two students working on a sculpture

Got questions before you start? Read our FAQs for art courses

We have put together the most frequently asked questions from our recent School of Art online Q&A.

General questions

When do timetables become available?
Usually from August through studentcentral, our student intranet – everyone has an electronic timetable.

How is the university responding to the Covid crisis?
If you have any questions about the application process or teaching and learning at this time, the University has prepared some guidance that can be found here.

What opportunities are there outside of the courses?
There are over 100 University of Brighton societies to join – you can find them on the Students’ Union website. And we have a great local volunteering service Active Student.

Can you do part time work and how often are you expected to be in?
Students are expected at university every day. We suggest students take part time work at the weekends, evenings and Wednesday afternoons when there are no timetabled sessions. We recommend students work no more than 15 hours a week on part time jobs and international students are restricted to 20 hours a week.

Do you have any tips for portfolios?
Any art portfolio should demonstrate the way you develop and explore ideas through a variety of materials both 2D and 3D. It may also contain insight into what you’re reading and what you are looking at in terms of artistic references. You might consider the idea of object and environment, materiality and whether the emphasis of your work is ideas driven or visual.

How is the week divided into studio time and individual study time?
It varies from course to course but critical studies is half a day and a lot of your time is taken up working independently in the studio. There will be large crits and seminars as well as small group tutorials and one-to-ones. On a fine art course at Brighton you will generally spend 20% of your time on critical studies and art history.

Fine art

Fine Art Painting BA(Hons); Fine Art BA(Hons); Printmaking BA(Hons)

What are the studio opening times?
Opening times are usually 8am-8pm with a half day on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

What is the studio space like for first years?
We think they’re pretty generous – each student on painting for example gets 2 – 2.5 square metres each.

What demonstrations do students get in the first year?
A lot! We run a series of workshops, everything from building a canvas stretch, to the different types of paints, glazes, primers etc. Our technicians are super helpful and experienced and always on hand to help.

Do we supply our own materials?
For Printmaking all the induction materials are supplied, then students supply their own materials. Painting students are supplied with the means for making stretchers, glue, nails and tools but buy wood and canvas themselves. The on-site shop sells supplies at a discount.

Do students across the fine art programme share lectures?
In the first year fine art students share lectures and there is an open lecture slot on Fridays that can be guest lectures, curators etc talking.

Are there any fine art placements?
Our Fine Art BA(Hons) has an optional artist’s placement which involves spending time as an artist in a different area of the university.

What is the assessment process?
Assessment across all three years is carried out by year group tutors and another main tutor. Assessment criteria is based on things like risk-taking, how you explore ideas and the issues the work raises, both from a technical and philosophical point of view. All work is supported with students reflecting on their practice and making reference to the work of others, developing a research file and progression folder. Group crits are a great way of sharing not only what your work and explorations are about but any of the difficulties all of us come across when making art. Our aim is to develop you as an artist.

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Graphic Design and Illustration

Graphic Design BA(Hons); Illustration BA(Hons)

Are there any placements?
There are no formal placements but we do informally help students to arrange them. Many students choose to do an internship over the summer

Do I need A level graphics?
No, people come in from all sorts of disciplines. The first year brings everyone up to speed as an opportunity to learn and to give you a grounding knowledge.

What is the first year like?
We run a series of projects over the first year to introduce you to a broad range of topics. You will also be inducted into book arts, printmaking and other creative projects like photography. You will also be introduced to theories to inform your work.

Is there any recommended reading to complete before starting or supplies needed?
We send out a resource list over the summer but no pre-work is needed. We supply materials in all of our workshops.

What is the teamwork like on the course?
We normally do a couple of joint projects per term and often do joint workshops.

Will there be much 1-1 teaching?
We have 1-1 tutorials most weeks as well as group crits, lectures, seminars and tutorials.

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Fashion and textiles

Fashion Design with Business Studies BA(Hons); Fashion Communication with Business Studies BA(Hons); Textiles Design with Business Studies BA(Hons)

Is there any preparation I should be doing or equipment I should buy before I arrive?
We send out a summer project to everyone before they start. But it’s a great idea to keep drawing, gathering together any imagery and artists’ work that inspires you. If you want to and have time you could set yourself small personal projects to keep your creative juices flowing. To keep up to date with the industry you could start following the Business of Fashion on YouTube and check out ShowStudio and NowFashion. We usually supply equipment lists for those courses that need it around July and work with a supplier who offers reduced prices.

What usually happens with placement years for fashion and textiles?
You choose whether to take the three-year course (no placement) or the four-year course (with placement) in your second year. The placement is a minimum of 20 weeks over 48 weeks and students pay a reduced fee of around £1,500 for this year. We have a dedicated placement team who work with students to establish and plan a wishlist. You are supported with everything from your CV and portfolio to applications and visas if necessary. There are a range of opportunities available in the UK and abroad – we work with a large number of companies from high-end to high-street labels for mens and womenswear. If, sa,y you are interested in buying, you could spend some of your placement year with a buying department. It’s a really good way of starting to network and make industry contacts and students always come back for the fourth year having had a really rewarding experience.

How much sewing experience would I need for textiles (and fashion)?
None – what we are looking for is 3D awareness and ideas through drawing and experimentation. Also, a consideration of current trends and an awareness of the social context of fashion. Finished garments are not needed for application.

What are the studios like?
They’re all equipped with pattern-cutting tables, mannequins, industrial lockstitch and overlockers and pressing equipment in all rooms, there is an additional specialist machine room too, with bar tacking button-holers, heavy duty machines and stretch machines for cover-stitching etc. It’s a nice communal space where you will work alongside your year group as well as those in other years who will give advice and help at times. It’s at the front of the building so full of natural light. The Fashion Commuication studios are two large dedicated working spaces with a wide variety of equipment including a photography space, printing, sewing machines and computers.

How are the courses broken down into fashion/textiles and business?
It’s around 60-70% fashion or textiles and 30-40% business and critical and historical studies. All the business elements are related to your practice – so in the first year you learn business analysis tools and how to apply these at a local level, as well as marketing concepts; in the second year you begin to look more at global markets, the supply chain and finance and prepare for your placement by learning to write a CV and application letter; third year is your placement; in your final year you prepare a business or marketing plan which sits alongside your creative practice.

Do the three fashion and textiles courses collaborate?
Yes on some projects students work together on design briefs to mirror how things work in industry. Our courses are about developing a personal approach and identity and students studying fashion and textiles but who are interested in fashion communication too will be able to use some of these skills as they usually make their own lookbooks and run their own photoshoots. The School of Art is a bustling and lively community so there are also opportunities for collaborating across different disciplines. The historical and critical studies elements of the course are studied with students across the three programmes too.

What’s the difference between fashion comms and fashion/textile design?
For fashion/textile design, the design and manufacture of clothes and textiles is your primary focus and you will be taught how to pattern cut. Fashion communication students don’t make clothes but look at the rest of the fashion industry.

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