As the Scottish artist, Northumbria University professor and former Turner Prize-nominee Christine Borland puts it in this year’s a-n Degree Shows Guide, seeing work at degree shows has “the same excitement as going to see any exhibition… it’s still totally meaningful to me to see art at that early stage”.

So, while the international art world gathers in Venice for the 57th Venice Biennale, there’s another festival of ideas and experimentation kicking off closer to home – the first openings in this year’s degree show season.

And while these (predominantly) BA shows are definitely at the other end of the spectrum to the costly Venice commissions of artists such as Phyllida Barlow (British Pavilion) and Rachel Maclean (Scotland + Venice), they still have the ability to surprise and beguile.

Or as 2012 Turner Prize winner Elizabeth Price puts it, also in the a-n Degree Shows Guide 2017, “When the degree show facilitates students to be ambitious they can really be incredibly impressive.”

Falmouth University
Falmouth’s ‘Summer Shows’ begin on Friday 12 May with the BA (Hons) Contemporary Crafts show, which continues until 19 May when a host of other shows open, including Fine Art, Drawing and Illustration.
12-24 May 2017,, @FalmouthArt

University Of Lincoln
The university’s Festival of Creativity starts on Friday 12 May encompassing work from students on a variety of creative courses. The wonderfully-titled Fine Art summer exhibition, ‘Do Not Microwave’, runs 26 May – 10 June with previews on 26 May and 2 June (6-9pm).
12 May – 9 June,

Oxford Brookes
Titled ‘Carbon’, the Fine Art degree show features work by 38 students all of whose work is featured on their Artists Of The House Brookes website. You can see more of the students’ work on their @artistsothbrookes Instagram, too. Preview is on Friday 12 May (6-9pm).
13-18 May, 

University of Chichester
The BA Fine Art degree show previews on Friday 12 May (6-9pm), and then runs from 13-19 May. You’ll find plenty of images of the students preparing the show on the course’s Twitter.
13-19 May 2017, @ChichesterArt

Artists of The House Brookes (2017 BA Fine Art, Oxford Brookes) Instagram

a-n Degree Shows 2017 Instagram takeover

Be part of a-n’s Degree Shows 2017 coverage.

We’re offering a-n members around the UK a chance to take over our Instagram feed to promote this summer’s degree shows through a series of images.

See jobs and opps for full details. Deadline for applications: midday Friday 12 May 2017.

Not yet a member? Sign up at to take part. And you can catch up with our 2016 Degree Shows takeovers here – including images posted by a-n Degree Shows Guide 2017 featured artist Sheyda Porter.

Just published: a-n Degree Shows Guide 2017

More on

Rachel Maclean, Spite Your Face, 2017, digital video (still). Courtesy the artist. Commissioned by Alchemy Film & Arts in partnership with Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh on behalf of Scotland + Venice.

News from this year’s Venice Biennale


Hurvin Anderson, Is it OK to be Black?, 2016, oil on canvas, 130cm x 100cm, 'Hurvin Anderson: Dub Versions', New Art Exchange, Nottingham, 2016. Courtesy: the artist

Turner Prize 2017: inclusion of over-50s reflects reality of artists’ careers today