Sculpture & Environmental Art

Key Facts


Programme Overview

How to Apply

Institution Name: GSA
Institution Code: G43
UCAS Code: W130


BA(Hons) Fine Art. All GSA degree programmes are validated by the University of Glasgow. Established in 1451, the University of Glasgow is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities and a founder member of Universitas 21, an international grouping of universities dedicated to setting worldwide standards for higher education.


Coursework, essays, practical design projects. Formative assessments take place at key points throughout the year with summative assessments at the end of each academic year.

Glasgow Clyde College Associate Student Scheme
This programme participates in the scheme supporting year 2 entry to selected programmes at the GSA - find out more here.

Studio accommodation is spacious, with dedicated space for each student. The Department has excellently equipped workshops, including mould-making and casting and 3D making workshops, staffed by experienced technicians. Extensive use is also made of the Media Studio, which offers facilities in computers, digital sound, video and editing.

Indicative Additional Costs
Individual departments levy material fees as indicated on this page. You should budget for each year of your programme of study and should allow for costs over and above your fees and maintenance, particularly if expensive materials or projects are chosen.

Graduates + Careers
The Sculpture and Environmental Art Programmes have produced many of the leading artists who have put Glasgow in the forefront of the contemporary international art world. Recent graduates include
Claire Barclay, Karla Black (Turner Prize nominee 2011 and Venice Biennale Scotland 2011), Christine Borland, Martin Boyce, represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale 2009 and Turner Prize nominee 2011, Roderick Buchanan, winner of the Beck's Futures Prize in 2000, Paul Carter, Graham Fagen, Douglas Gordon, Kenny Hunter.

Some of our graduates have established innovative organisations such as Proboscis in London and ArtCore in the USA. Others have moved very successfully into other related cultural areas such as the music industry, theatre, film and performance.

Head of Department
Paul Cosgrove

Sue Brind
Justin Carter
Alan Currall
Helen Kalmijn
Peter McCaughey
Shauna McMullan
Ross Sinclair
Stephanie Smith
Clara Ursitti

Programme Overview

The Department of Sculpture and Environmental Art offers two programmes, each with its own distinct focus. Sculpture has been taught at the GSA since before the turn of the 20th century, with the Environmental Art programme being established nearly 100 years later in the mid 1980s.


The scope of Sculpture has widened, extending the conventional boundaries of object making to encompass both traditional and contemporary materials and media. The language of spatial and material practice taught by the department is based on construction, casting and fabrication and extends through to more time based art practices such as video, performance and installation. The course recognises and embraces this breadth, and actively encourages students to think independently and critically in order to gain a command of the conceptual and technical processes appropriate to this expanded field of sculptural practice.
The core objectives of the Programme are to develop the practical and philosophical understanding of the subject of sculpture; to develop practical skills and the ability to mediate ideas through materials and process; and to develop the ability and confidence to critique and communicate about sculpture, both historical and contemporary. This is achieved through a programme of study that integrates both theory and process, informing the experience of sculpture practice from its historical beginnings to current contemporary practice.

Environmental Art

The Programme prepares students for working as artists in the contemporary world. While galleries and museums remain major places for art to be viewed, opportunities for artists to make work in and for other contexts and places have increased enormously. To this end, the course offers not only the opportunity to exhibit in the traditional sense, but also explores these other contexts. This contextual approach to art is explored through the Public Art Project, which each student carries out in each year of the course. In this respect, Environmental Art is one of the few programmes in the UK in which students are specifically prepared for this kind of art practice.

Skills and understanding are gained through students experiencing a broad range of skills in drawing, casting, wood and metal fabrication, photography, video, computers and sound. Seminars and lectures on the history, theory and professional practices of public art, in its broadest sense, are an integral part of the programme. Students are expected to focus their activities in terms of concept and medium and to develop a self-directed art practice with a considered understanding of the context in which the work resides and is understood.
Core objectives are to develop in students an informed understanding and use of language in materials/media and ideas, and to make art in response to a context. Students will also have formed a confident, critical language in response to contemporary art practice.

Fine Art Critical Studies

A element of the programme is delivered by Fine Art Critical Studies. For most of the four years of undergraduate programmes in fine art, one day per week of the student timetable is allocated to FACS. It is an externally linked critical mass of diverse research expertise in broad-based critical studies for contemporary creative practices. More information on the department and staff profiles can be foundĀ here.

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