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.
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.
If you don't have the appropriate qualifications to start this course, you can study the Year Zero - Arts programme for a year first.
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 free 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 and 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
September 2021 typical entry requirements
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE||At least five GCSEs (or equivalent) including Maths and English at grade 4/C or above|
|IELTS||6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition|
|Portfolio||Yes - see portfolio details|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DMM
- Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
Offers will be made initially based on your application, including predicted grades and/or grades you have already achieved. Following this, if you submit a strong portfolio we will make you an unconditional offer, to reflect the quality of your work and your potential.
These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2022 entry.
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|GCSE||At least five GCSEs (or equivalent) including Maths and English at grade 4/C or above|
|Access to HE||Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15, Merit: 24, Pass: 6|
Additional entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)
2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)
£9,250 per year
£1,155 per 20 credit module
£14,045 per year
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
Additional costs and optional extras
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.
If you would like to set up your own creative business, look no further than our incubation unit – Banks Mill – which offers studio workspace and business development activities. You’ll become part of a vibrant and thriving community of artists, designers and makers.
Our graduates also regularly choose to advance their knowledge on Masters programmes nationally and internationally, including the MA Fine Art 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 below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
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 UK (1 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 4 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.