Undergraduate study - 2017 entry

BA Sculpture

UCAS code: W130

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Edinburgh College of Art

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing BA Sculpture

Sculpture at Edinburgh adopts an ethos that is based on developing a broad spatial, material and critical awareness through a range of approaches pertinent to the expanded field of sculpture. Our purpose-built studios serve as both working studios and exhibition spaces.

Our workshops and foundry provide excellent accommodation for working in wood, metal, mould-making, casting and carving. We also have facilities for working with sound, digital imaging and video editing. In Sculpture we believe in the value of working within a community that has a strong, dynamic and creative energy and our programme thrives on this exciting atmosphere. Sculpture staff members are engaged in a wide range of research interests that feed into the teaching spectrum and this enhances and informs the discussions around the making and exhibiting of work produced by students.

A visual culture strand provides a multidisciplinary context for your study syllabus across all art programmes at ECA, involving the imaginative research, analysis and communication of issues raised by the visual aspects of culture. Our students engage in a critical and creative dialogue with the work of their peers and gain an understanding of the nature of today's diverse visual cultures. You will study the artistic, intellectual, social and professional contexts that shape creative practice in visual arts and learn how to best communicate this knowledge in a range of written, oral, visual and practical forms.

We are currently developing our programmes to allow greater course choice in Years 1 and 2. Further information will be available online from summer 2016.

Year 1

Each of our four-year BA (Hons) programmes in art shares common elements of study during the early part of Year 1. All first year Art (Intermedia Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture and General Art entry routes) students work together in the first semester.

During first year you will experience a wide range of options including painting, photography, sculpture and intermedia art and we introduce you to studio practice, workshops and the types of teaching you will experience. For example: what a project brief is for, what a crit is, how a seminar works, what to expect from a tutorial, what feedback is for and how you use it. We introduce you to key visual culture texts, methods and methodologies of art theory and practice. As the year progresses you have project options to enable you to specialise in the subject most appropriate to your work. In semester two students make decisions about which programme they wish to study supported by feedback and advice from staff.

Subsequently you will develop visual ideas through appropriate materials and technical processes studying Sculpture in relation to the wider field of contemporary art practice.

Year 2

Projects in casting, metal and wood will be conducted in the workshops. Collaborative, research and site-specific methods will be explored. Supporting studies in drawing, research and professional practice will link to the projects.

Exhibitions and group crits you will establish tactics for presenting, evaluating and discussing work with your peers and other audiences. Visual Culture lectures and seminars will broaden your understanding of methods and methodologies of theory and practice.

Year 3

You will establish strategies for presenting, evaluating and discussing your work with confidence. One-day events, visits, workshops, exhibitions and tutorials will punctuate periods of personal investigation and making.

Experimentation is encouraged and weekly group crits analyse the context for siting work. You will compile thorough documentation of your work and ideas to evidence your professional practice skills.

You will have visual culture options to choose from which will develop the contextualisation of your studio work.

Year 4

Towards the end of your study you will develop a self-initiated, highly motivated attitude to your practice and research. You will professionally install work with the added opportunity to participate in external exhibitions, which will be supported by tutorials, seminars, gallery visits and discussions.

Your work in the Degree Show exhibition will be a distillation of what you have learned and developed during your time at ECA. Visual Culture written work and working towards your degree exhibition form the basis of your final year.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

We publish the latest available information for this programme. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year.

Programme structure (2016/17)

Our facilities

Students benefit from studio-based learning in purpose-built workshops and studios for intermedia, painting, photography and sculpture at Lauriston Place, along with the exhibitions and events associated with a vibrant art college. Some lectures and tutorials will take place in the George Square area. You will have access to the University's libraries and computer facilities.

The University is investing in the ECA estate and facilities to further develop our flexible, stimulating, supportive and sustainable learning and research environment for students and staff.

Further information is available on the ECA website.

Study abroad

The School of Art offers Erasmus and International Exchange opportunities with partner institutions across the world. Adding an international dimension to your programme allows you to become immersed in a new culture, make new friends, expand your working knowledge of another language and realise a degree of self-reliance, which future employers will regard as an asset. Exchanges usually take place in Year 3.

How will I learn?

The majority of teaching and learning is through involvement in a range of experiential projects, situated in a studio environment. Conceptual, material and technical issues are explored through seminars, workshops, lectures, tutorials and critiques. Research, critical thinking and study of the visual, intellectual, social and professional contexts that shape creative practice are regarded as essential to your development. This often involves participation in exhibitions and live projects. As well as learning through group situations you will also be allocated a studio tutor with whom you will have one to one tutorials on a regular basis.

How will I be assessed?

We conduct continuous assessment throughout the year, to give meaningful feedback and to encourage experimentation in the studio and beyond. Assessment can take the form of project work, participation in group events and presentations. Annual assessment at the end of the second semester is informed by your progress throughout the year.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

We publish the latest available information for this programme. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year.

Programme details (2017/18)

Many graduates pursue careers as artists, enter other art-related professions, and go on to undertake residencies and commissions in a global context. A high percentage of graduates establish themselves in workshops and studios. Many have achieved considerable success and built internationals reputation.

Our programmes provide a progressive education in contemporary art practice. Our students develop analytical and practical skills, the ability to work with others in an organised manner and the ability to think laterally. These attributes can be applied to a wide range of career possibilities.

Some students continue their studies in postgraduate programmes. Others have gone on to teach or to make an impact in the wider creative industries.

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: BBBB.
  • A Levels: BBB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 555 at HL).

Minimum entry requirements

  • SQA Highers: BBBB by the end of S5 or BBBBB/ABBB from S4-S6. National 5: English at Grade C.
  • A Levels: BBB. GCSEs: English at Grade C.
  • IB: Award of Diploma with 34 points overall and grades 555 in HL subjects. SL: English at 4.

Additional requirements


Applicants will be asked to submit a digital mini-portfolio to provide evidence of artistic aptitude and potential, this will form an important part of the selection process. The deadline for mini-portfolio submission is 12:00 noon GMT on Tuesday 31 January 2017 and late mini-portfolio submissions will not be accepted. Applicants applying to enter Year 2 of our programmes, who pass the first stage of selection, will be invited to bring a full portfolio to an Applicant Day.

Important dates

  • Early November 2016: Mini-portfolio submissions site opens
  • 15 January 2017: UCAS deadline for Home/EU applicants
  • 31 January 2017 (12:00 non GMT): Mini-portfolio submission deadline
  • 13-17 March 2017: Applicant Days for applicants applying to enter Year 2
  • 30 June 2017: Final deadline for UCAS applications from applicants from outside the EU.


Applicants studying the Pearson BTEC Diploma in Art and Design will be considered for entry with the following:

  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design with Merit.
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design with Merit plus one A Level at Grade B.
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Art and Design with Merit plus two A Levels at Grade B.

Applicants studying the University of the Arts London Level 3 Extended Diploma in Arts and Design will be considered with Merit.

Find out more about entry requirements

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Entry to the second year is available. Successful completion of a Foundation Diploma (at least Merit Grade), relevant HND or equivalent is required. Applicants will normally be expected to have undertaken these qualifications in addition to having met the minimum entry requirements (Highers, A Levels, IB etc).

Applicants applying to enter Year 2 of our programmes, who pass the first stage of selection, will be invited to bring a full portfolio to an Applicant Day.

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements


For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C
  • IB Standard Level Grade 4

Key Information Sets (KIS) are part of a government initiative to enhance the information that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

KIS are available for most undergraduate programmes and are intended to make it easier for you to find information about the programmes you are interested in studying. It is one of many sources of information available that will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

You can also use this website to find more information on our programmes and the learning environment you will experience at the University of Edinburgh.

Please note that some programmes do not have data available and will not display a KIS.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BA Sculpture

Additional Costs

Your materials costs will vary, depending on your programme of study and the materials used to make your work. Some programmes will offer fieldwork. There is no additional contribution required for the teaching costs involved, but for the residential fieldwork and individual field-based projects, you are usually required to cover accommodation, subsistence and the costs of travel to the fieldwork location. Your actual student contribution depends on the programme involved and the courses selected.


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding