University of Oxford Undergraduate Prospectus 2015 entry

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Fine Art

This course is based at the Ruskin School, but apply to Oxford through UCAS in the normal way

A BFA in 3 years

UCAS code: W100 (no deferred applications accepted)

Course statistics for 2013 entry

Interviewed: 30%

Successful: 16%

Intake: 28

Entrance requirements

A-levels: AAA

Advanced Highers: AA/AAB

IB: 38 (including core points) with 666 at HL

Or any other equivalent

It is highly recommended for candidates to have studied Art to A-level, Advanced Higher, or Higher Level in the IB or another equivalent and to take an Art Foundation course.

Applicants interested in applying for Fine Art who are studying for a BTEC National Extended Diploma (BTEC) will have to submit a portfolio of work, and any offer will require candidates to achieve DDD grades. As the Fine Art degree also includes a substantial history and theory component, BTEC applicants will be expected to have successfully completed a range of modules that include art history

How to apply (see page 118) [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

Tests: No pre-interview tests

Written Work: None required

You must submit a portfolio and, if shortlisted, sit a practical test.

Tuition Fees for 2014

Home/EU: £9,000/year

No upfront costs: you can get a loan for the full amount

Grants, bursaries and scholarships available

More on student finance: p 120 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

More Information

+44 (0) 1865 276940

Oxford Open days

2 and 3 July, and 19 September 2014

What is Fine Art?

Fine Art is the making and study of visual art. It educates and prepares students to become artists and to follow other practices that are aligned to the making of art. The curriculum is centred on the individual student’s potential and imagination.

Fine Art at Oxford

The Ruskin School of Art offers a three-year studio-based BFA course in which all its students work alongside each other in collaboratively organised studios. Whereas many fine art courses run in an environment devoted exclusively to art and design, Ruskin students, as members of a collegiate university, have the advantage of contact with their contemporaries on all of Oxford’s other courses.

The Ruskin course aims to develop strong independent points of view and a mature grasp of the range of critical debate surrounding contemporary art and its many international histories. Oxford’s short terms, coupled with the ambitious atmosphere at the Ruskin, suit highly motivated and resourceful students with a good sense of how to organise their time both in and out of Oxford.

The first year of the course is structured to introduce students to each other, to the resources of the School and to all the people involved in teaching and running the Ruskin. The combination of witnessing fellow students at work, group criticism and individual discussion with tutors and visiting artists swiftly develops a strong sense of the diversity of experience and opinion within the School.

The intimate working environment of the School, arranged in two buildings, allows art history, theory and criticism to be treated as integral to the development of studio work. The Ruskin also enjoys a strong and constructive relationship with Modern Art Oxford, and students have full access to the many exceptional University libraries and museums, including the Ashmolean.

Related courses

Students interested in this course might also like to consider History of Art.


Most students aim at becoming professional artists, and this ambition is supported throughout the course. Remember, too, that the education and structure we offer strengthens students’ imagination and knowledge in such a way that other paths may also be pursued. Many graduates subsequently go on to graduate studies in Fine Art, but some also continue in other, related subjects. We maintain good contacts with former students and keenly follow their developing careers. These demonstrate that Ruskin students consistently make substantial contributions in their chosen creative fields. Recent Fine Art graduates include professional artists, critics, writers, teachers and creative directors.

Paul graduated in 1989 and now works as a visual effects artist and filmmaker. He says: ‘I consider my Fine Art studies at Oxford to be absolutely essential to what I do every day as a filmmaker. The studios of the Ruskin School of Art might seem to be very far away from the world of Hollywood and summer tentpole movies, but the knowledge and skills I gained at Oxford come into play every day whether it’s in solving the practicalities of staging the action in a complex shot or in a discussion of the film’s visual storytelling with the director.’

Jack Stanton (BFA 2010–13) was the winner of the prestigious Saatchi New Sensations Award in 2013. In the last few years, a number of Ruskin alumni have been successfully shortlisted for this award including Natasha Peel (BFA 2009–12) and Amba Sayal-Bennett (BFA 2009–12) in 2012; Kira Freije (BFA 2008–11) and Charlie Ogilvie (BFA 2002–5) in 2011; Mimi Norrgren (BFA 2005–8) in 2010; and Oliver Beer (BFA 2006–9), who was the award winner in 2009.

For more information about careers after Oxford, please see p 122 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].


The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2013 survey on where to study art and design in the UK rated the Ruskin in first place.


1st year


Students develop their studio work in discussion with the School’s lecturers, tutors and visiting staff. They are allocated a tutor at the outset, who monitors progress, sets targets and directs them in their studies. Work is regularly presented and discussed at group crits involving staff and students from across the School. Alongside this, workshops and projects designed to introduce a range of techniques and approaches are offered throughout the year. In addition, they attend taught practical classes in drawing and human anatomy as well as lectures, seminars and tutorials in art history. Experimentation is encouraged.


Practical studio-based work, human anatomy;

Three submitted essays;

One written paper in the history and theory of visual culture since 1900

2nd and 3rd years


Years two and three are similar in structure and continue the tutorial system introduced in the first year. All students are required to continue the study of art history and theory and to submit three essays during the course of the second year. In the final term of the second year they agree an extended essay title with their tutor. This essay is submitted at the end of the second term of the final year as part of the Final Examination. Students are expected to establish a strong bond between the interests of the essay and their studio studies.

Assessment (2nd year)

Satisfactory record in all areas of the course

Assessment (3rd year)

A final exhibition and a supporting portfolio of work made during the second and third years;

An extended essay;

One written paper in the history and theory of visual culture

Student statement

[Transcriber’s Note: there is an image on the page. Caption reads: Picture for Jeff – a re-staged photograph of a Caspar-David Friedrich painting from the National Gallery in Berlin. Jan Kaesbach graduated 2012. End of Note]

I was really excited to be somewhere that kept something academic as integral to the fine art process. I really don’t believe that they can be kept apart... I like to get in depth in the concepts and ideas around the creative process. Joel

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