Our BA (Hons) Fine Art course immerses you in a diverse and creative community where you are encouraged to learn the business of becoming an artist in the contemporary world.

This challenging and engaging course is structured within our three specialist studios: Studio S, Studio D and Studio P, which each provide a supportive community nominally based around sculpture, drawing or painting, led by an experienced team of artists.

You will develop your work through regular critiques and workshops with staff and peers, as well as exploring aspects of art history and critical thought to help you to situate your work within contemporary art practices.

The course supports the development of your studio practice, with a strong emphasis on craft and skill that stems from our long history of traditional art education. Our award-winning facilities will allow you to produce work that spans a diverse range of media.

We arrange cultural visits to galleries and exhibitions, and you can take inspiration from nearby Leeds Art Gallery, the Henry Moore Institute, the award-winning Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and The Hepworth Wakefield which was awarded the Art Fund Museum of the Year (2017).

You will be encouraged to seek opportunities to exhibit your work, gaining valuable experience and practical skills that will help to prepare you for a range of rewarding careers in this exciting discipline.

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course details

What You'll Study

Year One — You’ll embark on a short orientation period with a strong emphasis on drawing, an approach for which the University is renowned. This initial period of orientation, induction and familiarisation introduces you to the staff you will be working with, the University and your peers before you join one of the specialist studio communities.

Year Two — You’ll develop your work within your studio community where tutorials and critiques will extend your studio practice. You will enhance your professionalism through a focus on artists’ strategies and exhibition practice.

Year Three — You’ll consolidate your informed and positioned practice, working within your studio community, undertaking tutorials and critiques to mentor you through your final year. You will position yourself as an emerging professional artist, undertaking an agreed project in the form of a public exhibition and an extensive research project.

Work Experience

Work experience covers a broad range of activities and students are encouraged to undertake work placements during their time at University. As well as guidance from the course team our Careers, Employability and Enterprise team offer support that enhances employability skills and underpins engagement with industry. Work experience that our alumni have negotiated has included ‘Think Out of The Box’ supported work experience with ESA at East Street Arts, Leeds; bronze foundry work experience at SSW, the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Aberdeenshire; work experience with the British Art Show 8 external project at Leeds Art Gallery; mentored awards by AON, a national project organised by Work Place Consultancy; and undertaking volunteer positions in the Learning Department at The Hepworth Wakefield and at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.


Our students win many prestigious awards and prizes. Recently, these have included:

  • Associate Artists for Yorkshire Sculpture International 2018
  • Winner Ingram Collection Purchase Prize 2018
  • The Kenneth Armitage Student Sculpture Award
  • Winner of the Best Collective Art Show at Free Range 2018
  • Winner of the Free Range Emerging Artist
  • Aon Community Art Awards
  • Winner of The Northern Art Show Award Bursary
  • Winner of The Drawing Year at The Princes Drawing School

Our students have also been shortlisted for the Royal British Society of Artists Rome Scholarship, John Moores Painting Prize, The Lynn Painters and Stainers and the Royal Academy Summer Show. As part of live projects students have performed in The Art Party Conference Scarborough; collaborated with the Scarborough Winter School 2016 at Crescent Arts and exhibited in the USA at Syracuse University and the Cooper Union in New York, and in ‘The Ones to Watch’, a regional exhibition competition.

Course Specification

Contact Hours & Teaching/Learning Methods

Undergraduate degree programmes at Leeds Arts University are delivered and supported through a range of teaching and learning strategies. Programmes are made up of modules, these are elements of study that are taught and assessed separately. Each module carries a clearly identified credit value, the accumulation of which will allow you to progress to the next level of the programme. 100 hours of learning are expected for every ten credits of the programme. Each level (year) of the programme is made up of 120 credits and therefore requires 1200 hours of learning. This equates to 40 hours of study per week throughout the academic year.

For every 100 hours of learning, approximately 25 hours are delivered as taught or supported sessions and remaining hours are allocated for studio/workshop access and independent learning. Individual programmes have their own learning cultures based on their specific use of the teaching and learning methods listed here. These methods feature differently depending on the programme, level, aims of module, content of the sessions and progress through an academic year.

For further information see our Undergraduate teaching & learning at Leeds Arts University document.

Destination Careers

Graduates go into a wide variety of careers including independent art practice, community arts, curating and teaching. Some go on to further study at masters or doctorate level.

Entry Requirements

We’re looking for students with the best potential to succeed - irrespective of their background. That’s why we welcome a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Click here to view our entry requirements

Portfolio Guide

A well presented portfolio says a lot about an applicant and their work. Our guidance is not meant to limit your creative statement.

In general terms however we would expect the following:

  • Examples of drawing that may also include colour usage and an understanding of 3D.
  • Examples of idea development.
  • Sketchbooks and notebooks.
  • Examples of the use of a range of materials and processes.
  • Critical diary, notebook, evidence of gallery visits, essay etc.
  • Evidence of final pieces (if too large or site specific, photographs will suffice).

At this stage in your career we like to see experimental innovative drawing and developmental work as well as your examples of finished work.

We would like to see a personal and well presented portfolio.

However there is no need for heavy card and plastic sleeves. We do not need to see all the work you have produced - around 20-30 samples in your main portfolio would be ideal.

We also run a range of daytime and evening portfolio development courses specialising in preparation for further and higher art and design education. For more information on current courses please click here.

Interview Guide

When you arrive at reception you will be met by a member of the course team who will take you to the studio where you will be asked to lay out your work. You will be part of a small group of applicants who have been given the same half day interview slot.

You and the rest of the group will be given an illustrated talk about our Fine Art Programme. There will be opportunities to ask questions. You will be shown around the department and some of the facilities used by the Fine Art students.

During this time the course staff will have been looking at your work. You will then be invited to attend a 15 minute individual interview with two members of staff.

You should be prepared to be in the University for up to three hours. If you have had to travel long distances and have a train pre-booked, please let us know in advance and we will try to arrange the timing of your interview so you can get away in time.


This is identified from one or more of the following:

Good use of drawing and visual research skills.

  • Portfolio of work

The ability to generate and develop a range of creative ideas.

  • Portfolio of work
  • Interview

Skill and inventiveness in the use of a variety of media and techniques.

  • Portfolio of work

A good understanding and use of visual language.

  • Portfolio of work
  • Interview

A dedication to the subject area and ambition to succeed.

  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio of work
  • Evidence of exhibitions
  • Interview

Tuition Fees and Other Costs

Tuition Fees

Our current fees are listed here

Other Costs

Further costs of study are related largely to the costs of materials and depend very much on how individual students choose to respond to University briefs. The costs below are the result of asking our students to state how much they spend during the year and creating an average, as such they are indicative only.

Equipment and Materials

  • Level 4 (First Year) Materials approximately £10-£150
  • Level 5 (Second Year) Materials approximately £10-£200
  • Level 6 (Third Year) Materials approximately £20-£300


During the year we will undertake a series of trips. The trips are an essential part of your course and are built into the academic year, so you are expected to take part in course visits.

There will be an annual European trip opportunity which costs in the region of £400-£500, including travel and accommodation. Other regional visits will cost approximately £10 each or be free of charge.

We provide support for undergraduate students dependent upon their financial circumstances. Visit Undergraduate Financial Support for further information.

Terms & Conditions and Key Information

Our Terms & Conditions are here.

If you would like to download the Key Information on this course click here.

International Opportunities / Visiting and exchange students

We are delighted to welcome undergraduate visiting and exchange students from Europe and around the world who would like to spend a semester or a full academic year taking credits from our exciting range of courses. You will be fully integrated into the academic and social life of the University during a period of full-time supervised study and your credits transferred back to your home institution.

You can join us through programmes such as Erasmus+, individual university partnerships or as an independent applicant. Please see here for more information and how to apply.

Leeds Arts University students interested in spending some time overseas can find information on the international opportunities available during your course here.

Questions? Contact international@leeds-art.ac.uk

3 Years
Study Mode
Full Time
Term Starts
Institution Name
Leeds Arts University
Institution Code
Awarded by
Leeds Arts University


BA (Hons) Fine Art

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"Our collective studios comprise a special space both in the arts university and in the midst of a culturally mature, busy city."
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BA (Hons) Fine Art