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About the course

Explore the use of the human body as both a canvas and a medium within the field of art on this fascinating body art degree. You'll be equipped with a broad range of artistic skills for the creative industries.

This course is now closed for 2020 entry. Why not have a look at our other courses?

This course does not only concentrate on tattooing, but also explores the anthropological rationale of body art in different cultures, and how this fast-growing area is becoming a global phenomenon. You’ll also research sociology and art, helping you to become a forward-thinking practitioner with a firm grasp of the history behind body art.

Throughout the course you’ll be supported to develop new and exciting approaches to body art, ensuring you move on from the ‘artisan’ approach adopted by many currently working in the sector. Through the use of the Living CV, and Professional Practice modules you will also be supported to be aware of your unique skills – ensuring you are confident in the best way to seek employment upon graduation.

You’ll also work closely with the BA (Hons) Illustration course, helping you to gain the widest possible transferable skills in order to seek to work in a wide range of positions within the creative industries.

You have the opportunity to study abroad in one of our partner universities for a semester on this course.
Study abroad
If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years.
Foundation year available
This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies
If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year.
Top-up option

Students will be able to pursue a wide range of creative outcomes and pathways on the course.

What does this course lead to?

This course opens-up a wide range of career options in the creative industries including tattooing, but also careers in illustration, where you could be working on everything from sequential art, editorial illustration, book cover design and limited-edition art.

You could also choose to work with performance artists, as well as creators of motion-based graphics for use in a range of mediums, from the internet to the TV and film industry.

Who is this course for?

This course is ideally suited to students who have a keen interest in the human body as a canvas, or medium, for their artistic output.

It is a course that will provide students with not only a chance to hone and refine their practical and creative skills, but one that immerses the student in the theory and cultural history that informs these skills.

Applicants should have previously studied a creative subject and have a portfolio of design work to show at interview.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2020/21 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £13,260 per year

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2020/21 additional costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous additional costs have been:

Optional costs:
Optional trip to Amsterdam, the cost is based on current coach/rail fares and hotel prices

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

This course is now closed for 2020 entry. Why not have a look at our other courses?

  • 96 - 112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent
  • A minimum of two completed A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DM or equivalent qualification, or a combination of qualifications which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 96 UCAS points.
  • Direct entry into the second or third years may be considered for this course.
  • Applicants should have previously studied a creative subject and have a portfolio of design work to show at interview.
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
  • For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team: 023 8201 5066

How to apply

This course is now closed for 2020 entry. Why not have a look at our other courses?

Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by 15 January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until the end of June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules
  • Orientation
  • Reading Visual Culture
  • Stereotypes and Tribes
  • Progression
  • History and Critique
  • Visual Language

Year two

Core modules
  • Cultural History
  • The Society of Superstition and Phobia
  • Industry Workshop
  • Critical Discourse
  • Observed Community
  • Industry Research

Year three

Core modules
  • Professional Practice
  • Professional Context
  • Research and Authorship
  • Negotiated Studies
  • Final Major Project 


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Meet the course team

Brian Reed academic profile Brian Reed Course Leader View profile
Atsuhide Ito academic profile Atsuhide Ito Senior Lecturer View profile
Jonny Hannah academic profile Jonny Hannah Senior Lecturer View profile
Brent Meheux academic profile Brent Meheux Senior Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


You’ll study at our Below Bar campus, located in the heart of Southampton city centre – a creative workshop space dedicated to our art students. Featuring specialist facilities such as fabrication workshops used in the construction of canvases, laser cutters, and specialist print facilities.

You’ll also use modern IT suites to learn skills in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

This course delivers a broad range of transferable skills applicable to an equally broad range of industry pathways.


Whilst there is the opportunity for work placements and internships these are not a compulsory element of any unit.

Students may work with their tutors to discuss possible work placements/internships, their length and how the activity may, or may not, form part of a submission for a unit.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

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