaches within your own studio outputs might fit with or challenge a legacy and future directions in artistic practice within an international perspective with the resources of MIMA and as a community of learners and artists.

You start the research for your Art in Action project and write a short proposal. You also write a negotiated individual or group project supported with MIMA School of Art & Designstaff, utilising information from the MIMA collection and diverse artistic approaches. This project examines your understanding of artistic practice and shows alternative methods for future facing considerations with how ideas and approaches are organised thematically. You keep an on-going notebook of visiting artist lectures or sessions at MIMA as needed.

Throughout the second semester, emphasis is placed on imagining a community of artists and learners based on experience or shared potential while developing vocabularies and understanding around art practice. From this, you begin to pose questions of how a community of learners are shaped: by you, your peers, lecturers and the greater MIMA community, as well as by our perceptions.

Introductory Studio Practice A: Spark

You use a range of strategies to facilitate the production of a new piece of studio work. Utilising a series of investigative studies designed to spark direct engagement with materiality and ideas, this module has an experimental approach to studio practice and encourages the development of appropriate technical skills. You may also attend technical inductions and workshops to show you the safe and correct use of specialist equipment. The workshops and activities seek to articulate an actively engaged approach to studio practice and could include sessions or projects at MIMA and the broader learning community, as well as hybrid materials, painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography/lens media, or durational practices.

You experiment working in different media in order to begin an interdisciplinary practice whereby you use skills attained to best communicate your ideas and intentions. An emphasis is also placed on the development of studio culture rooted in the resources at MIMA School of Art, the community, and artistic ambition.

Introductory Studio Practice B: Magnify

You extend your studio practice towards building an expertise of communicating your own artistic vision through the development of a negotiated body of work. You engage in further workshops in line with MIMA and the course and demonstrate your own individual research towards building skills and outputs that form some of your practice moving forward.

You choose the focus of study and this acts as a practical introduction to the design of self-authored projects in consultation with your negotiated study plan and in support of the co-created nature of the course and reflective approaches. Through this, you identify the relevant points of your practice, engage in peer-to-peer reflection and the building of support networks, as well as developing intentionality and establishing an initial personal approach to studio practice.


Year 2 core modules

Developing Contextual Studies B: Spectacle

You build upon skills and experiences learned from the Practicum, the Artist talk series, lectures on contemporary art practice, curatorial discussions and put into practice, and the understanding you’ve learned over the past two years.

You consider social, ethical, practical and current conversations of art practice and curation through an engagement and understanding of current practices at MIMA and considering core themes as art and action, co-production, community led and artist-led. You consider your practice as outwardly looking as well as developing digital skills in the creation of a project blog. Lectures, seminars and the Artist talk series assist you in realising, organising and co-producing a group exhibition/event of your own work in synergy with the Developing Studio Practice B: Resonance module you undertake simultaneously.

You are in charge of organising logistics, planning, installation, developing promotional material, and implementing professional practices for the realisation of this exhibition. You also revisit artist statements, which are reworked and expanded to reflect your current artistic practices. Alongside the Artist talk series, there is a theoretical strand that contextualises artist-led curation and broader ideas around curatorial practice and deeper consideration of contemporary art practice and theory. You develop a separate visual bibliography or artefact that can investigate a subject relevant to your practice and consider how your work can be outward facing.

Developing Studio Practice A: Fulcrum

You develop and experiment with you own artistic vision. Building on skill learnt in the previous year and alongside the Developing Contextual Studies A: Odyssey module you broaden your own knowledge through self-initiated practice developing your own agency with art and developing your own voice. You test out ideas through a variety of medium, material, context and theory to expand your knowledge of making in line with contemporary practices. This could be through painting, sculpture, performance, photography, digital, post-internet, video, 2D, 3D, 4D practices to explore interdisciplinarity and the crossovers between making processes and contextual aims.

You consider your practice as outwardly facing and respond to current trends in contemporary practice to be research active and reflective. The purpose being to engage you in an experimental process that will develop skills of critical thinking and critical practice-making to raise awareness of social and ethical implications in practice-making alongside being future focused.

The studio project is underpinned by an Artist Statement.

Developing Studio Practice B: Resonance

You build on the Developing Studio Practice A: Fulcrum module in semester one and develop work from experimental ideas and interdisciplinary enquires to actioning and realising works that are considered more in-depth of the chosen contextual and practice routes and resolving your research active ideas.

You further interrogate your studio making through further investigation into contemporary art practices. It helps to realise your own artistic agency and extend your knowledge and expertise in making and resolving artworks to a more finalised state in preparation for future careers. You are assessed on a studio presentation.

You enhance your studio practice and focus on developing work from ideas towards realisation which are examined throughout the semester. You engage in further technical workshops and demonstrate your own individual research towards building skills to form an element of your practice. From week ten you go on to support the BA level six students in the realisation of their degree show.

Practicum: Odyssey

This module centralises your own voice to consider your practice in a wider definition of a community through developing a practicum project. In line with the ethos of the MIMA School of Art & Design the module focuses on taking the material and contextual discussions around practice in theoretical terms and connecting to a real world situation to develop your own cultural agency.

You develop skills that are socially and ethically engaged. The module introduces different approaches to contemporary art from research and curatorial perspectives to co-production and community-focused, event-based practices. You undertake a practicum project that is future-focused and self-initiated and connected to the arts that allow you to participate, investigate and experience a real art-world experience relevant to your own aims and develop a short reflective project report.

In week six of the module you create an event to develop skills in event-based programming and artist-led curation in preparation for semester two’s off-site exhibition.


Final-year core modules

Exhibition: Resolution

You produce a body of work that draws together the practical and theoretical concerns that underpin your studio practice and explore innovative and appropriate ways in which this new work is presented and engages with a wider audience. The presentation of this resolved work confirms the expertise in place for future artistic ambition and professional practice. You work with your peers in exploring how the work is presented to the public and demonstrate your cultural understanding and critical awareness through the curatorial decisions and production values articulated and employed, gaining agency through artistic practice.

Independent Studio Practice: Reverie

You build upon and consolidate your artistic ambition through the development and management of a project. Through research and reflection within the community of learners, you progress your technical, communicative and conceptual skills, which evidence advanced learning and prepare the way towards the final module Exhibition: Resolution.

You test out ideas, building upon skills attained through previous study, to identify further needs towards the production of resolved work and help determine the trajectory of future practice. You demonstrate your understanding of the interdependence of curatorial practice and studio-based production through your selection of resolved work presented for critical review. You consider opportunities for sector-specific career and professional development.

Sustainable Practice and Pedagogy: Prolepsis

In what way can an art education contribute to your future aims and practices? You discuss the multiple paths that those with a BA (Hons) Fine Art might take and you design your own forward-looking life curriculum.

Key to the module is the professional studies and practice towards your final project. Utilising the unique connections to MIMA and ways artists can practice, you are tasked with not only contributing professionally to your final exhibition, but how you might impact the teaching community at MIMA School of Art & Design.

You find where the needs of the institution might intersect with your own desires so that your legacy also becomes the first steps in future learning and ambition.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

An academic staff team of specialist practitioners and theorists work in partnership with a weekly programme of visiting artists to ensure you have access to a diverse and extensive range of fine art expertise. You have contact with artist-led agencies, have the opportunity to establish a support network for arts practice and undertake study visits (including Erasmus student exchange) directly related to your personal research. Studio tutorials throughout the programme are designed to help you develop clear and realistic objectives for continued professional development and employment. Individual and independent learning priorities become an integral component in each study module and are supported by a fully established Negotiated Learning Plan at all levels of the programme.

How you are assessed

The continuous assessment structure allows key assessment deadlines to be located at the mid-point and end-point of each academic year.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

Fine art graduates move forward into an increasingly broad range of professional futures including postgraduate study in visual art at Teesside University (MA Fine Art) and education through Graduate Teacher Training and Recruitment, acquire sponsored fellowships and arts-based residencies (facilitated by DigitalCity and Tees Valley Arts), develop independent practice through locally based studio groups (Saltburn Artist Projects, Navigator North and Platform Arts), work as curators for gallery-based exhibitions (The Heritage Gallery and Python Gallery), take advantage of local and regional opportunities for additional professional development (a-n and Arts Council England, North East) and, as self-employed artists, become professional cultural practitioners.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:


Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser



Entry to 2020/21 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 with a foundation year)
  • UCAS code: W100 BA/FA
    W104 BA/FAFY for Year 0 entry
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

Apply now through Clearing

Apply now

Please choose the relevant option below:

UK applicants
EU and International applicants



2020/21 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: Up to 6 years
  • Attendance: Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)



ExpoTalent is a unique opportunity to meet businesses to secure placements, internships and future employment opportunities.


Choose Teesside


Are you eligible for an iPad, keyboard and £300 credit for learning resources?



Live in affordable accommodation right on-campus



Study in our town-centre campus with over £270m of recent investment


Industry ready

Benefit from work placements, live projects, accredited courses


Get in touch


Open days


Foundation year


Part-time DiscoverUni data