Enhancing your employability

During your studies you will be encouraged to apply for awards, accolades, bursaries, scholarships and placements. 

There are plenty of opportunities to achieve recognition and rewards for your success.

Postgraduate students

Rafal Zar, a graduate of the Arts-Based Masters Programme

In 2013, Rafal was named winner of the New Art West Midlands award, earning himself a £1,000 prize in the process.

Rafal’s paintings aim to reflect states of mind involved in making sense of the early twenty-first century world.

Rafal's blog

Undergraduate students

In summer 2013, we celebrated the achievements of our BA (Hons) Fine Art students with prizes sponsored by a range of organisations.
Louisa Anne Ryland Travel Scholarship

Hannah Ziolek's passion for her subject led to her winning the Louisa Anne Ryland Travel Scholarship, a £1,300 prize that enables students to go overseas to learn more about their subject.

"For me, the award has recognised a real interest in a subject which was found during my time at the University and the importance of continuing learning. It meant I have been in contact with various institutions in the UK and internationally, and it has encouraged me to pursue an MA in Fine Art or Art History.

"My proposal for the scholarship came from the labour of love that was my third year dissertation. This was the extensive research and analysis I undertook into the artist Ana Mendieta - in particular the work she made in South America. The award will allow me to go to Mexico to the sites of Mendieta's pieces, responding with my own practical work and extending my writing on the subject.

Hannah Ziolek

BA (Hons) Fine Art

"The prize has given me a travel opportunity I would not have been able to undertake myself without the immense support of my tutors at Margaret Street. I am thrilled, honoured and very excited."

Whitworth Wallis Residency
at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Law firm Capsticks were so impressed with the standard of Jodie Wingham's work at the School of Art's end of year show that it was selected to go on display in the firm's Birmingham offices. After leaving the University, Jodie secured the Whitworth Wallis Residency at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and she has been selected for New Art West Midlands, which showcases the quality, innovative work by the best new talent in the region by giving art graduates the opportunity to exhibit in public.

"The Capsticks prize is a purchase prize. The company wanted a piece that would be located in their Birmingham office and they usually tend to pick works that are wall based, however they were impressed with my unique works that combine the art of print making with sculpture. It was decided that a free-standing piece would add an extra element to their office.

Jodie Wingham

BA (Hons) Fine Art

"It's a wonderful achievement and it means a great deal to me that people from outside the School of Art liked my work and recognised the effort I had made. Knowing that my work is within the Capsticks office means that as an artist I am partly achieving what I intend to do, which is make work that goes on display.

"The award marked both the end of my BA studies and the beginning of my professional career as an artist. It provides a basis to my CV, informing future clients and employers about my dedication and abilities as an artist. It has also given me the confidence to apply for new ventures."

Ikon Fine Art Prize

Jonathon Wright, BA (Hons) Fine Art 2014

The Ikon Gallery, an internationally acclaimed contemporary art venue, awarded a student £200 in vouchers for use in the gallery's bookshop as well as lunch with the gallery's director. It provides an excellent opportunity for the winning student to boost their career.

Jonathon was selected as joint winner of the Ikon Fine Art Prize for his interactive and participant focused live art piece. It was the first time a live artist had won an award.

He said: “I very much enjoyed performing and it felt great knowing that people had seen my work, so to find out that I had won the prize was a complete shock.

“I can truly say that the prize has given me a huge boost in confidence and helped me apply for future exhibitions and projects. As performance has to be experienced live, the prize supports my work's credibility when an audience is unable to experience it first-hand.”

Jonathon now works for Birmingham City University Students' Union and has maintained his links with Margaret Street. Outside work, he continues to perform in Birmingham-based exhibitions.

Other prizes

Associated Architects, Savills property management company and Capsticks law firm awarded a £500 cheque to winning students, whose work will also appear in the companies' offices.


Pip Seymour Paints presented a prize of painting materials, awarded in collaboration with Spectrum Fine Arts.