Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: 6 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2022/23)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2022/23)

UCAS points

104-112 (September 2023 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Markeaton Street and Britannia Mill, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

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. 

Top10for Fine Art**The Guardian University Guide 2023
A female with blue hair in a red coat and glasses stands in front of an abstract fine art lightbox installation in a red booth

You’ll be pushed to be your best. There really is no limit to what you can achieve here with a great choice of workshops and materials. A dedicated studio space gives you the opportunity to try out ideas and create new work.

Rebecca Cuff
BA (Hons) Fine Art student and Cavendish Arts Bursary recipient*

*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.

A colourful installation made from yarns of wool hangs suspended and overflowing in a studio with the female creator sat next to it
A bearded male in a check shirt and a beanie puts some finishing touches to a rope sculpture made from plaster which is suspended on string from the ceiling of a studio
A female paints large colourful abstract pieces in a studio environment

Students Amy Vallance, Daniel Cranage and Nikki Romanik.

A brown haired male in a purple t shirt wearing blue gloves leans over a desk in a print studio

Be inspired by how Shane has launched his fine art career

Our broad range of facilities has equipped Shane to push boundaries in his work.

Read moreRead more
Interactive sculpture in Ilam Park

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

Visiting Professor Yan Wang gives a demonstration of Chinese portrait painting with BA Fine Art student Richard as a model.

Fine Art student Richard Lapthorn

The Fine Art Studios are a bustling creative environment. Each of us is given a space directly appropriate for our artistic needs. There are also workshops in everything from analogue photography to casting in bronze.

Richard Lapthorn
BA (Hons) Fine Art


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.

Close up of a man wearing an apron forming a tall object on a potter's wheel
A small bust is held in tongs and removed from a smoky container as it's been glazed
A male stands in a mustard yellow t shirt holding a paint palette and paint brush stood in front of a black line painting of a lion

Fine Art student Richard is developing his skills across disciplines

From sculpture to painting, Richard is experimenting as an artist in our wide-ranging facilities.

Read moreRead more

What you will study

    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.

    Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

    Undergraduate Open Days

    The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

    Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

    How you will learn

    • One of the strengths of Fine Art at Derby is the limit on the number of places, which enables us to focus on the needs of each individual in a smaller cohort where everyone is devoted to working as an artist.  ‌
    • You learn through studio workshops, group and individual tutorials, seminars and lectures. These are supported by a vibrant and diverse programme of visiting artists who will update you on latest developments within the cultural industries.
    • Each year of the course, you will have the chance to visit a cultural centre in Europe or the USA, as well as national galleries and museums. You could also undertake site-specific projects, including residentials, in the nearby Derbyshire Peak District. 
    • Throughout the course, there is ample opportunity to exhibit your work or take part in prestigious competitions. Our students are regularly offered artist residencies at home and abroad and have gained coveted places at events such as the Students’ International Biennale.
    • The culmination of your degree will be a major public exhibition where you can showcase your work to influential figures from the art world, prospective employers and the wider public.  
    • You will be assessed on your studio work through exhibitions, formal presentations of developmental and resolved work, and your contributions to individual tutorials, group critiques and seminars. There will be some assignments and essay work to submit for your theoretical studies.   
    A student working on artwork in the fine art studio at Britannia Mill

    Fine Art studios

    As a Fine Art student, you will have a permanent base within the recently refurbished Fine Art studios at the historic Britannia Mill site.

    Take a look aroundTake a look around

    Degree Show

    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:

    • An exhibition at Markeaton Street
    • A Fashion and Textiles catwalk (usually at Derby Theatre)
    • A Film Premiere (usually at QUAD)
    • Theatre Performances (usually at Derby Theatre)
    • A Music show at a variety of venues

    Take a look at highlights from the 2019 Degree Show.

    Art from 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

    Who will teach you

    Craig Fisher
    Programme leader

    Craig Fisher is Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Fine Art. He is a practising artist whose current research is concerned with exploring the pictorial, sculptural and ‘site specific’ boundaries of art practice.

    View full staff profileView full staff profile

    Entry requirements

    2023 entry

    These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2023 entry.

    RequirementWhat we're looking for
    UCAS points104-112
    A LevelBBC-BCC
    T LevelMerit
    GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
    Access to HEPass 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. 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)

    Fees and funding

    2022/23 Fees (August 2022 - July 2023)


    £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

    How to apply

    Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

    UK students

    Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University
    International students

    On-campus courses starting in September 2022 and January 2023 are now closed to new applications from international students due to unprecedented demand. Applications for September 2023 will open in October. If you have any questions, please email

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University


    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.

    Ceramicist, Abbie Sunter, painting a ceramic bird in her studio.

    Sunter Studio

    Abbie Sunter is a ceramicist based at Banks Mill Studios who developed her business after graduating from the University of Derby with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. Abbie has benefited from being part of the wider creative community in the studios, as well as receiving support and mentoring.

    Read Abbie's storyRead Abbie's story
    A close up of a mill building with a sign that says Banks Mill Studios

    Banks Mill Studios

    We also provide support for graduates starting out in the creative industries in the form of Banks Mill, an innovative space for creative and digital industries located in a landmark building within the heart of Derby city centre.

    Find out more about support servicesFind out more about support services

    Contact us

    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 Contact us

    Additional information about your studies

    Teaching hours

    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.

    Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.

    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 the 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 - towards 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.

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