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Art and Design with Creative Technologies with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons) *

Maker? Thinker? Futurist? Coder? Performer? Technologist? Conservationist? Designer? Interested? Our new hybrid BA (Hons) is a course for the future, where you will explore the intersection of art and design to create your career in the evolving creative industries....

Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses.  Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.  


Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Award BA (Hons)
  • Start date September 2022
  • School Birmingham School of Art
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

Explore this course

Course overview

Maker? Thinker? Futurist? Coder? Performer? Technologist? Conservationist? Designer? Interested? Our new hybrid BA (Hons) is a course for the future, where you will explore the intersection of art and design to create your career in the evolving creative industries.

Foundation Year

This four-year BA (Hons) Art and Design with Creative Technologies with Foundation Year course has been specifically designed to allow you to undertake an additional year of study which will build stronger creative footings to ensure successful progression through your chosen degree course.

Working in a lively and energetic environment, you will be given the freedom to expand your knowledge of practical skills, creative exploration and conceptual development, underpinned by broad critical understanding, academic writing and emerging theoretical principles.

There will be a range of opportunities to work on collaborative projects aimed to develop employability partnerships and to identify the role of developing practitioner. BA teaching staff from across all schools within the Birmingham Institute of Creative Arts (BICA) will work closely with you throughout the foundation year to prepare you for progression.

After successful completion of your foundation year, you will have the flexibility to switch (should you wish to change direction) onto a number of related undergraduate degree programmes within the Birmingham Institute of Creative Arts.

BA (Hons) Art and Design with Creative Technologies

Many innovative creative studios now define themselves as interdisciplinary, a word which defines the fluid movement across the fields of art, design and technology. Rather than specialising in a particular creative discipline, our cutting-edge course reflects how these studios practice by exploring the intersection between art and design, with the implementation of new creative digital technologies.

What's covered in the course?

Our course will prepare you to be ready for employment within the creative industries by providing you with long-term creative skills to map out your creative future. With you at the centre, we will explore the intersections of art and design, providing a space where you can understand, develop and create a career in the evolving creative industries. You will develop the necessary self-awareness to question, make, play and create with others.

The versatility of our experimental studio environment will enable you to explore the necessary collisions that innovative ideas creation now requires, while enhancing a range of core skills including design thinking, creative problem-solving, collaboration, communication, and making.

Whether you choose to combine creative coding with foraging for natural materials, photography with artificial intelligence, or welding with audio performance, you will respond to live briefs set by real-life clients.

The flexible, student-centred approach to the curriculum, informed by professional practitioners, will enable you to be imaginative, confident and convincing in designing and shaping your role in tomorrow’s free flowing, boundary free creative industries.

Creative Technologies Pathway

All students will be introduced to the fundamentals of interdisciplinary art and design practice with a focus on new creative technologies, which forms the core ethos of this course. In line with the development of our digital futures we are introducing an optional pathway in Creative Technologies which will give you the opportunity to focus specifically on further developing your digital skills through a breadth of technological approaches.

Students who choose the Creative Technologies pathway will cover the same curriculum, but will opt for technology-based outcomes. Students will be assessed in relation to their exploration, questioning and use of a range of contemporary digital technologies and their creative applications in relation to the module theme. Work may still embrace a sense of physicality but the focus will retain an element of Creative Technologies. Students can either choose the Creative Technologies pathway at the start of their studies, or transfer over to the Creative Technologies pathway at the end of each academic year, providing they evidence engagement with the weekly Creative Technologies workshops.

I fully support the approach to cross-disciplinary teaching, using art, design and digital technology to explore design methodologies. There is a strong emphasis on collaboration, experience and preparing students for future employability – I think this is extremely important.

Jason Bruges, Founder, Jason Bruges Studio.

Why Choose Us?

  • Our cutting-edge course is future focused, and has been designed in collaboration with leading industry partners.
  • Creative Technologies are one of the leading future jobs markets.
  • You will work on live briefs set by real life clients, and in your second year you will have the opportunity to choose to do a work placement, or study abroad.
  • Our course explores and unites the fundamental creative principles that are common to all three schools of Birmingham City University’s Birmingham Institute of Creative Arts (BICA). These are the School of Art, the School of Visual Communication, and the School of Games, Film and Animation.
  • Our innovative programme combines in one BA course the leading-edge teaching and learning that is available across BICA, taught by interdisciplinary staff from across BICA.

This course is open to International students.

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Facilities and Staff

Margaret Street exterior

Our Facilities

Birmingham School of Art (an impressive purpose built Grade 1 listed example of Venetian Gothic architecture) was the first major renovation project undertaken by the university (£5.5m refurbishment). The School provides an incredible resource for the production of art and its associated fields of study. The building has a range of facilities available including studios, workshops, specialist art and design library, bookable spaces and lecture/seminar rooms.

Making, experimentation and proactivity form the essence of your Foundation course. Our community is centred around our studio spaces and the course utilises the workshops and facilities at the School of Art and across the wider University. As a student on the Foundation course you will be able to work individually and together, and will be encouraged to develop a breadth of thinking and exploration that underpins your creative future.

Our staff

Jo Newman

Foundation Course Director

Jo chose a career in education so that she could provide students with learning environments where conversations, ideas and materials can be selected, combined, analysed and shared, offering them a way of socializing, caring and questioning to grow their learning with meaning for their futures.

She champions the integration of interdisciplinary approaches with her creative practice, which has a direct impact on her teaching and the student learning experience.  
In line with the 2015 HEA report on the ‘Interdisciplinary Provision in Higher Education, Jo aims to facilitate collaborations and synergies between disciplines to challenge students to become inquisitive and to speculate on multiple ‘real life’ scenarios.

More about Jo

Dr Lara Furniss

BA Art and Design Course Director

Lara has twenty years professional experience working internationally across many art and design disciplines. This extensive cross-disciplinary professional experience directly informs Lara’s teaching, with a primary interest in developing new pedagogic approaches to non-discipline specific problem solving. Lara’s research interests have emerged directly from her professional practice and academic experience within Higher Education. Her PhD study explored evolving design practice and design education in the 21st Century. The study examined the processes of internationally renowned UK design studios and the implications for design pedagogy. Studios included Ron Arad Associates, Heatherwick Studio, Punchdrunk, Jason Bruges Studio and Assemble.

More about Lara

Kristian Jones

Lecturer in Illustration

Kristian is a multidisciplinary artist and lecturer at Birmingham City University. A graduate of the MA Fine Art program at Manchester Metropolitan University, his work focuses on ‘New Media Art’ and digital Interaction, combining generative graphics, algorithmic procedure, and sound/sensor-driven technology. Kristian’s research currently centers around ‘surveillance culture, invisibility, and the human-computer interaction of modern society as a result.

More about Kristian