Fine Art Prof Doc

This course is in clearing with spaces available


Course options

Select year

Professional Doctorate

  • Prof Doc Fine Art, home applicant, full time

    • Home Applicant
    • Full time, 3 years
    • Pound 6020 per year
  • Prof Doc Fine Art, home applicant, part time

    • Home Applicant
    • Part time, 5 years
    • Pound 3010 per year
  • Prof Doc Fine Art, international applicant, full time

    • International Applicant
    • Full time, 3 years
    • Pound 16100 per year
  • Prof Doc Fine Art, international applicant, part time

    • International Applicant
    • Part time, 5 years
    • Pound 8050 per year


Course modules

NOTE: Modules are subject to change. For those studying part time courses the modules may vary.

Download course specification

Your future career

Your future career

The Doctorate in Fine Art (DFA) leads to employment outcomes by requiring students to engage with the art industry of galleries, critics, publications, and artist-run spaces outside of the University. 

The 60-credit taught module in year 1 includes seminars in art writing and publication, funding and exhibiting.

Many doctoral students are already in employment as academics, teachers, curators or artists, and the DFA often leads to an extension of their professional roles or to new employment. 

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.

Fine Art Graduates
The course had an immensely positive impact on my art practice and professional outlook. It provided me with critical context and support, which led to the creation of a new body of work, progressing from short film towards installation-based works including multi-screen setups and a water screen. The Doctorate has helped me steer my entire artistic practice towards a more considered, grounded, and unified expression, a solid foundation on which to build in years to come."
Dr Max Hattler

world-renowned animator, Doctorate in Fine Art at UEL

How we support your career ambitions

We offer dedicated careers support, and further opportunities to thrive, such as volunteering and industry networking. Our courses are created in collaboration with employers and industry to ensure they accurately reflect the real-life practices of your future career and provide you with the essential skills needed. You can focus on building interpersonal skills through group work and benefit from our investment in the latest cutting-edge technologies and facilities.

Career Zone

Our dedicated and award-winning team provide you with careers and employability resources, including:

  • Online jobs board for internships, placements, graduate opportunities, flexible part-time work.
  • Mentoring programmes for insight with industry experts 
  • 1-2-1 career coaching services 
  • Careers workshops and employer events 
  • Learning pathways to gain new skills and industry insight

Mental Wealth programme

Our Professional Fitness and Mental Wealth programme which issues you with a Careers Passport to track the skills you’ve mastered. Some of these are externally validated by corporations like Amazon and Microsoft.

Our Mental Wealth programme

We are careers first

Our teaching methods and geographical location put us right up top

  • Enterprise and entrepreneurship support 
  • We are ranked 6th for graduate start-ups 
  • Networking and visits to leading organisations 
  • Support in starting a new business, freelancing and self-employment 
  • London on our doorstep

What you'll learn

The Professional Doctorate in Fine Art is practice-based and industry-facing, attracting mid-career artists and artist-academics.  The DFA aligns with the institutional vision to bridge the divide between industry and academia.  Its success as the UK's longest-running and largest DFA is evidence of the viability and relevance of its model. The academic rationale for the DFA stems from debate since the 1990s about the status of art practice as research.  Practice is put at the centre of doctoral study, fed by research into contemporary art and theory, and professional exhibiting and curating. 

Employability outcomes are strong, with graduates progressing to be artists or artist-academics in the UK and internationally.  The DFA also serves as professional development for qualified UEL staff who wish to develop their art practice and critical analysis and enrich their teaching. 

The re-validation of this programme proposes a simplified modular structure that more closely represents the Doctorate as it has been refined over many years.  Removal of level 7 modules and making all credits D-level (8) is essential both to accurately reflect the level of study being undertaken and to ensure that students are eligible for new government postgraduate loans.   

The DFA leads the way in UEL in creative practice doctorates and will inform and share resources and teaching with other doctorates undergoing validation - Performing Arts, Film, Fashion, Creative Writing in ACI, and Art and Architecture in ACE. 

How you'll learn

This programme is the UK's longest-running Professional Doctorate in Fine Art and is equivalent to a PhD. The full-time model is three years, part-time is five years.  The doctoral programme has three strands - creative practice, professional practice and theoretical research - and it is designed to follow, within academic parameters, the organic, foraging, unpredictable nature of art practice. 

This distinguishes it from the more academic fine art PhDs. For our students, the proposal is not a project outline to be carried out, but a starting point from which their work can, and does, move in unforeseen directions.  Students are supervised by the programme team and by dedicated supervisors drawn from art and design and related areas, who have relevant research and expertise.

Guided independent study 

After writing and registering their proposal, students work with allocated supervisors, and a core staff team provides continuity and integration. A strong group dynamic and exhibition culture are central to the programme. Work in progress is aired through regular seminars attended by all year groups. Interim shows take place each year, with critics, curators and artists from outside the university invited in to critique the work.  Students are encouraged to seek out and curate their own external exhibitions. 

Academic support 

Our academic support team provides help in a range of areas - including learning and disability support 

Dedicated personal tutor

As a researcher, your personal tutors are the programme team and two, or sometimes three, doctoral supervisors.


Six work-in-progress seminars are scheduled per semester, with individual tutorials and feedback sessions in addition.  The first semester of the programme is devoted to writing the doctoral proposal, supported by the programme team.  All students exhibit their work at the yearly showcase exhibition.

Your timetable 

A detailed timetable is given out to incoming students prior to the start of the term and is explained fully during induction.  Thursday is the day when DFA seminars and proposal tutorials take place.  Supervision can be arranged individually on other days.

Class sizes

There are between 20 and 30 researchers on the Doctorate Fine Art across all years.  Work-in-progress seminars are attended by all year groups.  Supervisory tutorials are individual.

How you will be assessed

Annual written reviews serve as an ongoing record of doctoral work and research, and are the basis on which students pass and progress to the next year of the programme, through an annual review panel decision. The doctorate itself is awarded on the basis of the written report that accompanies the viva voce examination, and the final major showcase of work.

Detailed feedback is given, verbally and in writing, on drafts of proposals, reviews and reports.  Feedback on creative practice is continuous through the supervision process.

Campus and facilities

Docklands Campus, London, E16 2RD