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Fine Art BA Honours

Explore and develop your creativity with a fine art degree that embraces different studio practices to prepare you for the future.
September 2023
EU/International induction: September 2023
3 years full-time
5 years part-time
£9,250 (UK) *
£15,100 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Alexandra Kokoli

Why study fine art* with us

Join a culturally rich and diverse creative community where learning and teaching extend from the studio to a professional network of leading art professionals and through participation in public exhibitions and events.

Develop your practical skills with our course

Your studies will be a combination of studio practices, theory, critical involvement with culture, society, and artistic practices. As well as  developing your critical and creative skills, you will graduate with a range of transferable skills preparing you for a wide range of careers. Many of our graduates have gone on to work as curators, art therapists, researchers, writers, photographers, and many more.

Benefit from the teachings of cutting-edge and multi-disciplinary artists, theorists and curators, including artist Keith Piper, (founder member of the ground breaking BLK Art Group, an association of black British art students), Alexandra Kokoli author of the Feminist Uncanny, artist Ergin Cavusoglu and others. Our outstanding facilities in The Grove, our specialist building for art, design, media and performing arts, are among the best in the country.

You will be given the freedom to explore different types of arts to follow your interests and to shape your own degree. After the first year, you’ll be able to attend specialist seminars leading to one of our distinct pathways:

  • BA Fine Art Studio Practice,
  • BA Fine Art Social Practice,
  • BA Fine Art Multimedia Practice,
  • BA Fine Art Critical Practice.

Year after year our students produce outstanding work and leave the course with an impressive portfolio to launch their career. Take a look at some of the work from last year’s graduates on our Creative Graduates 2022 exhibition site.

*this course is subject to review. We periodically re-evaluate our programmes to make sure the content and teaching stay up to date and relevant. Please check this page regularly for updates.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

Each year, students from BA Fine Art participate in group exhibitions either online or in a physical spaces, where possible these include external gallery events.

What will you study on the BA Fine Art?

Your first year concentrates on understanding and working with different models as a fine artist, ensuring you have exposure to all the different workshops and facilities available to you.

  • You will be introduced to concepts of time and action, space and object, plus image and index in your studio practice
  • In the second and third terms studio practice develops more individually
  • Introduction to contemporary fine art practice and its history with short written assignments.

In your second year you will diversify and expand your skills, developing a deeper awareness of the critical demands of contemporary art

  • You will develop your visual language as you experiment in your studio practice
  • You will study visual culture, art and philosophy, and art and the community with a concluding written submission
  • This year includes options to study on the international exchange programme or work on art projects in the community
  • Your study culminates in an exhibition (virtual or physical), where you will gain hands-on experience of curating and exhibiting.

Your final year of your degree enables you to consolidate and refine your art, developing your studio practice to a professional level.

  • This year includes a professional practice seminar series, a research essay, and another opportunity to work on art practice in the community
  • In tutorials you will focus on how clearly your visual language is communicated
  • The second and third terms focus on bringing work to a professional level for a public exhibition, whether online or in a gallery space.

What will you gain?

Alongside developing your vision and skills as an artist, you will also develop a wide range of transferable skills including initiative, self-motivation, resourcefulness, excellent written and verbal communications skills, ability to work both alone and in groups, and the ability to be reflective and constructively self-critical about projects you have initiated.


  • Year 1 - Compulsory

    • Establishing a self-directed practice (30 credits)

      The module aims to:

      • Support students to refine a specialist approach that is underpinned by in depth awareness of research, contexts, processes or technologies relevant to their chosen area.
      • Provide students with the opportunity to fully integrate conceptual, critical, formal, material, technical and theoretical interests and skills through practice and documentation.
      • Shed light on the creative and critical potential of exploring relationships between practice, strategies of exhibition and display, and audience, ranging from individual studio-based practices through to the site-specific, collaborative or participatory, and from gallery-oriented to socially-engaged contexts.
      • Apply and communicate an informed and research-led approach to practice, processes and contexts through documenting their learning, experimentation and progress.
    • Introduction to Media, Sites and Situations (30 credits)

      This module aims to:

      • Introduce students to the key specialist pathways that make up multi- disciplined fine art practice, including critical practice, social art practice, drawing, printmaking, painting, photography, multi-media practice, film and sound.
      • Support students to establish an art practice through material, technical and conceptual exploration.
      • Introduce students to the relationship between contemporary fine art practice and broader social, political and community contexts.
      • Encourage the application of an imaginative and adventurous approach to specialist media materials, ideas, and process relevant to art practice.
      • Foster the flexible and imaginative application of skills & knowledge to a variety of contexts, both individually & collaboratively.
      • Introduce research as the basis for creative and critical practice.
    • Art Ecologies: Orientation (30 credits)

      This module aims to:

      • Introduce students to the so-called art world as an open system of interdependent structures and agents, in which they are already participants
      • Broaden students’ critical knowledge of how contemporary Fine Art is produced, distributed, mediated and curated.
      • Support each student’s individual ability to begin constructing a critically reflexive sense of self as a developing artist.
      • Empower students to claim a place in contemporary art ecologies.
    • Art and Visual Culture (30 credits)

      This module aims to:

      • Introduce the broad realm of today’s global visual cultures and their encounters with artistic practices.
      • Critically explore intersectionality and interdisciplinarity through specific instances of how vision, knowledge and power intersect.
      • Provide students with knowledge and skills to locate themselves between history and the present, critically negotiating their own place within the social and political realities that surround the making of art.
      • Support students towards developing their own research and intellectual work as part of intentional communities of practice.
      • Contextualise contemporary practice within historical contexts and visual culture’s regimes of representation, genres, and tropes.
  • Year 2 - Compulsory

    • Developing a self-directed practice (30 credits)

      The module aims to:

      • Initiate the development of individual art practices where ideas are explored through a range of making processes.
      • Help students establish a working momentum and develop as confident, reflective practitioners within the studio environment.
      • Support students to critically engage with practice and grow their confidence to contribute to peer discussions of their emergent practices.
      • Equip students with the ability to resolve the work they make in the studio, for public viewing, maintaining an exploratory and experimental approach.
      • Encourage students to engage with and value a range of processes and record their work in progress, maintaining documentation that reflects their development.
    • Media, Sites and Situations (30 credits)

      This module aims to:

      • Further develop students’ practice through the key specialist pathways that make up multi-disciplined fine art practice, including critical practice, social art practice, drawing, printmaking, painting, photography, multi-media practice, film and sound.
      • Foster a deeper understanding of the relationship between contemporary fine art practice and the broader social, political and community contexts through their personal artistic development.
      • Support students to apply further specialist skills & knowledge flexibly and imaginatively to a variety of contexts, both as an individual & collaboratively as a team.
      • Build students’ confidence as researchers into, around, and for art practice.
    • Art Ecologies: Placement (30 credits)

      This module builds on FNA1303’s introduction to art’s ecologies by putting a mostly theoretical engagement with different art organisations and different contexts of artistic labour to practice. We will learn from past (Artists’ Placement Agency) and evolving (Arte Util) examples of social art practice, in order to support each student to take an inventory of the unique toolkit that being an artist brings to the world of work. Students are supported in researching, holding, and reflecting on a short placement that could be either at an art’s organisation or another organisation that would stand to benefit from input from an artist.

    • Research and Critical Analysis (30 credits)
      • Develop students’ understanding of the histories and debates that define contemporary art worlds in their local/global dimensions.
      • explore the field of Contemporary Fine Art practice, its core concepts, histories and institutional realities by looking closely at the production, reception, and intention, as well as economic, social, and ideological aspects
      • delve into the critical understandings of race, class, sex, gender and sexuality introduced in FNA1930 into greater depth, conceived here as factors within the global developments of ‘modern’ and ‘contemporary’ art.
      • In dialogue with FNA2203, examine recent artistic investigations of medium (and the ‘post-medium’ condition), exploring the diverse forms that contemporary art practice takes.
      • Investigate art’s globalisation and the ongoing development of digital and analogue media for representation and the circulation of images.
      • Support students to further develop and expand their research skills and methods, in preparation for FNA3903.
  • Year 3 - Compulsory

    • Self-Directed Practice and Making Public (60 credits)

      The module aims to:

      • Enable students to consolidate and reflect on their practice while developing the transferable skill of independent learning.
      • Guide students in constructing a learning process distinctive to their own practice by drawing on a range of research methods and a range of conceptualisation and making strategies.
      • Encourage students to extend their engagement with contemporary art practice through encounters with a range of practices, discourses and contexts
      • Support students in becoming discerning, ethically oriented, and critically engaged practitioners, able to engage in contemporary debates surrounding art and cultures, making links across modules and disciplines
      • Encourage students to engage with and value process, supporting materials documentation and reflection in developing a body of work
      • Support students in developing and co-curating a substantial and coherent exhibition of work for assessment.
    • Working in the Arts (30 credits)

      This module represents the culmination of your exploration with art’s complex ecologies and aims to prepare students for entering the arts industries as a graduate of BA Fine Art and qualified, professional, art workers. It aims to:

      • Furnish students with the knowledge and skills to launch their career, from advice on funding to forging a creative CV and the right web presence.
      • Help students clarify the role that they want their practice and labour to play in art’s ecologies and in wider society, locally and globally.
      • Empower students to manage how their work could and should be seen, interpreted and understood by different audiences.
      • Examine questions of curating, displaying and disseminating students’ own practice and other contemporary art practices.
      • Explore how audiences engage with contemporary art practices, through analysis of field trips, exhibition visits, presentations and texts.
      • Guide students to produce appropriate documentation of their practice for both personal/developmental and professional/promotional uses.
    • Self-Directed Research and Thesis (30 credits)

      This module aims to enable students to identify and deliver a formal extended thesis, presented according to academic conventions. This will be the product of sustained and creative engagement with a range of research resources, on and offline, and it offers the chance to develop an in-depth understanding of an area of visual culture or contemporary art of relevance either to the student’s own studio-practice or their broader cultural and artistic interests. Students will be encouraged to use writing in a creative and purposive way, and to explore the broad possibilities of the form of the essay.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about course content:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. Interview and portfolio
  4. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BA Fine Art support your career?

Internationally recognised and respected, BA Fine Art is a broad degree that develops your creative and critical abilities and is a route into a rewarding career as a professional artist. This course also aims to help you develop an extensive range of valuable transferable skills that can lead you in any number of directions after graduation.

The course supports you to develop your independent thinking and problem solving skills, highly useful when entering the job market. Bespoke professional practice modules allows you to gain the skills you need for your chosen field and information about pathways into them.

Our Fine Art graduates are able to think strategically, work flexibly, be highly organised and use their initiative, as well as having excellent written and verbal communication skills so they are highly employable in a broad range of careers. Many students will also have undertaken internships or placements in their chosen fields.

Past graduates have gone on to be successful in a number of fields for example working as an artist, curator, photographer, digital media professional, art therapist, teacher, lecturer, designer, researcher, writer, community art worker, performer, media professional, and entrepreneur.

Notable alumni

Kelvin Okafor

Since graduating from in 2009, Kelvin has won numerous awards for his highly detailed drawings which each take more than 100 hours to create. He took the world stage by storm in 2013 and his work has continued to enthral the public and art collectors ever since.

In 2017, he became the first black artist to be permanently exhibited in the House of Commons as part of the Parliamentary Art Collection. His stunning pencil portrait of the late Bernie Grant MP (one of the UK's first Black British MPs) hangs outside the Attlee room in Portcullis House.

More recently, he was welcomed back to Middlesex and gifted one of his famous photo-like pencil portraits, ‘Mia’s interlude’, to the University.

Other notable alumni include artists Hayley Newman, Chris Alton, Benedict Drew, Heather Phillipson, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Serena Korda. Alumni in art management or curatorial roles include Director of Towner Art Gallery Joe Hill, Observer art critic Laura Cumming, and Deputy Director of Focal Point Gallery, Hayley Dixon. Other distinguished alumni include Goldfrapp singer Alison Goldfrapp and artist Anish Kapoor.

The facilities, studios and workshops at our purpose-built Grove building on campus in North London are recognised as among the best in country. With a wide range of specialist workshops, digital media, equipment, software and library facilities on-site you'll benefit from unique levels of access to both the latest forms of technology and traditional tools with expert support to help you develop your work.

Alice Maude-Roxby
Programme Leader BA Fine Art

Alice Maude-Roxby studied Fine Art at Newcastle, and Photography in the class of Dieter Appelt at the Hochschule der Kunste, Berlin. National and international grants and fellowships enabled her to research and make work abroad, including Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Berlin, Leverhulme Trust, Norway, Japan Foundation, Tokyo, Arts and Humanities Research Council and Arts Council England in the UK. Initially working within a fine art context, her work was included in exhibitions at The Photographers’ Gallery, London, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and England & Co in the UK, and various galleries in Germany and Scandinavia. More recently she has focused on curating, photography and writing. She has been involved in an extensive body of work looking at the collaborative processes involved in the recording of performance.

Dr John Timberlake
Senior Lecturer in Fine Art

Dr Timberlake joined Middlesex University in 2007. A practising artist, he has exhibited widely and his work is held in a number of collections in Europe and the US. He gained his Ph.D. in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and is an alumnus of the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program.

Dr Loraine Leeson
Senior Lecturer, Art Practice and the Community

Dr Leeson is known for her collaborative and participatory work in East London, including the Docklands Community Poster Project in the 1980's. Her work with young people has been recognised by a Media Trust Inspiring Voices award and Olympic Inspire Mark, while her public artwork The Catch was voted a London 2012 Landmark. Her project Active Energy has received the Best Arts and Green Energy award from Regen SW.

Alberto Duman
Lecturer in Art Practice and the Community

Alberto Duman’s interdisciplinary work is located at the intersection between art and urban spatial practice across diverse media and collaborative partnerships, with particular concerns to social context and the role of art in the cultural production of urban space. He is Artist in Residence at UEL with Music for Masterplanning.

Simon Read
Associate Professor, Fine Art

Simon Read is concerned with environmental change and works with coastal communities to help foster understanding of coastal and estuarine issues. He is also engaged in the management of the liminal intertidal zone. He has built experimental structures to manage tidal flow through saltmarsh, including A Tidal Protection Barrier for Sutton Saltmarsh on the River Deben in Suffolk and Falkenham Saltmarsh Tidal Management Scheme.

Dr Alexandra Kokoli
Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture-Fine Art

Dr Kokoli's interests are situated within feminist art history, theory and practice, particularly the relationship between feminism and psychoanalysis, gender politics of popular visual culture and contemporary feminist movements. She is author of The Feminist Uncanny in Theory and Art Practice (Bloomsbury, 2016) and editor of Feminism Reframed (Cambridge Scholars, 2008) and The Provisional Texture of Reality: Selected Talks and Texts by Susan Hiller (1977-2007) (JRP Ringier, 2008).

Keith Piper
Associate Professor in Fine Art

Keith Piper is a member of the Diasporas Research Cluster and the Science Fiction Research Cluster.

Keith Piper’s creative practice exists in response to specific issues, historical relationships and geographical sites. His research driven approach prioritises thematic exploration over an attachment to any particular media. Therefore, his work over the past 25 years has ranged from painting, through photography and installation to a use of digital media, video and computer based interactivity.

As a student at Trent Polytechnic in the early 1980s, Piper was a founder member of the Blk Art Group. Since then he has exhibited work internationally, published writings and taught in institutions in the UK and North America. His recent work has included The Perfect City, a multiscreen video project commissioned by Film London (2007), solo exhibitions in the Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis (2004) and the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull (2007). He was also commissioned to produce site specific works for the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of Uncomfortable Truths (2007) and The Black Atlantic for the House of World Cultures, Berlin (2004).

  • Kelvin Okafor

    Fine Art BA graduate

    Kelvin's pencil and charcoal drawings became a huge internet hit after his work was featured on the BBC London news, leading to further coverage across the globe and media appearances in countries including Nigeria, Italy, France and Denmark and most of the UK's national newspapers.

    It was unbelievable. The week before it all happened I was in my studio having an average week, and the next I was on TV and being tweeted about by Tinie Tempah. Before I would hope to sell one piece a month, but since I've sold five. It was an unexpected but amazing boost for my career.

    I've even had feedback from Corinne Bailey Rae to say she likes my portrait of her, and sent Queen Noor of Jordan my drawing of the late King Hussein as a gift, and she responded to say she was delighted. I owe a great deal to the University because all of this stemmed from there.

  • Amy Honour

    Fine Art BA graduate

    The University has everything you need to be successful, some of the best resources and facilities. It sounds obvious but everything is set up to help you do well and to prepare you as an artist for the 'outside world', you just have to take it on and do it. So go to lectures, make tutorials, and push yourself and your peers.

  • Natasha Kiddle

    Fine Art BA graduate

    Natasha works for luxury brand LK Bennett

    Alongside technical teaching and guidance for my craft, the Fine Art degree at Middlesex University taught me a valuable lesson in understanding how to market myself (as an artist, entrepreneur or brand) and products (Art or any other consumable) and drive them towards success. I have used these skills to build a successful career in Luxury Management where my main objective is to drive the business towards financial success. The course has put me in good stead for reaching goals in my business ahead of other managers as I was shown how to devise 'creative' solutions to complex problems.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Foundation Year in Visual Arts

Start: October 2023

Duration: 1 year full-time, + 3 years full-time

Code: See How to apply tab

Graphic Design BA Honours

Start: October 2023, EU/International induction: September 2023

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: W210

Illustration BA Honours

Start: September 2023, EU/International induction: September 2023

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: W220

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