Creating art is not a skill that people are born with and its more than simply painting on a canvas or sculpting clay. That’s not to say that some people are not more naturally artistically gifted than others, but it does mean that to be fully realised real talent and professional skills can only really be nurtured at art school.
It’s also worth remembering that art can be different things to different people, indeed what is considered art today may not have been considered art even a few decades ago. Another way of looking at this point it to remember that many of the items we think of as art these days were made in periods of history when people had no idea of what art was.
Art degree overview
These courses are suitable for individuals planning a career in the arts, media or design fields. Courses tend to be flexible and offer student a range of subjects to choose from based on their career objectives, abilities and long term plans. An art degree course will provide students with an in depth understanding of all of the modules listed below along with tutor led discussions on issues like ‘why art is considered to be one of the highest expressions of human creativity’. Students will also be involved in interdisciplinary learning on subjects such as humanities, oil painting, life drawing and photography etc.
They will be encouraged to gain new insights and knowledge into specialist fields such as art history, fashion, cultural studies and graphic design. Many courses will have work study programmes in the cultural, arts and creative industries, having a mentor guide you or a internship under your belt can greatly increase the potential future employment prospects of any graduate.
Mostly through coursework and seminars, although some universities will require students to develop a ‘final exhibition’, which is similar to making a public presentation of their work in a formal setting.
Art degree structure and typical course content
First year modules
- Learn about the current issues in Art History and Visual Culture.
- Surface manipulation
- Basic design
Second year modules
- Historical and theoretical studies.
- Color based representation.
- Art and design history
- Visual communication
Third year modules
- Fine Art
- Sound and Vision
- Video editing
Art degree courses will teach students
- The techniques and processes required to make creative design and concepts.
- Gain transferable skills, such as visual literacy, presentation and manual dexterity.
- The reason why objects look as they do.
- The historical and cultural contexts of why art works.
- How to enhance their study capabilities.
- Methods to encourage critical self awareness.
- Techniques to develop an analytical approach.
- Ways to encourage independent thinking.
Other areas of study
- Textile design
- Jewellery and Silversmithing
- Furniture and product design
- Film and broadcast production
- Video art
Typical university interview questions
Why do you want to enrol on a art degree course?
- I want to prove myself as a artist and become a more creative individual.
- The arts are a fundamental part of our cultural heritage and have enriched our society considerably. As a artistic person by nature I want to familiarise myself with its history, development and future.
What made you apply to our university?
- The resources available at your institution are endless, for instance the libraries contain from classic texts right through to the most obscure ones.
- I really like the atmosphere, mood and environment of your Arts School.
- Your university has so much history behind it.
- I believe that your university would provide me with more opportunities due to its international reputation for outstanding excellence.
Questions you should ask at the interview
- Is the degree delivered in conjunction with leading UK arts venues?
Art personal statement
Below is a personal statement written by one of our writers. You can use this example to gain an idea of how to structure and put together your own one. You are strongly advised not to copy or plagiarise it, instead use it as a resource to inspire your own creative writing.
“I hope that through this personal statement I will be able to demonstrate to you my desire and convince you of my ability and potential to be a ideal student for your course.
Although education is currently the top priority in my life, of equal importance is being able to learn in an environment where I can gain the experiences and social skills that will help me to develop as a individual. It is for this reason that I have decided to apply to your institution as I feel it has the right mixture of academic professionalism, welcoming atmosphere and vibrant social scene that can help me to grow professionally and emotionally. I have also been attracted to your institution by its well known reputation for producing highly employable arts graduates. This together with you stated commitment to providing students with the best academic tutoring and equipping them with the required work related skills has convinced me that enrolling with you is what I need to prepare me for my first job.
As a thoughtful person I have a clear idea of where I want to go in my career. This clarity of vision has made me eager to take my first steps towards achieving my employment goals by starting a degree course that will set me on the road to a financially secure future. As a artistic individual with a passion for design and expression I am keen to learn more about the world of art, in particular its history, how it works and what it can offer the world. I want to understand how contemporary and creative art can inspire people to experience feelings and emotions that they would not otherwise have.
I already possess extensive knowledge and practical experience of various related fields such as photography, painting, animation and visual communication. I would greatly like to expand my understanding of these disciplines and it is for these reasons that I am submitting my application to your university.
On a more personal level I am a social person who enjoys spending time with friends and family. Although a private individual I also like to be part of my local community and be involved in what is happening around me. I regularly get involved in helping out as a unpaid volunteer at local events and activities, particularly if there is a artistic element involved in it.
If you feel there is a mutual interest, I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to learn more about your university and to discuss in greater detail why I feel I would be a good fit on your course.”
Career prospects and degree relevancy
Apart from the academic study, art degree courses will also help graduate to develop a understanding and awareness of the opportunities and demands of relevant work and employment opportunities.
Art students can go on to obtain successful careers in institutions such as art galleries, museums and libraries etc. Apart from becoming a professional artist other possible professions include art therapists, arts administrators, photographers and printmakers etc.
The advantages of having a Art degree
These degrees are employment related and will help graduates to develop a wide range of transferable skills that can help them in improving their professional, academic and personal development.
They can help to identify a student’s strengths and ambitions through a progressive exploration of their abilities, commitment and goals.
Introduction to graduate fasttrack schemes
Student loan company
UCAS personal statement
University interview questions