Contemporary Art BA(Hons)

2020-21 (also available for 2019-20, 2021-22)

It’s not too late to apply for September 2020. Find out more

Start date

21 September 2020

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Entry requirements

A Level - BBB

BTEC - DMM

See full entry requirements

Places available (subject to change)

70 across the suite of Contemporary Art and Illustration courses

Phone contact: +44 (0)1484 472114

About the course

From painting and sculpture through to performance and the moving image, there are lots of ways you can express yourself creatively. Our Contemporary Art BA(Hons) course gives you the opportunity to learn about current fine art techniques and practices in a stimulating environment. As the course is flexible, there’s plenty of scope to find the best route for you.

However you like to get creative, we want you to become highly skilled in your chosen approach. And no matter how complex or ambitious your ideas, we’ll give you the support and expertise to help you get them down on paper, film or whatever other media you’re using.

  • Our studios are inspiring places, where you’ll be encouraged to work both collaboratively and independently. We’ll give you the chance to experiment, to realise your ideas and to work on your professional presentation skills too.
  • By the end of the course you should have built up transferable skills to help you secure a great career.
  • We’ll encourage you to see your work in context. We’ll introduce you to the current debates and issues in the contemporary art scene and you might be able to go on field trips too. Art doesn’t happen in a vacuum after all! In recent years our students have visited The Whitechapel Gallery in London, Tate Liverpool, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Hepworth Wakefield.

The course is part of a suite of three courses that includes Contemporary Art and Illustration BA(Hons) and Illustration BA(Hons). Whichever one you enrol on, you can switch to any of the other two courses while you’re here, with the agreement of your tutor. We really are truly flexible, as we want you to develop your own path.

The Contemporary Art course has given me the confidence to grow as an artist and individual. I have had the opportunity to meet some inspiring artists and work alongside the most supportive tutors. While having the freedom to work on my own practice, I found that the art workshops helped me extend my artistic skills and knowledge. I would highly recommend the course.

Profile photo of Chloe Nightingale

Chloe Nightingale, Contemporary Art BA(Hons) 2019 graduate

Course detail

Core modules:

Studio Practice 1

The module will concentrate on promoting an in-depth and disciplined approach to the breadth of contemporary practices in contemporary art and/or illustration. The focus is on exploration and experimentation, in both ideas and materials, as a broad introduction to approaches to practice. You will be encouraged to draw upon existing knowledge in order to begin to establish the frameworks within which to operate as a creative practitioner. You will be encouraged to engage in processes such as drawing, painting, printmaking, lens-based media and 3D work, and examine these processes in relation to your personal conceptual and critical development. (100% portfolio).

Studio Practice 2

Building on your experience during the first term, this module continues to promote research and experimentation in the production of practical work. You will be asked to draw upon knowledge and progress gained in Studio Practice 1 in order to extend the range of your visual practice. Debates and issues within contemporary practice will continue to inform your thinking and development, and you will begin to recognise a range of contexts in which you might work. You will continue to develop a structured and self-critical methodology in relation to your studio work. (100% portfolio).

Contemporary Practice in Context 1

This module introduces you to vital discourses and debates surrounding the influences, production and critical reception of contemporary art and/or illustration. We will explore the culture of the subject with reference to a wide range of images, artefacts, selected texts, film excerpts, reviews and exhibitions. We will help you to learn to recognise and appraise key conventions and contexts and apply that knowledge in the studio, in discussion, and in a series of written formats which recognise the breadth of creative and critical styles deployed by today’s practitioners. This will help to develop your confidence and ability to demonstrate your understanding of and engagement with contemporary art and/or illustration. (100% contextual portfolio).

Entry requirements

BBBat A Level or equivalent

120 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications

DMM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

  • Pass Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits at Merit or above.
  • 120 UCAS tariff points from International Baccalaureate qualifications.
  • Pass in Diploma Foundation Studies in Art and Design combined with A Level or BTEC qualifications, to total an equivalent of 120 UCAS tariff points.

As a centre of creative excellence, we look forward to hearing about your own creative experiments and ambitions through a discussion of your portfolio at interview.

Read our guidance on developing your portfolio and what to expect from your interview.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Other suitable experience or qualifications will be considered. For further information please see the University's minimum entry requirements.

Placements


The course offers an optional one-year (36 weeks minimum) work placement after the second year, in the UK or abroad. This will give you the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience, insight into your chosen career and open up your graduate employment prospects. Our Placement Unit and academic staff have excellent industry links and can support you in applying for and finding your placement(s), as well as during your placement year.

Students within the area of Contemporary Art and Illustration have previously taken up placement opportunities with companies including: House of Illustration - London; Venture Arts - Manchester; Mini Me Card Company - Skipton and Plum Pudding Publishing - Surrey.

Alternatively, if you are a student from within the UK or the EU, you could consider starting your own small business by applying for the Enterprise Placement Year in conjunction with the University’s Enterprise Team. You’ll have the opportunity to benefit from business advice, mentoring and networking sessions. You can find out more information on the Enterprise Placement Year here.

You can find out more information on placements here.

During my time at Surface Gallery I learnt invaluable skills which allowed me to curate and co-ordinate a solo exhibition for an award winning photographer!

Megan Bonser

Megan Bonser, Contemporary Art BA(Hons), placement with Surface Gallery, Nottingham

Teaching excellence

  1. Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
  2. We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
  3. Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. We’ve been the English university with the highest proportion of professionally-qualified teaching staff for the past four years*.
  4. For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
  5. We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff** have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.

*HESA - First awarded in 2016, maintained in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

**Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.

Student Work

A selection of work from Contemporary Art students.

Your career


Following the course you may opt for further study, or could consider a career as an artist, curator, or a role in community arts, the media or design for example. Our graduates have won awards and prizes such as the Northern Graduates Prize, The Alternative Turner Prize, and New Sensations (a joint venture between the Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4). They've also gone on to work for companies such as East Street Arts, Leicestershire Craft Centre, Pyramid of Arts, Studio 116 Design, The Whitechapel Gallery in London, Tate Liverpool, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Hepworth Wakefield.**

* Percentage of graduates from this course who go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17)

Source: **GEMS

80% Graduates employed*

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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