School of Arts and Cultures

About Fine Art

About Fine Art

Fine Art at Newcastle University is ranked first in The Sunday Times 2018 University Guide.

Student's final piece at an exhibition

Newcastle University is a great place to study Fine Art and is home to some of the most interesting artists and researchers working in the UK. 

Cutting-edge practice and research by our staff results in a vibrant, creative and intellectual culture and provides the basis for our excellent teaching. Our BA and MFA degree shows are outstanding and the range and quality of the work on show each year demonstrates the committment and passion of our fine art students.

Encouraging your creativity

We are committed to the full range of both traditional and emerging studio-based practices in Fine Art. We have staff working across painting, sculpture, drawing, performance, film and video, and installation. We encourage and expect students studying with us to:

  • question orthodoxies
  • cross boundaries
  • make their mark in the contemporary art world

Many of our staff have their studios in the Fine Art Building. This means you have the opportunity to work alongside leading artists. Some of their work, and that of current and past PhD students, can be seen here.

Culture in the city

We are in the centre of one of the best cities in the UK in which to study and make contemporary visual art. Newcastle’s diverse, lively arts scene with its numerous galleries goes hand-in-hand with our distinguished history in innovative teaching.


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, either as students or as teachers, including:

Hatton Gallery

The department also houses the Hatton Gallery. This has one of the most iconic artworks of the 20th century in its collection- the Elterwater 'Merzbarn'. This was the final work of the German Dadaist Kurt Schwitters.

Students work in exhibition space