Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code



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



Course overview

We will be making some changes to the way our programmes will be delivered in 2021-22 to ensure we continue to respond to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. All programmes will be delivered in-person on campus with some specific sessions within each programme being delivered online in a pre-recorded format. Where necessary, changes will also be made to assessment formats.

All changes will be considered through the College's established processes to assure the quality of each programme. Approved changes to programmes will be published to the programme changes page.

If government guidelines change, it may mean we need to make further adjustments to teaching arrangements. If this is the case, you will be notified of any further changes.

The Extension Degree (Year 0) has been designed specifically for students from countries outside the United Kingdom. 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 Extension Degree (Year 0) has been designed specifically for students from countries outside the UK. Our aim is to enable you to work independently as an artist and to generate and develop your own ideas.
  • 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 8 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.


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.


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.

Teaching style

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 0 - 11% scheduled learning, 89% independent learning
  • Year 1 - 9% scheduled learning, 91% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 9% scheduled learning, 91% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 6% scheduled learning, 94% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework, examinations, group work and projects.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 0 - 50% coursework, 50% practical
  • Year 1 - 93% coursework, 8% practical
  • Year 2 - 85% coursework, 15% practical
  • Year 3 - 100% coursework

*Please note that these averages are based on enrolments for 2019/20. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices.

Download the 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.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

What our students say


"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 studios 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."

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

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2021/2022 academic year.

From August 2021 EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for 'Home' fee status. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will be classified as 'International' for fee purposes, more information can be found on our fees page.

  • International - full-time: £23870

If your fees are not listed here, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Student Visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

We offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, and our careers service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.

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



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. 


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.

How to apply

You apply via UCAS.

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