Art, Philosophy, Contemporary Practices BA

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 3 years
  • School: Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design

If you have a strong interest in philosophical issues but also want practical studio experience as an artist then Art, Philosophy, Contemporary Practices is the course for you. APCP students are integrated into both the Fine Art and Philosophy programmes at the University of Dundee. 60 percent of your studies will focus on Fine Art with the remaining 40 percent on Philosophy.

Why study Art, Philosophy, Contemporary Practices at Dundee?

This interdisciplinary course brings together excellence in research and teaching within a mainstream university environment. You will be taught by academic staff with national and international reputations as practising artists, theorists, philosophers and writers who contribute significantly to the shaping of contemporary culture and debate.

Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds. The quality of studio and workshop provision is high, supporting printmaking, sculpture, photography, painting, digital film, sound, performance, and multimedia installation. Facilities include digital imaging suites, computing workstations and a world-class art library.

The programme reflects current cultural practices integrating practical and theoretical studies beyond disciplinary boundaries. If you have a strong interest in philosophical ideas as a foundation for developing visual practice, and have an interest in the broader context of contemporary culture then BA (Hons) Art, Philosophy, Contemporary Practices is the course for you.

At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Combine making with reflection
  • Express imaginative visual ideas
  • Use critical thinking and analytical abilities in your creative work

Who should study Art, Philosophy, Contemporary Practices?

You are:

  • Creative
  • Analytic
  • A maker and a thinker
  • Enthusiastic
  • Visually imaginative

You want to:

  • Learn how to express philosophical ideas through art
  • Improve your artistic ability
  • Develop your critical thinking and analytical ability

Art & Media Programme

Art, philosophy, contemporary practices is one of three courses that comprise the art & media programme (art, philosophy, contemporary practices, fine art, time based art & digital film). This programme has an already established reputation as the only interdisciplinary arts curriculum in Scotland. The bringing together of three distinct pathways under the art and media programme offers a broad educational experience and access to a wide range of staff expertise while also allowing you to gain deep knowledge and expertise in your chosen subject pathway of art, philosophy, contemporary practices.

Related Courses

The programme is centred upon a productive dialogue between art practice and theory within, across and beyond individual academic disciplines

The programme is delivered through active learning in the studio and the sharing of ideas through discussion. The main components of teaching at Levels 1 and 2 are studio projects along with workshops, lectures, seminars and tutorials.

At Levels 3 and 4 you will increasingly engage in self-directed research supported by technical and idea based workshops, lectures, seminars, group and individual tutorials.

Level 1 

Students can enter Art, Philosophy, Contemporary Practices after successfully completing our Art and Design (General Foundation) course or on successful completion of a recognised foundation course or equivalent.

In the Art and Design (General Foundation) course you will learn the core values which will enrich and expand your personal visual language as well as a module in Philosophy that will introduce you to key thinkers and themes from the history of philosophy, and build skills of critical reading and thinking.

Level 2

  • Foundations of Contemporary Practice 1 (Towards a Vocabulary of Practice)
  • Contemporary Practice 2 (Towards a Personal Voice)
  • Hume and Recent European Philosophy
  • Aesthetics and Kant

Level 3

  • Independent Creative and Professional Practice 1
  • Independent Creative and Professional Practice 2

plus two of the following:

  • Love and Desire in Plato
  • Film and Art
  • Foucault
  • Questions of Vision in Art
  • Spinoza
  • The Aesthetics of the Sublime
  • Vision, Literature and Art
  • Optional one semester of exchange study at an international institution

Level 4

  • Honours Creative Practice
  • Dissertation
  • Oral presentation
  • Degree show exhibition

Level 4 takes a similar shape to Level 3. The studio practice module provides you with a period of sustained visual enquiry and practice which will culminate in the presentation/exhibition of your work for Degree Show examination at the end of the year. Depending on your individual strengths and interests you have the option to write a dissertation that either closely reflects on your creative practice or engages in a philosophical argument.

At all levels assessment will reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the programme and will typically include a combination of presentation of your studio work, essay and oral presentation. The final examination for Honours students takes the form of a major presentation/exhibition and a dissertation.

Our graduates are highly sought after professionals well equipped for a great number of professions. As articulate practitioners or theorists trained in creative practice they are resourceful and flexible. Possible careers include:

  • Artist
  • Arts administration
  • Management
  • Curation and cultural policy making
  • Publishing
  • Writing and journalism
  • Criticism
  • Research
  • Consultancy
  • Teaching profession

The following are the minimum requirements, please note qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting of examinations.

Please note that the entry requirements in our printed prospectus may be subject to change. The entry requirements listed below are up to date and should be referred to in case of any discrepancy.

Courses starting September 2015

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher BB (Advanced Higher) + BB (Higher) in different subjects
GCE A-Level ABB
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects Art and Design, or related subject (at SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A-Level, IB Higher Level), an appropriate literate subject (at SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A Level, IB Higher Level) and one other subject outside art & design subjects (at SQA Higher, GCE A Level, IB Higher Level).
EU & International Visit our Your Country webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country
Other Qualifications
SQA A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with BB at AH
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
European Baccalaureate 75% overall with 7.5 in an Art & Design subject and 7.5 in a literate subject

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will, in most cases, depend on your current country of residence.

The fee shown is annual, and may be subject to an increase each year.

Fee categoryFees for students starting September 2015
Scottish students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
Rest of UK students £9,000 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants."
EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants."

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

Suitable applicants may be called for interview. For interview, a comprehensive portfolio of visual artwork and an appropriate example of written work must be submitted.

This truly interdisciplinary course requires abilities to think both creatively and analytically: you should feel equally comfortable making art in the studio, engaging with pencil, paint, ink, cameras or sculpture - as well as reading and writing. Both are required in this course which links the practice of making with the expression of critical understanding. Artists and philosophers teach this unique course, aided by academics in film studies, literature, art history and theory. A wide range of cross-disciplinary practices are reflected in the course content. Writing is an integral part of this course, as is the making of art. Students in Level 3 have the opportunity for foreign exchange if desired. An honours degree exhibition, a dissertation and an oral presentation of ideas and work are the culmination of four years of study.

Applicants should have the relevant qualifications listed in the 'Entry Requirements' section including English and Art/Design. A sound grasp of English is essential for textual analysis. Qualified applicants may be invited for interview on campus and will be asked to bring a portfolio and sample of essay writing.

It is not the everyday student who is suited to this course: we look for that unusual individual who combines many interests and abilities. Reading, watching films, attending theatre, listening to music, engaging in performance, travelling, climbing and writing poetry might be the interests, for example, of the sort of person who also enjoys making art and discussing ideas through intellectual debate. What we look for is a natural curiosity about the world, evidence of reflection and contemplation, active participation in making and doing, and a willingness to encounter new ideas. Applicants might come from many backgrounds. We do not expect lengthy experience with either art or philosophy, but rather look for someone with creative visual skills (in a sketchbook, drawings, photographs, etc) balanced with an ability to write clearly (evident in an essay). The interview process is the chance for us to assess a potential student who will work hard and will equally be your chance to learn more about a challenging and multi-faceted course.

Please apply via UCAS



Degree UCAS Code KIS Data
Art, Philosophy, Contemporary Practices BAWV15