Newcastle University's Fine Art department was been ranked 1st in the UK in the Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 (Art and Design category), while also being named 2nd in the UK in both the Complete University Guide 2019, and the Guardian University Guide 2019. We've also received a 95% overall student satisfaction score in the 2018 National Student Survey and are among the world's top 200 in the Arts and Humanities according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018.

Staff at Newcastle are engaged with contemporary art practice and research generated at the nexus of established and new practices, technologies and methodologies. Cutting-edge practice and research by our staff results in a vibrant, creative culture and provides the basis for our excellent teaching. 

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Our history

Newcastle’s diverse and lively arts and cultural scene with its galleries and venues goes hand-in-hand with our continuing and distinguished history in innovative art teaching.

The current breadth of staff, and the resulting breadth of practice and research in the subject area, which includes digital cultures/media, is a significant element of the vision and pedagogical stance within Fine Art at Newcastle; it is an approach that has strong precedents and roots in post-war art education – much of which was originally developed at Newcastle.

The first School of Art in Newcastle started in 1838. It subsequently became part of King's College, Durham University, and then Newcastle University in 1963. It has maintained an excellent reputation as one of the UK's leading centres for art education.

The department was a key player in radical developments in art education in the 1950s. This led to the development of the course known as Basic Design and a revolution in art education in the UK.

Many distinguished artists came through Newcastle University, either as students or as teachers, including: Sir Lawrence Gowing, Richard Hamilton, Victor Pasmore, Roy Ascott, Sean Scully, Susan Hiller, Mary Webb, Rita Donagh, Mail Morris, Sarah Pickstone and Phoebe Unwin.

The department also houses the Hatton Gallery; this world-renowned gallery has one of the most iconic artworks of the 20th century in its collection - the Elterwater Merz Barn - the final work of the German Dadaist, Kurt Schwitters.