Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Fine Art With Foundation Year

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Four year

Next enrolment

September 2022


In a nutshell

This fine art course prepares the next generation of contemporary artists and creative thinkers for their professional practice. This ideas-led, practical course will enable you to explore your ideas through a range of media including painting, sculpture, fine and digital print, installation, performance, fibre/textile, film and video, animation, community engagement and social practice, sound art, book works or any hybrid practices forged by you personally and suited to your expressive needs.

This is further supported by a critical and contextual framework that is tailored to your needs as a maker and creative practitioner.

The course is further enriched by embedded and co-curricular opportunities that includes real world professional experiences to support you to develop your individual practice through public exhibitions, site specific projects, live briefs, and gallery, museum and education placements.

Please note, this course was previously called BA (Hons) Visual Arts.

The foundation year of this four-year programme aims to provide you with an understanding of the subject to allow you to progress on to the BA (Hons) Fine Art course.

You will: 
  • Learn to specialise or move between any media of your choice with the teaching and guidance of experienced practitioners 

  • Develop your professional skills and practice in a new state of the art facility 

  • Explore your ideas through a range of media including painting, sculpture, fine and digital print, installation 

Find out more by signing up to our upcoming Open Day, or if you have any general questions please contact course enquiries

You can also find helpful FAQs, learn more about student life at Salford or explore all our Art and Design courses. Continue reading to understand more about this BA (Hons) Fine Art with Foundation Year course.  

This is for you if...


You have a high level of commitment to art and design


You have good drawing and observational skills


You possess the ability to think creatively

Course details

All about the course

The BA (Hons) Fine Art programme - formerly BA (Hons) Visual Arts - is a distinctive, contemporary, fine art course promoting an informed approach where theory integrates with practice. It is media independent, enabling you to specialise in any medium or move between and/or combine media of your choice.

You will have a unique experience of the course as you are encouraged to take responsibility and take ownership of your personal learning within a supportive environment.

Art is a philosophical and an aesthetic activity. All arts practice is strongly driven by the philosophical, cultural and social contexts. Artists engage with the world around them. Our students are informed and active citizens.

Our graduates have proven their relevance and expertise in the arts; they are engaged in high profile arts activity nationally and internationally. Others populate artists' studios throughout the UK, as well as progress into teaching or arts administration.

Foundation year

Digital Media Applications

This module helps you to become more familiar and confident with technology. As well as learning the creative software and photography skills, it will allow you to explore a creative subject of your choice and give you essential time management and research skills.

Creative Methods

This module will enable you to examine the creative and professional practice of others as a way of reflecting on your own practice. You’ll create a range of outcomes to help you build a dedicated portfolio as well as learning about major influences in art and design.

Creative Risk Taking

This module is all about challenging your creative thought and highlighting the importance of creative risk taking. The briefs allow you to produce a range of outcomes that underpin all of the main art and design disciplines as well as giving you the flexibility to interpret the brief to your area of interest.

Creative Practice Major Project

This module is designed to allow you to bring together all your prior learning from the previous modules. It gives you the opportunity to propose and create your own brief based on a theme, topic, or issue that you are passionate about. Within this module you’ll be supported by tutors who will guide you in creating in a meaningful body of work that demonstrates confidence in your chosen area. Your work will be exhibited in school of Arts and Media end of year show.

Introduction to the Creative Industries

This module enables you explore the creative industries and its career opportunities, You’ll learn about a range of subjects including responsible design and future trends within your chosen area of art and design. It will allow you to build on the technical skills that you have gained in the first semester to produce a creative publication.

Year one

Techniques and Processes 1

This module will introduce you to a breadth of technical processes to explore and expand your developing studio practice. The module focuses on technical skills acquisition through instructional workshops which offer the opportunity to experiment and explore and ignite interest in new areas of investigation.

Introduction to Studio Culture 1

During this module you will begin to develop your own visual language within an emerging studio practice, through a greater understanding of the nature of fine art studio practice. It offers the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of your practice and extend your knowledge base of the expanded field of fine art.

Art and Ideas

This module introduces you to key intellectual movements (such as Classical Culture, Christianity, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, Post-Colonialism) and scholarly personalities (such as Plato, Aquinas, Darwin, Freud and Marx) that have shaped the cultural history we have inherited and which have created the context for the making, understanding and appreciation of art.

Techniques and Processes 2

This module will further develop your techniques and processes to explore and expand your developing and burgeoning studio practice. The module focuses on technical skills acquisition through instructional workshops which offer additional skills to help support your making and creativity.

Introduction to Studio Culture 2

During this module you will further develop and build your own studio practice and be offered the opportunity to exhibit work in a professional public setting.

Contemporary Art and Its Histories

This module explores the histories of contemporary art works and traces their lineage through the experimental practice of Modernism and Post-Modernism.

Year two

Studio Practice 1: Artist and Audience

The purpose of this module is to develop a self-directed studio practice of individual relevance. You will address and explore how to inscribe meaning in your work and how to communicate with an audience.

Professional Context 1: Research

This module will provide you with the opportunity to research and prepare a live brief in a ‘real world’ situation that offers a professional development opportunity, whilst critically examining the ways in which visual arts practice is affected by notions of professionalism and allied contextual frameworks.

Visual Analysis

The module aims to introduce some key methods of visual analysis: semiotics, iconography/iconology, gender, Marxism, non-European aesthetic systems. This module also offers an introduction to key interpretive tools to examine art works/cultural products and contextualise them within broader fields of enquiry.

Studio Practice 2: Development

This module will further develop a focused self-directed studio practice of individual relevance resulting in the production of a body of studio work through appropriate media and discipline areas, underpinned by an ongoing visual research project.

Professional Context 2: Development

This module will provide you with the opportunity to engage in a live brief in a ‘real world’ situation that offers a professional development opportunity, whilst critically examining the ways in which visual arts practice is affected by notions of professionalism and allied contextual frameworks.

Contemporary Debates

This module offers an opportunity to explore a debate within the visual arts of personal and individual relevance.

Year three

Studio Practice 3: Evolution

This module offers you the opportunity to pursue an extended programme of individual study enabling you to synthesise your previous learning and to continue to explore and experiment to forge a new body of work that displays a growing maturity.

Studio Practice 4: Realisation

The purpose of this module is to provide a synthesis of all your previous learning and to offer an opportunity to bring your studio work to a point of professional resolution/consolidation prior to your first major showcase to the general public and creative industries in the Degree Show.


This module offers a programme of research, reflection, structured learning and writing that helps you develop and understand the critical and contextual framework that underpins your practice, and articulate more effectively the relationship between theory and practice.

Professional Practice: Exit Velocity

This module prepares students for life after art school and supports the development of a professional development plan, a hard copy portfolio, a digital portfolio, CV, interview skills and enables you to successfully present your work professionally.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


Practical studio work


Contextual and written work


There is a variety of methods and approaches involved in the delivery of this course.

Modules are designed to facilitate personal development and continuity. They promote a broad understanding of fine art practice by introducing a diverse range of issues, concepts and approaches. Some modules involve a project, which provides the framework to investigate ideas and issues, utilising an appropriate selection of materials, media and working methods.

External projects offer an opportunity to participate in a professional ‘real world’ setting outside of the studio environment. The concept of the external project is introduced in year two. All modules involve self-directed/student-driven study.

Lectures are used to disseminate a specific body of knowledge. Ideas and issues generated by lectures are elaborated in supporting seminars and/or studio practice. Seminars are a forum for the discussion and debate of ideas. It may be initiated and led by staff or may be focused around a student presentation. Teaching workshops are also used as a means of teaching the specific skills associated with a particular technique or working method, allowing subjects such as stretcher-making and printmaking to be taught within a broadly-based, thematic module.


Critique (crit) sessions are to encourage the examination of work in relation to your peers. Regular individual tutorials allow for a more detailed discussion of work-related issues. They can be either one-to-one or delivered in the form of a group tutorial.

A wide variety of assessment methods are used. For example, studio-based project modules may require the assessment of visual, verbal and written work and on independent artwork whereas theoretical modules will require a written submission.



All our Art and Design courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology.     

Our School and University have strong and long-lasting relationships with local and national industry.     

Once you graduate with us, you’ll join a thriving alumni community in Greater Manchester and beyond. 


The course has access to a number of industry standard facilities on site, allowing you to expand on your artistic skills whilst studying here at Salford. All students will receive full inductions by trained workshop technicians, including how to use the machinery safely.

  • Print Workshop, to support printmaking and how to incorporate print practice and strategies into your own work. Including: Mono-print, dry-point, etching, screen-print, photo-silkscreen, cyanotype, bookworks etc
  • 3D Workshop for those interested in mixed media pieces or sculpture
  • Photography Studio, industry standard photographic studio and infinity room, darkrooms and digital printing facilities
  • Digital Rapid Prototyping Workshop, which includes 3D printers, CNC machines, laser cutting, mould-making etc
Employment and stats

What about after uni?


Graduates have gone on to pursue careers as artists, lecturers, teachers, arts officers, curators, gallery education officers, art therapists, university/college instructors and demonstrators, and gallerists. Our students are self-motivated self-starters and many have gone on to forge their own businesses and enterprises in a variety of fields. Not all our graduates go on to pursue a career as an artist, though many will pursue careers in the arts.

The fine art course encourages an approach to learning that emphasises resourcefulness, initiative and creativity – transferable skills that enable our graduates to thrive in whatever career path they choose. An art school offers an educative experience like no other and an artist requires self-discipline, project management skills and an ability to work with others. All these skills are developed here at Salford during the course of study. An art education also offers a culturally enriching experience and a portal which can lead to a myriad of other interests.

In recent years our graduates have achieved notable successes in major galleries and museums regionally, nationally and internationally including: The National Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa), Institut d'Art Contemporain (Lyons, France), Irish Museum of Contemporary Art (Dublin), The British Art Show, Liverpool Biennial, Curwen Gallery (London), Cornerhouse (Manchester), the Bluecoat Gallery (Liverpool) and many more.


MA Contemporary Arts Practice with Industry Experience

MA Design for Communication with Industry Experience

MA Socially Engaged Arts Practice with Community Experience

A taste of what you could become

An Artist

A Teacher

A Curator

An Art therapist

A Gallery education officer

And more...

Career Links

This course thrives on inviting artists and arts professionals to deliver presentations to our undergraduate and postgraduate students. Most recently this has included Rachel Maclean, Liam Young, Hannah Farrell, Sarah Hardacre and Alan Birch.


What you need to know

This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.


All applicants are offered an interview. 

At interview we consider personality, portfolio and examples of written work. We also take note of what is disclosed in your reference. Generally though, there are three essential ingredients to the perfect fine art student; enthusiasm, commitment and intellectual curiosity.

We will also ask to see a portfolio of your work. To give you a very simple list, the skills we look for are:

  • Enquiry and use of sources
  • Creativity
  • Technical skills
  • Knowledge and understanding of materials and issues
  • Analytical ability
  • Critical thinking
Standard entry requirements


English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent). Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

A Levels

64 points including Art & Design

UCAS tariff points

64 tariff points from A-levels (or equivalent) to include an Art and Design qualification

BTEC National Diploma


Access to HE

Pass Level 3 Access to HE Diploma with 64 points (relevant subject)

Scottish Highers

64 points including Art & Design

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 points including Art & Design 

International Baccalaureate

24 points including Art & Design 

European Baccalaureate

Pass with 60% overall (relevant subject)

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How Much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Full-time home 2022/23 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2022

UCAS information

Course ID W103

Institution S03