Explore art across a wide range of forms and contexts with our BA Art course.
BA Art brings together creative practical skills with knowledge of art history and wider cultural contexts. This unique four-year programme begins with a foundational year, giving you the time, focus and resources to explore ideas, take risks and develop expertise in your subject. You also have the opportunity to sample other subjects and spend time abroad.
The course provides you with the tools to develop, make and present your artwork. It fosters your investigative, critically reflective and independent learning through the study and discussion of contemporary art and its histories. Making and critical reflection come together to enable you to develop and articulate your own creative position.
If you are looking for our three-year programme, please visit BA Fine Art.
Facilities for BA Art
Reading School of Art has an extensive range of dedicated facilities in a new building, featuring:
- flexible studios open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- specialist workshops in wood, ceramics, metal and printmaking
- darkrooms for photography
- digital workshops and facilities for film and video editing, imaging, sound, virtual reality and web building tools, and a dedicated audio-visual recording room.
You’ll be encouraged to take advantage of placement opportunities that can develop your professional skills and prepare you for a range of careers. Previous art students at Reading have:
- taken part in exhibitions and public art commissions
- delivered workshops at the Tate Modern
- worked with different artists and designers through organisations such as Studio Voltaire and Frieze Art Fair.
Study art abroad through our links with other universities. You could study in countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Hungary, the Czech Republic, France and Switzerland.
You could spend two weeks or a semester abroad, or participate in a summer school abroad.
We’ll help you decide where to go and for how long, guide you through the application process, and support you when you’re abroad.
To find out more about the benefits of studying abroad, and discover where you could go, visit the Study Abroad website.
Past students have participated in week-long international study trips to Madrid and Berlin, while others have participated in an exchange partnership scheme, organising exhibitions with universities in China and Japan.
Your first, foundational year provides a stimulating introduction to art and to studying at university. You will:
- explore the processes and practicalities of an artist’s studio through guided practical group projects, lectures, skills training, and receiving feedback on your work
- start to develop an independent project leading to an exhibition
- be introduced to the field of art history and its study, as well as wider contexts in which contemporary art practices operate
- have the option of studying a module in another subject, such as climate change, classics, philosophy, politics, printmaking, modern languages, or management.
As your studies progress, you’ll have the opportunity to expand your interests through independent studio work. Your learning is informed by:
- relevant historical and contemporary precedents
- seminars, lectures and extensive specialist skills training
- optional international study visits.
Year 2 expands your knowledge through introducing global art discourses and the critiques in which contemporary art is situated.
This year offers you additional time, space and support to further develop, refine and establish your intellectual and technical skills. You’ll carry out increasingly independent studio work in preparation for your final year and beyond. You will benefit from:
- greater scope for experimentation and risk-taking
- diverse and inclusive learning
- the opportunity for work-based placements
- the option to study abroad (subject to availability).
In your final year, you’ll carry out focused studio work with an emphasis on production and presentation skills. We will support you to consolidate your interests into independent research and inquiry. The year will culminate in a dissertation and a comprehensive exhibition.