Fine Art (Digital Media, Drawing & Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture) BA

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 3 years
  • School: Art & Design

Our course will support you to develop the skills necessary to function as an informed and successful artist. You will study at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), part of the University of Dundee.   

Fine Art at Dundee

Our students engage with the world through a wide range of exciting conceptual, textual and material processes. 

Painting by Karen Goode

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:

  • drawing
  • painting
  • sculpture
  • installation
  • printmaking performance
  • film
  • 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?

  • DJCAD 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
  • print

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


Digital Portfolio

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:

  • drawings
  • collage
  • film
  • sound work
  • photography
  • 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?


  • artistic
  • creative
  • independent
  • imaginative
  • visually stimulated
  • experimental

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 DJCAD

For further examples of student work, staff profiles and news visit the DJCAD website.

Related Courses

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.

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:

  • Lectures
  • 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.

Level 1

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.

Level 2

  • 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.

Level 3

  • 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.

Level 4

  • Honours degree studies
  • Professional Practice, Presentation and Exhibition
  • Dissertation
  • 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.

Work is assessed twice a year, at the end of each semester, while individual reviews offer the student additional guidance.

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 DJCAD 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)

Qualification Grade
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"
Other Qualifications
SQA A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with BB at Advanced Higher
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 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 categoryFees 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.

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 Loans Company.

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.

All applicants must submit a comprehensive portfolio of art and design work. The qualifications listed may be modified for an applicant presenting an exceptional portfolio.

Students are selected by assessing the contents of a portfolio of work that should convey a measure of creative, practical skill and intellectual/enthusiastic engagement in the practice of art and design.

The level of achievement required for entry to this programme will normally be demonstrated by a comprehensive, yet edited portfolio which is likely to contain drawing, painting, documentation of 3D works, related studies, collages, photographic material, sketchbooks, notes and other material appropriate to your studies so far, material which should reflect your creative and imaginative interests.

Students who have completed a recognised Foundation course or equivalent may apply for advanced entry to second year.

Your portfolio should be thoughtfully compiled.

We provide the opportunity to work across the discipline boundaries. A student in Fine Art can draw, paint make sculpture, print, work with video and photography, perform, work with sound or any other medium in order to explore and develop ideas.

Research shows that three out of four art school graduates find work within the creative industries and graduates report high levels of satisfaction with their careers.

Do not worry, all students are given a chance to decide which discipline or subject they would like to choose after an initial period of experimentation in the first part of the General Course. Once in the area of Fine Art there are still many opportunities to try different approaches to art practice.

  Degree UCAS Code KIS Data
Apply NowFine Art (Digital Media, Drawing & Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture) BAW100