Fine Art at Dundee
Our students engage with the world through a wide range of exciting conceptual, textual and material processes.
Why study this course at Dundee?
Fine Art’s position within the University of Dundee creates exciting opportunities for cross-disciplinary research and teaching. The diverse backgrounds and multicultural perspectives of our students enrich our programmes. Innovation and creativity are key to our success. They prepare our students for a wide variety of careers in creative practice and related areas.
Our students work in wide range of mediums. Some focus on a single discipline while others enjoy a multidisciplinary approach.
Fine Art mediums include:
- printmaking performance
- photography – both digital and analogue
The course is primarily focused on making. Fine Art study, however, will also equip the student with knowledge of the history and theory essential to the contemporary practitioner. We also support students to develop their critical and contextual understanding of art.
Did You Know?
- Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design Fine Art graduate Susan Philipsz won the Turner Prize in 2010
Facilities and Workshops
Fine Art also maintains first class workshops for:
- woodworking - from picture framing to large scale construction
- sculpture in plaster, resin and metal – including cast, welded and forged
Each facility is staffed by two full time technicians. Students also benefit from access to all workshops across the school. This includes media labs for editing and green-screen filming; digital and dark room photography, ceramics, textile printing and digital making.
Applicants normally demonstrate the skills required for entry to this programme in a digital portfolio. This should demonstrate your interests, passions and knowledge. It might show:
- sound work
- print and painting
At the end of the course you will be able to:
- produce a work of art to a professional standard
- manage your own projects
- develop good time management and self-reflective critique
Who should study Fine Art?
- visually stimulated
You want to:
- develop your technical ability
- learn professional practices
- develop critical and self-critical understanding
Art & Media Programme
Fine art is one of three courses that comprise the art & media programme. The full list is art, philosophy, contemporary practices, time based art & digital film and fine art. This programme has an 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. It gives access to a wide range of staff expertise while also allowing you to gain deep knowledge and expertise in your chosen subject pathway of fine art.
Learn more about Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design
For further examples of student work, staff profiles and news visit the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design website.
Our staff are all practitioners at a high level. They exhibit and publish nationally and internationally, instigating projects, exhibitions and events that receive critical acclaim. This vital professional engagement is reflected in stimulating and enthusiastic teaching.
In 2015 Fine Art Tutor Graham Fagen will represent Scotland at the Venice Biennial
The Honours degree programme is based on a core of studio skills, practical techniques, methods and materials, underpinned by critical understanding. Drawing, painting, sculpture, print, digital imaging, photography, video, performance, installation and artists’ books are explored by Fine Art students. Interdisciplinary studies are encouraged for students whose ideas and interests cross the boundaries between media.
Throughout the programme, studio work is strongly supported and contextualized through the study of relevant history and theory.
How you will be taught
Throughout the four year programme, studio work is strongly supported and contextualised through the study of relevant History and Theory. Contemporary attitudes and issues are discussed and developed through:
- Seminars and group critiques
- (Enhanced by an introduction to Professional Practice)
All programmes have written elements which are fully integrated with practice.
The School is firmly committed to the principle of individual tutorial support, delivered by a wide range of specialist staff, themselves practising artists. Senior students are allocated a personal tutor whose role is to negotiate an appropriate programme of work and to support them in the development of their individual research and studio practice. Students have access to all School staff.
The majority of teaching takes place in the studios and is a combination of:
- one-to-one tutorials
- group critiques between students and studio staff
- joint critiques between students and studio staff and critical and contextual study staff
Further enrichment comes from a programme of visiting lecturers. Students in recent years have greatly benefited from close access to exhibitions, lectures and workshops at Dundee Contemporary Arts.
How you will be assessed
Work is assessed twice a year, at the end of each semester, while individual reviews offer the student additional guidance.
What you will study
Students can enter Fine Art after successfully completing our Art and Design (General Foundation) course (apply for course WW12) or on successful completion of a recognised Foundation Course or equivalent (apply for course W100). This is normal for many art and design courses.
In the Art and Design (General Foundation) course you will learn the core values which will enrich and expand your personal visual language, preparing you nicely for a further 3 years in Fine Art.
- Foundation of Contemporary Practice
- Technical skills and workshops
- An introduction to Critical and Contextual Studies
Level 2 broadens your understanding of the creative possibilities for personal development. We will also introduce you to the wide range of facilities we offer and you will begin technical training. You will also attend Contemporary Practice courses where you will begin to understand the practice of art in today's society.
- Self-Directed Practice: Experimentation and Investigation
- Professional Practice Placement
- Elective modules such as The Contemporary Portrait Print and Printibility, The Undiscovered Landscape and Art, Science and Visual Thinking, Critical and Contextual Studies Introduction to dissertation writing
- Optional one semester of exchange study at an international institution
In level 3 you begin to take ownership of your own learning. You will develop a relevant programme of study and research with multi-disciplinary options. You will develop your professional knowledge and your technical ability. You will also be given the opportunity to take part in a cultural trip or an exchange programme to gain an understanding of art from a different country and widen your horizons.
- Honours degree studies
- Professional Practice, Presentation and Exhibition
- Degree Show Exhibition
In your final year you will work entirely on your own personal project. From start to finish you will create a work of art to professional levels. You will exhibit your project at the end of the year at the Dundee Degree Show. You will also complete a cohesive dissertation.
The course has a strong record of producing graduates who have gone on to establish successful careers as artists, exhibiting and making work nationally and internationally. Significant numbers of Fine Art graduates progress to study taught postgraduate programmes in the UK and abroad.
Fine Art graduates have developed careers in exhibition curation, publishing, writing and research, gallery management, arts administration and project management, teaching in all sectors; primary, secondary, Further and Higher Education, community arts and art in health care. Our graduates enter industries that require creative skills and knowledge, including the media, film and entertainment industries.
Nicole Porter, Artist & Gallery Owner
"The typical question put to anyone thinking of going to art school is - 'What are you going to do with an art degree?'. There is no easy answer to this question. For everyone it is something different. For me, it meant becoming a full time self-employed artist. Since graduating, I have lived in Norway and worked with the world-renowned painter Odd Nerdrum, have spent a summer painting in Paris and have worked in New York. However it was my time at Duncan Jordanstone College Art & Design that broadened my horizons artistically and personally.
"Not only are your artistic skills developed but there are also opportunities to tackle other sectors of the art world. I participated in an internship at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, where I assisted in the organising of three exhibitions. This was great experience that introduced me to new skills, which I now use in forming relationships with galleries.
"Dundee's facilities are second to none. They have large painting studios with north facing light, which gives painters the best possible light and space for working. Students are allowed access to the studios from 6.30am until 9pm, which caters for everyone's creative timing. There is also a significant Fine Art Workshop where students are taught how to make their own canvases and frames. The library is also outstanding with an extensive collection of books and subscribes to every art publication available. Last but not least, there are highly trained technicians that are always willing to help."
Learn more about Nicole's work.
The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.
You have to obtain your qualifications at the first sitting of examination.
Courses starting 2016
Advanced Entry (to Level 2)
|SQA Advanced Higher||BB (Advanced Higher) + BB (Higher) in different subjects|
|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 EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country|
|SQA||A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units|
|Scottish Baccalaureate||Pass with BB at Advanced Higher|
|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 depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application. Find out more about fee status.
|Fee category||Fees for students starting 2016|
|Scottish and EU students||£1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2015 entry). Fees for September 2016 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2016.|
|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.|
|Overseas students (non-EU)||£12,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.|
Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed for the length of your course. This means that the tuition fee you pay in your first year (shown above) is the same fee you will pay for each year of your course. We guarantee that this will not increase while you are studying with us. The only exceptions to this are our MBChB Medicine, BSc Medical Sciences and BDS Dentistry degrees which charge a different tuition for the clinical years.
Students applying for Fine Art must successfully complete our 1 year Art and Design (General Foundation) course. In this instance you should apply using the UCAS code WW12.
Alternatively, if you have already completed a recognised foundation course or equivalent elsewhere then apply directly to Fine Art.
Portfolio Guidelines (for submission at interview)
A single portfolio of work must be submitted in support of your application and interview. All work should be contained within a portfolio, which should not be larger than 850 x 635mm (35 x 25 ins). It must open and close easily. Envelopes, paper, parcels, boxes and additional packages are not acceptable. Drawings must not be rolled up. Computer generated material should be printed out and not submitted in electronic format (disk / CD/ DVD). We reserve the right to refuse acceptance of work that does not conform to these specifications.
Three-dimensional objects must be represented by good quality photographs taken from more than one viewpoint. Paintings submitted must not be framed or glazed.
Examples of work should, if possible, be mounted, no matter how inexpensively. Small pieces should be mounted in groups or on larger sheets. When mounting, it would be helpful if images did not overlap.
All pieces of work must be clearly marked on the back with the applicant’s name and address.
The portfolio must bear the applicant’s name and address.
As a guideline you should show examples
Drawing; Painting; Sculpture; Photography - folios can contain examples of one or more of these disciplines. Research sketchbooks and development pages from your sketchbook showing your visual thought processes, interests and ideas and the gathering of any information that relates to your
An awareness and use of various media or combinations of media – this could be evident in either the sketchbooks or finished works.
The interview panel will pay particular attention to sketchbooks, especially with regard to the extent to which they reflect the range of the candidate’s interests and experience. Sketchbooks are regarded as being of great value in recording images, exploring ideas and developing concepts.
The interview panel regard a portfolio as providing evidence of a candidate’s judgement and discrimination. Nevertheless, candidates are strongly recommended to seek advice of their Principal teacher / Head of Art and Design or other appropriate professionals in compiling and presenting their portfolio.
Interview and Assessment of Creative Work
When you are invited to attend interview you will be asked to produce evidence of ‘creative ability’ and demonstrate ‘intellectual ability and philosophical interest’. What do we mean by that?
The degree programme for which you are applying requires a wide range of abilities including a developed visual understanding and a certain degree of ability in theoretical reflection and critical thinking. Furthermore, skills in expressing your ideas visually as well as verbally and in writing are very important.
Based on the information provided within your UCAS application form and the digital portfolio submission, selected candidates will be invited to attend interview in person to present a comprehensive portfolio or if this is not suitable due to distance or cost, we can arrange an interview via Skype at a mutually suitable time. However, where possible we would strongly encourage you to attend interview in person to give you the opportunity to view departmental facilities, meet staff/students and of course experience life on campus.
The interview and portfolio presentation is intended as a means for the academic staff team to assess whether you are likely to benefit from/contribute to the course.
Digital Portfolio Guidelines
Please submit 15 images (or film clips) that best describe your work. Your selection should be drawn from a range of projects that demonstrate the quality and diversity of practical skills and creative conceptual development in your work.
Context and Research
We are interested in seeing a sample of your contextual and background research. This is often located in your sketchbooks or development sheets. Please scan or photograph some examples (keeping to a maximum of 2-3 pages), to demonstrate your research and development process.
We would like you to demonstrate your creativity within your portfolio. We are looking to see how you as an individual develop a project and visualise creative ideas.
If you are applying to Art & Philosophy, studio modules are shared across Contemporary Art Practice so the same criteria applies as for Fine Art, but it is a good idea (though not compulsory) to give a sense of your knowledge of Philosophy and how it has influenced your visual thinking.
This could be evidenced by samples from your sketchbook, or you could provide a sample of writing.
Note: Please provide a short description and sizes with each work.
At this stage in your education we are looking for a broad range of media handling skills e.g. drawing, printmaking, sculpture, painting, digital processes (digital or traditional collage, photography, film), and any combination of these.
Digital Folio Submission Format
jpg, jpeg, gif, tiff, tif, doc, docx, ppt, pptx, pdf, png and bmp file types are allowed and each file size limit of 5Mb.
Movie files can be submitted providing links to youtube/vimeo or Quicktime movies.
Early school work that has been superseded by later, more mature work, need not be submitted – please select quality examples that best represent you. Work made out with school or college may be of particular interest.
Digital Portfolio Guidelines
You will be prompted by our Admissions Team to submit your digital portfolio (and answer a few questions in respect of your interest in studying art & design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design), via the University of Dundee Applicant Portal, thereafter, if required, we may contact you to arrange an interview in person or via Skype.
If you require further information on any aspect of the application consideration process or the undergraduate programme in general, please do not hesitate to contact us.
|Degree||UCAS Code||KIS Data|
|Apply Now||Fine Art (Digital Media, Drawing & Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture) BA||W100|