Fine Art - MA

Attendance:
Full Time, Part Time
Starting:
September 2017
Fees:
£6,900 per year for UK/EU Full Time 2017 entry (view all fees)

Our MA Fine Art Master’s course is firmly founded on the consideration of art practice, in whatever form it takes (drawing, painting, sculpture, print, photography, installation, lens-based media, performance, participatory and interdisciplinary practice) and in whichever circumstance it occurs.

Art is considered in relationship to philosophy, art history and theory, contemporary discourse and global contexts thus establishing critical frameworks in which artists make work in the contemporary world. We have strong links with art galleries and arts communities.  

What's covered in the course?

This stimulating programme offers you a specialist education in fine art with both core and option modules that help develop your practice whilst introducing you to contemporary debates in art history, art theory and philosophy mindful of art’s global contexts.

It will enable you to take risks, be imaginative and to speculate on the development of your work. It builds your confidence, enhances your critical and analytical skills and prepares you for a career in the creative sector.

Numerous alumni have gone on to be highly successful: presenting work at the Venice Biennale and becoming a Turner Prize judge. Uniquely, you will be encouraged to personalise your learning therefore preparing you for life as a professional artist or PHD researcher. There is scope to work on external live projects.

You will be located at Birmingham School of Art (Margaret Street Campus), an impressive Grade 1 listed purpose built resource.

"The self-directed nature of the MA and options available allowed me to design my own pathway and enhance my critical thinking in a vibrant and experimental studio environment leading to PhD research. Staff support is second to none and the Birmingham art scene provides access to an established professional network."  Grace Williams Graduated - MA with Distinction

Why Choose Us?

  • Birmingham School of Art is an internationally recognised (REF 3*/4* rated) centre of excellence for art-based learning and research. You will become a valued member of one of Birmingham School of Art’s research centre.
  • The MA Fine Art programme has a significant international reputation with alumni in over 20 countries worldwide, with strong exhibition profiles and working in a range of institutions and organisations.
  • You will have the opportunity to interact with students from other Master’s courses located at Birmingham School of Art and the wider faculty/university.
  • You will be supported by a highly professional staff team, doctoral researchers, technical demonstrators and artists in residence in a caring and supportive environment.
  • We have good external links with internationally recognised galleries (Ikon, BMAG, Tate) and organisations in the creative industries (ELIA) and the wider community. Our graduates have shown work in renowned galleries (including Tate Modern) and at prestigious events (such as the Venice Biennale).
  • A high number of graduates have been awarded fully funded Arts and Humanities Research Council and Birmingham City University Scholarships for PHD study.
  • Financial support may be available via the Postgraduate Loan initiative, Birmingham City University Scholarships, the Gertrude Aston Bowater Bequest and Mike Holland Trust.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 26 April 2017, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities. You can't book your place just yet, but register your interest and we'll send you an email when you can book.

Register your interest

This course is open to International students

School of Art

Discover Birmingham School of Art

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • New Art Gallery Walsall
  • NHS

And in jobs such as:

  • Professional artist
  • Teachers and academic lecturer
  • Community arts project worker

New £10,000 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art or Art and Design, or other Arts-based Degree course, related subject. The minimum academic qualification required is a 2:2 award. Those with equivalent prior professional or life experience will also be considered.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2017 FT 1 year £6,900 per year
PT 2 years £3,450 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2017 FT 1 year £12,000 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

You will need to apply online direct to the university for this course. A link to the form will be available soon as well as details of the course fee. We'd like to send you an email once the link is available to save you checking back - just sign up for an update.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Portfolio Guidance

You are required to submit a digital portfolio of no more than 12 high quality images of your recent artwork. You may submit it as a power-point, comparable form of presentation such as Prezi or direct us to your website.

If you are working with video or sound you must submit a show-reel of selected work no more than 20 minutes in length.

All items must be accompanied by the title of the work, date, media, and size. For time-based work you must state the length of each individual work.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

What's included

The fees for the programme covers tuition with a range of specialist tutors, technical demonstrators and personal support, the support of the student success advisor and access to English language support and wider student services. You have open access to the School’s facilities such as the library and workshops, including wood, metal, plaster/ bronze-casting, print (including 3D printing) digital production (including photography), lens-based media (film, video and sound) and web-based practices.


Additional costs

Additional costs will vary depending on the specific production needs of your own work. This is determined by your practice as it develops. Materials can be purchased at cost onsite from the workshop staff.

The library stocks copies of all books necessary to your programme and many publications are now available in digital form. Nevertheless, you may wish to purchase your own copies of them.

Study visits are encouraged in the city, regionally, nationally and internationally. Students are expected to attend sessions in the city that are cost effective such as Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Ikon Gallery, Eastside Projects, Grand Union, and in the region such as New Art Gallery Walsall and Compton Verney.. Wherever possible visits to cultural centres nationally are encouraged - Nottingham Contemporary/ Tate Liverpool/Britain/Modern - and there is scope to visit international events of significance such as Venice Biennale.  

This course is available part-time

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.

For more information please contact the School Admissions Office. Tel: 0121 331 5150 / Email art.admissions@bcu.ac.uk 

On receipt of your application form, your application will be considered and you may be called for interview. After interview, if you are considered suitable for the course you will receive an offer of a place.

When you complete your application form, tell us something about your artistic, educational and/or professional experience thus far. Tell us why you want to apply to the MA Fine Art course and what you hope to gain from the experience. Your application must be accompanied by evidence of your art-based practice. We require 12 images of recent work on power point. If your work is film based you need to prepare a show-reel and if your work is web-based you need to direct us to it with the appropriate link.

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Stage 1: PgCert

All Art-based Master’s (ABM) programmes consist of two core modules (specialist and discipline specific); two common core modules (followed by all students) and a range of option modules (shared by all students) from which you chose to undertake one in Stage one.
The Art-based Master’s Programme is an integrated framework that allows you to build your own course of study in the modules you choose. You will have an opportunity to engage with students from diverse learning and professional experiences. Various freestanding options are available.
Advanced Practice 1 - core module
40 credits

This module is self-directed and allows you to build on your artistic practice in relationship to a range of option modules. It helps you challenge your pre-conceptions whilst re-orientating your practice through experimentation in relationship to contemporary thought and global contexts. You may choose to acquire new practical skills.

Select two option modules
20 credits

See option modules tab for further information.

Stage 2: PgDip

Advanced Practice 2 - core module
40 credits

This module builds on Advanced Practice 1 and helps you develop and evaluate your artistic practice in relationship to your developing research. You will deepen your knowledge and understanding of art practice towards the production of a body of work that culminates in an interim show open to the public.

Research in Practice - common core module
20 credits

This module introduces you to various research strategies in the arts via sessions on methodology, writing and making workshops and student led seminar presentations. It enables you to adopt approaches applicable to your own artistic practice and assists you in applying the knowledge you have gained in a productive way.

Select one option module
20 credits

Choose one option module, but only if Research in Practice is followed at 15 credits.

See option modules tab for further information.

Stage 3: Masters

Final Presentation or Dissertation - common core module
60 credits

This module marks the culmination of your study and enables you to bring your work to fruition through the synthesis and resolution of your artistic practice or dissertation. You will work with other students to organise a final public exhibition as a means of showcasing the work you have done.

Option modules

The Art Based Master’s Programme is an integrated framework that allows you to build your own course. Core modules in any given course become option modules in all other courses. You will have an opportunity to engage with students from diverse learning and professional experiences. Various freestanding options are available.

Arts Policy and Cultural Planning
20 credits

This module examines arts’ processes and contexts and their relationship to the State. It considers the UK’s history of cultural policy since WWII and the impact of the Arts Council. Main themes include: the history of arts policy, contemporary policy‐making, and examining various funding systems to develop successful grant applications. 

Contemporary Philosophy and Aesthetics
20 credits

This module examines why and how the fine arts can be explored when the foundations of modern and contemporary political philosophy and its relation to the social are at the forefront of scholarship. It sets the stage, epistemologically and methodologically, giving you a critical knowledge of the complexities underlying our contemporary world.

Creative Publishing and Public Dissemination
20 credits

This module explores publishing as a dynamic contemporary art-form, a vehicle for disseminating ideas and an exploration of radical formats for bringing your art to a wider public arena. Emphasis is placed on practical outcomes and the exploration of creative modes of dissemination whilst exploring contemporary debates surrounding artists' publishing.

Discourses in Art and Design
20 credits

This module examines key concepts in western art and design from mid-nineteenth century onwards. Through chronologically arranged presentations, topical issues are introduced from across art and design. Indicative topics: the western canon; approaches and methodologies; design ethics; the changing role of the artist; primitivism and ethnography; postmodern fashion and gender.

Models and Methods of Curatorial Practice
20 credits

The module examines: curatorial practice and exhibition making; the museum and gallery as context and framework; artist-run space; the rise of the artist/curator and alternative curatorial practices and contexts; curating for new media and technologies and craft and design. It considers issues of audience and project development for social inclusion. 

Photography as Research
20 credits

Employing theoretical and practical methods this module explores the spectrum of therapeutic photography when the image is a tool for enhanced self-awareness. A key question concerns the role of the technology of photography in framing our world. The module therefore examines the ethical and participatory concerns of therapeutic photographic practice. 

Queer Strategies in Practice
20 credits

This module explores queer models of practice that examine the complex relationships between image and text, making and writing, modes of representation, performativity and queering. Indicative topics include: historical representation and societal change, queer practices beyond representation, queer figures, affective reading, contemporary art, activist and interventionist strategies, film and collaborative practice. 

Small Arts Business Set-up
20 credits

This module explores entrepreneurship and small business start-up within the arts and creative industries and how entrepreneurial ideas are formed. Indicative topics: arts and creative industries; cultural entrepreneurs; economic development role of entrepreneurship within the arts, creative industries and society; practicalities of business start-up and business operations within the sector.

Social Practice in the Visual Arts
20 credits

This module examines art as social practice and models of art practice in social contexts: urban, rural and transnational contexts and places of labour, health, post-conflict and post-traumatic societies. It considers the history and development of social practice and the impact it has as a generative and transformative artistic activity. 

Technical Method, Workshop Learning and Practice
20 credits

The module is workshop-led e.g. print, plaster, lens based, digital media, 3D modelling and printing that enables you to engage in practical hands on experience.  You will demonstrate the breadth and depth of what you have learned by developing a portfolio of evidence recording your engagement with processes or skills. 

Well-being and Mindfulness: Context and Environment
20 credits

This module explores well-being and mindfulness in relationship to historical and contemporary debates on creative practices that are context based and environmental in nature. The module considers the history of arts practices, land art and environmental art, towards an understanding of the nature of contemporary art as collective and shared.

Work Placement
20 credits

This module is an opportunity for you to develop skills that will contribute to the acquisition of key graduate attributes. You will be encouraged to engage with an appropriate organisation or community in order to develop a project of a professional standard that you can self-evaluate and reflect upon critically.

Course structure

The staff team is highly professional with extensive expertise within their individual specialist subjects and fields of research. As an MA Fine Art student you will be able to request tutorial support from other academic and technical members of staff and the PHD student group if it is important to your study.

Learning strategies include:

  • Independent learning
  • One to one tutorial support
  • Group tutorials
  • Taught staff led seminars
  • Student led seminars
  • School of Art Public Talks Series
  • Lectures and conferences
  • Library research/resources
  • Field trips (where appropriate)

Full-time students have access to the School daily. Part-time students are expected to be on-site on Tuesdays and on evenings across the week depending on which taught modules they choose.

Part-time students have open access to the facilities some use them one day per week, others across the week. Part-time students have the opportunity to work on-site in the summer months in the run up to the final shows. 


Hours in the classroom

Full-time students are expected to commit a minimum of 20 to 37 hours per week to their study whereas part time students are expected to commit approximately 10 to 18 hours per week. However, this is flexible depending on the choices you make and your work pattern as you move through the programme of study. You will find that everything is negotiable and we are here to enable you to achieve your goals.

Core and option theory seminars are run in the evenings, normally from Monday to Thursday, 5 to 7pm or 7 to 9pm in terms one and two. Some seminars run for 10 weeks across the term whilst others are delivered over five weeks and are augmented by a Saturday event 10am to 4pm. 

Assessment breakdown

At Level 7 the category ‘articulation of ideas’ involves the examination of your ability to research, conceptualise and realise your ideas in your arts based and/or written practice. This process is additionally informed by your Critical Evaluation of your own work in which you are required to take a step back to reflect upon and critically evaluate what you have achieved.


Classroom activities and projects

The programme begins with an evening induction event culminating in a meet and greet with drinks and nibbles. You will join our Pecha Kucha sessions where you will be invited to present your work. This is a fun and light-hearted way of introducing you to each other.

You will be involved in group tutorials and student-led seminars that invite you to present your research and practical work for the group to consider and critically evaluate. The intention here is to share your ideas with other people who become ‘critical friends’ to help you think through your work in new ways.

There is a fantastic opportunity to show your work by contributing to the Interim Show and the Final Masters Exhibition. Both events are open to the public and they are major well-attended events that attract people from all over the region and further afield.

Our students have a reputation for being ambitious and year on year our shows are exciting and thought provoking. All of our students work towards the shows with the support of the technical support team and you will be enabled to test out your work and gain feedback from your peer groups, academic staff and the public. As a result of the final shows numerous students have gone on to establish their profiles internationally.


Student stories

Grace Williams

Grace is an artist and lecturer, currently based at De Montfort University. After her graduation from the MA Fine Art course she became the Gertrude Aston Bowater award holder for practice-led PhD research working toward the thesis 'The Supernatural Sex: Women, Magick & Mediumship: Assembling a Field of Fascination in Contemporary Art'.

Traversing photography, film and installation her work explores the performance and sexual politics of the female body within the fields of Mediumship (channeling conduits) Magick (Occult, black magic), Magic (vanishing women) and pre-narrative cinema; with a specific focus on the materialising mediums within the Thomas Glendenning Hamilton photographic archive, for which she received the T.G Hamilton research Grant from the University of Manitoba, Canada.


Images: Escamotage / After Cecil Beaton


Ning-Hsin Chang (Losa Cola)

Losa is a sculptor, installation artist and poet. Her work is concerned with the experience of women in Taiwan and the expectation of traditional gender roles that she works to subvert in a nuanced way through the creation of anthropomorphic post-human creatures and partial body parts. Her work uses a range of material but most commonly involves the use of clay, wax, fabric, text and sound.


Images: Strange Attractors (2016) / Untitled Creature (2016)

View more examples of student work...

Overseas opportunities

As an Art-based Master’s student you can study abroad through the Erasmus + scheme. This enables you to work abroad in an institution or professional organisation or one of our many international academic institutional partners for example: Rotterdam, Gent, Dublin and Rome.

Candidates are expected to research their proposed destination prior to making an application in consultation with your Programme Leader. The study period may be organised during or upon completion of your programme and can last for up to 18 months. It offers a unique opportunity to network, make friends enhance your CV and experience new cultures.

Further Study

Many students progress from undergraduate to postgraduate study. For some it is an opportunity to build on what they have achieved so far, for others it is about consolidating what has yet come to fruition. For all it is about identifying new directions within a research context.

MA Fine Art graduates have been highly successful as doctoral researchers receiving fully funded scholarships. By joining us if you decide to progress to higher degree research you will be eligible to apply for the prestigious M3C AHRC doctoral training award (£14.6million research fund) that enables strong research to emerge in the Midlands.

Trips and visits

Art-based Master’s students have benefited from the trips run annually by Birmingham School of Art. Recent visits have included: Berlin, Florence, Liverpool, London, New York and Venice. Master’s students are encouraged to operate independently and visit regional and national cultural centres on a regular basis, such as Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG), Ikon, Eastside Projects, Grand Union, New Art Gallery Walsall, Nottingham Contemporary, Tate Modern, ICA, Tate Liverpool and independent and alternative spaces in the city and beyond.

“Visiting the Venice Biennale was incredible and impacted positively on my approach to my work. There was so much to see and digest and as a part time student the visit came at the right time and in preparation for year 2. It repeatedly informed my work in the second year and gave me great confidence to do what I wanted to do.”
Julie Robertson - Graduate - MA Fine Art

Student stories – Samira Nejad

Enhancing employability skills

As you study this course you will develop a set of transferrable skills such as creative problem solving, communication and presentation skills, adaptability and flexibility, independence and teamwork, and good time management.

Specific modules have been designed to address employability, for example; Managing Arts Events and Projects, Technical Methods, Workshop Practice and Learning, Small Arts Business Set Up, and Creative Publishing and Public Dissemination.


Our graduates

Graduate employment is high. In the 2014-2015 DLHE survey 100% of full time and 87% of part time students who joined the Art-based Masters programme graduates were in employment with graduates from 2013-2015 earning between £20,000 and £35,000 per annum. A high number of 2014-2015 graduates reported that the programme prepared them well or very well for employment.

Placements

Placements are one of the possible ways of fulfilling your Research in Practicemodule and numerous students across the ABM Programme have chosen this route. There is scope for placements with a number of organisations in the city and beyond, however it is your responsibility to plan and organise your placement with the organisation you wish to work with.

Placements can last for a few weeks or for a longer period of time. They provide you with a great opportunity to gain insight into how an organisation works and your reflection on their activities can be useful to them as you develop your research. You will also find that this is a great way to meet and network with people in the creative industries. Our members of staff are able to guide and support you through this process.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

A selection of our alumni

Heather Morison and Ivan Morison

Heather and Ivan exhibit internationally – here is a selection of their solo exhibitions and projects:

2016

Birmingham Big Art Project (shortlist)

2012-15

Skirt of the Black Mouth, Tate Modern, London.

2010

An Unreachable Country. A Long Way to Go, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth
Frost King, Open Satellite, Seattle, USA
Mr. Clevver, ongoing project commissioned by Contemporary Art Spaces Tasmania, Queenstown, Tasmania, AU.

2009

Falling Into Place, published by Bookworks, London and Situations, UWE, Bristol
The Black Line, Void, Derry, Northern Ireland
The Shape of Things to Come, Situations, University of West of England, Bristol
I hate her. I hate her., VOLTA NY with Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, New York
Black Dog Times, produced in collaboration with Full Beam Visual Theatre, Bristol.

2008

How to Survive (The Bad Years), Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto
The Opposite of all those Things, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool.

2007

And so it goes, Representing Wales at the 52nd Venice Biennale 2007, with Merlin James and Richard Deacon, touring to Oriel Davies, Newtown and Chapter, Cardiff
The Land of Cockaigne, Bloomberg Space, London.

Feng Ru Lee - Winner of the prestigious Taipei Prize in 2000

Feng-Ru Lee’s practice is rooted in her Far-East Asian Cultural background her work crosses a range of different media and often-incorporates video, two dimensional works, performance and installation. Toying with ideas of mass production and genetic engineering, Lee’s practice is often seen as both a critique and an attempt to understand the seemingly controversial issues involved in the state of the contemporary human condition. Lee explores ideas that centre on the status of the transition/ migration between cultures and humanity, whilst also addressing notions of the materialisation of objects and beings. Subjects, such as Eastern philosophy and Western science that seem immediately differential, hold intrinsically deep and thought provoking issues for both the artist and viewer. Lee has exhibited throughout the UK, Taiwan and internationally including the USA, Middle East, Japan, and across Europe. In 2001 she represented Taipei, Taiwan in an artist residency programme between Taipei and Jerusalem. Lee has also completed residencies in Berlin and recently at the New Art Gallery Walsall.

Recent exhibitions have included:

  • Venice Biennale, 2015
  • Flux Fest at VIVID, Birmingham,
  • Jam: Cultural Congestions in Contemporary Asian Art at South Hills Park
  • Shift Time - The Festival of Ideas in Shrewsbury
  • Solo Exhibition at Entrance Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic.

Graduate jobs

A significant number of our graduates have become highly successful arts professionals. Numerous others have been employed in a number of other professions including:

  • Conference/exhibition organiser
  • Web designer
  • Health professional
  • Graphic designer
  • Business professional
  • Insurance underwriter
  • Industrial relations officer

A significant number of our graduates have been appointed in Higher Education Institutions nationally and internationally. 

Andrew Hunt, Director of Focal Point Gallery, Southend on Sea, UK

Andrew was previously curator of International Project Space, Birmingham, UK and assistant curator at Norwich Gallery, UK.

He regularly organises independent projects. Freelance exhibitions include The Affirmation, Chelsea Space (2007), Writing in Strobe, Dicksmith Gallery (2006) and Like Beads on an Abacus Designed to Calculate Infinity, Rockwell (2004). Publishing activities include the imprint Slimvolume, produced on a yearly basis since 2001. He is also reviews editor at Untitled, a regular contributor to Frieze, Art Monthly and a number of other journals. He is currently editing three books about contemporary art criticism collectively titled Laboratory of Synthesis with the critic Robert Garnett, to be published by Book Works during 2008 and 2009.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Our international students

The Art Based Master’s Programme is an international community of aspiring researchers and professionals and the programme attracts candidates from all over the world including: Africa, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Taiwan and the USA.

This diversity provides you with an opportunity to study with people from diverse social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and who bring a wealth of experience to the programme. This gives the ABM programme a dynamic energy that enriches everyone’s educational experience.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our fine art course is most popular with international students from:  

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

Birmingham School of Art (an impressive purpose built Grade 1 listed example of Venetian Gothic architecture) was the first major renovation project undertaken by the university (£5.5m refurbishment). The School provides an incredible resource for the production of art and its associated fields of study. The building has a range of facilities available including studios, workshops, specialist art and design library, bookable spaces, lecture/seminar rooms and ARTicle Gallery.

Located next to the city centre’s Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the School is just a five-minute walk from the new Library of Birmingham and Ikon Gallery.

Students benefit from an environment which thrives on the everyday interaction of education, culture and professional practise.

Studios

Our studio spaces make excellent use of height and light, and a special screening system allows each full-time student a dedicated area to work in throughout their course.

Workshops

Workshops include one-to-one technical support and operate throughout the building, allowing you to develop ideas and skills working with print, wood, metal, plaster, photography, video, textiles, 3D printing, laser cutting and prototyping.

Library

The School of Art library contains a wealth of artists’ biographies, catalogues, art and design magazines and DVDs, all of which are updated throughout the year. The library is also linked to others across the University so you can order any additional materials you might need.

Social space

A new student-led social space, designed by School of Art students, is a great place to relax, grab a coffee, and catch up with friends. Students also display their work, host film showings and private-view receptions in this space.

Gallery

There are purpose-built spaces throughout the building to present your work, including areas for cabinet, wall and floor pieces, and installation project rooms.

ARTicle, our professional art gallery space, has proved a huge success and offers a diverse and exciting variety of shows every month.

Parkside Building

You will also be able to use facilities at our nearby Parkside Building, a new five-floor campus site packed with fashion design workshops, studios and social ‘collision spaces’ where you can share ideas with students and staff from different courses.

Meet our staff

The MA Fine Art staff team have a wealth of experience from a range of practical, historical, theoretical and philosophical backgrounds who work in both discipline specific and trans-disciplinary modes. These modes include drawing, digital media, installation, painting, photography and lens based media, print, sculpture, web-based practices and critical and creative writing. The staff are regionally, nationally and internationally recognised for their expertise in the field.

Henry Rogers

Reader in Art and Queer Studies

Henry Rogers is the Arts Based Masters Programme Director, MA Fine Art and MA Queer Studies Course Director and a PhD supervisor in the School of Art, BIAD. In 1987 he gained a first class pass in Drawing and Painting from Edinburgh College of Art where he was awarded the Watt Medal for Excellence in a field of study.

In 1989 he gained a Masters in Painting from the Royal College of Art. In 1990 he was awarded the Mark Rothko Memorial Trust Award to live and work in the USA and in 2001 he became an Abbey Fellow at the British School at Rome. Since 1990 he has worked in art schools in the UK and between 1986 and 2002 he lived and worked in Florence, Paris, New York and Rome.

He is an interdisciplinary practitioner working with drawing, painting, photography and writing. He is concerned with formality, mediation and mimesis in art with particular reference to queer theory and queer strategies in art practice.

The MA Queer Studies in Arts and Culture (an internationally unique M level award) has emerged from his research. He has initiated projects addressing the impact of performance and performativity on art-based production.

Professor Sue (Johnny) Golding

Director of the Centre for Fine Art Research

Professor Sue (Johnny) Golding is the Director of the Centre for Fine Art Research (CFAR) and holds the Chair in Philosophy and Fine Art at the School of Art, Birmingham Institute of Art & Design (BIAD). Internationally renowned for her philosophy enactments, installations and sound-scape exhibitions, her research covers the intra-disciplinary intersections of fine art, digital/electronic arts, and aesthetic epistemologies, captured through the lens of contemporary philosophy, meta-mathematics and modern physics.

Her most recent publications include: Dirty Theory: Philosophy After Metaphysics; Fractal Philosophy, Trembling the Plane of Immanence: The Small Matter of Learning how to Listen (or Attunement as the Task of Art); Conversion on the Road to Damascus: Minority Report on Art; The University Must be Defended; and Assassination of Time (or the birth of zeta-physics). Executive Editor of Z e t e s i s: an internationally peer-reviewed journal for contemporary art, philosophy and the cultural condition (London/ Birmingham: ARTicle Press), it foregrounds research driven by experiment, risk and curiosity.  

Professor Golding has Supervised 11 PHDs to completion and, since 1997, has brought in over £900k in research grants. Previously:  Director, Institute for the Converging Arts & Sciences (2009-2012), Professor of Philosophy in the Visual Arts & Communication Technologies (2000-2012 UoG); Teaching Fellow at The Slade School of Fine Art (Jan-June 2011 UCL) and Head of the Theory Department / Lead Researcher, The Jan Van Eyck Academie, Experimental Research in Fine Art, Design & Theory (Maastricht) 1998-2003.  Was awarded an honorary Professorship in Philosophy and Imaging, Dundee School of Art (2009). 

She was born in New York City, lived in Toronto, and took postgraduate/PHD study at the University of Toronto and Cambridge. She lives by the old adage ‘Romanticism is not just for fools and horses; and hindsight is not just 20/20 vision.’

Françoise Dupré

Senior Lecturer in Fine Art

Born in France, based in London and a permanent UK Resident, Françoise Dupré trained in London at City University (MA in Museum & Gallery Management), Chelsea College of Art and Design (MA History and Theory of Modern Art) and Camberwell College of Arts (BA (Hons) Fine Art-Sculpture).

Françoise is a self-employed artist-curator and a part-time senior lecturer in Fine Art at Birmingham City University, School of Art where she contributes to the Centre for Fine Art Research (CFAR) strand: Art in the Public Sphere.

Mona Casey

Course Director, MA Contemporary Curatorial Practice

Mona Casey co-ordinates Slice, which circulates work through exhibitions, publications and online. She is also co-director of The Event, a bi-annual presentation of artist-led galleries and projects in Birmingham.

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