Undergraduate prospectus 2021


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.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2020
UCAS code
Full-time: 4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2020
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

No specific subjects, but a portfolio of work is required.
At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
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

Contextual offer

BBB (more about contextual offers)
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.

Contextual offer

32 (more about contextual offers)
A score of 15 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5, plus a portfolio.

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.

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 Richard Hamilton, Zarina Bhimji, Paula Rego, Derek Jarman, Antony Gormley, Rachel Whiteread, Tacita Dean, Cecily Brown, Phyllida Barlow, Martin Creed and Mona Hatoum.

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 courses 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.

Compulsory subjects

  • Studio work in chosen specialism
  • History and Theory of Art

Compulsory subjects

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

During the Spring Term students may participate in the Study Abroad Preparation Programme, the successful completion of which is a prerequisite for progression to the year abroad.

Core or compulsory module(s)

  • 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 beginner's 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
  • 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

Note: students cannot study at an institution where UCL does not have a bilateral exchange set up. This list is correct at time of printing. Please see the Slade's website for the most up-to-date list of exchange partners.

Compulsory subjects

Studio work in chosen specialism

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available

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 courses. Technical inductions, workshops and one-to-one technical instruction are provided according to each student's academic needs.

Covid-19 field trip updates
Due to COVID-19 updates, there may need to be changes to planned field trips for this programme. This will depend on travel restrictions, social distancing measures, and the availability of the relevant venues. Your department will keep you updated if field trips are able to occur and/or any alternative options available. 
Covid-19 practical component updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to the availability of the practical components for your chosen programme. Any updates relate only to the 20/21 academic year and may not apply to all students across the programme depending on your year of study.  Your department will keep you updated if the practical component of your programme is able to occur and/or any alternative options available.   There may need to be additional updates or changes to the practical component during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and/or Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available. 
Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.


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.

Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    

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 in the creative professions and beyond. 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.

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 2020/21 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2020/21 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2020/21)
Overseas students
£28,040 (2020/21)

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

Additional costs

The Slade has a media store where media equipment can be borrowed. You will need to supply your own materials, including for the final degree show. You will also need to pay for entry to any galleries/shows, and any travel and maintenance associated with any study abroad.


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

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.

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 inlcuding a selection of current work demonstrating your skills/interests e.g. drawings, photographs, paintings, sketchbooks and/or notebooks. Larger paintings/3D works should be photographed. Videos/films should be included as a showreel of less than five minutes' duration.

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 2020


After you submit your UCAS application, you should follow the instructions on the Slade website for the portfolio inspections which take place in February. Your portfolio should comprise a selection of current and recent work including self-initiated work.

Applicants may send a digital format portfolio or deliver a portfolio by hand to the Slade - see the Slade website for instructions. There is a portfolio handling fee of £15 or $20. Applicants delivering a portfolio for inspection should not include stretched canvasses or work under glass; showreels should be submitted on USB drives.

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 late February and early March.

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

Page last modified on 12 March 2020