2022/23 entry

BA (Hons) Fine Art with Foundation Year - currently closed for 2022 applications

Start date:
September 2022
Study mode:
Full time
Course Duration:
4 years
UCAS code:
Mt Pleasant

Tuition fees (per year)

Home (full-time):
International (full-time):
All figures are subject to yearly increases.
Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.

General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies:
0151 231 5175

Send a message >

Why study Fine Art with Foundation Year - currently closed for 2022 applications at Liverpool John Moores University?

  • The Foundation Year introduces students to contemporary art and design practices, including Art History and drawing, with a focus on the acquisition and development of core academic skills that are needed for successful transition into level 4 and completion of the degree, including writing, referencing, computer and research skills
  • The Foundation Year supports students’ induction and orientation to basic resources and workshops in the John Lennon Art and Design Building, and students will use the workshop areas and resources to develop module outcomes in a safe and appropriate manner, however, no dedicated studio space is provided
  • Take a virtual tour of this year's Fine Art degree show
  • Taught by nationally and internationally-renowned artists who work with sculpture, painting, installation, video, performance, printmaking, site-specific practice, and art theory
  • Opportunities to take part in national and international study trips
  • Specialist workshops provide expert training and guidance in digital audio and video production, sculpture and 3D construction, digital studio photography and film, printmaking, 3D printing, textile work, and painting
  • Teaching in the RIBA award-winning, purpose-built John Lennon Art and Design Building

 This course is no longer accepting applications for 2022 entry

About your course

The BA (Hons) Fine Art at Liverpool John Moores University is unique in its focus on public exhibiting of artwork, and opportunities to work with local, national and international arts professionals, agencies and galleries.

​Boasting more museums and galleries than any other city in the UK outside London, Liverpool is rapidly becoming regarded as a European centre for contemporary art, while institutions like Tate Liverpool, Liverpool Biennial, FACT and the Bluecoat all directly support our work.

​Right from the start of your Fine Art course you will be working with a professional arts agency or gallery in the city and showing your work in the public arena. Meanwhile, in your day-to-day studio practice you have the freedom to work in any media you choose, refining your skills and working on realising your individual vision, with help from your tutors who are always on hand to offer advice.
Every year we offer national and international study trip opportunities, and we also actively encourage you to seek work placements in the UK and abroad.

Foundation Year

The Foundation Year pathway (level 3) introduces students to core academic skills needed to thrive in High Education, and provides an introduction to art and design principles and practices that are required for students to study on the BA (Hons) programmes at Liverpool School of Art and Design.

This unique Foundation Year is a preparatory year of study shared by Architecture, Fashion: Design & Communication, Fine Art, Graphic Design & Illustration, and Interior Architecture degree programmes. It is ideal if you have the interest and ability to study for a degree, but do not have the qualifications to enter directly onto the first year of a full honours degree. The Foundation Year allows greater access to the undergraduate programmes through a series of general taught modules that gradually build in exposure to discipline-specific practices, to enable students to be ready to take their place on the first year of their chosen full-time HE course
Students are taught together as a non-discipline specific group in four out of six modules with opportunities to split into discipline-specific groups in the ‘Exploring Materials, Process and Practice’ and ‘Studio Practice Project’ modules. This non-disciplinary structure is designed to promote cross-disciplinary thinking and learning experiences. Students are also part of a wider level 3 community within the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies and study two academic skills modules (‘Preparing for Success: Academic Skills’, and ‘Investigating Liverpool’) with foundation students across the faculty.

There is a focus on the attainment of core academic skills, including writing, referencing, computer and research skills.

The Foundation Year aims to:

  • Introduce students to contemporary art and design practices, including Art History and drawing
  • Introduce core academic and general skills across four modules and introduce discipline specific subjects in two modules
  • Foster the development of ideas through introductory 'exposures' and 'encounters' with materials, technologies and processes that replicate and simulate real-world interactions for making and collaborative practice
  • Support students’ induction and orientation to basic resources and workshops in the John Lennon Art and Design Building, and use key workshop areas and resources associated with their programmes in a safe and appropriate manner
  • Acquire and develop the academic skills needed for successful transition into level 4 and completion of the degree
  • Engage students to develop a self-directed and independent approach to learning

Students will have access to specialist workshops and technical support in the John Lennon Art and Design Building to develop their practical skills but no dedicated studio space is provided. You will spent a significant amount of time working online in our virtual learning environment, CANVAS.

Once you pass the Foundation Year you will progress directly onto the first year of the BA (Hons) Fine Art degree. If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).

"Two years after graduating I feel my most valuable skills are creativity, flexibility and determination; things that I received through the process of completing a Fine Art degree."

Ashley Leach, Fine Art Graduate

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students


The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)


  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.


Opening lots of opportunities to develop your professional practice.

​There are many opportunities for contemporary artists who are building their own professional practice. You  may be able to apply for grants, and supplement your income by running workshops for galleries and  museums, taking up residencies, working collaboratively with other artists and artists groups,  managing projects within the cultural sector and  curating exhibitions and shows.

Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

We are committed to ensuring all our students experience a transformation in their employability skills and mindset and their career trajectory. A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course.

Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities.

Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools, resources and jobs board. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU’s in-house recruitment service, ensuring students can build experience whilst they study.

One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones to accelerate your job search and applications, CV and interview technique. Themed careers and employability workshops, a programme of employer events and recruitment fairs run throughout the year and students have the opportunity to hear from a range of alumni who openly share their own onward experience.

Student Futures work with businesses to create opportunities for fully funded internships which help students increase their network within the Liverpool City Region and beyond. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU’s Careers, Employability and Enterprise Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.

Go abroad

LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.

Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?

Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: goabroad@ljmu.ac.uk.

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What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or option in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations.

Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules are also included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course:

Programme specification document (PDF)

Level 3

Core modules

Exploring Materials, Process and Practice
20 credits

This practical and workshop-based module focuses on guiding you in adopting a cross-disciplinary fusion of learning and thinking through introductory projects. The module introduces you to basic Art & Design practices through introductory 'exposures' and 'encounters' with materials, technologies and processes. This module will help you replicate and simulate real-world interactions for making and collaborative practice. Cross-disciplinary collaborations will allow you to utilise the strongest characteristics of each discipline to form something new.

Drawing and Culture
20 credits

The module activities will challenge your understanding of 'drawing' itself, and you will be exposed to novel drawing methods, such as haptico-visual drawing and virtual reality drawing. A series of drawing workshops will introduce you to a variety of basic drawing approaches and encourage experimentation with a range of materials and media. You will be expected to record experiments and visual ideas during these sessions.

Studio Practice Project
20 credits

This module introduces you to key concepts and activities that underpin your discipline-specific study at higher education through participation in practical projects. You will be asked to record primary and secondary visual research in sketchbooks and document experimentations. The module will also include contextual lectures and workshop activities to develop your creative and technical confidence.

Preparing for Success: Academic Skills
20 credits

This module provides you with the integrated skills required for academic success. You will develop your skills of creating posters, constructing bibliographies, and sourcing relevant materials. Alongside this you will learn to identify and understand academic writing and referencing techniques. The multi-disciplinary syllabus and assessment tasks will enable you to acquire the academic skills needed for successful transition into Level 4 and the completion of the degree.

Encountering Art History
20 credits

This module introduces you to the discipline of Art History. You will learn: how to undertake visual analyses of art works, how to adopt and understand key art historical terminology, how to acquire knowledge of important periods and artists in art history, and how to review exhibitions.

Level 4

Core modules

Building a Vocabulary
40 credits

The aim of this module is to introduce you the role of collaborative and individual practice within the culture of Fine Art. You will be introduced to a variety of approaches in order to develop and produce contemporary Fine Art practices.

Form and Purpose
40 credits

This module will introduce you to self-directed contemporary art practice and familiarise you with a broader context of contemporary Fine Art issues and introduce you to the notion of studio practice towards the production and distribution of contemporary Fine Art practice.

Introducing Criticality 1
20 credits

You will critically reflect on your own engagement with Fine Art practices, relating to your own studio practice via the upkeep of a blog and writing of an essay.

Introducing Criticality 2
20 credits

You will critically reflect on your own engagement with Fine Art practices, relating to your own studio practice via the upkeep of a blog, writing of an essay with self reflection skills.

Level 5

Core modules

Practice and Experimentation
40 credits

This module aims to increase your ability to learn your own unique practice within the wider context of the Visual Arts and to develop the practical and critical skills relevant to this practice through experimentation and analysis of successes and failures.

Practice and Production
40 credits

Within this module you will consider the appropriateness, mode and situation of media used in Contemporary Fine Art Practice so that you can consider the role that audiences play in the production and distribution of contemporary art practice.

Criticality 1
20 credits

The aim of this module is to advance your critical independent understanding of historical Fine Art practice, methodology and context to relate your personal interest to your own studio practice through the upkeep and presentation of a blog and writing of an essay.

Criticality 2
20 credits

This module requires you to critically and professionally reflect on your engagement with art both historically and contemporaneously, using a variety of theoretical approaches to explore issues of representation in visual culture, with particular reference to class, race, gender and disability. This is related to your own studio practice by the upkeep and presentation of a blog and writing of an essay.

Level 6

Core modules

Advanced Practice & Experimentation
40 credits

This module will equip you with an awareness of postgraduate courses, career focus/professional practice through developing a personal development portfolio. You will focus on various ideas of research towards the development of contemporary Fine Art practice.

Advanced Fine Art Practice and Production
60 credits

The aim of this module is to equip you with the practical, intellectual and interpersonal skills necessary for careers as professional artists, by producing and distributing contemporary Fine Art practice in a public setting at a professional level.

Critical Research and Publication
20 credits

This module enables you to undertake an in-depth critical and theoretical evaluation of your own theoretical interests to plan and propose a research project. You will develop the ability to plan, implement and complete a sustained piece of research related to your own art practice.

Teaching and work-related learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.

Regular tutorials, group reviews of your work and visits to local exhibitions and events will really help you to develop as an artist and place your work in a professional context. You will also be expected to attend a rigorous programme of lectures, seminars, workshops and critiques, and there will be ongoing training and workshops in digital audio and video production, sculpture and 3D construction, digital studio photography and film, printmaking, 3D printing, textile work and painting, supported by our expert technical teams.

Work-related Learning

​The degree averages around 50 public exhibitions a year compared to most degree courses that will not do more than a single degree show.

As Liverpool has more museums and galleries than any UK city outside London, there can be few better places in which to study Fine Art. Against this rich cultural backdrop, the Fine Art degree at LJMU has connections with a huge range of contemporary art institutions in the city including Tate Liverpool, Liverpool Biennial and FACT through the School's unique joint academic appointments with these significant organisations. All of these institutions directly support our work with students. We also work with major organisations in the UK and abroad such as Grizedale Arts and Van Abbemuseum in the Netherlands.

This collaborative way of working will give you a real taste of the dynamic world of contemporary art, as well as giving you a chance to develop your ideas and learn how to present them as project proposals. Such experience is invaluable preparation for your future career, whether as a practising artist or working in a related field.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support

​If you decide to pursue a Fine Art degree at LJMU, you will join a friendly and supportive department in which you will be encouraged to develop your creative talent and to also view your own and others’ work with a critical eye. Continual peer review and the constant guidance of your tutors are designed to help you be the very best in your particular artistic discipline. The course also offers you a consistently high contact rate.


Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.

​The primary methods of assessment are a presentation of your work to fellow students and staff or submission/installation of a portfolio of practical projects with supporting research and development work.

The way you do this depends on the kind of work you do, but we always ensure that the process is friendly and supportive and that portfolio submissions are done in the studio. Other forms of assessment include written essays, reviews, proposals, reports, a personal development planning folder and a CV and/or blog.

​Your tutors will schedule individual tutorials to help you prepare for assessments, but they will also be continually on hand to help you evaluate your work and assess your progress. Verbal feedback is given during review and critique activities and at the end of individual tutorials.

You will also receive written feedback with an indication of your marks for reviews and presentations within three weeks of submitting work, although this may take longer if the marks go through an external moderation and approval process.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Rory Macbeth

Rory Macbeth

Programme leader

Rory grew up in Scotland and the Solomon Islands, and has subsequently lived in Edinburgh, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, London and Liverpool. He studied at the University of Edinburgh, and Central St Martin's, London, and since has shown several times in Tate Britain and Modern, initially as part of the Art Now series, and later in the No Soul for Sale show curated by Maurizio Cattalan. He has had artwork in international collections, including key work in ARoS museum Aarhus. He has exhibited at Biennials in Prague and Liverpool and Venice, and upcoming in the Seychelles. He has made significant commissions for EAST International, The Economist, the Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art and Tate Britain, and had a survey show at Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden. He has undertaken residencies in Zurich and Venice, been Writer in Residence for X Marks the Bokship, and has contributed to a number of publications and has been represented by galleries in Europe. Rory co-founded a large studio and event space in Limehouse Town Hall, London. This sparked his interest in providing large scale platforms for non-commercial and experimental art practices that led to him founding and directing PILOT:. PILOT :1 and :2 had successful iterations in London in 2004 and 2005, and the third iteration launched at the Venice Biennale in 2007 in association with the Bevilaqua Foundation.

We run a unique programme that forefronts experimental approaches to art learning, and exhibiting as a key part of the learning process – previously we averaged around 55 exhibitions a year (compared to most courses doing one). In a previous degree show, we put his students on Mars for their graduate exhibition during the Covid-19 lockdown.


What you can expect from your School

Rated a Top 10 Art School in the 2021 Guardian University League Tables.

Cross-disciplinary learning in art and design subjects takes place in the Liverpool School of Art and Design’s John Lennon Art and Design Building, based in the Mount Pleasant Campus. Here students studying a variety of disciplines, including Architecture, Art in Science, Exhibition Studies, Fashion, Fine Art, Graphic Design, History of Art and Museum Studies and Interior Architecture, will have the opportunity to develop their work in state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities within a stimulating and critically demanding environment.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.