Fine Art BA (Hons) (with Foundation Year)
UCAS Code: W111|Duration: 4 years|Full Time|Creative Campus
UCAS Campus Code: L46
Work placement opportunities|International students can apply|Study Abroad opportunities
About the course
With more museums and galleries than any other UK city outside of London and the country’s largest contemporary art biennial, Liverpool provides a dynamic setting for the study of Fine Art. Through partnerships with renowned cultural organisations such as TATE Liverpool, you can experience an enriched curriculum with visiting lecturers and international artists contributing to your learning experience.
At its core, Fine Art is about communication, innovation, challenge and application. It is about exploring your individual potential through visual possibilities and theoretical questions, with an awareness of the increasingly complex and media-saturated global arena. Our Fine Art degree is for those who have the desire to work hard and the ability to explore ideas through a wide range of media. The course is driven by its core aim; to encourage and enable you to engage with issues and practices across a broad Fine Art spectrum - from the historical to the contemporary.
The Fine Art degree at Liverpool Hope is delivered through three main components: Studio Practice, Art and Design History, and Professional Practice. This combination of studies will equip you with the essential skills to establish yourself as a professional artist, or work in the wider creative industries. Study with us and you will have access to excellent dedicated studios and workshops, with a balance of traditional and new media. The Art and Design History element of the curriculum provides a systematic underpinning of Art and Design practices and theories with a strong emphasis on critical thinking.
Based at Liverpool Hope’s Creative Campus, students are immersed in the city’s cultural activity, including at the University’s Cornerstone Gallery. The Gallery is used to underpin and inform learning across the curriculum, through a programme of exhibitions by visiting artists and students.
Fine Art at Liverpool Hope is Top 6 in the UK for Overall Student Satisfaction (National Student Survey 2021).
Hear from alumnus Ant Hamlyn on what it's like to study Fine Art at Hope.
Teaching on this degree is delivered in individually allocated studio spaces where you will have group projects, one-to-one tutorials and independent studio time. The Art & Design History component is delivered through lectures, where all students are taught together, seminars of smaller groups of around 15-20 students, and tutorials which typically have no more than 10 students. You also spend time in the studio for practical sessions, and you have the opportunity to have a one-to-one meeting with your tutor each week.
In your first year, there are approximately 13 teaching hours each week, which reduces to approximately 10 hours in your second and third years. On top of teaching hours, you are expected to spend a number of hours each week working in the studio and studying independently, as well as studying in groups to prepare for any group assessments you may have. Independent museum and gallery visits form an essential part of your primary research activities.
Assessment and feedback
You are assessed through practical/visual outputs and portfolio exams, personal research and documentation (contextual/personal journals and sketchbooks), essays, and written exams. The Professional Practice component of the degree is delivered in years two and three, culminating in a final year practical presentation outside of the University.
Feedback is provided frequently through formal and informal processes including tutorials, indicative assessment, self assessment and group critique. You can also book a one-to-one tutorial with your tutor.
In your first and second years, as well as the topics listed below, you will also have study/writing/research skills sessions, as well as fieldtrips to North West venues and lectures from guest speakers. You will start to prepare for your final year dissertation (written special study) in your second year. You will also have the opportunity to take part in an international study field trip visit and to participate in the Angelfield Festival on our campus.
The Foundation Year is a great opportunity if you have the ability and enthusiasm to study for a degree, but do not yet have the qualifications required to enter directly onto our degree programmes. A significant part of the Foundation Year focuses upon core skills such as academic writing at HE level, becoming an independent learner, structuring academic work, critical thinking, time management and note taking.
Successful completion of the Foundation Year will enable you to progress into the first year (Level C) of your chosen honours degree. Further details can be found here.
Contemporary Approaches to Fine Art
You will be introduced to the subject through a range of exciting and
challenging studio projects including painting, sculpture, sonic art, drawing, collaborative installation and a site specific project in the public realm. There are also introductory sessions on colour theory, painting technique, printmaking, drawing specialisms and digital media.
Applications and Uses of Drawing
From the beginning of the first year there is an emphasis on the rudimental elements of drawing which tracks through to a broader conversation regarding the holistic practice and position of contemporary drawing. The aim is for you to gain an understanding of the applications and uses of drawing as an investigative tool. In recent years, this has extended to life drawing sessions led by a specialist tutor.
Visual Awareness/Critical Skills in Relation to Studio Practice
Through group critiques, seminars and the systematic deconstruction of signs and representational systems, you will develop your critical thinking and visual awareness. One to one tutorials, exposure to professional exhibiting artists and the in depth study of their work will improve and inform your practice at all levels. The reflection on your own work and the study of the work of others will be documented in your own Contextual and Personal Journals.
Methods and Practice
You will be presented with opportunities to develop technical skills through specialist induction sessions in wood, metal, plaster, print, colour theory, stretcher-making, 3D modelling as well as other digitally based inductions.
Themes and Issues in Art and Design History
This chronological lecture series introduces you to key events, styles and movements in the history of art and design, starting in Antiquity and ending with modern/postmodern art in the late 20th century. The lecture and seminar series is organised in five chronological period blocks. Within each block, thematic topics will draw together cross-disciplinary content relating to diverse aspects of historical art and design practices, from painting and sculpture to ceramics, fashion and graphic design. Themes of the study include concepts of the self and the body; the social and political role of art and design history; inhabiting the material world; producing and consuming art and design. Each block will also contain a key reading, which will introduce students to a range of critical thinkers. Each block lasts five weeks and includes one full day for a site visit.
Art and Design History: Close Up Lecture
The ‘Close Up’ programme extends the lecture series through provision of in-depth investigation of particular themes, makers and objects. Lectures may include:
- Close up investigation of a single artwork or artefact incorporating both formal and contextual analysis
- Considering a range of diverse historical and cultural contexts for individual artworks, artefacts and practices
- Challenging the ’grand narratives’ of art and design history by drawing attention to marginalised areas of practice
- Workshop, studio or museum/gallery visits in order to handle and discuss materials/artefacts/artworks at first hand.
The weekly tutorial will provide a focus on developing study skills and methodologies, and encouraging student-led discussion and activities. Themes introduced during the three lecture/seminar elements will be picked up during the tutorials.
Establishing Autonomous Studio Practice
In discussion with studio lecturers, you will write an independent research proposal for your practical work. Although your research interest may change, you will discuss general research methods with your tutor and begin to explore an individual and autonomous direction to your studio practice. Tutorials continue to be available on a one to one basis and regular group critiques will encourage critical evaluation and discourse involving all artwork produced and related research.
Professional Practice for Art and Design History
The practical component is a year-long lecture programme that will introduce you to more advanced aspects of exhibition planning, project management and fundraising. The assessment of this element, a Learning Portfolio, will focus on the preparatory stage of the exhibition planning.
Special Topics in Art and Design History
This topic gives you the opportunity to get involved with academic research based on your tutors’ expertise. Special topics will be offered in the form of six-week blocks, including a site visit. Topics will include relevant approaches from the fields of Fine Art and Graphic Design. These may change from year to year, but examples include ‘Narratives in Art and Design’, ‘Feminism and Gender’, ‘Propaganda and Persuasion in Visual and Material Culture’, ‘National Identity and Post-Colonialism’. The seminar will pick up the content of the lecture through the texts of key thinkers. At the end of each block, you will be asked to produce a practical writing task which will then be assessed by others in your class.
Study skills and methodologies that were introduced during the first year will be explored in more depth during your second year. The other key function of the tutorial is assignment and exam preparation. Particular attention will be given to the Special Study Proposal, which is a viability study of the research project in Year 3.
Advanced Studio Practice
Studio practice in year three is led by your individual research direction. You will receive regular support and guidance via one-to-one formal and informal tutorials from studio lecturers who are professional artists and skilled educationalists. Group critiques with your peers and tutors, indicative and self-assessments support you in developing a personal visual language in full knowledge of the Fine Art field of cultural production.
You will keep contextual and personal journals to position your studio practice from an informed and knowledgeable perspective and reflect upon your progress in the studio. Documentation of your engagement with national and international contemporary art will form the basis of your contextual journal whilst the personal journal will record methods and progress in the studio. The research in the personal journal will also document and critically reflect upon, any art practice, either historical or contemporary, which relates to or has influenced your studio work.
Advanced Professional Practice
Delivered by professional working artists and researchers, this topic provides you with employability skills for the creative industries, culminating in an exhibition or event in a public venue in Liverpool that is organised and delivered collectively by the third year student group. This element of the course expands upon and continues the development of practical skills required to produce and exhibit artworks professionally in the gallery, site-specific or installation context. Professional practice also gives an insight into career opportunities that exist within the creative industry sector through visiting artists and industry professional talks and seminars.
Contemporary Curating: Display, Interpretation, Audiences
This lecture series will explore the development of curating as an integral aspect of creative practice, both as an art form in itself and as a fundamental element of professional creative life. Curating today goes far beyond the confines of the museum or art gallery; the term is increasingly used to describe the practice of navigating, selecting, presenting and making meaning from the plethora of images, objects and experiences available in a digital age. This lecture/seminar series will combine theoretical/historical discussion with presentations by professional guest speakers from across the region during term 1, followed by a diverse programme of visits in term 2 providing opportunities to apply theoretical ideas to real world examples. It will provide you not only with grounded knowledge of developments in curatorial theory and practice but also a network of contacts within the creative industries in and around Liverpool.
The term-long seminar ‘Aesthetics’ will analyse key aesthetic concepts relating to the making and understanding of art and design. The history of aesthetics is bound up with philosophical ideas about the nature and function of art and design, and how the past has influenced current theories of art. Given the extensive nature of this subject, the topic aims to act as a catalyst to further study and thought rather than providing a comprehensive history of aesthetics. Seminars will focus on the five key aesthetic concepts of beauty, taste, value, interpretation and creativity. Through intensive study of these concepts, you will be introduced to a wide range of writers and philosophers of art, design and wider culture, spanning centuries of Western history.
Your final year tutorials are a mixture of group tutorials and individual tutorials, directly supporting you during the process of writing your final research project (special study).
You produce a 5,000 word research project (special study) on a topic of your choice, which will relate to, and inform, your studio practice. You will be guided with a supervisor from Art & Design History and a second supervisor from the studio lecturing team.
There may be some flexibility for mature students offering non-tariff qualifications and students meeting particular widening participation criteria.
Fine Art has an enviable record for graduate employment. Many of our recent graduates have begun careers in lecturing, teaching, art therapy, gallery administration and curating, television, theatre, exhibition work, artist residencies, community and public arts. Graduates also go on to run their own successful businesses and studio workshops.
The degree generates autonomy, creativity and lateral and critical thinking as well as other highly desirable practical and intellectual transferable skills that genuinely prepare you for the world of work. The integrated live projects provide valuable experience of working in the professional arena and create professional contacts with potential future employers.
A significant number of Hope graduates successfully progress to postgraduate courses each year, with recent Fine Art graduates going on to study at the Royal College of Art, Goldsmiths and Chelsea School of Art
The Service and Leadership Award (SALA) is offered as an extra-curricular programme involving service-based experiences, development of leadership potential and equipping you for a career in a rapidly changing world. It enhances your degree, it is something which is complimentary but different and which has a distinct ‘value-added’ component. Find out more on our Service and Leadership Award page.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
All students at Liverpool Hope University are eligible to study for a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.
As part of your degree, you can choose to spend either a semester or a full year of study at one of our partner universities as part of our Study Abroad programme. Find out more on our Study Abroad page.
The tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year are £9,250 for full-time undergraduate courses.
If you are a student from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, your tuition fees will also be £9,250.
The University reserves the right to increase Home and EU Undergraduate and PGCE tuition fees in line with any inflationary or other increase authorised by the Secretary of State for future years of study.
As well as your tuition fees, you also need to consider the cost of materials, which is approximately £200 per year. There are also costs for optional fieldtrips. You will be informed, with plenty of notice, about full costs of such trips.
You will also need to consider the cost of your accommodation each year whilst you study at university. Visit our accommodation pages for further details about our Halls of Residence.
We have a range of scholarships to help with the cost of your studies. Visit our scholarships page to find out more.
International tuition fees
The International Tuition fees for 2023/24 are £12,500.
Visit our International fees page for more information.
With Foundation year, this degree is only available to study as a Single Honours course.