Fine Art (top-up) - BA (Hons)

This vibrant programme will facilitate your involvement in contemporary visual art and build on your previous academic skills and knowledge. It will encourage open and exploratory thinking whilst equipping you with the experience and skills needed to evolve into a professional artist. The qualification is taught at West Kent College's University Centre in Tonbridge and is awarded and quality assured by the University of Kent.


The programme prepares you for professional practice and engagement in the cultural sector. You will study a combination of practical, theoretical and professional modules that will encompass transferable skills to improve your employability.

Designed and taught by practising contemporary artists, the programme has developed many links with galleries, artists and curators in the south east of England to give you a real advantage when embarking on a career in the arts.

The programme embraces the rich history of the subject and the vibrancy of current debates to allow you to develop a unique creative identity relevant to contemporary practice.

The programme will enable you to convert your Level 5 Foundation Degree or HND qualification into a Level 6 BA (Honours) Degree with either a year of full-time study or two years of part-time study.

Student profile

"The course is really flexible and the teaching staff are of such a high standard, it's amazing."

Jacqueline Chase - BA (Hons) Top-up in Fine Art

Entry requirements

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold a Foundation Degree or HND in fine art or a related discipline at Merit or Distinction level. 

The College will also consider applicants who have completed 240 credits in a degree programme in fine art or a related discipline with achievement equivalent to a Merit profile in a Foundation Degree or HND. 

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

    If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

  • International Foundation Programme


English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.


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Course structure

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.   On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take 'elective' modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

HA635 - Visual Research and Working Methodologies (30 credits)

HZ564 - Dissertation (30 credits)

HA637 - Fine Art Professional Practice (15 credits)

HA692 - Fine Art: Identity, Synthesis and Exhibition (45 credits)

Additional costs

A materials fee is payable for each year of the programme. This will contribute to the cost of: - Funding a programme of visiting contemporary artist lectures; - maintaining and updating the department’s resources and equipment; and - basic materials and equipment, including paper, charcoal, paint and pencils. This fee is currently set at £30 per year for students enrolled on the full-time mode and £15 for students enrolled on the part-time mode. You will be encouraged to make regular visits to galleries and contemporary art spaces during the course of the programme. These visits will facilitate your burgeoning knowledge concerning the developments of contemporary fine art in the south east of England. You are advised to budget for the cost of travel and admission (where applicable).

Contact West Kent college for more information about accommodation and living costs


For more information about funding, please see the West Kent College website.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • Provide an excellent quality of higher education in Fine Art.
  • Foster flexibility and multi-disciplinarity.
  • Provide a teaching and learning environment informed by research and scholarship.
  • Meet the lifelong needs of a diversity of students by widening access.
  • Support national and regional economic development projects with an emphasis on art and design.
  • Build on close ties within Europe and develop students’ knowledge of employability within the European Union.
  • Produce graduates of value to the region and the nation, in possession of key skills, enabling students to develop their capacity to learn, prepared for employment or further study.
  • Provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable experiences, involve realistic workloads, are pedagogically based within a research-led framework and offer appropriate support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds.
  • Provide high quality teaching in good environments with appropriately qualified and trained staff.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain a knowledge and understanding of:

  • Specific fine art techniques for communication and expression through visual and plastic forms. 
  • The critical and contextual dimensions of fine art, including the business, cultural, economic, environmental, ethical, global, historical, political, societal and theoretical contexts.
  • The artist’s required relationship with audiences, clients, markets, users, consumers and other participants.
  • The implications and potential of the key developments in current and emerging media and technologies.
  • The implications and potential of interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary fine art practice. 
  • The relationship between the aesthetic and utilitarian dimensions (form and function).
  • The significance of the works of other practitioners. 
  • The range of materials, media, technologies and tools associated with fine art. 
  • What constitutes and the importance of good working practices.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual skills:

  • The articulation and synthesis of knowledge and understanding, attributes and skills in effective ways in the contexts of creative practice, employment, further study, research and self-fulfilment.
  • The application, consolidation and extension of learning in different contextual frameworks and situations, both within and beyond the field of fine art. 
  • The investigation, analysis, interpretation, development and articulation of ideas and information through the use of visual languages.

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • The generation of ideas, concepts, proposals, solutions or arguments independently and/or collaboratively in response to set briefs and/or as self-initiated activity. 
  • The employment of both convergent and divergent thinking in the processes of observation, investigation, speculative enquiry, visualisation and/or making.
  • The selection, testing, use and exploitation of materials, processes and environments.
  • The development of ideas through to material outcomes, including, for example, images, artefacts, products, systems and processes, or texts.
  • The management and exploitation of the interaction between intention, process, outcome, context, and the methods of dissemination.
  • The applications of resourcefulness and entrepreneurial skills to support the student’s own practice, and/or the practice of others.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • Self-management – the ability to study independently, set goals, manage own workloads, meet deadlines, anticipate and accommodate change, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty, and unfamiliarity. 
  • Critical awareness – the ability to analyse information and experiences, formulate independent judgements, and articulate reasoned arguments through reflection, review and evaluation; the ability to formulate reasoned responses to the critical judgements of others; the ability to identify personal strengths and needs.
  • Interpersonal and social skills – the ability to interact effectively with others, for example through collaboration, collective endeavour and negotiation.
  • Skills in communication and presentation – the ability to articulate ideas and information comprehensively in visual, oral and written forms, present ideas and work to audiences in a range of situations.
  • Information skills – the ability to source, navigate, select, retrieve, evaluate, manipulate, and manage information from a variety of sources; the ability to select and employ communication and information technologies.

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

TEF Gold logo


Some graduates of this programme have embarked on postgraduate study, whilst others have progressed to relevant employment, with some specifically going on to become practicing artists, lecturers, teachers, gallery assistants, arts administrators, art technicians and curators.

Apply for this course

Following receipt of your application, the College will invite you to an interview and ask you to bring a portfolio of your work, including some examples of written work (eg an essay or proposal from your previous studies). The interview and your portfolio will help the College assess your suitability for the programme. They will also consider your UCAS application form, including your personal statement and reference, and the entry requirements when making a decision.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

Apply through UCAS

International applicants

Contact us


United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

Enquire online for part-time study

For enquiries, please contact West Kent College

T: 0845 2078220




International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254