Home Courses Fine Art BA (Hons) Fine Art with Digital Photography
Fine Art student in studio

Develop your creativity and fine art practice while extending your skills in digital and lens-based media

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3 years full-time / 6 years part-time
Bognor Regis Campus

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Overview

Develop your hands-on skills in traditional art techniques while embracing new technologies

Our Fine Art with Digital Photography degree course allows you to develop your practice in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and textiles, while incorporating digital and lens-based art. Digital skills are essential for maximising future career opportunities, and on this course, you will embrace new technologies in your work as a fine artist.

Students from all levels and practice areas work alongside each other in our open-plan studios and workshops, providing opportunities to share and discuss ideas, skills and approaches. In our specialist facilities, you will be able to explore various mediums including painting, print, textiles, 3D and IT, and benefit from your own dedicated studio space.

Freedom to explore

The fine art programmes are student-centred; you will be given freedom and encouragement to explore boundaries, techniques and ideas that are at the cutting edge of contemporary creative practice. You will be supported to find your own style and material practice, whether figurative or abstract, conceptual or more traditional in approach. Stimulated by new ideas and approaches, the sophistication and skills within your work will evolve and grow.

The structure allows you to choose which skills to develop, which aspects of critical and cultural theory to focus on, and to self-determine the direction of your own practice; there’s no house style. Students learn to create their own negotiated pattern of work as they move towards the final year.

Taught by artists

Our fine art courses are exciting, challenging and deeply rewarding. You will be taught by research-active tutors and technicians, all themselves practicing artists, who will help you to grow your passion for art and develop your technical skills and ability.

You’ll be able to exhibit your work regularly throughout the course and will participate in our final Degree Show, allowing you to showcase your work to a wide audience.

Fine art at Chichester enables you to develop your creative, communication, digital and other transferable key skills alongside vocational skills via work placements that demonstrate how your passion for art can be applied in a variety of careers.

Key benefits to studying Fine Art with Digital Photography: 

  • Learn digital and photography skills alongside traditional art techniques
  • Access to your own personal studio space
  • Freedom to develop your practice with feedback from your tutors and peers
  • Access to new Tech Park with specialist and digital equipment to support you
  • A focus on your career with work placements and final year degree show

Why Study Fine Art?

Undertake a degree at the forefront of creativity and artistic vision

7 Reasons to choose the University of Chichester:

1. Chichester and Bognor Regis
A city full of Art & Culture, a busy Student Union, the dramatic landscape of the South Downs, with the seaside at Bognor Regis and West Wittering. A free inter-campus bus is available to take you back and forth between each campus.

2. The course
The structure allows you to choose which skills to develop, which aspects of Critical and Cultural Theory to focus on, and to self-determine the direction of your own practice. You will learn to create your own negotiated pattern of work as you move towards an exhibition for the degree show in your final year. The result is that you will become knowing, versatile, and highly creative. Work placements and final year career advice leads to jobs.

3. Your studio space
As a full-time Fine Art student, you will have personal studio space throughout the year.

4. There’s no house style
Abstract, Landscape, Figure or Conceptual – Traditional, Contemporary or Avant Garde – Painting, Textiles, Printmaking, Sculpture, Video, Photography, Installation, Performance Art etc – you decide what to do and we support you in working out how to do it with panache.

5. The facilities
Home for the Fine Art Department is the St. Michael’s building comprising studio and workshop facilities, to enable you to make the best use of your talents and potential and high-tech 3D workshops in the Tech Park, giving us access to digital technologies like 3D scanning, 3D printing, laser cutting, and a variety of creative software for still and moving image. It is open from 8.00am to 8.30pm, Monday to Saturday, with First year students having sessions programmed on 4 days out of 5.

6. Our staff
As well as supporting student development, our Fine Art staff are active practicing professional artists and researchers who regularly exhibit or publish their work; their research leads the BA programmes. On most weeks there’s a visiting professional artist. Each student has an Academic Advisor and we have an excellent Disability and Dyslexia Team to ensure that ALL students are able to pass their degrees at the appropriate level.

7. Your interview
We are inclusive and welcoming; we judge you on your folder, not your background. If you are invited for interview you will have a choice of it being face-to-face with physical folio OR online with digital folio, always friendly and non-intimidating.

The Course

Unleash your artistic talents with hands-on learning of traditional and digital media

Year One

You will be introduced to concepts and techniques through workshops, projects and theory. All modules are compulsory, except Materials and Evidence, which is a catch-up module for those short of credits.

Year Two

To complete year two you must successfully complete the following modules:

  • Studio 1
  • Contextual 3
  • Workshop 3 or Digital Photography
  • Studio 2
  • Production Design or External Placement 1

If you are short of credits, you will also have the chance to take the Research & Process module.

Year Three

To complete year three you must successfully complete the following modules:

  • Studio 3A Degree Show Recognition & Consolidation
  • And one of the following combinations:
    • Manifesto 1 and either External Placement 2 or Advanced Digital Photography
    • Manifesto 2 – Dissertation Essay

Modules

You will study a selection of core and optional modules each year. Each module is worth a number of credits and you will study 360 credits throughout your degree. This list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year

Workshop 1 – Digital Drawing & Investigation

You will learn digital skills which will set you up for the rest of the course. The module will encourage you to combine digital approaches, to be experimental and to provide an important digital underpinning for fine art studio practice and your future career.

Digital mediums you will use include Illustrator (vector drawing), Photoshop (bitmap and colour dynamics etc) and video and sound (capture and sequence editing). Each student produces a digital journal or sketchbook clearly documenting all software and processes and artist’s research.

The module supports studio practice, with an emphasis on the development of digital making skills.

Projects 1 – Approaches to Drawing and Investigation

An introduction to Fine Art studio projects, this module will develop a framework of working methods that apply throughout the course. You will be encouraged to develop ideas through practice and will have an increasing grasp of techniques and skills in your chosen art forms.

Through practical projects and discussion, you will be encouraged to develop an explorative, and increasingly individual, sense of enquiry. A critical approach to your own work and the work of other artists will be informed by your investigations of contemporary and historical visual art practice.

This module usually involves an exhibition trip to an art gallery, practical exercises such as drawing classes, independent practical work in the studio, personal research, group critiques, as well as group and individual sessions with tutors and visiting artists.

The module concentrates on formal and cultural concerns in order to equip you with the necessary framework of practice and criticism for progression onto Projects 2.

Contextual 1 – Forms Analysis Contexts

This module will establish the importance of direct experience and analysis in an understanding of the visual arts as cultural practice. You will learn the importance of direct scrutiny, research, knowledge of forms, genres and contexts through analysis of art works.

Themes, methods and examples of context and practice are introduced through a series of lectures, followed up with directed reading, study visits to art galleries and seminar discussion.

Issues and debates about society are referenced, reflecting contemporary concerns around questions around identity, gender, race, the environment, politics, global perspectives, etc., helping define art as a cultural practice. You will be assessed through a group presentation and an essay.

Workshop 2 – Materials and Methodologies

You will develop your skills in paint, print, sculpture or textiles, and either specialise or combine techniques to develop a hybrid practice. You will grow your knowledge and understanding of traditional techniques while taking an experimental approach.

This module will help you hone your making and technical skills with your choice of materials and processes, alongside your research into the work of other artists.

Workshops are taught through a variety of methods, including group teaching, process demonstrations, individual tutorials, group discussions and technical support to allow you to learn and practice your chosen processes and specialisms.

Projects 2 – Process and Experimentation

You will work on a process-led project with an experimental approach. The module increases the emphasis on self-direction in your work, leading towards your own distinctive vision and practice.

You are free to develop your own ideas, directions and material practices. You will undertake research to deepen your understanding of the context of practical work, helping to define your material practice.

You will take a self-directed approach when working on your studio project, supported by individual and group tutorials, group critiques, visiting artists’ lectures, exhibition trips and demonstrations of digital media applied to traditional art studio materials and processes.

Contextual 2 – Signs Interpretation Criticality

This module builds on insights gained in Contextual 1, emphasising the importance of direct experience and scrutiny of art. You will be introduced to key terms, ideas and methodologies for interpretation and reading of visual works, exploring questions about meaning and value.

Challenges to underlying cultural assumptions are further explored through questions about identity, gender, race, the environment, politics and global perspectives. You will learn through a series of lectures, directed reading, study visits and seminar discussion.

You will identify a relevant artwork to examine and research in greater depth through an identified ‘lens’ of critical theory, and will then be assessed on a written proposal and subsequent essay.

Materials and Evidence

Optional

Typically, this module is intended as a ‘catch-up’ for those who are short of credits in Level 4.

You will find a new personal and self-directed approach to developing a defined art practice. This module will ensure you develop the practical and visual research skills to enable you to establish a working method to support your studio-based practice.

The module is centred on a studio proposal and tutor-led discussion to support the development of an individual enquiry. You will be required to produce evidence of a self-reflective approach to your own work and the work of other artists that demonstrate an increased knowledge of materials, concepts and contexts.

Digital Photography

This module serves as a foundation for developing a technical understanding of digital photography.

The module will consist of a mix of lectures and workshops to teach the principles of capturing and manipulating digital images. Technical sessions will provide you with basic skills in using photo-editing software.

The module places a particular emphasis on being able to critically evaluate one’s work and the work of others which then forms the basis of a portfolio of photographic work for the end-of-module assessment.

Studio 1 – Territories and Defining Practice

You will work on an individual project, experimenting with materials, digital media, techniques and ideas, to develop a personal and inventive approach to making art.

This module sees a shift from set-projects to a more self-directed approach where you will start to define your own material practice, whether hybrid or more specialist.

The module comprises studio practice with tutorial contact and independent study, and your work will be increasingly self-determined, allowing students to take control of artistic direction, with your own choice of medium and process, genre, themes and imagery. The module encourages more adventurous work on a larger scale.

Contextual 3 – Sites Discourses Rhetoric

You will build on the insights and skills gained in Contextual 1 and 2, further emphasising the importance of direct experience/scrutiny for the effective critical discussion of contemporary art.

The module introduces key terms, ideas and methodologies for the contextualisation, interpretation and evaluation of visual works, exploring questions about meaning and value, agency and display, as well as an introduction of further relevant theoretical perspectives, including psychoanalysis, feminism and relational aesthetics.

You will learn through a series of lectures and texts, explored through personal reading and interactively interrogated through study visits and seminar discussion. You will also identify an artwork to critique in depth through an identified ‘lens’ of critical theory and will share your findings in a live presentation and an essay.

Studio 2 – Site, Externality and Display

You will explore the breadth of issues that relate to the location and placement of art as well as to broader ideas of society. You will be encouraged to explore the theme of ‘site’ in relation to the development of your own material practice, particularly the context (critical, conceptual, physical and social), display, scale and location.

This module involves extended studio practice in the development of a body of increasingly self-determined and independently managed work, and will allow you to take increased control of your own artistic direction.

External Placement 1 – Digital Review

Optional

The module aims to engage you with external cultural agencies and the larger community. It will give you insight into how a passion for the visual arts can translate into a career and suggest realistic paths towards graduate employment where creativity and an artists’ sensibilities are valued.

It will also aim to consolidate the ability to adapt and combine techniques and media in an external context, enhance career skills in critical reflection and independent study, and provide experience of art and its applications in a ‘real world’ context beyond the studio.

You will also develop ways of working with others as both a colleague and a potential employee.

Production Design

Optional

This module aims to provide a solid foundation for the main areas of Production Design; from concept initiation to realisation including elements of art direction, set design and building techniques, mood boards and props.

The module will illustrate how to decipher aspects such as design metaphor, colour scheming and spatial awareness. It will also explain the aesthetic, narrative and technical facets of the craft.

Research and Process

Optional

This module presents an opportunity for you to review and re-contextualise your understanding of Fine Art with a deeper awareness of approaches to contemporary art practice.

You will develop a critical approach to your studio work, and the work of other artists, through investigation of visual art practice and discourse supporting continued studio work.

The module aims to help you develop a framework of research skills in support of more self-directed working methods and underpin a sustainable and sophisticated studio practice, equipping you for progression.

Typically, this module is intended as a ‘catch-up’ for those who are short of credits in Level 5.

Degree Show – Recognition & Consolidation – Studio 3a – Digital Photography

This module enables full time Single Honours students to engage with a substantial self-initiated project through the development and resolution of visual and contextual research into a significant and substantial body of works selected for a public exhibition (the Degree Show) that articulates a distinctive and personal visual language, aspires to professional standards, and functions within a framework of relevant historical and contemporary Fine Art practice.

This is a quadruple module running over both semesters 1&2.

Note: for full time fine art students this is the default ‘personal study’ but you can choose to make ‘manifesto 2 dissertation’ into your personal study by informing the coordinator in writing.

Manifesto 1

Optional

You will undertake critically engaged study of the key artists and influences, theories and ideas that manifest in your own studio work. You will produce an essay which develops your academic research initiated in Year 1 and 2, and which supports/strengthens your studio practice.

You will present your proposal to a small seminar group and will work on an essay as a result of your self-directed study and research, with support from lectures and tutorials.

Advanced Digital Photography

Optional

You will work to develop a high-level understanding of digital image capture, construction and skills in image processing and manipulation within the field of professional digital photography. This module will develop your command of production skills from a range of theoretical, practical and creative perspectives.

Areas that could be covered include: ISO, shutter speed, aperture, focal length, choosing the right lens, dynamic range mistakes, white balance, setting up camera for various shooting environments, hard light versus soft light, Lightroom basics, portraiture, landscape photography, the digital workflow and using Photoshop.

Lectures are supplemented with practical workshops on specific approaches and techniques in the use of creative digital photography, its concepts and practical application.

Manifesto 2 – Dissertation

Optional

You will produce a dissertation which supports and strengthens your studio practice, with critically engaged study of the key artists/influences, theories and ideas that manifest in your own work.

The emphasis of this module is on depth of enquiry and research aiming to achieve high levels of critical thought coupled with intellectual rigour and scholarly skill.

Manifesto 2 mirrors and overlaps the structure of Manifesto 1, but students taking Manifesto 2 have an extended period in which to produce an extended essay (dissertation). Study activities will include lectures, group seminars, tutorials and significant self-directed study and research.

Teaching and Assessment

Learn with the support from professional artists

Lectures, seminars and studio-based peer-group critiques will support your independent self-directed work.

You will be taught by practising artists who are active in exhibiting their work and contributing to ongoing debates around fine art. They will present lectures about their work and share their research.

In addition to regular staff, on most weeks there’s a visiting professional artist who talks about their work, offers insight into their career trajectory and gives selected tutorials.

You will receive support from an academic advisor, alongside the Careers and Employability team, who support students with job and career ideas, CV writing, job applications, postgrad study, practice interviews and offer specific inputs to fine art students on topics that relate to creative careers and being an artist.

Facilities

Dynamic learning spaces enabling you to develop your skills, talent and potential

St Michaels’ House

Based on the Bognor Regis campus, the Fine Art department is situated in the beautiful St. Michaels’ House, a building comprising specialist studio and workshop facilities. It is an exciting place to study, providing a dynamic and supportive learning environment for the production of original new artwork. Here you’ll be dedicated your own personal studio space so you have the freedom to explore a range of contemporary media whilst developing your personal style.

Tech Park

You will also have access to the £35 million Tech Park which houses new specialist and digital equipment and incredible open-plan workshop spaces which will provide you with environments where you can create experimental, inventive and ambitious work. The workshops reflect the range of options across the key disciplines of the Fine Art programmes, as a BA (Hons) Fine Art with Digital Photography student, you will have access to all workshops where you can create experimental, inventive and ambitious work.

Workshops

You will have access to all workshop areas:

Sculpture: you will have access to specialist wood and metal/casting workshops, a dedicated ceramic space with electric kilns and glaze area. If you would like to develop large scale installations there is a large teaching space for video, light and sound projections.

Textiles: you will have access to a specialist textiles workshop with machines for embroidery, hot press as well as a printing table, weaving and tapestry, constructed textiles, felt-making and Batik.

Painting and drawing: you will have access to the life room which doubles as a large painting workshop space and to the wood workshop for making stretchers for canvas.

Printmaking: you will have access to a specialist print workshop with silk screens and etching tables, a flat press bed for relief prints, and light box for photo etching and screen print.

Learning Resource Centre (LRC)

In addition, you can access the LRC, which is the hub of the learning environment. It provides a wealth of resources that you can take advantage of:

  • A modern library service with areas for quiet and silent study on both floors
  • A range of study areas for group study
  • Over 80 open access PC and Mac stations
  • Wi-Fi areas for laptop use
  • Substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research
  • Online library resources you can access from anywhere at any time
  • Costa Coffee
  • Also situated in the Learning Resource Centre is the Support and Information Zone (SIZ) to help with any enquiries while at university
  • At SIZ, there’s an equipment loans centre offering laptops, tablets and other electronic devices for short and long-term loans.

Placements

We are committed to ensuring our students are prepared for entering the art industry with confidence once graduating. A work placement in the second year will give you an insight into how a passion for the visual arts can translate into a career. Typically, these fall into the following categories:

  • Galleries and museums
  • Schools and education
  • Community, health, therapy
  • Environment
  • Marketing
  • Self-employment as an artist
  • Production design for film

Interviews and Portfolio Advice

Everything you need to know

You will have a choice of having a face-to-face interview with a physical folio or an online interview with a digital folio. We try to make your interview experience as pleasant as possible. We want you to be relaxed since this is when we are most likely to see the ‘real you’.

We want to find out about your art practice, your artistic preferences and your opinions about art but we will not be trying to catch you out with obscure questions. Be prepared, but don’t panic!

Read our Fine Art Interview and Portfolio guide for more information.

In preparing your portfolio you should try to reflect your potential as a visual maker and thinker suitable for a Fine Art Honours Degree. Here’s a list of what you may want to include:

  • Drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and installation, art textiles, digital media, video art, and/or photography
  • An exciting and varied range of work that shows your potential and individual interests
  • Evidence of your creativity; this is the key to your success
  • Evidence of an experimental attitude; a willingness to test ideas and to find unexpected solutions – to think ‘out of the box’
  • Evidence of your artistic skills
  • Evidence of a knowledge of key artists
  • Sketchbooks

For more information about your interview, please visit our Interviews and Auditions page.

Degree Shows

Degree shows are organised each year and provide all Fine Art students with the opportunity to professionally exhibit their work to the public. With over several hundred visitors and much of the work sold, the overall atmosphere is second to none!

Visit our Fine Art Degree Shows and Events page for more information on previous and upcoming events.

Careers

Turn your artistic passion into a fulfilling career

As a Fine Art with Digital Photography student, you will undertake external projects and receive careers advice so you are prepared to pursue your desired career or to undertake postgraduate study. This course prides itself in embedding creativity in all it’s components and communication skills centrally within the degree programme. The course offers students further key skills that are both useful for artists but, more importantly, are life-skills that will help them in varied employment situations.

The degree leads to a variety of possible careers post-graduation, most typically being a practicing artist (full time or part time) alongside working in one of the following areas:

  • Art gallery or museum - within education, curation or administration
  • Artist studio administrator
  • Designer (graphic, web) or within IT
  • Communications and marketing officer
  • Photographer
  • Teacher (primary or secondary)
  • Art technician or assistant

You may decide to continue your study at the University of Chichester and undertake a postgraduate degree. Our postgraduate courses offer you the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and greatly improve your career prospects. Postgraduate study options available at Chichester include PGCE and PhD:

  • PGCE Primary
  • Postgraduate Research (PhD)

Partnerships

The University of Chichester is surrounded by an abundance of local partners including galleries, charities and schools. These partners help to support initiatives such as work placements, guest speakers, and providing students with excellent industry contacts and networking opportunities.

Course Costs

Course Fees 2024/25

UK fee
£9,250
International Fee
£15,840

Additional Costs

UK gallery trips and additional materials vary by individual but can be in the region of £1,200 in total across the whole degree programme.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fees page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

Entry Requirements

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary)

UCAS
96 -120
tariff points
A Levels*
BBB - CCC
with Fine Art or Photography or Textiles at B
IB
28 points
to include a 5 in Visual Arts at Higher level.
Foundation Diploma
in Art
BTEC / Cambridge Technical
DDM - DMM
Access to HE Diploma (Fine Art)
Pass
with 15 level 3 Merits.
IELTS
6.0 overall
with no element lower than 5.5

*or combination with AS / EPQ / BTEC / Cambridge Technical

Interviews

You will be required to bring your portfolio and to discuss the development of your work and your interests and inspirations in Fine Art.

 

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