Contemporary Art Practice HND

Course code 309W

What is special about this course?

Join these stimulating, project-based, interdisciplinary courses and respond to a range of creative briefs designed to challenge, motivate, and inspire.

Explore a variety of media, processes, and techniques, including drawing, painting, sculpture, film, and photography. Develop your personal work and projects, with modules in portfolio-building and personal development planning. These courses form the first two years of our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Practices.

Special features

  • You will develop practical and transferable skills in contemporary art practice and develop a broad visual language
  • You will develop an open-minded, critical and evaluative approach to study, investigation and research
  • This course will allow you to develop an understanding of the influence and contribution made by art practice and practitioners within the 20th and 21st centuries
  • With this recognised qualification and on successful completion of this course you could have the potential to gain employment in galleries, work with design companies and agencies or as a freelance graphic designer


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

Entry requirements

  • 2 Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade D or above OR
  • NC Art and Design
  • HNC Contemporary Art Practice may provide direct entry to year 2
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements as listed above are encouraged to apply
  • You will be required to submit a portfolio of work and may be asked to attend an interview
  • This is a Category 2 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required for specific optional modules/unit(s), where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in optional module/unit(s), but an alternative pathway exists to achieve target qualification. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage

Access routes

  • NC Art and Design
  • Direct entry to year 2 may be possible with an HNC Contemporary Art Practice


Year 1 - HNC

Year 1 of this course is the HNC Contemporary Art Practice.

Year 2 - HND

Mandatory units are:

  • Contemporary art practice: project
  • Contemporary art: professional practice
  • Exhibition of contemporary artform
  • Contemporary art practice: graded unit 2

Optional units may include:

  • Site specific artwork: development
  • Site specific artwork: production
  • Mixed media development
  • Mixed media production
  • Art and design context: personal investigation
  • Community arts: visual arts workshop*
  • Contemporary art practice: digital media development
  • Contemporary art practice: digital media production
  • Observational drawing portfolio
  • Philosophical aesthetics: an introduction

*If you wish to undertake this unit you will be required to complete a PVG Disclosure Check and become a PVG scheme member.

Option units available may vary depending on study location, for more information contact your chosen campus.

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • You will study by way of face-to-face lectures and tutorials in the classroom, with practical design work in the studio
  • Assessment is continuous, with external assessment of the graded unit

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 2 years
  • Part-time: 4 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness
  • North, West and Hebrides - Fort William campus
  • Perth

Start date

  • September


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


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?

On successful completion of this course you may choose to seek employment as a:

  • Gallery assistant
  • Gallery technician
  • Sculpture studio technician
  • Printmaking technician
  • Digital media technician
  • Curatorial assistant
  • Artist assistant
  • Studio assistant

Can I progress into further study?

On completion of this course you may be able to progress to:

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.

As well as developing my artistic ability the course has taught me business skills such as marketing, and planning as well as providing an insight into what being a freelance artist could be like.  The course helped me to develop new photography skills which I never would’ve thought to try and has given me the confidence to enter local exhibitions and competitions and attend pop-up markets with both my photography and artwork. 

Sophie Martin is studying on our HND Contemporary Art Practice at UHI Inverness.

Apply for Contemporary Art Practice HND

  • Applications to this course are now closed for September 2023 entry. Applications for September 2024 will open in September 2023. Please revisit this page then to apply.

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.