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Art Business (Level 6 | Top-up) - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2022/23 Entry. Switch to 2023/24 Entry

This BA (Hons) Art Business (Top-Up) course is essentially about employability, providing you with the knowledge, understanding and experience needed to work effectively in the creative industries. During this (one-year full time/ two-year part time) level 6 course, you will be supported to navigate the extensive range of careers in the creative and cultural sectors....

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time/Part Time
  • Location Margaret Street
  • School Birmingham School of Art
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

Overview

This BA (Hons) Art Business (Top-Up) course is essentially about employability, providing you with the knowledge, understanding and experience needed to work effectively in the creative industries. During this (one-year full time/ two-year part time) level 6 course, you will be supported to navigate the extensive range of careers in the creative and cultural sectors. The course will support you to develop the professional skills needed to pursue your ambitions, and the intellectual and critical skills to challenge existing structures, in order to innovate for the future.

The course will offer a nurturing space for you to self-reflect and identify your innate skill set, developing the ability to locate the right employment routes or to generate ventures for yourself. The course provides a balance of experiential and academic study, bringing together organisations and individuals from across Birmingham’s creative industries and cultural institutions to enable live experiences and opportunities to network and cultivate relationships.

The philosophy of the course embraces entrepreneurialism, curiosity, innovation and a responsive and flexible approach to current opportunities and challenges in the employment landscape. Fostering inclusive and ethical working practices will be fundamental, considering how ‘good’ creative work can benefit individuals, their communities and the planet. Building confidence and a repertoire of flexible, responsive, adaptable and transferable skills will help to future-proof your careers.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The course will examine the exciting relationships and intersections between creativity and management, art and business. The curriculum provides an opportunity to see tensions and emerging opportunities in the broad landscape of contemporary creative enterprise in its various forms, e.g. entrepreneurial activity, collectives, small creative businesses, not-for-profit sector, within cultural/educational institutions, etc. It will also be fundamental to discuss how societal, political and environmental shifts have important implications for those working in the creative industries, be it marketing, engagement, production or distribution. Our course aims to explore what shape, systems and structures exist, and how this affects various forms of value, the management and ‘flow’ of creative goods, and the creative process.

Located in the culturally diverse city of Birmingham in the West Midlands, the curriculum design and live experiences will reflect the needs and opportunities for the student body, creating accessible routes to employment. The course will also explore a broader picture for the creative industries, at national policy level, considering the implications for various stakeholders.

A basic understanding of intellectual property rights, and the current global market for ‘symbolic goods’, will be important to locate art business practices in a broader context. The course responds to the continuing need for industry-ready graduates and will contribute to the growing creative landscape in the locality and beyond.

The course is committed to provide a flexible learning experience to widen participation with blended teaching and learning opportunities. Curriculum and debate will have ethical working practices at the forefront, exploring relevant considerations for the creative industries around inclusivity, diversity and equality, examining precarious labour and exploring ways that various forms of enterprise can support mental health and wellbeing.

Through working on a series of projects and briefs written in consultation with external agencies and institutions, you will build up a portfolio to showcase your individual abilities. You will develop key transferable skills in creative thinking, problem solving, collaboration, leadership and strategy, project management, budgeting, marketing, communication, presentation, independent research, critical and analytical thinking skills.

It is anticipated that graduates from the course will go on to work in various contexts, for example in the museum/gallery sector, arts education and socially engaged practice, marketing, exhibitions & events management, front-of-house roles, entrepreneurial activities, arts operation & management, galleries (public and private), auction houses and art journalism.

A course…designed to equip [students] with the knowledge and understanding of how to take their practical and theoretical learning and apply it to industry and business in order to be creatively prosperous... [enabling] students to forge connections, gain live experiences, learn about structures and operations of creative businesses with a focus on creative enterprise.

Zoe Earles, Specialist Leader in Education and Head of Art and Design at Haybridge High School, Hagley

Why Choose Us?

  • Birmingham School of Art is celebrating 130 years of art at Margaret Street – its Grade I-listed building, located in the heart of the Colmore Business District, and in close proximity to the city’s cultural institutions and creative hubs, e.g. Ikon gallery, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Barber Institute and the Jewellery Quarter.
  • You'll instantly become part of the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media’s 6,000-strong student community, and you will be supported by our highly experienced staff, who all have experience in working in various roles across the creative industries, with a vast array of experience in the sector.
  • Opportunities to take part in work placements, to network, and respond to live projects set by industry professionals, through our unique collaborations.
  • Broad range of guest talks by inspiring figures from the creative industries, for example; museums and galleries, education, entrepreneurs and business leaders.
  • The opportunity to engage with physical and virtual events and conferences to support and inspire your studies.

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area in our course talks.

Next Open Day: Saturday 25 June

Book now

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

240 credits equivalent following the study of a cognate design discipline at Levels 4 and 5, or HND, Foundation Degree, DipHE (or equivalent).

Applications from students with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merit.

Applications taken to the next stage must attend an interview in order to receive an offer.

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
IELTS 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
Diploma in Higher Education (Dip HE) Students will be required to have successfully completed both Level 4 and Level 5 in an art discipline and achieved 240 credits.
Foundation Degree (Level 5) Students will be required to have successfully completed in an art discipline and achieved 240 credits.
Higher National Diploma (HND) Students will be required to have successfully completed in an art discipline and achieved 240 credits.
Transfers from other courses or universities
Entry onto year three
  • We welcome applications from Home/EU and International students, who wish to transfer from their original course at the end of Level 5 (with 240 credits), to pursue their final year of study (Level 6) in BA (Hons) Art Business. Following your request to transfer at the end of Level 5, you will be asked to make a formal application. Upon consideration of your application, you may be invited to attend an interview.
  • All students will have previously achieved 240 credits at Level 5, achieved a pass or higher, or achieved a Higher National Diploma (HND) in a cognate art subject, or achieved a pass or higher at the BA Level 5 equivalence, with the appropriate skills and experience.

Mature Applicants

Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • £1542 per 20 credits
  • Year 1 - 60 credits
  • Year 2 - 60 credits

Fees for Part-time students

This course can be studied on a Part-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 years
  • £13,500 in 2022/23

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.

Clothing and safety equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of safety equipment in order to use the workshop facilities.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Personal equipment (optional)

Whilst not essential it is advised you own a computer or laptop capable of creative work. It might also be useful to purchase a digital camera during the first year. Advice can be given from the School once you have started the course.

Gallery visits (optional)

It is advisable for all Creative Arts students to visit exhibitions, galleries and other creative and cultural institutions and events depending on your own individual area of interest. Travel and entry costs may be associated with this.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Guidance for UK students

UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

Guidance for International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Interviews

Please note that the application process for this course includes an interview stage. If your application is successful, you will be contacted and invited to select a suitable interview date.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

  • Course choice - Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
  • Career plans - If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
  • Work experience - Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
  • School or college experience - Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
  • Non-accredited skills or achievement - eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Worried about Personal Statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Course in Depth

Level 6

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits).

The purpose of this module is to provide you with an overview and ‘mapping’ of the creative and cultural industries, in order to locate appropriate areas of progression for your future career aims and to introduce you to relevant management structures and systems.

The purpose of this module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise. The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practice-based portfolio.

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules.

The purpose of this module is to enable you to develop professional attributes and subject skills through experience in the work place, and to critically reflect upon your learning in that context. You will normally be expected to arrange your own placement, with support from academic staff and BCU Careers. Typically, the placement duration is 70 hours. This can be achieved in one block, or can be dispersed over a longer period of time, if required.

This module will enable you to examine the complex ecologies and connectedness of the creative and cultural industries. Where does creative work happen, and who benefits? This module is about the application of previously introduced knowledge, bringing theory ‘to life’.

The purpose of this module is to introduce key concepts and debates around global commercial art markets, from various perspectives and with all stakeholders in mind.

Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Download course specification

Download now

The Art Business course provides a combination of theoretical and practical study. You will be encouraged to debate, investigate, collaborate and innovate. Centred around your aspirations, there are opportunities to identify relevant roles for yourself within an evolving landscape, and to consider creative enterprise in its broadest form.

This level 6 top-up course can either be studied one year full time, or two years part time.

The first core module will introduce some of the definitions, systems and structures of the creative industries, and key debates that affect the sector and those working in it.

There is subsequently a selection of optional modules* to enable you to tailor your studies to your individual aims and aspirations. These focus on bringing the theory to life and applying your knowledge to real world settings. There are opportunities to gain work placements, respond to live projects and build your professional network.

The other core module requires you to initiate and carry out a project relevant to your career aims. At this point, you set the agenda, supported by academic and industry professionals to carry out a project of your choice to launch your career, post-graduation.

*subject to availability

Employability

Enhancing your employability skills

The BA Art Business top up course is, by its nature, employability focused. Providing you with the knowledge, understanding and experience needed to work effectively in the creative industries. You will be supported to navigate the extensive range of careers in the creative and cultural sectors. The course will support you to develop the professional skills needed to pursue your ambitions, and the intellectual and critical skills to challenge existing structures, in order to innovate for the future.

The course will offer a nurturing space for you to self-reflect and identify your innate skill set, developing the ability to locate the right employment routes or to generate ventures for yourself. The course provides a balance of experiential and academic study, bringing together organisations and individuals from across Birmingham’s creative industries and cultural institutions to enable live experiences and opportunities to network and cultivate relationships.

The philosophy of the course embraces entrepreneurialism, curiosity, innovation and a responsive and flexible approach to current opportunities and challenges in the employment landscape. Fostering inclusive and ethical working practices will be fundamental, considering how ‘good’ creative work can benefit individuals, their communities and the planet. Building confidence and a repertoire of flexible, responsive, adaptable and transferable skills will help to future-proof your careers.

Specifically, you will develop transferable skills and learn how to:

  • Self-audit and how to relate this to future employment options.
  • Negotiate, plan and present to a professional standard.
  • Work independently and collaboratively.
  • Be self-motivated, organised and effective.
  • Build outward facing communication skills – e.g. CV/application writing; social media and other platforms for self-promotion, presenting yourself and your work professionally using video and various types of presentation software.

Placements

As a student on our Art Business course you will have the option of taking the ADM Faculty work placement module. This will have a live focus, e.g. working in industry on a work experience placement or working with community groups on a live project brief.

The Faculty-wide modules allow for the crossover and building of networks between courses. Through these modules you will be integrated into the City of Birmingham, engaging with local contexts and negotiating external relationships whilst developing key employability skills.


Links to industry

The Art Business course has been written in consultation with external partners to ensure its value and currency. It has a direct relationship with Ikon gallery and Colmore Business District, ensuring there are live experiences for students in the profit/not-for-profit sectors.

Birmingham School of Art has a wide array of links with partner organisations regionally, nationally and internationally. These partnerships will provide work experience opportunities for you, and contribute to your learning and teaching activities. Our overseas partnerships often result in opportunities for you to mix with students from different countries and gain different perspectives, as well as opportunities to undertake a period of study overseas.


OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

International

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

This course provides the ability to study in one of the UK’s oldest art schools. You will learn to develop your own creative practice in a thriving creative community in the heart of the UK’s second city on a course which mixes traditional surroundings with current international debates. The ability to develop your own individual practices alongside a range of local institutions and industries will give a unique insight into the culture and markets of the UK.

Facilities & 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 building has a range of facilities available including studios, workshops, specialist art and design library, bookable spaces and lecture/seminar rooms.

As a BCU student, you will also have access to the Curzon library, with extensive opening times to facilitate flexible studying around your life.

As well as these facilities, arguably our most valuable resource is the dynamic and vibrant community of staff and students who are all engaged in the creative industries in eclectic and inspiring ways. You will be able to take part in school events and initiate new ones to form and build your personal network.

Take a look around some of our facilities, classrooms, studios and workshops in our virtual walkthroughs, or take a tour of the School below.

View our walkthroughs

Tour the School of Art

Our staff

Jane Watts

Foundation Lecturer

Jane is an interdisciplinary practitioner, and began her career in textile design. She has since worked as National Craft Advisor for the Women’s Institute in the charity sector, and has 20 years’ experience of teaching in higher education across a range of creative programmes. Alongside running the BA Art Business programme, Jane is also...

More about Jane

Steve Bulcock

Deputy Head of Institute of Creative Arts (Art)

Steve Bulcock works across a range of digital media including animation, motion graphics and digital drawing systems. He is Head of Undergraduate Studies at Birmingham School of Art. His research interests are concerned with challenging the notions and expectations people have in relation to their interactions with digital technology. Recent...

More about Steve

Beth Derbyshire

Course Leader: MA Art and Project Management

Beth is a practising artist who has been working largely in the public realm for over 22 years.  Her practice explores the diverse nature of human presence and expression within social and historical registers. Themes have been: silence in society, conflict and collective memory, nationality and identity. Recent works have investigated...

More about Beth

Cathy Wade

Course Leader MA Arts and Education Practices

Cathy is an artist, writer and academic whose work is concerned with how art can be created and distributed in collaborative partnerships and through the creation of commons. Her work seeks to understand the experience of contemporary conditions through social practice and is realised as digital video, print, installation, public art, publication,...

More about Cathy