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Looking for the next big trends and artists? Rise Art contributor Jo Chard shares her picks of the top degree shows worth a visit this summer and autumn in the UK.

By Joanna Chard | 08 Jun 2011

Every year, thousands of Fine Art, Fashion, Photography and Design students graduate from MFA and BA programs, and along with them, come hundreds of degree shows across the country. For contemporary artists, this is generally the time when many make their first mark within the art world, and for the savvy collector, a great chance to discover affordable works from tomorrows talent. But with the sheer number of degree shows taking place throughout the summer, separating the wheat from the chaff can be a time consuming and frustrating process. So to give you a helping hand, we have put together our list of 6 shows not to miss.

University of Brighton's Faculty of the Arts

BA degree show: 4th June- 9th June

Brighton's degree show promises to be one of the most exciting shows on offer. Exhibiting more than 500 students, the exhibition will transform the Faculty of Arts' Grand Parade campus into the biggest gallery in the south-east of the UK. With two buildings and three-floors of gallery space to explore, this show promises to be one of the most extensive, covering all major disciplines and media.

Further details

Artwork exhibited at last year's degree show.

Glasgow School of Art

Masters in Fine Art degree show: 9th June- 18th June

Glasgow has an impressive alumni history, with numerous Turner Prize winners and nominees, including Richard Wright, Simon Starling and Douglas Gordon, Nathan Coley, Jim Lambie, Christine Borland; as well as Karla Black and Martin Boyce, who have been recently shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2011. This year's degree show promises to be as interesting as ever; with film, installation and painting all being exhibited. This may well be a chance to see the development of future big names in their infancy.

Further details

Performance art at last year's degree show after party.

Slade School of Art

Masters in Fine Art and MA degree show: 16th June- 22nd June

This year's MA and MFA degree show is exhibiting a huge variety of mediums from over 60 students. Previous years have produced some extremely high calibre artists, particularly in installation and film, so we're very excited to see what the most recent graduates have in store for us!

Further details

Leeds College of Art

BA degree show: 20th June- 23rd June

Leeds College of Art is a top-notch institution that has generated some notable alumni since it was established in 1846 - including world-famous names like the controversial Turner Prize winner Damien Hirst and sculptors Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. This year's exhibition will have a multi-disciplined approach, exhibiting the work of graduates from Art & Design, Fine Art, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Textiles, Visual Communication, Film and Animation, Photography and Furniture Making. With such a huge variety, this exhibition promises to showcase some brilliant talent.

Further details

Print and graphic design at last year's degree show.

Royal College of Art

BA and Masters degree show: 24th June- 3rd July

Show Battersea features graduating student's work from the Fine Art departments of Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture, exhibiting together for the first time at the RCA's campus south of the river. Both the Sculpture and Painting buildings will be used as gallery spaces, with some students exhibiting in the dramatic Testbed 1 gallery, located just around the corner.

Further details

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design

BA Fine Art, 16th June-23rd June; BA Fine Art, 17th June- 23rd June

Masters in Fine Art- 31st August-5th September ; Masters in fine art- 13th September- 16th September

Central Saint Martins has been called the 'Art and Soul of Britain', and is known for nurturing talented artists across many creative industries. To name a few, Lucian Freud, Jarvis Cocker, Billy Childish, Anthony Gormley, Eduardo Paolozzi, Mike Leigh and singer M.I.A have all graced the hallowed halls of St Martins. This year promises to be extra special for graduating artists, as they will be the last to exhibit at the iconic Charing Cross and Archway campuses, before the college moves to its new home in Kings Cross next year.

Further details on Postgraduate shows

Further details on Undergraduate shows


How did we do? Any amazing shows we have missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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