Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code

W191

Length

1 year full-time, followed by 3 years full-time BA (Hons) programme [total of 4 years full-time]

Department

Art

Course overview

The Extension Degree (Year 0) has been designed specifically for students from countries outside the European Union. Our aim is to enable you to work independently as an artist, and to generate and develop your own ideas.

What is Fine Art?

Within a university the term Fine Art describes an area of study in which students make and learn about contemporary art (this means art being made and exhibited today). Fine Art students might create sculpture, painting, video, photography, performance, sound art, installation, drawing, or any other mediums to describe their aesthetic and intellectual ideas. The ideas expressed within the artwork are understood to be as important as the medium which the artist has chosen to use.

Why study BA Fine Art (Extension Degree) at Goldsmiths?

  • The degree provides an introductory 'Year 0' that enables you to progress onto the first year of either the BA Fine Art or the BA Fine Art & History of Art degree
  • It's a small, friendly programme, and we place an emphasis on one-to-one tuition and teaching in small groups 
  • You'll be introduced to a range of technical and conceptual skills that will help you to develop your critical judgment and establish the basics of your future work, and you'll undertake English Language study where necessary
  • You'll make and study contemporary art in a dynamic, critical and interdisciplinary environment
  • We'll equip you with the skills that will help you develop independent thought and confidence in your practice, as well as transferable skills suitable for employment in the creative industries
  • You'll have your own studio space from day one, and will have access to excellent facilities including specialist art practice areas
  • All staff on the programme are practising artists, curators and writers, here to respond to the work that you make and to help you understand how it contributes to, and challenges, the critical debates that exist in the study area and beyond
  • Many Goldsmiths students go on to become internationally successful artists. Since 1990, former Goldsmiths students have been nominated for the Turner Prize more than 30 times, and have won the prize on seven occasions.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Jacqueline Pennell

What you'll study

Our aim is to enable you to work independently as an artist, to generate and develop your own ideas and to undertake further study by progressing to year 1 of the BA Fine Art or the BA Fine Art and History of Art degree.

Studio Practice

You'll be allocated a studio space, which forms the focal point of your activities, and are assigned a Studio Practice tutor who will support and assess your progress. You take part in regular tutorials (one to one discussions) and studio seminars with staff and other Extension Degree students. You will also be introduced to a range of technical art practice areas to support your work.

Critical Studies

Critical Studies module designed specifically for the needs of the programme runs throughout the year. You attend lectures and seminars that introduce you to key issues and debates relevant to the understanding of contemporary art and you have seminars based on tutor-led visits to museums and galleries. This helps you to understand the context within which the work that you make is seen and understood. The module also helps you to become familiar with the various modes of writing that are used to discuss contemporary art.

English language

If your first language is not English, the Extension year includes three hours a week of English for Academic Purposes in classes tailor-made for art students; in some cases, and depending on your English proficiency, you may not have to take these. If you need to attend the classes, at the end of the year you take an English Language examination (English for Academic Purposes), which you must pass to proceed to the next level of your degree.

Integration

As an Extension Degree student you'll be integrated into the BA in Fine Art programme through mixed level group presentations and discussions. They enable you to benefit from contact and shared activity with other students working across different levels.

Assessment

Studio Practice is continuously assessed through your participation in individual tutorials and group seminars and presentations of your work during the first two terms. In addition to this, in the summer term there is an assessment of Studio Practice through a formal presentation of your work in your studio space.

Critical Studies is assessed through submission of essays and collaborative presentations in the first two terms.

There are exams for English for Academic purposes in the summer term. The Portfolio of Art Writing is assessed through submission in the summer term.

If you complete all modules successfully, you proceed to the next level of your degree.

Download the latest programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements for this programme are usually: 

  • Successful completion of A-levels (CC)
  • a portfolio of work 

International qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of UKVI IELTS 5.0 (with no individual score lower than 5.0) to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Selection process

At application you'll be required to provide a portfolio of recent work. This informs the selection and interview process. Find out more about the electronic portfolio requirements. 

Fees & funding

Find out about our undergraduate tuition fees and funding opportunities.

Additional costs

Access and support in all of the art practice areas is included in the cost of your tuition fees. However, you are responsible for the providing the materials you choose to work with. A range of materials are available to buy in the practice areas, or you may choose to purchase materials from elsewhere.

Learning & teaching

On this degree you'll attend tutorialslectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out research, or producing project work.

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of  that are highly sought after by employers. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Tutorials
  • Studio seminars
  • Lectures
  • Presentations
  • Discussions
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches

Careers

Skills

All undergraduate programmes in the aim to equip you with the necessary skills to develop independent thought and confidence in your practice. These skills will also be of use in other career paths you may wish to follow. You'll develop the following transferable skills:

  • critical and analytical skills
  • creative and practical skills
  • ability to express ideas clearly
  • IT skills

We provide you with a series of opportunities for specialist advice and further information to complement your studies and prepare you for professional life after graduation. Our students actively seek opportunities to exhibit their work beyond Goldsmiths through external networks while they are here. 

Careers

Many graduates have continued to be successful, practising artists long after graduating, winning major prizes and exhibiting around the world. The Turner Prize shortlist has consistently included at least one of our former undergraduates. Seven of the prize-winners have studied here: Grenville Davey, Antony Gormley, Damien Hirst, Gillian Wearing, Steve McQueen, Mark Wallinger and Laure Prouvost.

The interdisciplinary nature of the programme will enable you to work in a variety of fields (eg media, museums, education, the music business, and academia) and progress to a variety of careers, including:

  • practising artist
  • art historian
  • arts administrator
  • gallery curator
  • arts journalist
  • teacher
  • lecturer
  • writer
  • conservationist
  • designer

You can find out more about career options open to you on our Department of Arts careers page.

What our students say

Ekaterina

The whole area around Goldsmiths is filled with young musicians, writers, and artists interconnecting their practices and constantly inspiring each other. Sometimes it feels like creative individuals are just drawn to Goldsmiths.  

"I've heard of Goldsmiths while studying my A-Levels in London. My art teacher highly recommended the university to me, regarding it as one of the most open-minded and forward-looking in the whole of Britain. I now know that he was completely right!

My journey to becoming a Goldsmiths student has started with the open day. I tried to think critically and compare the quality of the art workshops to what I saw in the other universities. By the time I saw the studious I was almost sure, that I want to study here but then the studios stole my heart. Big and bright, they seemed like a perfect place to create.

After the decision was made I started working really hard to prepare an online portfolio worthy of my future course. I've also focused on my studies aiming to get A-A* in all of my subjects. Just thinking about my future course was pushing me forward in my studies. Knowing that the fine art course in Goldsmiths is very free and self-driven I started working more independently, preparing myself for the struggles I was going to face. I also thought carefully about my art practice and approach to life overall and tried remodeling my routine to fit the university lifestyle. I have since become much more free in the expression of my ideas, and have developed my research and comprehension skills.

Now, a month into my studies, I am starting my new life full of new ideas and chances to take. Having been given almost complete freedom on my course I've learned to constantly search for new opportunities to enrich my knowledge and unleash my creativity – the college atmosphere really helps me with this! There is always somebody organising an interesting talk or discussion, putting on a performance, or exhibiting their work. I feel like being set free to express themselves the Goldsmiths students really take the creative opportunity to go beyond the limits and create something amazing.
The whole area around Goldsmiths is filled with young musicians, writers, and artists interconnecting their practices and constantly inspiring each other. Sometimes it feels like creative individuals are just drawn to Goldsmiths.

I love the eruptive energy of London and see a lot of creative potential in the New Cross area in particular. Here is the place where I want to work and grow as an artist and be inspired by the people, who are growing alongside me."

How to apply

You apply via UCAS Art and Design Route A.

There are two routes for international students entering this programme:

  • If you have an English Language score of UKVI IELTS 5.0 (with no individual score lower than 5.0) you will take part in the programme with an integrated English Language module
  • If you have an English Language score of UKVI IELTS 6.5 (with no individual score lower than 5.5) or higher you will complete a portfolio of art writing instead of the integrated English Language module