Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

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 supports the development of both 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.


The technical staff and equipment in the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) workshops and foundry provide excellent support for working in:

  • wood
  • metal
  • mould-making
  • casting
  • carving

Our students also have access to facilities for working with sound, digital imaging and video editing.

Creative community

In sculpture we believe there is real value in working as part of a community with a dynamic and creative shared energy. Our programme thrives on generating this atmosphere.

Sculpture staff members are engaged in a wide range of research interests that feed into the teaching spectrum and this enhances. This informs the discussions around the making and exhibiting of work produced by students.

We believe in a very open approach to what is considered sculpture within the field of contemporary art. We encourage you to work at the margins of the discipline as well as at the core.

Visual culture

A visual culture strand provides a multidisciplinary context for your study across all of our art programmes.

This involves the imaginative research, analysis and communication of issues raised by the visual aspects of culture.

You will:

  • engage in a critical and creative dialogue with the work of your peers
  • gain an understanding of the nature of today's diverse visual cultures
  • study the artistic, intellectual, social and professional contexts that shape creative practice in visual arts
  • learn how to best communicate this in a range of written, oral, visual and practical forms

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 Year 1 art students work together in the first semester.

This year you will experience a wide range of art practices, including:

  • painting
  • photography
  • sculpture
  • intermedia art

Studio practice

We introduce you to studio practice, workshops and the types of teaching you will experience.

For example, you will learn:

  • 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

Visual culture

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.

Option courses

In Years 1 and 2 you can choose option courses . These allow you to build a suite of courses that reflect your interests and enhance your main study.

The choice of option courses in Year 1 comprises a total of 40 credits, nominally made up of two 20-credit courses. You can choose courses from within ECA, or across the wider College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, subject to availability.

Developing your study

You will go on to develop visual ideas through appropriate materials and technical processes studying sculpture in relation to the wider field of contemporary art practice.

You will also enhance your learning by being exposed to a wider range of methods and knowledge beyond the confines of the studio through a choice of optional courses.

Year 2

You will be taught through a number of projects this year. These will take place in workshops and studios and introduce you to techniques for working with:

  • metal and wood
  • casting
  • found objects
  • other materials

Research and site-specific methods will also 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.

Option courses

In Year 2 there are a total of 40 credits of option courses available. We offer more than 20 option courses but there are many more option courses from across the wider university to choose from. These are subject to availability.

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 group crits analyse the context for works. 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

Visual Culture written work and working towards your degree exhibition form the basis of Year 4.

Practice and research

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.

This will be supported by:

  • tutorials
  • seminars
  • gallery visits
  • discussions

Degree Show

Your work in the Degree Show exhibition will be a distillation of what you have learned and developed during your time at ECA.

Programme structure

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

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2021/22)

Our facilities

Art students benefit from studio-based learning at our Lauriston Place campus, along with the exhibitions and events associated with a vibrant art college.

Optional courses are usually taught outside the School across the wider university campus. You will also have access to the University's extensive libraries, computing and technical facilities.

Investing in our learning environment

The University is investing in the Edinburgh College of Art estate and facilities. This will further develop our supportive, stimulating and sustainable learning and research environment.

Find out more on the ECA website.

Facilities and resources at ECA

Study abroad

The School of Art offers exchange opportunities with partner institutions across the world. Exchanges usually take place in Year 3.

Studying abroad allows you to:

  • become immersed in a new culture
  • make new friends
  • expand your working knowledge of another language
  • realise a degree of self-reliance, which future employers will regard as an asset

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Most of your art teaching and learning will be in a studio environment and involve a range of experiential projects.

Methods used to explore conceptual, material and technical issues include:

  • seminars
  • workshops
  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • critiques

We see research and critical thinking as essential to your development.

You will study visual, intellectual, social and professional contexts that shape creative practice. This often involves participating in exhibitions, competitions, collaborations and live projects.

How will I be assessed?

We use formative assessment throughout the year. This helps give you meaningful feedback against learning outcomes, and encourages experimentation in the studio and beyond.

For compulsory courses you will be assessed in this way through a mix of verbal and written modes, including:

  • portfolio
  • presentations
  • essays

There is a mid-session review, usually at the mid-point of any given course you study.


At the end of all the courses your summative assessment will be informed by your academic and creative progress and performance throughout.

Your course grades are arrived at through this summative assessment plus a moderation process.

Our programmes have strong industrial pathways to ensure the most successful and meaningful careers for graduates.

We boast a vibrant alumni network and strong links with the cultural and creative sector across Scotland and beyond.

The University Careers Service offers exceptional support throughout your time with us.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or AABB/ABBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5.

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.

Portfolio guidance

Important dates

Dates for the opening of the mini-portfolio submission site, and deadlines for submission, will be posted in March 2021.

BTEC/UAL Diplomas

Applicants studying Pearson BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Art and Design will be considered for entry with the following:

  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma with DMM.
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma with MM plus one A Level at A (or DM plus B at A Level).
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Certificate / Subsidiary Diploma with D plus two A Levels at B (or M plus AB at A Level).

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

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

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

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

Entry to the second year is available. Successful completion of a Foundation Diploma (at Merit grade), a relevant HND or equivalent is required. Applicants with a Foundation Diploma will normally be expected to have undertaken these qualifications in addition to having met the first year entry requirements (Highers, A Levels, IB, relevant HNC, etc). In some of our less competitive degrees it may be possible to consider applicants presenting ABC (or equivalent) or above at A Level. These must have been achieved in one set of exams, at first attempt.

A list of accepted HNDs, along with further information for adult returners, can be found on our adult returner page:

Adult returner applicants

(Revised 25/05/2021 to provide more accurate information and link to further details.)

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.


For SQA, GCSE and IB 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 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

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. However, 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