Course Overview

The top-up degree programme has been designed for students who have successfully completed an HND or Foundation degree in a relevant subject and now wish to convert their existing qualification into a full BA honours qualification.

This flexible way of studying allows students from other institutions the opportunity to join our existing 3rd year BA (Hons) students for the final year. It also provides a natural progression route for students completing one of our own foundation degrees.

You will be encouraged to develop your thinking and understanding to become an independent and critically aware practitioner in your chosen field. This will include undertaking a major piece of theoretical work as well as improving their technical and creative skills through a programme of negotiated projects.

Students will also be expected to exhibit, take up live briefs and competitions, together with any opportunities that will improve their understanding of the creative industries and their own professional development.

Critical Studies

These studies are entirely focused around the students’ course area, providing a solid grounding in subject history and in critical ways of thinking about creative practice. The Critical Studies programme enables students to set their own work in a wider context, and also helps them develop a better understanding of how creative work can be interpreted and assessed. Click here for more details

Progression and Careers

On completion of your degree, you should have the skills and knowledge to be able to move on to your chosen path. You may want to continue your studies at Postgraduate Level or on a Postgraduate teaching course. You may intend to look for employment in a range of arts related businesses. You should be in a position to work at a practitioner or technician level, having acquired a well-developed portfolio of skills, knowledge and understanding of your area of practice.

Entry Requirements

  • Successful completion of a Foundation Degree (FdA) or HND in a related subject.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English – proof of an overall IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all sections (reading, writing, listening & speaking)
  • Recognition of Prior Learning Opportunities - The college welcomes applications from students with prior learning and/or previous experience.  Further details on eligibility can be found on page 15 of our Admissions Policy.  Alternatively, please contact us at and we can advise you on the college’s and the University Awarding body requirements (evidence of prior learning will need to be provided).

What you will study:

During the year, through a process of research and discussion, you will determine your body of self-directed study. Theoretical and contextual elements of study will have developed into a rationale for practice that will demonstrate the theoretical research that informs it. At this stage the focus is neither on practice nor theory, but on a theoretically informed practice.

The year begins with a period of individual research focussed on the particular aspect of enquiry that you wish to pursue. This critical inquiry is presented either in the form of a dissertation or a case study. The results of this research help to inform the substantial body of practice-based work undertaken during the rest of the academic year. The teaching composition of the large practice-based module reflects the expectation that you’ll now be integrating practice with context and theory to form a coherent whole. You will be expected to have produced a substantial and thorough research-based body of practical work by the end of the academic year, which will prepare you for life as a professional contemporary artist.

The course also provides you with the opportunity to assemble a highly specialist and professional portfolio of work, as well as the knowledge and ability to begin your life as a professional contemporary artist.