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Bachelor of fine arts (what to expect at university and life after)


So you’re considering taking a bachelor of fine arts degree, but you’re not sure what to expect on this kind of course (or what to expect in life after graduation). In this article, we outline what you can expect from a bachelor of fine arts degree course and the type of professions you can expect to open up to you with this type of degree.

Bachelor of fine arts – Year one

bachelor of fine arts

In a typical first year on this degree, you will likely gain hands-on experience in studio life and culture, while starting to emerge in your own studio practice. In your first year, you will start to build a strong theoretical knowledge of the key intellectual movements in art such as Classical Culture, Christianity, the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Post-Colonialism, as well as gain an understanding of scholarly personalities like Plato, Aquinas, Darwin, Freud and Marx that have shaped art history. Alongside modules that provide you with a solid theoretical foundation in fine art and the development of your own studio practice, you will likely build on important transferable skills needed throughout your degree, such as academic writing, research and other relevant digital skills.

Bachelor of fine arts – Year two

bachelor of fine arts

In year two of a fine arts degree, you will most often continue your work in the studio while also building awareness and understanding of building meaning in your work and how that’s communicated to your audience. In this year, you would usually engage in a research project with some universities expecting students to prepare a “live brief” designed for a ‘real world’ situation, offering a professional development opportunity. The project will usually allow you to critically examine the ways in which visual arts practice is affected by notions of professionalism and allied contextual frameworks. You will also build on your visual analytic skills, exploring topics such as semiotics, iconography/iconology, gender, Marxism, and non-European aesthetic systems.

Bachelor of fine arts – Year three

bachelor of fine arts

In year three you will continue to extend your studio practice allowing you to build on your innovative body of work. You will likely get the chance to showcase your artwork in a professional showcase. Completing your dissertation will be an important part of your final year where you’ll demonstrate your skills in research and critical analysis based on your thesis statement or question.

What jobs can you get with a bachelor of fine arts degree?

Completing a fine arts degree opens up further opportunities to become an established artist. You’ll gain the skills and knowledge to be able to further your practice and potentially showcase your artwork in museums around the world. Other jobs opportunities include those in the art & design sector as well as becoming a teacher of art.

Want to get a taste of fine arts without committing to a long-term course? Immerse offer two-week residential programme in fine art so you can get a glimpse of what a degree and career in fine arts actually looks like. Learn more.


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