BA (Hons)
Fine Art & History of Art

Why study BA Fine Art & History of Art at Goldsmiths

Study the theory and practice of fine art and learn how to think about it in the wider context of art history and contemporary visual culture.

  • Goldsmiths has a worldwide reputation for excellence in art and history of art. In the Guardian University Guide League Tables 2024 we are ranked in the top 10 in the UK for both.
  • BA Fine Art and History of Art is a joint honours degree that is taught by specialist staff in both areas, Art and Visual Cultures. It is a highly distinctive programme that will support your individual interests and development. You'll be encouraged to think critically about your art making, seeing it in the context of shifting socio-political and cultural forces. 
  • You'll have your own studio space from day one and access to excellent facilities including a wide range of specialist art practice areas.
  • You will explore theory and practice through various fine art media, and thematic strands within art history and visual cultures.
  • You will be taught by staff who are artists, curators, academics and writers, here to help you develop your practice, focus your research, and respond to the work that you make.
  • Teaching takes advantage of the many galleries, art spaces, museums, cultural facilities and specialist libraries in London, including the Goldsmiths Centre of Contemporary Art on campus.
  • Visiting artists, curators, gallerists and arts professionals will provide you with advice to complement your studies and prepare you for professional life after graduation.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Saskia Olde Wolbers.

UCAS code



3 years full-time


Home - full-time: £9250
International - full-time: £27500


Visual Cultures

Degree overview

The programme has two elements:

  • Fine Art Studio Practice (50% of the course)
  • History of Art (50% of the course)

In Fine Art Studio Practice, students learn through intensive, self-directed studio and workshop practice, tutorials and group crits, with a dedicated studio practice team and a programme of visiting artists, talks and speakers. Three years of intensive studio and workshop practice culminate in the final year Degree Show.

In History of Art, modules are taught through lectures, seminars and tutorials by the Visual Cultures team. Modules are chosen from a list of set and optional modules. Students may choose to take a dissertation in final year.

An interdisciplinary Link Seminar is taught across both departments. This explores the dynamic relationships between art history, theory and practice in large seminar and small workshop formats.

What you'll study

Year 1

Studio Practice

Students lead the curriculum in studio – we want you to explore and experiment. You will have access to specialist art practice areas where you develop your technical skills. With guidance from studio practice staff, you will start to acquire the practical and conceptual skills necessary to initiate and develop your ideas.

History of Art

You will develop an independent critical involvement with works of art and visual culture. The first-year modules enable you to examine changing conceptions of art and the artist, historically and also in terms of context, ideas, and kinds of practice.

Each of our first-year modules is taught by a team of tutors from the permanent faculty. In this way, first-year students soon get to know many of the Department’s core academic staff. You will therefore begin your second year with both rich insights from and a comprehensive overview of Department life as a whole.

All students take a compulsory art history module:

Module title Credits
Modernities 30 credits

You also choose one of the following modules:

Module title Credits
Space and Time 30 credits
Beyond Boundaries 30 credits

Your first year will introduce you to history of art as a discipline and engage you in discussion of key aspects of contemporary visual culture – including not just artefacts in museums and art galleries, but also architecture, cityscape and landscape, adverts, TV and film, websites, the body, and street style.

You must pass all components to progress to the following year.

Note about optional modules (if available): The above is indicative of the typical modules offered, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. The module content and availability is subject to change.

Teaching style

Studio Practice

Studios are not divided by year or discipline. You'll be allocated a dedicated studio space that will be the focal point of your activities. You are encouraged to work in any medium you choose. Students have a personal tutor each year and you will determine the nature of your practice in discussion with staff. Students from all three years share the BA Fine Art and History of Art studio spaces, providing valuable peer support.

How you'll be assessed

Studio Practice

Studio Practice coursework is continuously assessed through individual tutorials and group seminars. This is complemented by studio presentations at Year 1, viva voce at Year 2, and a final exhibition at Year 3.

History of Art

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

Watch videos about your course

At the start of the year you get your own studio space, and that space is yours. You’re mixed in with all the other year groups, which is really exciting – I’ve learned so much from my peers. It’s a really great way of building an interesting community, and it's great motivation.

Honey, BA Fine Art & History of Art

Honey, BA Fine Art & History of Art


Students on BA Fine Art and History of Art are mainly housed in one dedicated studio building. This provides a strong sense of community, with seminar rooms and spaces to test out temporary projects, performance and installations.

Your practical work will take place in specialist art practice areas, staffed by highly skilled artist technicians who are here to help you realise your ideas. There are art practice areas for:

  • 3D printing
  • Casting
  • Constructed textiles
  • Fine art print
  • Graphics and time-based media
  • Metal
  • Photography and moving image capture
  • Stitch and fabric
  • Print and dye
  • Wood
  • Ceramics

Find out more about the art practice areas. You also have access to Goldsmiths-wide facilities.

Seven students working in the casting art practice area, surrounded by casting equipment and materials

You'll be able to get to grips with art practice areas including casting (above), metal, constructed textiles, and fine art print.

The textiles print and dye art practice area, featuring two long work tables with textiles art work on them, all in a huge white room with a high vaulted ceiling

The large textiles print and dye art practice area provides the equipment and space for you to develop your creativity and technical skills.

Degree Shows

You will work towards a final-year exhibition, which forms part of Goldsmiths' famous annual Degree Shows. These events celebrate the best of students' creative work.


The interdisciplinary nature of the programme will enable you to work in a variety of fields, for example in the contemporary art world, media, academia, museums and galleries, curating, arts production and technical support, arts administration, and education. Many students choose to continue their studies to Masters level and beyond. You can read more about potential career paths after graduation on our art careers page.

Many graduates have gone on to be successful practising artists or arts professionals after finishing their studies with us, winning major prizes and exhibiting around the world.

The Turner Prize shortlist has consistently included graduates and staff from the Departments of Art and Visual Cultures.

We also have an Exhibitions Hub – a unique resource to support our art students and alumni navigate the art world. The Hub can help you bring your ideas for public-facing projects to life, and facilitates networking and collaboration between students, graduates, staff and galleries.


The degree will give you the skills to develop independent thought and confidence in your practice. These skills are highly transferable and can be used in a number of career paths.

You'll hone skills such as:

  • The ability to develop your artwork from concept to realisation
  • The ability to articulate ideas and present them with confidence
  • Creative and technical skills in a range of media
  • Writing in a variety of formats, including essay writing
  • Critical and analytical research skills
  • Independent learning
  • Imaginative risk taking
  • Resourcefulness
International reputation
Goldsmiths is ranked top 10 in the UK for both fine art and history of art (Guardian University Guide League Tables 2024), and has an international reputation.
Learn from experts
You'll learn from practising artists, curators, writers and academics who are highly skilled in innovative teaching.
Top facilities
You will have a dedicated studio space plus access to state-of-the-art practice areas and equipment, supported by our team of expert artist technicians.

It’s a really powerful combination if you study fine art and history of art together. I visualised theories I learned from art history and applied those theories into my art practice. Art is all about ideas, and it’s always nice to have people around you to share your ideas with – it enables you to broaden your practice in many different ways.

Eunjo, BA Fine Art & History of Art

Eunjo, BA Fine Art & History of Art

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements for this programme are usually:

  • Successful completion of three A-levels, International Baccalaureate or an equivalent qualification
  • PLUS successful completion of an Art and Design Foundation diploma
  • Portfolio of work


  • Successful completion of a Foundation Diploma, BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design (completed by the end of the academic year preceding entry)
  • Portfolio of work

Please note, students applying directly from A-Levels who have not completed an Art and Design Foundation or BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design will not be eligible for this programme.

Mature students without formal qualifications who have relevant experience are also welcomed.

Selection process

After submitting your application you'll be asked to upload a portfolio online. If selected for interview, you'll be asked to bring along a portfolio of recent work and an essay. 

Alternative qualifications

See our full list of undergraduate entry qualifications.

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 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 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.

Transfers and deferrals

It is not possible to transfer onto year two of this degree from another Higher Education provider. Nor is it possible to transfer from this degree to BA Fine Art. This programme also does not accept applications for deferred entry.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

These are the UG fees for students starting their programme in the 2024/2025 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £9250
  • International - full-time: £27500

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.

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.

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.

Programme leaders

Roxy, Marion and Anthony (above) are the programme leaders for BA Fine Art and History of Art.

Similar programmes

BA (Hons) Fine Art

Make and study contemporary art in a dynamic, critical and interdisciplinary environment.

BA (Hons) Fine Art (Extension Degree)

The Extension Degree 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.

University statistics for this course