Discover your artistic potential on a course at the forefront of contemporary fine art practice.
Join us to work with leading artists and educators in developing your creativity through experimentation with media, materials and ideas to emerge as a confident practising artist. You will develop your individual artistic practice in our outstanding modern studios, working within and across a wide range of artistic disciplines. Our tutors are highly respected and internationally renowned artists, researchers and educators who will inspire and enthuse you. We will equip you with the professional skills to fulfil your ambitions as a practising artist or to pursue careers in fields ranging from community arts to curation.
*Rebecca Cuff with work from her ‘Plastica’ series which combined acetate, paint, photography and a lightbox. Read about Rebecca's experience as a mature student exploring new ways of working in art.
Students Amy Vallance, Daniel Cranage and Nikki Romanik.
Watch our students create interactive sculptures in Ilam park near Ashbourne.
All students engage in creating conceptually challenging art that pushes the boundaries of personal expression. What makes our programme unique is the emphasis we place on ‘making’ skills in developing a studio practice regardless of the discipline engaged in. A key strength of the programme is having an intake of 30 students per year in order to ensure we have a close-knit community of art students that can be fully supported. It is because of this close support that we have excellent retention, high numbers of good degrees, and positive student feedback.
A significant part of this course is spent in our modern studios where you explore your own individual ideas and experiment with different working methods, materials and processes. We provide you with your own dedicated and permanent studio space from which you will work throughout your time on the course.
The wide-ranging facilities on offer encourage you to explore a variety of paths in your artistic practice – everything from painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and installation to sound, film and video, digital media and performance. You have access to resources such as our industry standard Apple Mac suite, a large printmaking studio, darkrooms, music studios, and workshops for large-scale projects involving plaster, ceramics, wood and metal.
We offer an outstanding specialist Art and Design Library, a print bureau for professional fine art printing, and a digital media equipment centre from which you can borrow industry-level video, film and photography equipment.
Visiting Professor Yan Wang gives a demonstration of Chinese portrait painting with BA Fine Art student Richard as a model.
All Art and Design, Film, Photography and Music courses are based at our Markeaton Street site where industry-standard, purpose built studios and labs provide a modern and creative space for our students. Markeaton Street encompasses Chandos Pole Street which is home to our Fashion and Textiles courses and Britannia Mill is home to Fine Art, Illustration and Interior Design studio spaces. Our Theatre students learn from professionals at the professional producing and learning Derby Theatre in the heart of Derby city centre.
Markeaton Street is a 15 minute walk from Kedleston Road, and is serviced by regular site shuttle buses.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
Every year students from the School of Arts celebrate their time at University by showcasing their work at an end of year Degree Show at Markeaton Street and across the City of Derby. The Show usually runs throughout June. It is a fantastic opportunity for potential employers, friends, family, industry and members of the public to see exciting creations by the next generation of artists, designers, creators and makers from Derby. The Show takes the form of:
Take a look at highlights from the 2019 Degree Show.
Personal academic tutoring
Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.
Find out more about personal academic tutoring
These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2023 entry.
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|GCSE||GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study|
|Access to HE||Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2|
Offers will be made initially based on your application, including predicted grades and/or grades you have already achieved. You may be given the opportunity, within your offer letter, to submit a portfolio. If you submit a strong portfolio we will make you an unconditional offer, to reflect the quality of your work and your potential.
Additional entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)
2023/24 Fees (August 2023 - July 2024)
£9,250 per year
£14,045 per year
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
Additional costs and optional extras
How to apply
Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.
We will nurture your artistic and creative independence, ensuring that you graduate as a self-motivated, resourceful and versatile fine art practitioner. Many of our students go on to become long-term practising artists – undertaking residencies, opening studios, exhibiting nationally and internationally, and lecturing.
The skills you develop will be valuable across the creative economy so – apart from furthering your development as a practising artist – you could progress to careers in areas such as curatorship, art therapy, community arts or teaching.
Our graduates also regularly choose to advance their knowledge on Masters programmes nationally and internationally, including the MA Arts at Derby.
Fine Artist Paul Cummins is a University of Derby graduate who has gone on to curate one of the most memorable WWI exhibitions, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.
Included in your fees
- Industry speakers - the programme benefits from a visiting speaker per week
- Specialist equipment and access to a range of 2D/3D making workshops (printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, wood / metal)
- Basic studio equipment - starter packs for introductory workshops (e.g. Cartridge Paper, charcoal, plaster, clay, printmaking consumables, blank journal)
- Participation in University Degree Show - including the physical building of the exhibition space
- Canvas for painting as needed (usually 2 x £70 rolls of canvas per year are provided for those who require this)
- One mandatory study visit in the UK (one in Year 1) cost of coach and booking venue. Mandatory involvement with an external agency as part of 'Extended Contexts II' module. Either Ilam (bed and board for four days / three nights), Rolls Royce site visit and access to curator, Derby Museum and Art Gallery plus work with lead curators
- Additional access to wider University Arts’ facilities including equipment loan store and other facilities, such as digital print workshops
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Boots if working in wood/metal, approx. £30
- Approx. £100 per year for printing research material for journal work
- 4 x £5 journals per year (£60 over 3 years)
- International trip (Approx. £500)
- Individual Practice - Toward the end of Year 3 this can range from £100 - £1000 depending on the activity
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.