BA (Hons) Visual Arts (Top Up)

Explore visual art forms such as drawing, painting, sculpture, crafts, printmaking, and photography, and gain the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career in this exciting industry. You will learn through creative studio based activities, leading to negotiated imaginative outcomes, alongside self-initiated briefs, ensuring you can focus on the development of your personal style and portfolio. One-to-one tuition, group tutorials and critiques in a practical, academic and pastoral capacity will form the basis of your time in college. Small group sizes ensure access to mixed media spaces and industry standard Apple Mac resources for personal and professional development.

Study Aims


  • To encourage the development of professional, innovative and creative outcomes in a supportive work-related learning environment.
  • To engage you in academic activities and negotiated projects, as simulated or live client briefs, underpinned by personalised learning and individual focus.
  • To promote engagement in industry focussed work, supporting the acquisition of professional skills relevant to employment or self-employment opportunities within the creative industries.

Modules Studied

You will study the following three modules:[1[Professional Context: Synthesise professional visual arts skills through creative activity centred on self-promotion and creative portfolio building to support progression into a visual arts career or further study. ~ Visual Arts Research Study: Self-initiated and creatively designed in-depth research study on a topic of your choice. ~ Final Major Project: Set your own self-initiated final major project(s) focussed on enhancing your personal style, opportunity for freelance, live work and work placements.]1]

Times of Delivery


  • Monday - 9am - 1pm ~Tuesday - 9am - 12pm 1pm - 4pm

Any times indicated are based on current courses and may be subject to change in future years. Full timetables will be confirmed at the start of each course.

Teaching and Assessment

A range of teaching, learning and assessment strategies are incorporated into the programme and are appropriate for those studying at Level 6. Personal Tutor SystemA comprehensive personal tutor system is in place to make sure you have a direct personal contact with an individual member of the course team, to discuss academic and personal matters relevant to your learning. You will be allocated a personal tutor when first registering to the course. Academic SupportIn addition to support from your personal tutor, you will receive academic support from your module tutors. Support is given via tutorials at set intervals during the academic year and there is likely to be opportunity within some studio sessions for additional support.

Industry Links

The programme places focus upon the opportunity for you to engage in, and gain credit for, the development of industry based work. You will be provided with the opportunity to negotiate your learning focus within course modules by defining a pathway in a chosen specialist creative discipline. You will be able to incorporate live client work, conducted on a freelance or agency basis, within your module outcomes. This will be based on whether it is appropriate to negotiate project outcomes in modules Professional Context and Final Major Project.


While external work placement does not need to form any part of this programme, as a formal requirement, the course team highly encourage you to engage in such activities, to enhance your portfolios and to develop work based skills needed for progression. Work related skills will be developed across the course from initial tutor led activities within the module Professional Context, through to Final Major Project where the potential exists for you to explore live projects in-depth, should you wish to pursue this rather than a simulated or conceptual approach.

Entry Criteria

Standard Entry Criteria

  • You should hold a Level 5 qualification at course commencement (HND/FdA/international equivalent 120 ECTS Credits) in a visual arts related discipline.
  • All external applicants must be interviewed with an art and design based portfolio (international applicants via internet/email).
  • Evidence of digital literacy within portfolio to meet the needs of Level 6.
  • To have or be working towards Level 2 or equivalent in English Language (or a minimum 5.5 IELTS in each band for international applicants).

Non-standard Entry Criteria:

  • Evidence of appropriate creative experience or employment within the creative industries.
  • All applicants with non-standard criteria must be interviewed with an art and design based portfolio (international applicants via internet/email respectfully).
  • Evidence of digital literacy within portfolio to meet the needs of Level 6.
  • To have or be working towards Level 2 or equivalent in English Language (or a minimum 5.5 IELTS in each band for international applicants).

To gain entry to the programme, you must satisfy the standard or non-standard entry requirements to the course. If you fulfil the non-standard entry requirements, your application will be considered on the basis of relevant work experience and attainment of skills, which demonstrate an ability to study at this level.

Given the wide experience of potential applicants to this course, applications for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Accreditation of Experiential Learning (APEL) are welcomed in accordance with Academic Regulations. However, these must be discussed as part of the admissions process as once a student is registered to a programme RPL/APEL may not be considered for approval.

Additional Costs

Additional costs include general art and design materials and access to a digital camera and personal computer (Mac or PC) with Adobe Creative software. There will also be expenses for a yearly London visit, optional international visit, and costs associated with the mandatory presentation of creative outcomes in the final degree show exhibition.

What are the next steps?

You will a present a portfolio of art and design work and also be asked standard questions. You will find out more about the course, resources and opportunities for progression, plus you will be shown the facilities within the department and possibly have the chance to see other learners on campus. Please bring with you a sample of your creative work in the form of a portfolio (this could be digital and/or a traditional portfolio).

 Degree Apprenticeship
 Published on 2023-08-26
 Deadline NA