School of Arts and Cultures




The Fine Art building houses some of the best purpose-built studios in the country. It also houses a student-run cafe, seminar rooms and a large lecture theatre. The extensive workshop facilities have been designed to complement the various working approaches, materials and processes of students studying fine art.

Excellent student studios

The Fine Art building has some of the best studios in the country. This ranges from the open-plan first year studios designed for project work to purpose-built:

  • painting
  • sculpture
  • printmaking
  • digital media studios

All students are allocated their own studio space. We also house designated gallery spaces, bookable project spaces, seminar rooms and a large lecture theatre.

Specialist Workshops and outdoor construction yard

We have specialist workshops for wood, metal, digital/video, casting, ceramics and printmaking, as well as a small black and white photographic darkroom.  We also have a large outdoor construction yard suitable for large scale and dirty work, including:

  • sculpture
  • woodwork
  • metalwork


All students have the use of the award-winning Robinson Library and very-well equipped computer clusters around the university.

Drawing studio

We also have a designated drawing studio, in which life-room and other drawing projects take place.

Student Cafe

We also have a designated student cafe at the centre of the Fine Art Building, which is run by students and supports the catalogue and other associated student initiatives for the Degree show in June each year.

Fine Art materials shop

The Fine Art materials shop, which is also housed in the Fine Art building, stocks a wide range of art materials at very competitive prices.

Anything that is not in stock, and more specialist supplies, can be ordered on request.

Student working in Fine Art Studio
A student working in one of the building's studio spaces.


Our sculpture facilities include fully-equipped metal and wood workshops.

We  also have plaster, rubber and resin casting facilities. We have specialist lifting equipment and our ceramics facilities include several very large kilns for firing large-scale ceramic sculpture.

We also have 3D printers, laser and plasma cutters. We have a large outdoor construction yard suitable for large scale and/or dirty work, including:

  • sculpture
  • woodwork
  • metalwork

Technician support

Our workshops are supported by full-time technicians who are on hand in each area to provide expert advice, help and guidance.

New students undergo workshop induction sessions that cover health and safety, use of materials and equipment training.

Wood workshop

Our wood workshop is well-equipped and supports students wishing to work with wood in the development of their practice.

It is also for those students who simply need to make painting stretchers. 

Student cutting wood on a jigsaw
A student using a jigsaw in our wood workshop.


Our metal workshop is extremely well equipped with an extensive range of some of the latest cutting / fabricating machinery.

The workshop facilities have been designed to complement the flexible working approach required when studying fine art.  Whether you are interested in doing a bronze cast, cutting intricate shapes in aluminium on the CNC plasma cutter, creating a mechanical artwork or simply manipulating material on the forge - the workshop can support the full range of student and staff projects. Staffed with a full time technician to guide students through their projects with induction, training and technical guidance all provided.  

Main range of equipment:

Cutting /machining:

  • CNC plasma cutter.
  • Horizontal & Vertical bandsaws.
  • Digital power guillotine.
  • Engineering lathe and Milling machine.
  • Pillar drill.


  • Hot metal casting foundry for aluminium & bronze.
  • Gas forge.
  • MIG / TIG / MMA / Oxy fuel / Spot welding.
  • Mechanical rollers, folders and bending machines.

Extensive range of power tools / hand tools. Extensive range of materials are stocked at wholesale prices for student projects.

The Metalwork technician Steve Rowarth also oversees our ceramics facilities, please feel free to contact him if you require any further information:

For further information please contact Steve Rowarth

Student using welding torch in metal work
Welding is one of the activities you can do in our metalwork shop.


Our digital media suite caters for the rapidly expanding field of digital video, image manipulation, sound art and web-based work.

The digital suite is based around both PC and Mac workstations running industry standard software, including:

  • Premiere
  • Final Cut
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Macromedia Studio

as well as a series of open source creative tools.

Great equipment

We have several dedicated editing suits, along with an extensive collection of:

  • digital still and video cameras
  • microphones and sound equipment
  • lights
  • digital projectors

that can all be booked by students for their studio projects.

More information

For more information about these facilities, and for a list of all the available equipment, please contact Mick Hedley.

The SACS Digital Suite
Students benefit from a digital suite and use of industry standard software.


Our extremely well-equipped printmaking studio is one of the best printmaking workshops in the UK. It is geared towards making the most of contemporary printmaking practice.

Stdents at all stages of their course are encouraged to use printmaking within their practice. Regular induction courses are run in the various processes and techniques available.

A wide range of processes are supported, including:

  • etching and engraving 
  • relief (woodcut, lino cut, collograph) 
  • monoprinting 
  • stone and aluminium plate lithography 
  • photography and photopolymer 
  • digital and screenprinting


There is also a darkroom available with facilities for black and white developing and printing.

Image manipulation

In addition, along with our large format digital printers, our printmaking facilities are located close to the Digital Media Suite.

This is equipped with the latest digital image manipulation packages (Adobe Photoshop etc) and film editing software.

More information

Printmaking Catalogue about our printmaking facilities and for more information about these facilities, please contact Erika Servin.

Students and staff in the print workshop
Students and staff within our printmaking studio.

Exhibition Spaces

We have several gallery and project spaces throughout the Fine Art building, some of which are bookable by students for their own exhibitions. We are also in the same building as the Hatton Gallery, which along with all of our studios and project spaces, is used for our BA and MFA degree shows.

Fine Art building

We have a variety of formal and less formal exhibition spaces in the Fine Art building.

Several of these can be booked by students for exhibitions and by those students who simply want to ‘try something out’.

During both the BA and MFA degree shows, all the exhibition spaces, including the Hatton Gallery are used to exhibit the students’ work.

Long Gallery

Linking the old and new sections of the Fine Art building is a purpose-built gallery space.

This Long Gallery is used by Fine Art students for exhibitions on a regular basis. It also occasionally presents work from other institutions.

Past exhibitions have included exchange exhibitions with:

  • the Academy in Bratislava
  • art schools from Germany
  • student work from Glasgow and Aberdeen
  • collaborations between Fine Art and Architecture students

Other spaces around the Fine Art Building are also available for students to show their work.

Ex-Libris Gallery

We also have the Ex-Libris Gallery which exhibits research work from staff, students and visiting artists.

It is a curated space and is linked to the visiting artist programme and the department’s research projects.

TIC and Project Space

In addition, the TIC Space and the Project Space are both bookable by students. They are spaces that can be readily blacked-out, making them suitable for video projection, for instance.

We also have access to a ‘green screen’ room, as well as to professional-standard film and sound recording studios.

Hatton Gallery

We are also housed in the same building as the Hatton Gallery, one of the largest exhibition spaces in North East England. It is capable of accommodating all but the largest touring exhibitions.

The Hatton's permanent collection consists of works of art from five centuries. It includes the Elterwater Merzbarn construction by Kurt Schwitters.

Both the BA and the Master of Fine Art Degree shows are exhibited in the Hatton Gallery, Ex-Libris Gallery, Long Gallery, Project Space and throughout the Fine Art studios.

The Hatton Gallery has recently undergone a major refurbishment funded by a substantial Heritage and Lottery Fund grant.  It now provides some of the best quality exhibition space in the north of England and also provides an excellent new learning facility, as well as a new archive space.

Hanging work in the Hatton Gallery
A student displays their work in the Hatton Gallery.


In addition to all the other workshops in the department we also have a well-equipped ceramic facility with one of the largest electric kilns in the north of the UK.

Catering for mainly sculptural work in ceramic, the four electric kilns vary in size and are also capable of firing glass amongst other materials. We also stock up to 4 tons of different types of clay, sold at wholesale prices, to allow for a full range of clay work. With the other clay working machinery and the opportunity to work alongside our full-time ceramics fellow, this facility is an important addition to our impressive array of facilities that allow our students to fully explore their creative potential.

Range of equipment:

  • 4 electric kilns, varying in size with dedicated extraction.
  • Slab Roller,
  • Pug mill,
  • Electric Wheel,
  • Extruder
  • Water wall spray booth
  • Overhead gantry for moving large scale objects into position.

The Metalwork technician Steve Rowarth oversees our ceramics facilities; please feel free to contact him if you require any further information.

For further information please contact Steve Rowarth