Forest tree with art drawings stuck to trunks - artwork by Emma Liebeskind called "Spring"

The City Lit Fine Art course

5 May 2023
Posted in: Art & Design

The City Lit Fine Art (CLFA) course is a 1, 2 or 3-year part-time programme on which you will experience and engage with contemporary fine art practice by exploring a range of media areas, creative methods, ideas and contexts.

Students can apply to enter year 1 and progress though the course, or enter year 2 or year 3 directly, depending on previous experience. 

- Jane Hughes, Composed. Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 120 cm
- Sabrina Rodrigues, Colony. Mixed media installation, dimensions variable

The course offers interdisciplinary and supportive learning for applicants who have a strong portfolio of artwork and are committed to developing their skills and understanding of contemporary fine art practice. The CLFA course will enable students to build on previous artistic experience and learn new methods, respond to new ideas, increase professional skills, and develop their creativity towards becoming an independent artist practitioner.

Created and taught by artists

The CLFA course is developed and taught by practicing and exhibiting artists and curators whose expertise spans sculpturedrawing and painting to moving image, digital mediaprint, installation, professional practice and contextual theory.

These different artists share their expertise with students in workshops, seminars and tutorials that support the development of studio-based skills, contextual and professional understanding, and individual creative directions. 

Modes of study

The CLFA course is part-time and runs day and evening sessions each week from October until July, enabling students to study while maintaining other commitments. It is delivered as a blend of primarily studio-based learning with some timetabled online sessions. Some personal study outside of course hours is encouraged.

The 3 consecutive years of CLFA are designed to ensure the accumulation of learning, but each year can also function as a stand-alone course that you can apply to enter directly according to your experience, artistic development, and intentions.

- Domino Pateman, Home Laser 4, Blanket, mirror, laser, 80 x 60 x 130cm
- Anna Gayner, Self Portrait; My Country. Acrylic, oil, and pastel on paper. 170 x 110cm

Year 1. Accumulating understanding

Starting in October 2023: City Lit fine art course: year 1 (daytime)

The first year of the CLFA course introduces various approaches to drawing, painting, sculpture, print, moving image and collaborative practice through tutor-led studio activities. Four evening sessions each term will focus on digital media as a means of extending fine art practice.

Studio-based creative exercises will be experimental and challenging and are supported by some contextual study and introductory debates around contemporary art practice. Opportunities for one-to-one tutorials, seminars, group discussions and gallery visits will support all aspects of creative development.

- Adenike Akinbode, Nine by Nine: Nine Different Inks, Natural inks on cotton rag paper collage, 59 x59cm
- Derek Corbett, drawing from ‘Same/Same’ collaborative project. Indian ink on Acetate, 21 x 30 cm

Year 2. Personal creative project

Starting in October 2023: City Lit fine art course: year 2 daytime

Year 2 of the CLFA course emphasises greater self-motivated activity and students will build upon their learning in year 1 to identify and develop a personal project/body of work that can incorporate a range of creative methods and media processes.

Tutorials, group dialogue and engagement with contemporary art exhibitions and publications will help students contextualise their artwork and articulate an understanding of intention and context. Simple creative research methods will be introduced to enable students to take ownership of their creative direction and ultimately develop self-motivated artwork that is ready for an end of year exhibition.

This second year can be used to support applications to higher education, or students can opt to study a third year which will support a more focussed development of an independent and sustainable creative practice.

- Re-Imagine, group exhibition organised by CLFA Year 3 students at WappArt Space, February 2023

Year 3. Sustainable creative practice

Starting in October 2023: City Lit fine art course: year 3

In year 3 students will identify and develop a personal creative direction that should have a more external focus; perhaps in support of an application to study at post-graduate level, an external exhibition, a research-driven project, or to develop a focussed body of new artwork in any media combination.

With an emphasis on group activity and regular engagement with CLFA staff, students will be able to reflect on their creative intentions, further refine their studio skills, ideas, and research methods, and ultimately maximise the development of an independent artistic practice.

A shifting emphasis on aspects of professional practice – such as applying for arts funding, organising an exhibition, collaborative practice, or finding an artist residency – can be offered in response to the different combination of interests and requirements that each third-year cohort brings.


The City Lit Fine Art course is a part-time programme of 1, 2 or 3 years on which you will engage with a range of creative processes and ideas that support self-motivated study in contemporary fine art practice. CLFA is taught by practicing artists and will enable students to develop and articulate a personal creative practice that can support options for further study or a range of independent artistic activities.


Additional options

CLFA (City Lit Fine Arts) is a part of the Advanced Art Practice area in the School of Visual Arts at the City Lit.

We have many short courses in Advanced Art Practice giving you additional options in contemporary art theory and practice. You can study these alongside the CLFA course to support or extend your particular areas of interest.

Join us in 2023

The City Lit Fine Art course is created and taught by practicing and exhibiting artists whose expertise spans  sculpturedrawing and painting to moving image, digital mediaprintphotography, installation and contextual theory. 

The course offers challenging, interdisciplinary, and supportive learning for students who are committed to developing their existing skills and understanding of contemporary fine art practice.