Fine Art BA (Hons)

Course code W100

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, printmaking, and textiles. You will also have support from academics who will help you to write about your own work and that of other artists, whilst also establishing an awareness of industry and sector professionalism.

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 (UHI Moray); UHI Orkney; UHI Shetland; or Taigh Chearsabhagh (UHI North, West and Hebrides), in North Uist in the Western Isles
  • Each site has its own distinctive appeal. Moray School of Art was the first art school in the north of Scotland, situated in the distinctive and varied natural and cultural landscape of Moray. Orkney, Shetland and North Uist are island sites, each with their own unique landscape and rich natural and cultural heritage.
  • 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 across 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 postgraduate 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 including English OR
  • 2 A levels at grade C or above including English OR
  • UAL Art and Design Diploma Level 3 at Merit or above 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

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Alternatively, there are portfolio access courses available at:

  • UHI Inverness
  • UHI Moray
  • UHI Orkney
  • UHI North, West and Hebrides
  • UHI Perth
  • UHI Shetland

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules are:

Semester 1:

  • Painting
  • Lens based media
  • Textiles - weave (Shetland only)

Semester 2:

  • Spatial studies
  • Printed image
  • Textiles - knit (Shetland only)

Semesters 1 and 2:

  • Drawing
  • Critical and contextual studies 1



Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:

Semester 1:

  • Creative practice 1

Semester 2:

  • Creative practice 2

Semesters 1 and 2:

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

You will also choose one option module which may include:

  • Art and social practice
  • Art films: the artistic impression
  • Art and archaeology
  • Constructed surface (Textiles-based - Moray only)


Year 3 - BA

Core modules are:

Semester 1:

  • Creative practice 3
  • Theory and practice
  • Professional practice 2

Semester 2:

  • Creative practice 4
  • Research project

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Semester 1:

  • You will complete a dissertation

Semesters 1 and 2:

  • You will 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?

  • Moray - Moray School of Art
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Shetland

Start date

  • September


Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.


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.

UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

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 commercial artist, community practitioner, lecturer, 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 a relevant Masters course, such as our MA Art and Social PracticeMA Contemporary Art and Archaeology, or MA in Creativity, Leadership and Enterprise. Alternatively, you may wish to embark on further training in the fields of art therapy or entrepreneurship.

Is there more information available online?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

I was attracted to study here as I preferred the more personal and nurturing approach to teaching made possible by fewer students and a smaller campus. There are lots of extra activities, too - talks, meet-ups, gallery socials - which are always well advertised and beneficial.

The drive to university is so green and picturesque, I never mind doing it! This course allows me to study a subject I'm passionate about, at a pace that allows me to truly enjoy the process of creating artwork.

Kayleigh Kellas is studying on the BA (Hons) Fine Art at our UHI Moray campus

This course was right for me because I could work in a self-directed way, allowing me to combine my university work and personal practice. I think the lecturers were the best, they really paid attention to each student's needs and always went above and beyond. Lecturer's wealth of knowledge and experience was only ever a question or email away. 
I feel my studies propelled me forward and made me love academia through my love of art! Studying with UHI changed my life for the better, I started studying school, and I’m here 8 years later with a first class degree. I would absolutely recommend UHI to anyone! It’ll give you direction that feels true to yourself and change your life forever.

Elouise Spooner studied on the BA (Hons) Fine Art at UHI Shetland. 

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, as well as from other art courses, mix and share ideas.

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

Apply for Fine Art BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2023

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.