UWTSD Home - Study With Us - Undergraduate Courses - Fine Art: Studio Site and Context (BA)
Fine Art: Studio, Site and Context encompasses a broad approach to fine art teaching where individual artistic practice draws upon, and uses, a wide range of materials, media, concepts, and philosophies. Studio practice is at its core and involves the use of specialised workshops and personal spaces where concepts are developed through painting, drawing, sculptural practice, video, sound, installation, and performance.
You will be encouraged to see your artistic journey as one continuous process and you will benefit from regular one-to-one tutorials with staff.
Our programme’s strength and vigour lie within the understanding that Studio Site and Context are the key elements to a well-functioning artistic practice.
The course encourages all students to consider their position within society, providing an opportunity for you to work alongside internationally acclaimed artists and lecturers to explore the expanding and forever-evolving field of contemporary fine art practice.
Tutorials form an important element, stemming from a teaching team with a considerable international reputation and experience within their fields, a combination that provides a wide range of expertise from painting, site-specificity, and curatorship.
100% of UWTSD's Fine Art students agreed that staff are good at explaining things.
(National Student Survey, 2022)
- View the 2021 Fine Art graduate website 'Can We Start Again'
- Two UWTSD Fine Art graduates win places on the Step Change Fellowship Programme
- View the Swansea College of Art Summer Degree Show
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. Applicants to part-time courses can apply through the University.
All our courses come under the institution code T80
Visit the University's apply section to find out more.
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University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Tuition Fees 2022/23:
Home (Full-time): £9,000 per year
Overseas (Full-time): £13,500 per year
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 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 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 that 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.
Year One – Level 4 (Cert HE, Dip HE & BA)
- Contemporary Challenges: Making a Difference (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
- Exhibition 1.0 (20 Credits; Compulsory)
- Learning in the Digital Era (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
- Materials, Construction & Deconstruction (20 credits; compulsory)
- Site & Audience (20 credits; compulsory)
- The Artist Zine (20 credits; compulsory)
- Visual Studies 1 (10 credits; compulsory)
- Visual Studies 2 (10 credits; compulsory)
- Ways of Perceiving (10 credits; compulsory)
- Ways of Thinking (10 credits; compulsory).
Year Two – Level 5 (Dip HE & BA)
- Changemakers: Building your Personal Brand for Sustainable Employment (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
- Changemakers: Creativity and Value Creation (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
- Concept & Process (20 credits; compulsory)
- Exhibition 2.0 (20 Credits; Compulsory)
- World Building (20 Credits; Compulsory)
- Research in Context (10 credits; compulsory)
- Research in Practice (10 credits; compulsory)
- Stimulus & Response (20 credits; compulsory)
- Visual Enquiry 1 (10 credits; compulsory)
- Visual Enquiry 2 (10 credits; compulsory).
Year Three – Level 6 (BA)
- Advanced Creative Enquiry (20 credits; compulsory)
- Independent Project (40 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
- Major Project (60 credits; compulsory).
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 occurs 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 takedown of studio spaces to conversion to exhibition, is taught, and understood, very much within the context of professional practice, for the third year.
This Framework aims to develop your professional skills and competence alongside your academic subject knowledge. You’ll study up to 40 credits per level throughout your programme from the Graduate Attributes Framework.
The Graduate Attribute modules are designed to enable you to develop, and evidence, a range of career-focused skills related to your subject area. These skills include digital competency, research and project management, as well as such personal competencies as communication, creativity, self-reflection, resilience and problem-solving.
- Find out more about the Graduate Attributes Framework
Our Facilities, Graduates and Industry Links
Student and Swansea Life
- Professor Sue Williams – (Programme Director)
- Professor Tim Davies
- Craig Wood
- Alexander Duncan
See some of the work by Fine Art Staff.
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
- UAL L3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design.
- UAL L3 Applied General Diploma and Extended Diploma in Art and Design.
- UAL L3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication.
- BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject
- 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, art and design students will likely incur additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice, such as purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining optional study trips, and printing.
Students are expected to bring their own personal art and design equipment when they commence the course. We can advise on the correct equipment needed for your 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 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 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 available funding opportunities, please visit our Scholarships and Bursaries section.
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in Europe, USA or Canada.
In addition to our University Accommodation at Llys Glas, Swansea also benefits from a number of private student halls, all within a short walk, including: