w150 - Fine Art BA

Photograph of student that studied this course

Meet Oliver from United Kingdom

About me

Choosing Newcastle

I chose to study at Newcastle University as it has a well facilitated department with good sized studio’s allocated to students. These allowed me to explore my practise in depth via the wealth and range of workshops available to me. Alongside this, Newcastle has a great Art History department whose work helps to support and strengthen your artistic practise with an understanding of art theory. All of the above, coupled with the extra year that the course provides, helps me to better myself as an artist and betters my chances of succeeding in my long term goal of becoming an independent artist.

Studying at Newcastle

The teaching on this course is fantastic for a multitude of factors. All the staff are there to help you better yourself, via support and teaching. The lecturers are all working artists and treat you as an equal throughout the course, helping arranging exhibitions and opportunities for students. The tutorials with lecturers are always helpful and throughout the year there are many different ways of being able to get feedback about your work. Be it through group crits with your tutor group, independently created group crits with fellow students, workshops or arranged tutorials with Artists, just to name a few, you are never left feeling unsupported through your time at Newcastle.

Studying Fine Art

The best thing about this course is the creative freedom that it allows you to have. You are not constrained to one practise and can experiment accordingly with a multitude of mediums. You are also constantly encouraged by tutors to get involved with projects which run outside of the university. For example through the university I and a friend were accepted to work alongside Kielder Art and Architecture on a public art project. This was a year-long project which gave me a brilliant insight into how the practising artist would work and obtain work outside of the university.

Recommending Newcastle

The course at Newcastle is amongst the best in the country. It has some of the best equipment within its many departments. It allows for the greatest, most supported exploration into your artistic practise. You are taught and supported by a teaching staff of artists and art historians who are well regarded within their field. You are able to study abroad within one of its many partner schools located all over the globe. It prepares you for life after university, giving you skills which are invaluable. It just is one of the best, if not in my opinion the best department like it within the UK.

Living in Newcastle

Life in Newcastle is always ebbing and flowing. It’s a small city with a lot to do, ranging from the unusual to the expected. It’s truly a city that never sleeps with a busy nightlife, the city contains more pubs and clubs than you can conceive, each different from the next so there always a new night out. The people who live here are some of the friendliest people I have met, although getting used to the accent might take a while. It’s also only a stone’s throw away from both the beauty of the Northumberland countryside and the great views of the coast, each of which are easily accessible by Newcastle’s massive network of public transport. I fell in love with the city during my degree and I plan on living here after I have graduated.

Being Social

There are a mass of different societies which you can get involved with, ranging from rugby to nerd society and everything in-between. If you are unable to find a society (which is highly unlikely) which you believe would be popular, you are also able to start societies with the help of funding from the university. I have been meaning to join many of these however have never gotten round to it. I did get accepted into playing for the university golf team during first year but couldn’t play due to time constraints. To anyone reading this, I high advise you to join a society. They are just plain fun.

Student Accommodation

I lived in Castle Leazes for my first year of university. I was initially worried about moving in to a place that I did not know with people that I did not know, however within the first day I had met people which I am still great friends with now. It was a great environment for meeting people from all over the world, people with differing interests, from different subject and with different backgrounds. It is a year of exploration and of independence. I cannot begin to explain how the first year and the experiences that I had during that year shaped me and helped me grow as an individual.

Managing my money

With regards to budget and finances. It really helps to understand how much you spend on certain things and where you are overspending. For me I allocate time at the end of each month to read through my bank statements and see where I can save money. If you are really struggling with financing I would highly recommend going to talk to someone at Kingsgate, reading there advice regarding it on their website and reading up around it yourself. With your finances you have to be proactive.

Future plans

After I graduate I wish to become an independent artist. Newcastle has helped me see the reality of the road ahead whilst giving me a helping hand towards my end goal. We have a module called ‘Life Work Art’ run by David Butler, this module tries to help you find contacts within Newcastle and outside areas, it helps you organise and manage exhibitions outside of the university and it helps you better understand the institutional environment of art. Alongside this during the 4th year we are given a series of professional practise talk which help you better understand what it will take to realise your aspiration of being an artist as a career.