Fine Art BA (Hons)

UCAS code W100
Information line 01463 279190

What is special about this course?

If you want to study contemporary art and would like to develop your creative skills in a vibrant and challenging environment, the BA (Hons) Fine Art degree is for you.

You’ll be taught by a highly-experienced team of visual practitioners, who will support you to explore and experiment with a range of fine art media such as painting, digital imaging, photography, drawing, spatial studies and printmaking. You will also have support from academics who will help you to write about your own practice and the work of other artists.

With access to your own studio space and specialist equipment, you can be confident that you will have all the necessary resources at hand.  In addition, small class sizes mean that you will always have regular contact with staff and can tap in to their professional knowledge and expertise so that you can develop to your full potential.

Special features

  • You will study at: Moray School of Art (Moray College UHI); Orkney College UHI; Shetland College UHI; or Taigh Chearsabhagh (Lews Castle College UHI), in the beautiful landscape of North Uist in the Western Isles
  • Moray School of Art is one of the five major Scottish art schools
  • Your experience will be enriched with frequent cultural and environmental trips
  • You will have your own individual studio space from level two onwards
  • Small student numbers means there is a close working relationship between staff and students, working acrosss the network over four locations
  • We have strong links with the cultural sector including galleries, museums and arts organisations and you will benefit from visiting artists and professionals
  • You will exhibit your work as part of professional practice in the third year and also during the final year degree show
  • You can study full-time or part-time to suit your personal circumstances
  • We have a growing number of postrgraduate course options within the creative industries


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade C or above
  • These should include English, or a recognised Art Access course with evidence of ability in written coursework, for example, a unit in contextual study or art history
  • You will be required to submit a portfolio of visual work, which clearly demonstrates your capacity to cope with the demands of the course, and attend an interview as part of the selection process
  • Advanced entry to year two may be possible with the HNC Contemporary Art Practice or HNC Photography (15 credits) with a B or above in the Graded Unit; alternatively, a CertHE in a relevant subject will also be considered
  • Advanced entry to year three may be possible with the HND Contemporary Art Practice or HND Photography with a B or above in the Graded Unit; alternatively, a DipHE in a relevant subject will also be considered

Access routes

If you do not have the required qualifications or experience, there are portfolio access courses available at:

  • Inverness College UHI
  • Lews Castle College UHI
  • Moray College UHI
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Perth College UHI
  • Shetland College UHI

Students eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP) will be able to apply for entry to BA (Hons) Fine Art with a grade profile of CCC in one of the below courses. All applicants will be required to submit a portfolio of visual work which clearly demonstrates the capacity to cope with the demands of the course, and attend an interview as part of the selection process.

  • Access to: Arts and Humanities (Newbattle Abbey College)
  • Access to: Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Teaching (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Teaching (North East Scotland College)
  • Access to: Celtic Studies incorporating Primary Education with Gaelic (Newbattle Abbey College)
  • Access to: Community, Education and Humanities (Dundee & Angus College)
  • Access to: Degree Studies (Forth Valley College)
  • Access to: Humanities (Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Education) (Fife College)
  • Access to: Humanities (Fife College)
  • Access to: Humanities (Perth College UHI)
  • Access to: Languages with Business (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: Languages, Arts and Social Sciences (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: University Study (Dundee & Angus College)
  • NQ Access to: Social Sciences (West Lothian College)
  • NQ Access to: Teaching (West Lothian College)

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules are:

  • Painting
  • Lens based media
  • Drawing
  • Critical and contextual studies 1
  • Spatial studies
  • Contemporary technology

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:

  • Creative practice 1
  • Workshop
  • Critical and contextual studies 2
  • Creative practice 2
  • Professional practice 1

You will also choose one option module which may include:

  • Art and social practice
  • Art films: the artistic impression


Year 3 - BA

Core modules are:

  • Creative practice 3
  • Theory and practice
  • Professional practice 2
  • Creative practice 4
  • Research project

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

In year four you will complete a dissertation and participate in a degree show.

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • You will learn through a combination of face-to-face and video conference lectures and tutorials, workshops and studio work, and online learning via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time: 8 years @ 20 hours per week

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • Lews Castle College UHI - Taigh Chearsabhagh, North Uist: years two, three and four only
  • Moray College UHI - Moray School of Art
  • Orkney College UHI - years two, three and four only
  • Shetland College UHI

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

Year 1 CertHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 2 DipHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 3 Degree £9,000 £9,000
Year 4 Honours free free

4th year free only for students studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,500.

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £11,650 £12,000
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year** £5,820 £6,000
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)** £1,940 £2,000

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time RUK and International undergraduate students for continuous and contiguous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


The university has a £1000 award available to one Fine Art student annually, to assist with the purchase of items and/or materials necessary to do their course - Barns-Graham Assistance Award.

In addition, the Barns-Graham Travel Scholarship is an annual scholarship worth £1,500, awarded to a BA (Hons) Fine Art student or graduate (within one year of graduation), for project research requiring travel abroad.

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact your enrolling campus for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your BA (Hons) Fine Art course, you might like to consider a career as a practising artist or teacher. Your skills will also be highly desirable in the arts and creative-related employment sectors.

Can I progress into further study?

You may be able to progress from the BA (Hons) Fine Art to our MA Art and Social Practice or MA in Creativity, Leadership and Enterprise.

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

I like the style of teaching from our lecturers which is relaxed, informal and easy to learn from. We are also given a lot of freedom to develop work in our own studio space.

Dosi Dimchovski, third year BA (Hons) Fine Art student originally from Bulgaria, pictured in his own studio space at our Moray College UHI campus. All students have their own studio space from the second year

This course was one of the best, most enjoyable and rewarding learning experiences I've ever had. I currently work for a local clothing brand called 'Great Scot!' where I have a number of responsibilities including creative input for design ideas and branding.

Sophie Ramos graduated with a BA (Hons) Fine Art from our Moray College UHI campus

Since childhood I have had a love of the visual arts and this course gives me the chance to develop my drawing and photographic skills, as well as my confidence.

One of the best things about the course is having real life practising artists as tutors. I find them all very supportive and I’m comfortable asking them for help and advice when I need to. I also love the small class sizes and the fact that students from all four years of the degree and other art courses mix and share ideas.

Vicki Redpath-Watson is studying on the BA (Hons) Fine Art at our Orkney College UHI campus

Apply for Fine Art BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2020

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.