Subject Guide

Fine Arts Degree

Uni Compare  · Dec 7th 2023

A Fine Arts degree encompasses a number of different artistic disciplines and covers the theory and the practicalities of the subject.

Fine Arts Degree

A Fine Arts degree is a good way to learn more about classic works of art from human history, whether it be literature, paintings, sculptures, films, TV shows, video games or photographs, a Fine Art degree looks at so many different virtues and sectors.

Fine Arts Degree

What is Fine Art?

Fine Art is a degree that looks at all forms of creative expression. Art itself is quite a loose term to describe a piece of work, however, Fine Art looks at everything from photography to painting to new media to drawing to sculptures and everything in between.

With a Fine Art degree, students will look at understanding the visuals of an artistic piece, the themes of certain pieces, the influences on the style and will look at things like 2D, 3D and 4D exhibitions.

What can I do with a Fine Arts degree?

There are plenty of jobs open to students when completing a Fine Arts degree.

Students could find plentiful work as an Art Gallery Manager. As a Gallery Manager, you would be responsible for both the commercial and the artistic side of the gallery. This means managing the pieces that are on display, ensuring the overheads of the gallery are covered by the money coming in, the gallery’s security and the selling of various artistic pieces. A Gallery Manager will also be in constant communication with the artists that are on display in their gallery and speak to them regularly about what they are going to be doing next.

Students also look into the possibilities of becoming a Graphic Designer as well. A Graphic Designer is someone who designs elements such as logos, websites and packaging. A Graphic Designer will have a unique skill set, as they are talented artists, but also very good with tech as well, as they will be required to use a number of important applications and software in order to create their pieces.

Collaboration is a key component of many art projects, no matter how solo or lonely those pieces may feel.

You can also look into the possibility of becoming a Higher Education Lecturer. Following into the world of teaching allows you to have a real and positive impact on the bright minds of tomorrow and communicate your own teachings to the students you have. You will be expected to create your own curriculum, manage your class and prepare students for examinations.

Many students also go into the world of illustration. You'd be surprised just how many books, magazines, newspapers or booklets require illustrations these days and you can find work in this sector with a Fine Arts degree. This line of work can sometimes indirectly link into the world of graphic design as well as general illustration, but the work seldom overlaps beyond the base descriptions.

It is also possible to become an Art Therapist, especially if you have studied Psychology as part of a joint honours degree. An Art Therapist is someone who doesn't necessarily need to be good at Art, but is someone who can help artists to express themselves in healthy and safe ways. Art can be an intense process for a lot of artists, especially method actors, performance artists or even young children, so providing support to artists that require it is essential.

Fine Arts Degree

How will I be assessed?

Assessment on Fine Arts won't just be practical, but theoretical too.

A Fine Arts degree will judge you on elements such as your portfolio and your individual pieces as well. These will be pieces you have drawn as part of an independent project or pieces you create as part of a set task. Your portfolio will be both physical and digital as you may need to create several interactive pieces or pieces with animation.

As for the theoretical side, you will be asked to write reports on various pieces, complete assignments, essays on specific techniques and complete a dissertation. Depending on what level you are studying Fine Arts at (i.e. a Masters degree etc) and what university you are studying at, you may be required to sit an examination of some kind.

What skills will I learn?

All degrees impart some wisdom and skills on their students for later life. Studying a degree for four years plus will tend to rub off on you in a positive way.

Timothy Olyphant, has a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Southern California

Collaboration is a key component of many art projects, no matter how solo or lonely those pieces may feel. Collaboration may not be necessarily working on the piece with you, but someone will help you with other elements that you are not so talented at and this skill will stand you in good stead for later life too.

Following on from collaboration, the lost art of delegation is another skill that becomes an important part of your career, specifically if you end up in a managerial role. Delegation can often be construed as collaboration as the two require people to work together, but delegation is very important, especially if working on large scale art pieces.

Research skills will also be useful in a Fine Art degree and will also be improved as well. Many artists use other artist's work as inspiration or as reference points for what they're attempting to achieve, so research skills will be essential on a Fine Arts degree.

Many students on a Fine Art Degree will also need to have an element of entrepreneurial spirit as well. If you wish to pursue a career in fine art or if you wish to become an artist in any sense, you will need to promote yourself and get your work and your ideas out into the world, which will require an entrepreneurial instinct and a can-do attitude.

Fine Arts Degree

Will a Fine Art Degree get me a job?

As with any degree you study, there is no guarantee of a job at the end of it, but a Fine Arts degree should open a number of doors for you all the same.

You may need to start in the working world in unpaid internships or part of an apprenticeship. If you have taken a placement year, you will likely have already built up a web of contacts for you to find work and may be able to find work from there.

Fine Art is a degree that looks at all forms of creative expression.

You can apply for work straight away, and may even want to study a part-time Fine Arts degree at a postgraduate level while you work, which is fairly common and will also lighten the intensity of the course.

Famous alumni

A number of famous people have studied Fine Arts in some form or another.

Sharon Stone, famous for her roles in Basic Instinct and Casino,went back to university in 2016 to study her degree from Edinboro University. Timothy Olyphant, who played Agent 47 in Hitman and appeared in Once Upon a Hollywood, has a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Southern California and almost studied a masters degree in it as well.

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