This degree aims to equip you with creative, interpretive, critical and analytical skills, so that you can participate in and contribute to the expanding field of contemporary art.
Why study BA Fine Art at Goldsmiths?
- 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
- 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
Modules & structure
What you study
The programme has two elements:
Studio Practice (75% of the course)
You’ll have your own studio space from day one, and will have access to excellent facilities and technical advice. Studios are not divided by year or discipline, so you will be studying alongside students from all stages of the programme working in a wide variety of media, including:
- Constructed textiles
- Printed textiles
Studio teaching is supported and complemented by workshop areas, which will introduce you to the techniques and skills relevant to the practical development of your work.
You’ll have regular individual and group tutorials with your own tutor, with other tutors, and with visiting artists. You will also present your work for discussion with a larger group of students each term.
Critical Studies (25% of the course)
The lecture and seminar series in Year 1 offers a space for exploring and examining the historical and critical context in which art is made, seen and understood. The seminar options from which you can choose in Year 2 engage and extend your critical skills, enabling you to develop your ability to analyse, judge and write about contemporary art. Tutorials will guide your essay writing in Years 1 and 2, and will support the completion of your dissertation in Year 3.
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. We support your development and creativity and help you acquire independent learning skills. This approach requires you to be committed, to thrive on constructive criticism exchanged between staff and students, and to participate in discussing your own work and that of others.
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. Critical Studies is assessed through essays (Years 1 and 2) and a dissertation (Year 3).
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
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).
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.
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. Find out more about the electronic portfolio requirements.
Mature students without formal qualifications who have relevant experience are also welcomed.
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:
Scottish qualifications: Successful completion
European Baccalaureate: Successful completion
Irish Leaving Certificate: Successful completion
If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.
For this programme we require:
IELTS 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0
If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.
Read more about our general entrance requirements.
We have a world-leading reputation that brings together
students and researchers from all over the globe
We specialise in making, curating and writing about contemporary art in a dynamic, critical and interdisciplinary environment.
And we work with a network of artists, curators, galleries and museums in both London and internationally to create an inspiring and dynamic place in which to study and develop an artistic practice.
Our alumni go on to do great things. Many of them are among the most recognised names working in art today, and since 1990 they’ve been nominated for the Turner Prize more than 30 times, winning the prize on seven occasions.
Find out more about the Department of Art.
Our spectacular Ben Pimlott Building provides purpose-built teaching space on campus, including some of the art studios, lecture theatres, and digital media practice areas. The studios benefit from generous floor-to-ceiling windows. The department provides space for:
- art studios
- performance work
- temporary projects and exhibitions
- a range of art practice areas
You also have access to College-wide facilities.
All students have their own studio space. This is a place in which to work, to meet and spend time with other students, and to have tutorials. It's also a base from which to organise your work in other parts of the college – such as the various art practice areas, the workshops, and the library – as well as your research visits to galleries and exhibitions in London.
The studios are occupied by students from all three years of the course. This arrangement maximises opportunities for conversation and exchange, and helps to encourage sharing of knowledge, interest and experience between students.
Learning & teaching
On this degree you'll be taught through intensive studio and research art practice, tutorials, and mixed-year studio practice presentations. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, improve your communication skills, and develop your technical and creative skills. You'll also attend lectures 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.
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 and producing work. This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths.
Each year you'll be allocated a studio space that will be the focal point of your activities. All the studios are mixed, with students from all three levels sharing the studio spaces, providing valuable peer support. You will determine the nature of your practice and, with guidance from the tutorial staff, be encouraged to work in any medium that you choose. Studio teaching is enhanced by technical support, which introduces you to techniques relevant to the practical development of your work. You'll also be expected to research the appropriate context and debates around your chosen area of working practice.
In Studio Practice each year you're assigned a tutor who will be part of a group of staff with overall responsibility for supporting and assessing your progress. Throughout the programme you will be taught through individual tutorials in your studio space and mixed year group presentations and discussions. This enables a valuable exchange of ideas between all students on the programme.
In Critical Studies, lectures and seminars will introduce and develop key issues, which inform contemporary art practices and encourage you to extend your ability to discuss, analyse and write about contemporary art. This provides a framework for judgement so that you can develop your work in the critical context of art practice.
The programme seeks to engage and extend your critical faculties as a practising artist and to enable you to develop your ability to talk about, analyse and judge contemporary art. You'll be taught through a systematic programme of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Contemporary Critical Studies takes a distinct form in each year that allows you to work towards developing an independent research programme.
Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches.
Skills & careers
All our undergraduate programmes will give you the 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