Brasenose Admissions Essay



We admit three Fine Art students each year. Details of the course and of the admissions procedure are available at the Ruskin School of Art website. The mode of entry will normally be post A-level for those who have taken a foundation course and who have already had experience of full-time practical Fine Art. With only 29 places available each year in total, it is unusual to give a deferred entry. It is rare to be offered a place straight from school.

The Course

The BFA Course is studio-based and involves three years of practical study in any media. Students are required to pass the Preliminary Examination in practice and Art History, which requires two essays and a written paper, and Human Anatomy, where there is one afternoon's drawing a week through the three terms and a drawing examination.

In the second and third year, students work under tutorial guidance towards the final exhibition - work can be presented in any media. The course is small and flexible and encourages interaction between all areas. The Art History component of the Final Examination is normally an extended essay on a topic related to the student's studio work and one written paper.

Dr Ian Kiaer is the tutor for Fine Art at Brasenose College. He has exhibited internationally since 2000, and previously taught at the Royal College of Art. His research concerns include painting post-medium, painting as a minor form and notions of the fragment, model and aphorism in contemporary art. All teaching is given at the Ruskin School. Students have their own tutors there who see them and discuss their work on a regular basis. Visiting artists and specialists in all the areas contribute an important part of the teaching and there is a weekly special lecture series given by scholars and practising artists.

Read more about Fine Art at Oxford.


Careers of those with Fine Art degrees are varied, but as a creative subject it gives graduates a real sense of their potential as artists and of the importance of art to them as a career. Each year several manage to continue their practical work, with a third of graduates going on to post-graduate degrees. Others go into teaching, art history, curating and other art-related areas.

Artwork by Johnny Izatt-Lowry – former Brasenose Fine Art undergraduate student

Thinking of Applying to Brasenose? Here's some thoughts and stats to help you decide.

Brasenose, along with the other colleges at Oxford, provides students with a diverse and close-knit community within which to live and study. We offer excellent academic services, accommodation, food, social facilities and welfare support. Brasenose is located at the very heart of the cosmopolitan city of Oxford, and is able to offer single bedrooms to undergraduates for all years of study. We have a reputation for being the happiest University college. In the latest Oxford Barometer Survey, Brasenose’s undergraduates registered 98% overall satisfaction and the College ranks 1st by this measure for the years 2012-16.

Although the history of Brasenose stretches back some 500 years, we are a modern, progressive and vibrant place to live and study. We were amongst the first Oxford colleges to admit both women and men, have a fantastic week-long arts festival every year, and have recently refurbished and expanded our libraries.

Brasenose applicants have just as good a chance as anyone else when applying. Statistics show that in the most recent admissions round 21% of direct applicants received an offer to study at Oxford, either at Brasenose or at another College, compared to the university-wide average of 19%. At Oxford, applicants are often reallocated from one college to another during the admissions process to ensure that the best students are made an offer regardless of college preference. In fact, one third of successful applicants are made an offer by a college they did not specify on their application and, since all colleges offer fantastic services and sense of community, satisfaction ratings across the University are extremely high.

Another Brasenose admissions statistic to note is that, of our UK students due to start with us in October 2017, 65% were educated in state schools (compared with 59% for Oxford as a whole). We will have students joining us from a huge variety of locations, including Tadcaster, Skipton, Birmingham, London, Minehead, Hartlepool, Cambridge, York, Rotherham, Maidenhead, Devon, Cornwall, Bristol, Oldham, Morpeth, Lancaster, Cardiff, Northallerton – as well as Cyprus, Belgium, Switzerland, India, Serbia, Hong Kong, France and America. We very much look forward to welcoming this diverse group of freshers in October.

So, if you are applying to Oxford, please don’t hesitate to select us as your college preference.

Have a look at our brand new prospectus, our alternative prospectus, and videos on our website.

An admissions report for the 2017 entry admissions round provides some further statistics.

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