School Guide

Best Universities to Study Fine and Applied Arts in Nigeria

Fine art refers to any form of visual art that cannot be used for practical or commercial purposes. The fine arts typically include mediums such as painting, drawing, and also sculptures.

Applied art refers to artwork created for a valuable end product such as design or even decoration (for example: fabric design).

The Department runs three different types of programmes for the award of Bachelors degree in Fine and Applied Arts: Four-year, Three-year and also Two-year standard programmes.

The 1st year of the three-year programme starts at 2nd year level. After that, students follow the regular Four-Year programme at the 3rd year level.
Two-year standard programme follows with the regular four-year programme at the 3rd year level.

Top 5 Universities for Studying Fine and Applied Arts in Nigeria

Top 5 Universities for Studying Fine and Applied Arts in Nigeria

Below are top 5 universities for studying fine and applied arts in Nigeria:

1. University of Benin

The University of Benin in Nigeria is renowned for its Fine and Applied Arts program. Established in 1970, the department has produced many notable Nigerian artists.

The department is well equipped with studios for painting, sculpture, ceramics, and printmaking. They have a professional staff and visiting lecturers from around the world. The university’s Center for Cultural Studies also promotes artistic pursuits.

UNIBEN offers undergraduate and graduate programs in Fine and Applied Arts with concentrations in:

  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Ceramics
  • Printmaking
  • Art History

The undergraduate program leads to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Fine and Applied Arts. The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Fine and Applied Arts are also available for graduate studies.

Students participate in group and solo art exhibitions, workshops, residencies, and internships. The department also takes educational excursions to art centers across Nigeria. These opportunities allow students to gain valuable experience and network with others in their field.

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2. Yaba College of Technology

Yaba College of Technology has been leading fine and applied arts education in Nigeria for decades. Established in 1934, Yaba Tech offers programs in creative arts, painting, sculpture, graphics, textiles, ceramics, and design.

As one of Nigeria’s first higher education institutions, Yaba Tech has pioneered art education in West Africa. Their School of Art, Design and Printing is renowned for shaping many of the region’s most influential artists and designers.

If you want to study at one of the top art schools in Nigeria, Yaba Tech should be at the top of your list. They offer National Diploma and Higher National Diploma programs in fine and applied arts that provide comprehensive practical training. Studying at Yaba Tech means learning from lecturers who are also practicing artists, and accessing well-equipped studios and workshops.

  • Painting and sculpture studios with specialized equipment for different media
  • Screen printing, lithography, intaglio, and relief printing workshops
  • Textile studios for weaving, dyeing, and printing fabrics
  • Design studios for graphics, product, and environmental design

At Yaba Tech, you’ll develop a strong foundation in both traditional and contemporary artistic practices. You’ll gain hands-on experience with diverse materials and techniques, preparing you for a career as a professional artist or designer. With a degree from this prestigious institution, you’ll join the ranks of highly sought-after creative talents in Nigeria.

3. Nnamdi Azikiwe University

Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Anambra State is a great choice for studying fine and applied arts. With excellent facilities and resources for arts students, UNIZIK offers degree programs in painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphics design, and textile design.

The Department of Fine and Applied Arts has well-equipped art studios for painting, sculpture, ceramics, and graphics design. Students have access to materials and tools for exploring different artistic mediums and techniques. The textile design studio is filled with weaving looms, printing tables, and sewing machines. These high-quality resources allow students to gain valuable hands-on experience.

UNIZIK’s fine and applied arts faculty are practicing artists and designers themselves. They stay up-to-date with trends in the art world and industry. The faculty help students develop their creative talents and technical skills through engaging coursework and mentorship. Students can learn from professionals with expertise in areas like portraiture, pottery, batik, and web design.

While studio practice is essential, students also take courses in art history, criticism, and esthetics. By studying major art movements, styles, and influential artists, students gain an understanding of the cultural and historical context of art.

UNIZIK provides opportunities for students to showcase their artwork through on-campus exhibitions. Participating in exhibitions allows students to display their creativity, gain exposure, and receive feedback from audiences and judges. For many students, exhibiting their work leads to sales, commissions, and other career opportunities after graduation.

4. Obafemi Awolowo University

Obafemi Awolowo University, located in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, has a strong focus on visual and performing arts.

OAU offers bachelor’s degrees in Fine Arts and Industrial Design. The Fine Arts program covers painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphics, and textiles. Students develop skills in drawing, color theory, art history, and more. The Industrial Design program focuses on product design, emphasizing esthetics, ergonomics, and functionality.

Students can showcase their work at the university’s Center for Cultural Studies art gallery. The department also hosts guest lectures, workshops, and collaborations with international artists.

OAU’s Department of Dramatic Arts offers a bachelor’s in Theater Arts, covering acting, dance, music, and technical theater. Students study voice, movement, improvisation, playwriting, and West African folklore. The university has theater spaces for student productions, and the department organizes an annual Art and Culture Week.

OAU is also home to a dance troupe and choir that students can participate in. The music program covers traditional Nigerian instruments like the talking drum, as well as Western styles.

In addition to theaters and galleries, OAU has well-equipped studios for painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphics, photography, and more. The university library has a large collection of resources on art, design, and performance.

With a long-established art school and opportunities in both visual and performing arts, OAU deserves its place among the top universities in Nigeria for fine and applied arts. The program nurtures students’ creativity while grounding them in technical skills and cultural traditions.

5. Ahmadu Bello University

Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Zaria, Kaduna State is one of the top universities for studying arts and design in Nigeria. It offers programs in graphic design, painting, sculpture, textile design, and more.

ABU’s Fine Arts program provides a strong foundation in both theory and technique. You’ll take courses like Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, and Art History to build your skills and develop your own style. The faculty are practicing artists themselves, so you’ll benefit from their experience.

ABU also has a Department of Industrial Design with concentrations in product design, interior design, visual communication, and fashion design. If you’re interested in how design influences the world around us, this could be an ideal program for you. Graduates of these programs are prepared for careers as artists, designers, art teachers, and more.

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The university has excellent facilities, including studios, workshops, and galleries to support the programs. ABU frequently hosts art exhibitions, competitions, and cultural events on campus. This exposure to a thriving arts community will enrich your experience as a student.


1. What programs are offered?

Most universities offer a range of Fine and Applied Arts programs including:

  • Visual Arts (Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, etc.)
  • Industrial Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Textile Design
  • Creative Arts (Dance, Music, Theater Arts)

Some also offer degrees in Architecture, Building, Interior Design and Urban & Regional Planning.

2. What are the admission requirements?

Admission into Fine and Applied Arts programs typically requires:

  • 5 credits in relevant subjects like English, Mathematics and Arts at O’level (WAEC, NECO, GCE)
  • A minimum cut-off point in the relevant subjects
  • Aptitude tests to assess your creative abilities
  • Submission of a portfolio of your creative works for some programs

The exact requirements vary between universities so check with your target schools for their specific criteria.

3. How much does it cost?

Tuition fees for Fine and Applied Arts programs in Nigeria range from 200,000 to over 500,000 Naira per session, depending on the university and program. Some schools charge higher fees for courses like Architecture. Additional costs include materials, equipment and field trips.

4. What career opportunities exist?

Graduates of Fine and Applied Arts programs can pursue careers as: designers, architects, artists, sculptors, animators, illustrators, art teachers, interior decorators, and more. Strong entrepreneurial skills will open up more opportunities to work as independent creative professionals.

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