2020/21 Full-time Undergraduate course
Bachelor of Arts with Honours
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Belfast School of Art
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20
Our first term will commence as planned on 21 September and we will be prepared to deliver lectures and other teaching online for Semester One
Some on-campus activities will still take place, based on a robust local risk assessment, and priority will be given to using campus spaces for practice-based learning activities including lab work.
The University’s primary concern remains the physical and mental health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff, their families and the wider community. Nothing is more important to us.
On our COVID-19 webpages you will find further information for applicants and students, along with answers to some of the questions you may have.
With this degree you could become:
Graduates from this course are now working for:
The Foundation Diploma is an exciting and intensive practice-based programme through which you can explore a range of art and design disciplines.
In this section
This course will enable you to explore a wide range of disciplines through a practical and diagnostic experience in art and design. This course is full-time for one academic year from September to June and is delivered through a combination of lectures, practical demonstrations, workshop practice, studio critiques, seminars and individual tutorials. These are further supported with guest lectures and workshops, 'live' briefs with outside organisations, field trips and online materials to enhance your learning experience.
Sign up to register an interest in the course.
In this section
In Semester 1 you will have a diagnostic experience of a range of two-dimensional and three-dimensional disciplines, which address some of the fundamentals of theory and practice. An experimental drawing programme will develop your observational skills, your ability to draw and employ a range of media, to explore alternative means of drawing and to record visual information from a variety of sources. In addition a series of workshops will introduce you to the contexts of art, digital media, 2D and 3D design.
In Semester 2 students select from the array of specialisms in art, design and digital media which are representative of undergraduate degree courses in art and design. At this point specialist members of staff tutor your interests and ability with independent learning, critical thinking and resolutions actively encouraged. Experimentation and development in your chosen discipline, with theory, history and contextual studies, are extended with particular emphasis on your chosen discipline area.
Diploma in Professional Practice DPP
Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS
Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI
Find out more about placement awards
The course is full-time and students are expected to attend campus five days a week, 9:30am-4:30pm each day, except Wednesday which is 9:30am-1:15pm. Students will be advised of days when they are not expected on campus e.g. public holidays, assessment etc. These will be highlighted in the semester timetables issued at the start of the academic year, with any changes and additional information sent to students through Blackboard notification and/or email.
Lectures will introduce the historical and contemporary practices and discourses in drawing across art and design disciplines. Discussing the origins, purpose, roles and effects of such practices to build students knowledge and understanding.
Seminars will provide opportunities for students to explore issues emerging from the lecture programme, to listen to contributions from peer group members, to articulate ideas and to reflect on emerging discussions.
Tutorials will give students advice and monitor student’s individual progress. During tutorials, key areas for enhancement will be identified and work strategies will be discussed.
Practical exercises will normally be embedded within workshop sessions and are conducted by module staff. These sessions provide students with clear guidelines on the usage of specific techniques, materials and processes.
Critiques will provide opportunities for students to reflect on their work, articulate carefully considered constructive criticism, and realise the potential of peer learning. Students will have the opportunity to present their work in progress, to reflect on and evaluate their work and to listen to peer views. There are three key elements of critiques: self-reflection, constructive criticism and peer learning.
Students will be directed to view all lecture notes, resources, workshop hand-outs and key tasks on Blackboard Learn.
Students will be expected to engage fully in all aspects of the programme.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
A globally recognised hub of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.
At Student Support we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
History and Theory 1 introduces art historical, theoretical and contextual study and its relationship to studio practice. Key research and study skills are taught. You will conduct independent research into historical and contemporary art and other areas related to studio practice. You will be required to articulate the relationships between contexts and studio practice.
Studio Practice 1 introduces you to the course and to the culture and practice of Fine Art. It establishes key practical and conceptual skills and the working methods of Fine Art and studio practice. Through observation, exploration and critical reflection you will make a body of practical experimentation and artworks.
History and Theory 2 focuses on introducing you to key practices and concepts of modern and contemporary art. Connections are drawn between the art ideas and culture of modernism and those of contemporary art practices. Ways of thinking and communicating about artworks and histories of art established in History and Theory 1 are both extended and refined. You develop skills in close looking, visual literacy, reading, research, critical thinking, oral and written communication and forms of presentation. You will deliver a presentation on a selected topic and produce an academic essay applying taught material and the fruits of your own research to individually selected examples of contemporary art practice.
Studio Practice 2 develops your responsibility for their art practice. You will develop practical and conceptual skills and their working methods in the studio and beyond. Through observation, exploration, critical reflection and consideration of form in relation to concept, you will make a body of practical experimentation and artworks.
In Professional Practice 1 you will conduct a project and work placement in a professional area of art or cultural practice. You will reflect upon and evaluate your experience in a written report. You will establish methods of documenting and presenting your artworks and practices in professional forms through the portfolio, artist's talk, artist's statement and c.v. You will acquire knowledge about wider professional contexts and opportunities. The Professional Practice modules develop and extend your knowledge and experience of the wider professional contexts and skills of contemporary art practice. Professional Practice 1 is fundamentally related to workplace experience and employability, as well as to the Studio Practice and History and Theory modules.
Studio Practice 3 is the third of the five consecutive Studio Practice modules on the Fine Art course. Building on the foundation of art practice and knowledge established in Studio Practice 1 and 2, Studio Practice 3 develops self-direction and encourages you to locate your art practices in relation to the wider professional realms of contemporary art.
Studio Practice 4 is the fourth of the five consecutive Studio Practice modules on the Fine Art course. Studio Practice 4 focuses on the production of more resolved artworks; the ambition for and critical understanding of art practice and its contexts; the experience of exhibition or other appropriate professional contexts.
History and Theory 3 in the first semester introduces key theoretical discourses in visual culture in relation to art practice, critique and interpretation. You will focus on close reading, textual understanding and writing skills. You are taught how to write a précis of a theoretical text, clearly positioning the author and giving a careful account of the argument. You will write a précis on the seminar set reading: a series of short theoretical texts. The collection of precis is submitted for assessment
This module is optional
This is an optional placement year for students who have completed Level 5 prior to the final year of study. The placement must be a minimum of 25 weeks duration and can be in a broad range of Art/Professional practice. A programme of work is agreed by the student, the Placement Tutor and the Placement Partner and usually takes place in Europe with respect to the relevant health and safety and disability regulations.(SENDO). The placement is designed to increase experience of workshop/studio/communal and technical practice, while broadening and enhancing the student`s social, personal and professional development. Upon successful completion of the placement year the student is awarded a Diploma in Professional Studies (DPP) or a Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) International upon graduation from the course.
This module is optional
This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Republic of Ireland. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline whilst generating educational and cultural networks.
In Studio Practice 5 you will work ambitiously and critically as a self-directed artist and thinker. You will make artworks that integrate practical, aesthetic and intellectual knowledge. Studio Practice 5 culminates in a professional exhibition of selected artworks in the Degree Show.
This 80 credit module spans two semesters and allows for ambition, risk-taking and continuity, which is reflective of practice in the professional field. This will prepare you for the rigours of postgraduate study and independent practice as an artist.
Professional Practice 2 develops your research, study and professional skills, and identifies wider professional and graduate opportunities for you. You will document, present and critically evaluate your art practice and artworks made in the concurrent Studio Practice 5 module. You will explore and articulate your position as an artist and thinker in professional forms: the artist's talk, portfolio, artist's statement and critical commentary. Professional Practice 2 is closely aligned with Studio Practice 5 and History and Theory 4, culminating in your final year Degree Show.
History and Theory 4 is the final History and Theory module on the Fine Art course. In this 20 credit module you identify and pursue a major research project related to your interests and studio practice and present it in the form of an academic Dissertation.
From the first year of the course, you explore the history, contexts and discourses of contemporary art practice though the History and Theory modules, which teach skills in visual literacy, intellectual enquiry, research, analysis, argument, critical writing and interpretation. The History and Theory modules build upon one another incrementally to enable you to identify and research increasingly sophisticated topics, and to write increasingly substantial texts, culminating in the Dissertation. All of the skills gained in years 1 and 2 are used in producing the Dissertation, which is usually the lengthiest and most accomplished piece of academic writing you will have produced to that point.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
In this section
The requirement for this course is 2 'A' levels at grades CC.
Overall award profile BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma DM.
Overall award profile BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma MM.
Irish Leaving Certificate H4, H4, H5, H5, H5, to include English at Grade H6 or above or grade 04 or above (Ordinary Level) if not sitting at Higher Level.
The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is DDDDD.
The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CD.
Overall International Baccalaureate profile with minimum of 24 points to include 12 at higher level.
Access course (120 credits) with an overall mark of 55%.
GCSE Profile to include English Language at minimum grade C.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Submission of a satisfactory portfolio.
Each programme will have slightly different requirements, both in terms of overall points and certain subjects, so please check the relevant subject in the undergraduate on-line prospectus.
Normally Ulster University welcomes applications from students with:
|High School Diploma with overall GPA 3.0 and to include grades 3,3,3 in 3 AP subjects|
|High School Diploma with overall GPA 3.0 and to include 1000 out of 1600 in SAT|
|Associate Degree with GPA 3.0|
|Level 12 English Lang in HSD|
In this section
Graduates from this course are now working for:
With this degree you could become:
The course maintains an excellent record of student progression onto degree courses. Since 2012, consistently over 95% of our students entered undergraduate programmes in Art and Design at Ulster University or at other tertiary institutions in the UK and Ireland.
Applications to BA Hons Art and Design (Foundation Diploma) at Ulster are made through UCAS. The course team will then view an e-portfolio from the applicant for acceptance onto the course. There is no interview
In this section
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 20/21 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
Northern Ireland & EU: £4,395.00
England, Scotland, Wales and the Islands: £9,250.00 Discounts available
International: £14,480.00 Scholarships available
Discounts for student from England, Scotland and Wales:
You have three discount options to choose from:
£2,000 discount on tuition fees. £1,000 discount on tuition fees
£1,000 discount on tuition fees
International Undergraduate Scholarship
£2,000 scholarship applied as discount to your annual tuition fee.
Other awards and prizes:
Information provided is for guidance only as scholarship details are subject to change - please refer to the source website for up-to-date and accurate information.
Students purchase materials for their own coursework.
Consumable workshop contribution of up to £100 is optional and contributes to materials used by students.
Field trips may incur additional costs.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
Course Director: Howard Wright
Christine HarbinsonT: +44 (0)28 9536 7202