There are around 140 full-time undergraduate students at the Slade studying on either the four-year BA or the three-year BFA studio based programmes in Fine Art. The BA and BFA are of equal academic standing and have the same entrance requirements. The BA includes a history and theory of art component and an additional course chosen from another UCL department. The BFA includes a studio-based critical studies component.
See the work from the Slade Degree Show 2019.
The studio programme for the BA and BFA is structured around three studio subject areas: painting, sculpture and fine art media. After an initial period of orientation as a first-year group, students choose to be based in one of the areas. Students are expected to initiate and develop their own programme of work with tutorial guidance and technical support. Each subject area has a specialist team of academic staff supported by technical facilities and expertise and provides a focused environment in which students can address the practice and theory of the subject. Workshops enable students to develop their skills and technical abilities and each area runs a programme of seminars, visiting artists, gallery visits and other events pertinent to students' interests and the development of exciting and challenging debate.
During the first two years BA students attend courses in the history and theory of art and produce written assignments, culminating in an Independent Study in year three. They also take an additional course in another department of UCL. BFA students complete a studio-based critical studies component. All undergraduate students can apply for a period of study abroad on the exchange programme.
BA and BFA Fine Art Programme Aims:
- to develop the individual visual intelligence each student brings with them to the School
- to develop in each student a critical awareness and understanding of fine art and its contexts
- to provide the intellectual and practical resources to enable each student to realise his or her creative potential as a professional artist
- to provide studio-centred teaching and a forum for debate through which students become increasingly professional and articulate in their questioning
The tutorial system
Each student is assigned to a tutor group comprised of students from all three areas, which meets twice a term. One-to-one tutorials can be arranged with the tutor, as well as with other academic staff, through a system of sign-up sheets and appointments.
Each area organises regular seminars where students present their work for discussion. The aim is to relate the work to debates specific to the subject area and develop critical awareness.
The cross-area seminars provide a forum for students to present their work to students and tutors across the subject areas. The aim is to relate the work to a broader context beyond the subject area in which it is produced. Cross-area seminars also aim to develop students' understanding of how to locate, place and present their work for exhibition. History and theory of art staff regularly participate in both series of seminars.
Students work as a group across the subject areas in a number of different ways, including an introductory course to the contexts and histories of art practice in the autumn term of the first year.
Each area has a programme of visitors including artists, critics and curators who give tutorials, lectures and participate in seminars. Recent visitors include: Larry Achiampong, Jonathan Allen, Oreet Ashery, Stefania Batoeva, Sutapa Biswas, Bonnie Camplin, Than Hussein Clark, Enrico David, Peter Doig, Kaye Donachie, Jana Euler, Denzil Forrester, Lothar Goetz, Ayeesha Hameed, Marguerite Humeau, Mark Harris, Lubaina Himid, Andy Holden, Isaac Julien, Samson Kambalu, Mikhail Karikis, Patrick Keiller, Paul Maheke, Johnathan Meese, Rosalind Nashashibi, Harold Offeh, Melanie Manchot, Dawn Mellor, Imran Perretta, Amalia Pica, James Pyman, Morgan Quaintance, Rachel Reupke, Maggie Roberts/Orphan Drift, Prem Sahib, Larissa Sansour, Hannah Sawtell, Melanie Smith, Clare Strand, Luc Tuymans, Shen Xin.
Painting in the BA/BFA
Andrew Stahl Head of Undergraduate Painting
The undergraduate painting course aims to enable each student to pursue their ideas in and around painting in all its forms in the most committed, imaginative and experimental way. Work may manifest itself in a wide variety of different mediums and materials. Studio interaction is an essential aspect of the painting course. Each painting student is given studio space and the years are mixed together to provide a lively cross-fertilisation of ideas and practice. One-to-one tutorials are a crucial part of the course and regular seminars and crits take place where students are encouraged to discuss and present their work to fellow students and staff. Workshop programmes to introduce painters to stretcher-making and some materials of painting are available to students. An integral part of the course is the extensive programme of visiting artists and critics, who give tutorials and lectures and participate in seminars.
Sculpture in the BA/BFA
Brighid Lowe Head of Undergraduate Sculpture
The undergraduate sculpture area embraces an expansive idea of sculpture towards the expression and exploration of ideas in space, using material or dematerialised processes. We encourage experimentation, invention and intervention which may incorporate object making, installation, the uses of appropriation and the found object, drawing, still and moving image, sound, text, printed matter and performance. Staff and students engage in rigorous, discursive conversation, exploring and developing the ideas generated by student activity, and the subject of sculpture and its possibilities. We consider production in its broadest sense, the contexts of space and place, audience, process, temporal and haptic encounter through the discussion of work, the contexts of art practice and relevant historical and contemporary models of thought. Field visits are made to galleries, studios, factories and sites. Technical support is provided in the use of wood, metal, plastic, ceramics, construction, casting, carving and moulding techniques, moving, still and 3D digital image, sound and printed media.
Fine Art Media in the BA/BFA
Melanie Counsell Head of Undergraduate Fine Art Media
The undergraduate fine art media area encourages a diverse approach to exploring media and ideas. The area allows students to specialise and develop expertise in a chosen medium or a combination of approaches that test the boundaries and relationships of different media. Students can develop their practice through a broad range of technologies and approaches that include film, video, photography, print, electronic and digital media, drawing, performance, sound, object-making, installation and the production of texts and publications. An experimental and critical approach is encouraged and a wide range of conceptual and practical expertise is provided by staff who are practitioners specialising in the field. Technical tuition and theoretical and philosophical discourse relevant to the area are introduced to students through workshops, gallery visits and seminars.
Joy Sleeman Head of History and Theory of Art Taught Courses
History and theory of art courses in the first two years are thematic, looking at both historical and contemporary art. They provide a grounding in histories and theories of art which contributes to students' overall development as artists and their awareness of the relevance of these critical studies to the contemporary practising artist. The programme helps students to contextualize their studio work and to understand and negotiate the complex relationships between making art and the ways in which contemporary and historical art is interpreted, displayed and understood. The programme takes the form of lectures, seminars, individual tutorials, written papers and gallery and museum visits. It is structured to encourage increasing independence of thinking and the third year Independent Study is an in-depth research project on a subject chosen by the student and developed through regular supervision. Students are expected to participate actively in the programme: reading set texts in preparation for seminars, visiting exhibitions and generating discussion through informed questioning and debate. Through a range of assessed assignments, seminars, tutorials and more informal discussion, students develop and refine their skills in articulating ideas in spoken and written forms and their powers of criticism and self-criticism.
BA students take one additional course from a vast range of options offered in other UCL departments, normally in their second year. This may relate to their studio work, for example, a course in anthropology, psychology, architecture or film, or it may provide an additional skill such as mathematics or computing. Students may apply to take an intercollegiate module at other University of London colleges.
The critical studies component of the three-year BFA programme is integrated into the undergraduate studio course and the tutorial system. Students’ understanding of critical studies will be developed through their participation in seminars, tutorials, lectures, the visiting artists’ programme and gallery and museum visits. Critical studies is designed to provide students with the ability to reference their work within a relevant contemporary and historical cultural context, to enable students to develop verbal, written and practical skills in relation to the development of their work and to enable them to develop effective methods for the presentation of their work. It is supported in the first year by an introductory core course into the contexts and histories of art practice and Critical Studies seminars and workshops in years two and three.
Studio work in the BA and BFA
Tutorial reports are written annually and together with the students' own evaluative comments, form an individual academic record. There are assessments of studio work at the end of each year. The assessment process requires students to demonstrate, through the development of their studio work, critical awareness and their participation in and contribution to the programme. It is a constructive process and helps students become aware of what is required for the final degree examination and exhibition and their future development as artists. Final-year students present work in the form of an exhibition or another form of presentation, such as a screening or performance, at the end of their final year. After the examination process is complete, the final degree exhibition is open to the public, attracting around 3,000 visitors each year.
History and theory of art in the BA
Through coursework, seminars, tutorials and more informal discussion, students develop and refine their skills in articulating ideas in spoken and written forms and their powers of criticism and self-criticism. Assessed essays and the third year Independent Study help students to develop skills that are valuable to their professional life as artists and or for further study. The programme as a whole promotes independent research and the critical contextualisation of studio work. Marks for elements of the history and theory of art programme contribute a total of 20% towards the final BA degree, the other 80% being derived from the final degree show exam.
Critical studies in the BFA
Critical studies is assessed in years one and two and must be passed in order for the student to progress to the following year of the programme. Students are required to identify and articulate their work’s critical context and practical concerns by presenting a text and by making a presentation of their work at their end of year assessments. In the second year, the critical studies text is presented before the end of the second term.
Visit the Slade
Applicants for our undergraduate programmes are encouraged to visit the Slade during the autumn term on an organised tour where they can meet a member of academic staff and tour the studios and facilities with a current student. Alternatively, you can visit us during our Open Studios on Wednesday 11 December 2019 from 10am - 4pm or the Degree Shows in the summer term.
Application Procedure for BA and BFA in Fine Art
All applications to the BA and BFA in Fine Art at the Slade must be made through UCAS by 15 January at 6.00pm (GMT).
UCAS codes UCL: U80 / BA in Fine Art: W100 / BFA in Fine Art: W101
All applicants are required to submit one portfolio for inspection by the entrance examiners. Applicants may choose to submit a physical portfolio for inspection, or, upload a digital portfolio. Portfolio inspections will take place 3 – 7 February 2020.
Portfolio Handling Fee
All applicants must pay a handling fee of £15 or US$20. The handling fee is not returnable.
Student submitting in person should submit one portfolio comprising a selection of current and recent work which may include drawings, photographs, sketchbooks and notebooks. Larger paintings or 3D works should be shown as photographic prints. Videos or films should be in QuickTime on a USB drive. A showreel of five minutes’ duration is recommended for these. Each piece of work should be named and dated and where work is reproduced the dimensions of the original should be provided. The portfolio may include coursework, for example from A level or Foundation, but should also include self-initiated work. The portfolio must not measure more than 40”x30” (100cm x 75cm) and must not weigh more than 12kg. Work will not be accepted unless packaged in a durable portfolio. Do not exceed the maximum size and weight. Complete the Portfolio Label and attach it to the outside of your portfolio. Do not stick it to the wrapping paper or the inside of the portfolio.
Portfolios may be delivered by hand to the Slade School of Fine Art, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT on weekdays only from 3 – 7 February 2020 between 9.00am and 11.15am. You can book a date and time online. You will be given a receipt for your portfolio and asked to collect it between 4.00pm and 5.00pm the same day.
If you choose to submit a digital portfolio online, you will be sent a link to Slideroom once you have submitted your UCAS application. Applicants submitting a digital portfolio should submit up to twenty images with each image no larger than 5Mb. Titles should be included for each image including the date the work was made, size and materials. Applicants with time-based or performance elements to their work may include a showreel with a maximum duration time of five minutes, no larger than 500MB. We also encourage applicants to upload a short video featuring pages from sketchbooks. Applicants submitting by Slideroom are required to pay the portfolio handling fee.
Applicants must book a portfolio submission slot, or upload your portfolio to Slideroom by Thursday 30 January 2020.
If portfolios are not sent in the specified format, they will not be viewed and your application will be rejected. Portfolios will not be viewed without payment of the Portfolio Handling Fee. While all reasonable care is taken of work submitted at all stages of the selection process, work is accepted only on condition that neither UCL, nor its agents, undertake any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be incurred. The handling fee is not returnable.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview at the Slade.
Please note: Interviews have been rescheduled due to a nationwide strike. If you are selected you will be notified by the week commencing 17 February. Interviews will take place 16, 17 and 18 March and 25, 26 and 27 March.
You will be expected to bring further examples of your work, including larger pieces of work as well as your portfolio. Interview dates cannot be rearranged. If you are shortlisted but unable to attend, you must ensure that your portfolio is at the Slade for the examiners to view again when they are making their final decisions. Interviews cannot be conducted by telephone or Skype. Applicants who are not shortlisted at the Portfolio Inspection will be notified through UCAS that their application has been unsuccessful.
The BA and BFA programmes are of equal academic standing and have the same entrance requirements.
In order to be admitted to UCL students must normally be at least 17 years old by the start of the programme. Please list your previous qualifications clearly and completely on the UCAS application form, plus details of any courses you are currently taking. Your qualifications must satisfy the specific degree programme requirements as outlined below.
Normally, three GCE A levels at Grades A,B,B, (or equivalent) will be required. A level General Studies or Critical Thinking are not recognised for admissions purposes.
In addition, candidates must possess GCSEs (or the equivalent) in English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or higher and show evidence of a broad general education.
A range of other UK as well as international qualifications is recognised and full details can be found in the application and entry section of the UCL website.
All applicants must supply a reference with their UCAS application form. The UCAS website has advice on choosing a referee, whether you are applying through a school or college or as an individual.
In exceptional circumstances, a candidate who does not satisfy the above requirements may be admitted to the programme on the recommendation of the Slade Director and with the permission of the Dean of Students (Academic).
Applications from 'mature' candidates (aged 21 or over), who may not have a standard educational background, are welcome and are considered individually on their merits.
Applications for deferred entry are not normally considered.
English Language Requirement
Any applicant whose first language is not English must be able to provide recent evidence that their spoken and written command of the English language is adequate for the programme. This is to ensure that their academic progress is not hindered by language difficulties and that they are able to benefit fully from their time at UCL.
A list of all the qualifications accepted and the grades required can be found on the UCL website. The Slade requires the Standard level for the BA, BFA and Affiliate Study.
UCL’s tuition fees are set annually and cover registration, tuition and supervision for each academic year, or part of an academic year that you are enrolled. Tuition fees are subject to an annual increase. The fee does not cover artists' or other academic materials. Current fees and further information about fee status, how to pay and living expenses can be found on the UCL Money pages.
Yes, all applicants are encouraged to visit the Slade and there are a number of opportunities to do so.
Ideally, you should come on a Tour of the School during the autumn term; this is bookable online. These are held on a weekly basis on Tuesdays at 2.00pm and you will have a talk by a member of academic staff and the opportunity to ask questions. This is followed by a guided tour of the School by one of our current undergraduate students. Book here.
In the last week of the autumn term there is an Undergraduate Open Studios event where you can meet academic staff, see the school and spend some time in the studios, perhaps listening to a crit or talking to current students. For details, click here. Booking is not required.
If you miss the Tours and Open Studios, but you are shortlisted for interview, you will have an opportunity to meet a current undergraduate student and have a tour of the building on the day of your interview.
You can also visit the end of year Degree Shows in May.
Please note that the studios are private working spaces and ad hoc or unplanned visits can not be arranged.
We offer two undergraduate programmes, the three-year BFA in Fine Art and the four-year BA in Fine Art. For information on programme content, please see our BA/BFA Degree and BA/BFA Admissions sections.
For further general advice about university study in the UK, UCAS provides a listing of programmes for the UK and contact details for Universities and Colleges.
No, we consider everyone in the same way, regardless of age.
All applications to the Slade should be made through UCAS by 15 January.
No, we do not consider applications for deferred entry.
You should apply for either the BA or the BFA. For details about the difference between the two programmes, please look at the BA/BFA Degrees section above. There is not a quota for each programme, so the best candidates will be selected regardless of whether they have applied for the BA or BFA.
No, we do not accept applications through clearing.
We offer around 40 undergraduate places each year.
It is possible to transfer on to the second year of the BA in Fine Art, but applications for transfer on to the BFA are not accepted. It is not possible to transfer onto the third or fourth years of the BA. You will need to apply in the usual way through UCAS indicating that you are applying for advanced entry and giving full details of the course you have completed for your first year elsewhere. You should also indicate in your UCAS statement whether you would be prepared to be considered for entry into year 1 if the entrance examiners consider that this is more appropriate. Please note that transfers are rare as space is not usually available in year 2.
The BA and BFA programmes have the same entrance requirements. Three GCE A levels at Grades A, B, B (or equivalent) are required. In addition candidates must possess GCSEs (or the equivalent) in English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or higher and show evidence of a broad general education.
For UK-based students, UCL also requires a Modern Language GCSE at grade C or above for all of its programmes. If you are not studying a Modern Language GCSE this will not prohibit the consideration of your application. For students who do not have a Modern Language GCSE, UCL will provide opportunities to meet the language requirement once enrolled at UCL.
A range of other UK as well as international qualifications is recognised and full details can be found in the application and entry section of the UCL website.
Many applicants take a Foundation in preparation for degree study in Fine Art, but it is not an entrance requirement at the Slade.
No, we do not have a one-year accredited Foundation at the Slade, but we do run an intensive ten-week Foundation course as part of our Summer School.
My first language is not English, what qualification can I take to meet the English language entrance conditions?
If English is not your first language you must provide recent evidence that your command of the English language is adequate for you to benefit fully from the programme at the Slade. This may be either substantial education (minimum twelve months) or work experience (minimum eighteen months) conducted in English and undertaken no more than the summer two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment, or an acceptable English language qualification or test result awarded no more than two years prior to enrolment. For full details of the qualifications that are acceptable and the minimum levels required in them, please see the listed acceptable qualifications on UCL's website.
The UCL Centre for Languages & International Education offers a a range of English language programmes recognised for the purpose of satisfying UCL's English language proficiency requirement.
All applicants are required to apply though UCAS and submit a portfolio for consideration by the entrance examiners. Shortlisted applicants are invited for personal interview. The selection for the programmes is made on merit and great care is taken to give every application careful individual consideration.
The content of your portfolio should reflect the work you wish to show the examiners; demonstrating a range of your skills, talents and interests. You should include recent work, and self-initiated work (non coursework). For further details see the BA/BFA Admissions section above.
The examiners will be considering the following criteria when viewing portfolios: critical awareness; depth and scope of investigation; relevant use of processes and materials; the ability to realise ideas; the ability to contribute to and participate in the course and the ability to establish a self-initiated programme of work.
Information regarding size and weight (physical portfolios) and format specifications (electronic portfolios). All work included in the portfolio should be labelled with a title (if there is one); the date the piece was produced; dimensions (if the piece submitted is a reproduction and not the original); and the materials used.
Portfolios can be delivered by hand or submitted electronically, but they must arrive according to the times, dates and instructions in the Admissions section above. If your portfolio is late, we cannot guarantee that it will be considered.
Yes, but if you want someone else to collect your portfolio, you should give them a letter signed by you authorising this.
Applicants shortlisted at the Portfolio Inspection will receive an email from the Slade inviting them to interview. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified via UCAS.
No. Applicants shortlisted at the portfolio inspection are invited to attend a personal interview at the Slade with their portfolio and further work.
If you are invited for interview and are unable to attend at the time you have been given, call or email the person who has sent you the letter giving details as soon as possible. Alternative dates and times can only be arranged during the scheduled interview week, where space is available.
All shortlisted applicants are invited for personal interview, regardless of where they live. We understand that not all candidates can attend if they live overseas, though you are encouraged to do so if possible. If you can not attend, you must make sure your portfolio is available for viewing by the entrance examiners during the interview week.
Successful applicants will receive an offer in writing from UCL and this will be confirmed formally by UCAS. You should respond to the offer through UCAS. Applicants who are unsuccessful at interview will be notified via UCAS.
Offers may be 'unconditional', which means that you have already satisfied the entry requirements, or 'conditional' if they are subject to you completing a course you are currently on, or passing any exams you may have pending, or on obtaining certain grades. Applicants with conditional offers should inform UCL Undergraduate Admissions of their results as soon as they receive them.
If you are one of the many people awaiting A Level or AS Level results and you meet the conditions of your offer your place will be confirmed by UCAS. You will also receive further information from UCL in due course.
If you do not attain the exact grades specified on your offer, you should contact us immediately. Final decisions will be taken by UCL Undergraduate Admissions and will depend upon overall numbers meeting their conditions across the university.
UCL has a number of scholarships. To check the details and see if you are eligible to apply for any of them, please see UCL's Scholarships and Funding web page. The Slade has a number of small scholarships. These are awarded by nomination in June each year. You cannot apply for these, but all incoming students are considered for any awards for which they are eligible. The primary criterion is merit. Successful candidates will be informed by post in June. For further information, see the section on Fees and Funding.
Yes, as well as feedback and teaching which is informed by the professional 'art world' knowledge and international perspective of Slade staff, the Slade runs its own bespoke series of careers talks for all final year students, in conjunction with the UCL Careers Service. Sessions are led by Slade staff, with invited guest speakers, and cover various topics such as artist fees, pricing work, fundraising and writing successful grant applications, finding a studio, how to write press releases etc. The programme has been recognised as 'best practice' across the wider University. For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/teaching-learning/case-studies/2017/jun/getting-students-career-ready-ucl-slade-school-fine-art.