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Course Description

‘Thinking through making and making things happen’ is the ethos around which BA Fine Art at Chelsea is structured. This studio-based course provides a critically creative environment where you can develop your own practice.

Your experience is based around a series of events that include on and off-site exhibitions, performance, publications, presentations, symposia and screenings that are aimed to give you experience of real-world practice.

We encourage open and exploratory thinking. You will gain the confidence, experience and skills to play an effective role as a professional artist on an international stage.

What to expect

  • A broad-based fine art course that brings together a wide range of specialised areas including film, video, digital media, sound, print, performance, painting, sculpture and drawing
  • To be encouraged to take risks, experiment and test your ideas through new ways of working
  • A programme of tutorials, seminars, lectures, workshops, exhibitions and live projects that will support you in developing your practice and gain an awareness of the discourses particular to it
  • To be part of a community of artists that will explore ideas through making work
  • To have significant control over what you learn, the pace at which you learn and how you might demonstrate what you have learnt
  • To be encouraged to explore how art can lead an interrogation of the role of class, race, gender, sexuality, disability, age, language or belief in the construction of society now and in the future. The course encourages students to take an ethical, inclusive and sustainable approach to working and exhibiting
  • An approach to theory that treats it as practice, bringing together intellectual frameworks from multiple approaches, perspectives and methodologies to help you understand and explore the context within which you are working
  • Inductions to the facilities in the college’s studios and workshops with specialist technicians are on hand to offer support
  • To have access to Chelsea's shared workshops. These include ceramics, casting, laser cutting, photography, audio-visual editing suite, metal and woodwork.

‘Thinking through making and making things happen’ is the ethos around which BA Fine Art at Chelsea is structured. This studio-based course provides a critically creative environment where you can develop your own practice. Your experience is based around a series of events that include on and off-site exhibitions, performance, publications, presentations, symposia and...

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Course Content

Year 1

Unit 1 - Introduction to Fine Art

This unit is an introduction to your course, the college and the university.

Unit 2 - Studio practice

The aim of this unit is to help you begin to define your own practice.

  • Lectures, seminars, studio crits, gallery visits will expand your subject knowledge
  • To further develop your own critical and theoretical ideas
  • To establish a self-directed, independent and exploratory practice
  • To produce a body of studio work
  • To present your work to your peers in an open studio setting
  • To document your practice and research in your online journal

Unit 3 - Thinking through making and making things happen

The focus of this unit is an off-site group show. Working in student groups you will locate a space in London or beyond to test your work in an external environment.

  • To produce a body of studio work
  • Tutorials, crits and project sessions to enable discussion of both your own work and that of your peers
  • To document the research of your studio work and the off-site project using your online journal
  • Written work

Unit 4 - Positions 1

This unit is about exploring your position in relation to other artists.

  • To consider how contemporary art relates to wider social and ethical considerations
  • To do a presentation about how different ways of working as an artist engage with broader questions of research, production, site and presentation
  • To learn valuable professional development skills by helping third year students put on their degree show
  • To do a presentation as part of a group crit of the degree show concentrating on the work of one artist
  • To document knowledge and skills exchanged in your online reflective journal

Year 2

Unit 5 - Positions 2

  • To form collaborative groups loosely organised around research and practice interests
  • To develop a presentation as a collective. This can take the form of a talk, event, exhibition or any other appropriate format

Unit 6 - Collaborative and collective practices

This unit aims to introduce you to different ways in which collaborative working can focus and enhance your own creative strengths. This unit has 3 core purposes: 

  • To engage with fellow students with different practices and interests in a collaborative project towards a shared goal
  • To engage with external audiences, participants or institutions to consider new contexts for your work
  • To develop your creative attributes to enable you to take on future challenges in a variety of contexts

Unit 7 - Activation

This unit is about furthering your own practice.

  • To explore ideas relating to your practice and submit an aspect of this as a written publication. You will present it as a publication to BA Fine Art students
  • To work towards an exhibition which will help prepare you for your third year

Unit 8 - Positions 3

To produce a poster which captures and shares your thinking. The poster may be almost entirely visual, textual, or a mixture of the 2. It will help establish the kind of studio space and tutorial support you might require as you head into your third year.

Year 3

Unit 9 - Thinking, making, writing

The connection between theory and practice and its importance for the development of your work will be explored in this unit. There are 4 elements to this unit:

First Week Show - you will present work for discussion thinking about the relationships between content and form, material, medium, context, discourse and meaning.

Thought and Action - presentation of work that will be discussed in feedback tutorials and group critiques. This will inform your practice plan. Your practice plan is an online report that will outline new directions for the development of your work. It will assist your preparation of your essay and presentation of enquiry.

Essay - through writing you will explore and reflect on your references and the concerns underlying your practice.

Presentation of Enquiry - you will present and talk about your work to your peers.

Unit 10 - Making public

To write a report about your practice and your position in relation to site and audience.

  • To present work in the college degree show
  • To produce a publication documenting your practice

Year 1 Unit 1 - Introduction to Fine Art This unit is an introduction to your course, the college and the university. Unit 2 - Studio practice The aim of this unit is to help you begin to define your own practice. Lectures, seminars, studio crits, gallery visits will expand your...

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Entry Requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are one or a combination of the following qualifications:

  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • 2 A Levels at grade C or above
  • Merit, Pass, Pass (MPP) at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • Or equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C)

Entry to this course will also be determined by the quality of your application, looking primarily at your portfolio of work, personal statement and reference.

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are one or a combination of the following qualifications: Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4) 2 A Levels at grade C or above Merit, Pass, Pass (MPP) at BTEC Extended Diploma Pass at UAL Extended Diploma Access to Higher Education Diploma Or...

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Assessment Methods

  • Assessment tutorial
  • Blog
  • Degree show
  • Essay
  • Poster
  • Presentation
  • Research portfolio
  • Reflective journal
  • Self-evaluation
  • Studio work

  • Assessment tutorial
  • Blog
  • Degree show
  • Essay
  • Poster
  • Presentation
  • Research portfolio
  • Reflective journal
  • Self-evaluation
  • Studio work

Additional Information

Course dates

Autumn Term:

Monday 21 September - Friday 4 December 2020

Spring Term:

Monday 4 January - Friday 12 March 2021

Summer Term:

Monday 12 April - Friday 18 June 2021

Course dates

Autumn Term:

Monday 21 September - Friday 4 December 2020

Spring Term:

Monday 4 January - Friday 12 March 2021

Summer Term:

Monday 12 April - Friday 18 June 2021