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About the course

This progressive and unique student-centred fine art course enables you to develop, define and perfect your skills as a professional artist at one of the top creative universities in the UK.

The course embraces all possible forms of artistic mediums and while you will be given opportunities to familiarise yourself with contemporary and historical art and their theories, you are also encouraged to find your own unique voice in art.

You will work in an environment in which we will support you to nurture and cultivate your artistic potential, and grow into confident makers and thinkers who will be able to navigate through contemporary art and its related fields such as art curation, art education, and art criticism.

Our dedicated studios in the School of Art, Design and Fashion are equipped to enable you to accomplish your talent through craft. You will be allocated personal studio space and have full access to a range of dedicated workshops including a sculpture workshop with metalwork, welding, woodworking and casting equipment; a print-making workshop with intaglio, dry point, etching, silkscreen, woodcut and letterpress facilities; a digital print workshop with high-quality large-scale print facilities, high-end scanners and the latest software; and photography darkrooms and studios.

You’ll also have the opportunity to use our media academy facilities, which boasts Mac suites with the latest design software, as well as a media store containing high-definition cameras, video cameras and sound equipment.

The course’s strong industry and community links has allowed previous students to engage in an ambitious programme of professional development alongside their own individual artistic practice by developing an online portfolio and designing and running a group exhibition at a professional gallery within the city.

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
As part of your studies you will have the opportunity to undertake a work experience placement.
Built in work experience placement
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 study under the guidance of a team of highly skilled industry professionals who have recent and extensive experience in exhibition and commission based work and are supported by excellent teaching and studio facilities.

What does this course lead to?

The course is designed to nurture your unique approach and help you grow into a professional artist, film-maker, photographer or performance artist, but also provides support in developing a wide range of exciting career paths: art critic, art journalist, writer or poet, theorist, lecturer, school teacher or art therapist.

Who is this course for?

The fine art programme at Solent is ideally suited to students who are interested in refining their artistic skills and familiarising themselves with theoretical frameworks in art. Applicants should demonstrate a basic level of skill set in art, and some level of contextual understanding of art practice.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £13,800 per year

Following the UK government's confirmation that EU students will no longer be eligible for home fee status benefits, we've made the decision to keep EU tuition fees the same as UK tuition fees for 2021 entry.

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 2021/22 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:

Year one:
Optional study trip and materials: £300

Year two:
Optional materials: £200

Year three:
Compulsory printing and binding a dissertation: £400

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

104-120 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A minimum of two completed A-levels in an relevant subject, a BTEC Extended Diploma at DMM or BTEC Diploma at D*D, or equivalent qualification, or a combination of qualifications which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 104 UCAS points.
  • UK applicants are required to attend a portfolio viewing.
  • Applicants from outside the UK will be required to send an electronic portfolio.
  • Direct entry into years two or three may be considered for this course.
  • Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered based on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points.
  • Alternative entry to this course is available through the Design Foundation Year.
  • 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 20 in each individual component
  • Duolingo English Language Test - 100 overall with minimum of 90 in each 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.

Pre-Sessional English programme

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 Solent team:

If you are a UK, EU or EEA applicant please contact 023 8201 5066 If you are an international applicant please contact 023 8201 5066

How to apply

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.

Please click the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Full-time  3 years  Apply 

Design Foundation Year route:

Mode of study
Full-time  4 years  Apply 
Top-up route:

We welcome applications from students currently studying a Foundation Degree, DipHE, HNC, HND or modules of an undergraduate degree course at another university, who wish to enter directly into Years 2 or 3 of one of our undergraduate degree courses. Please contact our admissions team for more information: contact us

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules
  • Introduction to Contemporary Art
    This module introduces pivotal modern and contemporary artworks and the contexts in which the works are produced. By familiarising yourself with unconventional approaches, you can begin to think about art from a new perspective.
  • Expanded Drawing
    This module will teach you how to think about drawing as well as make drawings in new and exciting ways. It will expand your current thoughts about what drawing is and what it can do.
  • Spatial Experiments
    You will learn how spaces of art can be produced, choreographed, occupied and inhabited. Not only does the module let you think critically about the spaces in museums and galleries, but it also allows an insight into the production of art spaces by gestures and references to the concepts and histories of art.
  • Unlearning and Unknowing
    In this module you can begin to ask questions through making, to examine what you think you already know in order (in some cases) to unlearn it.
  • Exploring Mediums
    This module aims to facilitate your exploration into the production of your work during the course. You are encouraged to continue an open-ended and speculative enquiry, exploring a range of methods, materials and processes.
  • Inscription and Traces
    This module explores the language of drawing within many different contexts; you will also learn to explore notions of trace and inscription through a variety of different mediums and means.

Year two

Core modules
  • Discursive Spaces
    You will learn a series of theoretical tools to grasp the contexts in which contemporary artworks are produced and discussed. You will also learn how artists use and invent methods and strategies that make their production and reception of their works affective and effective.
  • Navigation
    This module is designed to help you to develop as an artist, preparing you for your future career and helping you to make decisions regarding what you want to make, how and why.
  • Professional Futures
    This module is all about industry engagement and supporting you in realising your goals and ambitions, to this end you will be assisted in identifying potential markets and audiences for your work.
  • Production
    This module will develop your skills as a reflective practitioner and through your own pro-activity and time spent engaged with making, you will refine your visual language and technical making skills.
  • Engagement
    This module examines some of the canonical examples of participatory and social engagement practices in art, as well as theoretical positions that situate these practices.
  • Collaboration
    This module brings together all of your learning up to this point through a public event or exhibition that is achieved through collaboration with your peers.

Year three

Core modules
  • Practice and Research
    This module encourages you to assume a high degree of responsibility for your learning and full responsibility for yourself as an artist. You will be supported in determining the direction of your work through tutorial guidance and appropriate discussion and debate in order to develop both your research and creative practice.
  • Practice and Exhibition
    Through this module you will learn to connect the production of artwork to specific spatiality in the exhibition and will develop the technical skills required to complete your project.
  • Professional Practice
    On this module you will learn the research skills needed to explore the creative industries and the particular sectors that you wish to work in. From this research you will begin to build up a picture of needs of your sector and the skills that the sector requires in its employees or freelancers.
  • Thinking Through Writing
    On this module you will learn to think through writing, to potentially deploy a range of approaches and to analyse, structure and effectively articulate or poetically communicate your ideas about your work.
  • Making a Statement
    This module will help you to improve your ability to write about visual things. As digital media has expanded the discussion of art worldwide, the ability to write about contemporary art with clarity and originality has never been so necessary.


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

Key figures


Assessment by coursework

Meet the course team

Nicola Chamberlain academic profile Nicola Chamberlain Course Leader View profile
Atsuhide Ito academic profile Atsuhide Ito Senior Lecturer View profile
Jonathan Trayner academic profile Jonathan Trayner Lecturer View profile
Jessica Holtaway academic profile Jessica Holtaway Lecturer View profile
Alexa de Ferranti academic profile Alexa de Ferranti Associate Lecturer View profile
Dafna Talmor academic profile Dafna Talmor Associate Lecturer View profile
Emma Tod academic profile Emma Tod Associate Lecturer View profile
Greg Palmer academic profile Greg Palmer Associate Lecturer View profile
Sarah Filmer academic profile Sarah Filmer Associate Lecturer View profile
Benjamin Lower academic profile Benjamin Lower Technician Instructor 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 will be allocated personal studio space within our specially designed and recently refurbished artists’ studios, and have access to a range of dedicated specialist workshops. Facilities include: our sculpture workshop, with metalwork, welding, woodworking and casting equipment; our print-making workshop, with intaglio, dry point, etching, silkscreen, woodcut and letterpress facilities; a digital print workshop with high-quality, large-scale print facilities, high-end scanners and the latest software; as well as photography darkrooms and studios.

You will also have access to our media academy, featuring Mac suites outfitted with the latest design software, and a media store containing high-definition cameras and video cameras, sound equipment and more.

fine art show 2017

Solent’s cross-disciplinary collaborative culture encourages students to work on exciting shared projects with other students in areas such as illustration, graphic design and photography, fashion, film, and performance.

Your future

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Curator
  • Gallery assistant
  • Art Co-ordinator
  • Art Therapist
  • Art Critic
  • Writer
  • Film-maker
  • Video editor
  • Art studio technician
  • Community art project manager
  • Art teacher (after further study at PGCE level)
  • The course is extremely challenging and hard work, but is very stimulating and provides a solid base from which to start a career in the arts.

    Helen Marland, graduate and founder of Unit 11 artists' collective

Industry links

We have strong partnerships with regional and national arts agencies. You will have opportunities to exhibit your work in professional art galleries, run curatorial projects, deliver educational workshops and provide arts-based therapeutic workshops within the local community.

We have a vibrant programme of visiting speakers and regular live art events, which bring artists and performers into the fine art studios to perform just for you, while the professional development module in year two provides a unique opportunity to work alongside professional artists and curators to organise and curate a show for a public space in Southampton city centre.

We also work with partners such as Lower Hewood Farm arts organisation to offer an ‘artist in residence’ experience for our students, so they can test ideas in a rural environment where students and professional artists can come together to concentrate on their creative activities.
IMT Gallery in London has been showcasing challenging artworks for the last ten years, and now works closely with Solent students, while Southampton-based ‘A Space’ provides residencies and other professional and creative opportunities for our students and graduates.

The University’s Showcase Gallery also offers an opportunity to work at the gallery whilst studying, which offers invaluable insight into how a gallery operates and the role of an arts administrator. We also run a graduating student residency at Showcase, where selected artists from our third year graduates receive professional exhibition space.


Each year there is the opportunity for a small number of students to work as interns in the Showcase gallery – giving the chance to learn both practical and administrative operations. Others volunteer to work with the local art organisation called A-Space.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

Get ready to find your place

You can still experience life at Solent at a virtual open day! Hear from course tutors, take virtual campus and accommodation tours, and chat to us live.

Register for a virtual open day