Bachelor of Arts with Honours
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Belfast School of Art
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20
Explore and engage with a wide range of art, design, and digital design areas in a creative learning environment.
Foundation Studies Art and Design is an exciting and intensive one year, practice-based programme that enables students to explore and engage with a wide range of art, design, and digital design discipline areas. The Foundation Art and Design experience builds confidence and supports students to make an informed decision about their specialism for undergraduate progression and future career pathway.
This studio-based programme is taught by core and specialist tutors. It is supported by contextual studies; so, as well as studio-based practice work across a range of discipline areas, written projects and academic tasks are also explored. The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, practical demonstrations, workshop practice, studio critiques, seminars and individual tutorials.
Final practice-based project work from Foundation Studies Art and Design is exhibited at the Belfast School of Art annual Degree Show in June.
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Diploma in Professional Practice DPP
Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS
Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI
This is a one-year full time course, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 9:30am —4:30pm and Wednesday 9:30am—12:30pm. The course is made up of four modules, two per semester and are either 20 credits or 40 credits. Each module credit equates to 10 effort hours. Attendance is studio-based with a specific timetable for each module where workshops, lectures and tutorials are scheduled. At other times, you will be expected to conduct independent studio practice and research.
The course provides a rich learning environment to achieve the Learning Outcomes of the course. Teaching will be divided into lectures, tutorials (individual and group), critiques (reviews of work), workshop practice, demonstrations etc.
Workshops Workshops are conducted by module staff. These sessions provide students with clear guidelines on the usage of specific techniques, materials and processes. These will provide opportunities for students to reflect on their work, articulate carefully considered criticism and realise the potential of peer-learning.
Lectures Lectures will introduce the historical and contemporary practices and discourses across art and design disciplines. Discussing the purpose, roles and effects of such practices to build knowledge and understanding.
Seminars 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 Tutorials (individual or group) will give students advice, feedback, and monitor progress. During tutorials key areas for enhancement will be identified and work strategies will be discussed.
Feedback and Assessment happens throughout both semesters with pass/fail in semester one and continuous assessment contributing to the overall final mark at the end of semester 2. Assessment is 100% coursework.
Core Foundation teaching staff deliver across Fine Art Painting, Design and Textiles with other tutors contributing from the undergraduate programmes across the school.
There is a showcase of student work at the end of the year as part of the Belfast School of Art, End of Year Graduate show.
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 near the start date and may be subject to 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 of attendance will often 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 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 Masters 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 via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . 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 four learning outcomes, and no more than two 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.
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 Masters 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 Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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 (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
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) by Advanced HE - 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 2021-2022.
The Belfast campus is situated in the artistic and cultural centre of the city, the Cathedral Quarter.
High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.
At Student Wellbeing 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.
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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.
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QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of DDD
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2016 Suite)
Award profile of DMM
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of DD plus A Level Grade C
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2016 Suite)
Award profile of DM plus A Level Grade C
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Introductory Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of D plus A Level Grades BC
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Certificate (2016 Suite)
Award profile of D plus A Level Grades BC
112 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of five subjects (four of which must be at higher level) to include English at H6 if studied at Higher level or O4 if studied at Ordinary Level.
Overall profile is minimum 25 points (including 12 at higher level)
Overall profile of 63% (120 credit Access Course) (NI Access Course)
Overall profile of 15 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit (60 credit Access Course) (GB Access Course)
For full-time study, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass at Grade C/4 or above in English Language.
Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Communication will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE English.
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.
Acceptable alternative qualifications include:
Pass HND with overall Merit to include 45 distinctions in level 5 credits/units may be specified.
Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 75 distinctions in level 4 credits/units may be specified.
You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University (provided subject requirements as noted above are met).
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Graduates from this course are now working for:
With this degree you could become:
On successful completion of the course, students’ progress to Year 01 of their chosen undergraduate degree programme at Ulster University. They can also exit after this year with a Diploma in Foundation Studies Art and Design.
Fees illustrated are based on academic year 22/23 entry and are subject to an annual increase.
If your study continues into future academic years your fees are subject to an annual increase. Please take this into consideration when you estimate your total fees for a degree.
Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply.
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.
See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.
Course Director: Pauline Clancy
Admissions: Christine Harbinson
International Admissions Office