Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2018

Fine Art BA

This four-year programme is structured around three studio areas: painting, fine art media and sculpture, with an integrated history and theory of art component. All of our studio staff are practising artists and scholars with significant exhibition and public profiles. Our students also benefit from the vast cultural resources that London offers.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2018
UCAS code
Full-time: 4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2018
London, Bloomsbury
Applications per place
22 (2016 entry)*
Total intake
45 (2018 entry)*
* Figures relate to Fine Art subject area

Entry requirements

A levels

No specific subjects, but a portfolio of work is required.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A score of 16 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5, plus a portfolio. The academic requirements may be relaxed in exceptional circumstances.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 28 credits awarded with Merit in the Level 3 units.

D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. A portfolio of work is required.

ABB at Advanced Highers (or AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher). A portfolio of work is required.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades ABB. A portfolio of work is required.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • Each student is allocated their own studio space at the start of each year within their chosen subject area. First-year students explore each area on rotation during the first term.

  • All undergraduates are eligible to apply for international exchanges. The Slade has exchange agreements with art schools in China, Europe, Israel and the United States.

  • The Slade's location in central London, close to many important galleries, museums, libraries and theatres, provides opportunities to access a wide range of learning resources and research. The Slade is based in the heart of the UCL campus allowing for interdisciplinary discourse.

  • Distinguished alumni include Lucien Freud, Paula Rego, Derek Jarman, Antony Gormley, Rachel Whiteread, Tacita Dean, Cecily Brown, Phyllida Barlow, Martin Creed and Mona Hatoum.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Slade School of Fine Art.

  • 79% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Degree structure

The Fine Art BA is a non-modular, integrated degree.

The programme is structured around three studio areas: painting, fine art media and sculpture. The programme is studio-based and you are expected to develop your own work with tutorial and technical assistance from a specialist team of academic and technical staff. Cross-area seminars and tutorial groups ensure that the three studio areas have a forum for the exchange of ideas. You will also benefit from a programme of visiting artists, gallery visits and other events that aim to develop exciting and rigorous debate. Year groups are mixed together in the studio spaces providing a lively cross-fertilisation of ideas and practice.

History and Theory of Art modules are integral to the programme and help you contextualise your studio work and negotiate the relationships between making art and the ways in which art is interpreted, displayed and understood.

You will take an additional module from another UCL department for one term. This will be entirely your own choice and can either be related to studio work or to develop a further interest.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Studio work in chosen specialism
History and Theory of Art

Studio work in chosen specialism
History and Theory of Art
Additional subject

During the spring term students will participate in the Study Abroad Preparation Programme, the successful completion of which is a prerequisite for progression to the year abroad.

Studio work in chosen specialism
History and Theory of Art
Study abroad in Autumn Term (optional)

Year abroad

Teaching in English is offered at most host institutions; however, non-French speaking students must complete a beginners French course alongside their studies at the ENS des Beaux-Arts. No work placements are offered.

Download study abroad information sheet.

Visit UCL Study Abroad for further details.

Where can you study abroad?

Institutions currently open to the programme include:

  • Akademie der bildenden Kuenste Wien
  • Kuvataideakatemia, Helsinki
  • ENS des Beaux-Arts, Paris
  • Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Frankfurt
  • The Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art
  • Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
  • New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture
  • The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York
  • Malmo Art Academy, Lund University

Note: students cannot study at an institution where UCL does not have a bilateral exchange set up.

Studio work in chosen specialism

Your learning

The BA is studio-based, with an emphasis on self-initiated work. This is supported by one-to-one and group tutorials, cross-area seminars and area seminars, contemporary art lectures and the History and Theory of Art modules. Technical inductions, workshops and one-to-one technical instruction are provided according to each student's academic needs.


You will be assessed through tutorial reports, annual assessment of your studio work, and coursework in History and Theory of Art. Your final assessment will be based on a combination of your History and Theory of Art coursework results and a final degree show in the form of an exhibition.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Fine Art BA.


The programme aims to:

  • develop the individual intelligence, research interests and skills you bring with you to the school
  • develop your critical awareness and understanding of fine art and its contexts
  • provide the intellectual and practical resources to enable you to realise your creative potential as a professional artist.

Most Slade graduates become professional artists but you will leave UCL with a range of skills to branch out into a variety of careers. You will have built up practical, transferable and academic skills and these, alongside any experience you may have gained outside your degree, will widen your career options.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) of this programme at the UCL Slade School include:

  • Lecturer in Fine Art, Studio Miu
  • MSc/MA in Innovation Design Engineering, Imperial College London/Royal College of Art
  • Studio Assistant, ADL
  • MA in Painting, Royal College of Art

Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Alumni view

The Slade's strong relationship with UCL museums, has allowed me to exhibit in the Grant Museum of Zoology and the UCL Art Museum. Taking part in these shows, receiving a scholarship from the Company of Grocers and giving a paper at the UCL Festival of London and Literature: One Day in the City have allowed me to gain artistic exposure as well as meet many experts from across different fields. Isabelle Southwood - Fine Art BA (2013)

Student view

As an artist, London is the place to be for galleries but also for student and young communities really trying to create and maintain scenes across the city. Having a dedicated Art section in the Main Library is fantastic and the fact that as students we can have an input into what is bought is really amazing. Benjamin Brown - Fine Art BA (Fourth Year)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2018/19 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2018/19 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2018/19)
Overseas students
£26,430 (2018/19)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

The Slade School has a number of scholarships, prizes, awards and bursaries which are awarded by nomination annually. All incoming students are considered for any awards for which they are eligible during the admissions process.

Departmental scholarships

The scholarships listed below are for 2017 entry. Funding opportunities for students applying for 2018 entry will be published when they are available.

James Lewis Foundation Scholarship

Based on both academic merit and financial need

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

You must submit a portfolio for inspection including a selection of current work demonstrating your skills/interests e.g. drawings, photographs, paintings on paper or board (not stretched canvases), sketchbooks and/or notebooks. Larger paintings/3D works should be photographic prints. Videos/films should be in QuickTime on DVD as a showreel of less than five minutes' duration. International students should send a digital format portfolio. Portfolios must be delivered by hand to the Slade or sent in digital format - see www.ucl.ac.uk/slade/degrees/ba-bfa for instructions. There is a portfolio handling fee of £15.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2018


After you submit your UCAS application, you should follow the instructions on the Slade website (www.ucl.ac.uk/slade/degrees/ba-bfa) for the portfolio inspections which take place in February. Your portfolio should comprise a selection of current and recent work including self-initiated work.

If you are shortlisted at this stage you will be invited to attend an interview to discuss your work and this may include larger works that could only be represented by slides or photographs at portfolio inspection. Interviews take place in March.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.

Page last modified on 21 November 2017 at 10:00 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing.