10 Best Art Schools in Europe for Painting

Going to the right school is promised to make it easier and will help you to achieve your career pursuit. In fact, the wrong school has the potential to make students hate their ambition and some would even quit before graduation.

Europe is unarguably one of the homes for the best painting schools in the world, in fact, 2 of the best painting schools in the world are all in Europe, the UK to be precise. This continent has a very rich history of art and culture, which makes it interesting for students to learn about and from some of the best painters that ever lived.

Just like studying in the best fine art schools in Europe or even acting schools, these schools use world-renowned teaching staff to provide rigorous and comprehensive programs. 

Before you choose one of the best Art schools in Europe for painting, you should remember to consider your budget. Consider each school’s tuition, their accommodation fee, living expenses, and other educational expenses.

best Art schools in Europe for painting
best Art schools in Europe for painting

Best Art Schools in Europe for Painting

Our methodology for choosing these schools includes their international reputation, track record, alumni success, the level of painting experience their faculty have, the schools’ curriculum, their facilities, etc. And it wouldn’t have been such a success without the help of QS World University Rankings.

1. Royal College of Art (UK)

  • Tuition fee 
    • £15,550 (home students)
    • £38,600 (Overseas and EU Students)

Royal College of Art is undoubtedly the best school to study your Master’s degree in painting both in Europe and in the World and QS World University Rankings agrees with that and ranks them #1 in the world (they don’t offer any bachelor’s degree). During the course of the programme, you’ll participate in individual tutorials and group critiques, online group seminars, workshops, artist talks and presentations.

One of the things that makes an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art is that their teaching staff are artists of international standing who work across a diverse range of media.

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2. University of the Arts London (UK)

  • Tuition BA Fine Art Painting
    • £9,250 (home fees)
    • £25,970 (Overseas and EU)

On our second list of best Art schools in Europe for painting is the University of the Arts London, which is also the second best in the world by QS World University Rankings. It is the best BA Painting school in Europe and the world. 

Their BA in Fine Art Painting at Camberwell College of Arts takes three years to complete. You’ll start by studying the practice of painting, its history, culture and contemporary position, then you’ll further start discussing your work through tutorials, seminars, group and cross-course crits.

They also provide a 15-month MA in Fine Art that specialises in computational arts, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture. Finally, they provide 44 short courses in painting which range from a few days to long weeks with different price ranges.

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3. Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp (Belgium)

This is one of the best painting schools in Europe that gives you the opportunity to study both a BA and an MA in Painting in just 4 years. You’ll start your first two years observing, think of it as observation drawing and painting exercises on ‘classical’ genres such as still life, model, portrait and landscape.

In the third year, your pictorial research will be used to guide you personally, and if you intend to further your master’s there, you’ll be able to create a fully-fledged artistic project that bears witness to your own point of view and a professional presentation.

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4. The Glasgow School of Art (UK)

  • Tuition
    • £1,820 (Scottish (Home) Students)
    • £9,250 (Rest of UK Students)
    • £21,360 (International Students)

The Glasgow School of Art easily made it to our list of best Art schools in Europe for painting due to their excellence in providing bachelor’s programmes in Painting and Printmaking. The programme lasts for 4 years, reflecting the complex and changing conditions of art today, responding to new ideas and encouraging innovation. 

Painting in Glasgow will help students have the opportunity to extend their work, in addition to printmaking, into areas such as electronic media and photography.

It’s worth noting that the school is globally recognised as the 3rd best art school in the UK, the 6th best in Europe and the 12th best in the world by QS World University Rankings.

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5. Delft University of Technology – Drawing & Painting Course (Netherlands)

  • Tuition: between €67 to €166

TUDelft doesn’t provide a BA or MA in Painting but a short course that can be completed within 6 weeks. Since it’s coming from the #13 best art school in the world, you should expect to get the best of the best short courses.

They provide two short courses in painting which are;

  • Drawing and Painting: Basics
  • Drawing and Painting: Portrait

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6. Goldsmiths, University of London (UK)

  • Tuition
    • £11,200 (home)
    • £24,850 (international)

Goldsmiths, University of London provides a 2-year MA in Fine Art, and students will have the opportunity to strengthen their skills in painting, sculpture, printmaking, installation, performance, art writing, textiles, digital media and video. Students will be participating in tutorials, seminars, lectures, workshops and research laboratories.

This is among the best Art schools in Europe for painting that provides you the option to choose whether to complete the program with 2 years (full-time) 4 years (part-time) or 3 years (combined).

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7. University of Oxford – The Ruskin School of Art

  • Tuition
    • £9,250 (Home)
    • £38,550 (International)

The Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford provides BFA, MFA, and DPhil in painting. Just like most other top Art schools in the UK for painting, the BFA Programme in this school takes 3 years to complete and you’ll be covering courses on painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, installation, video, sound, performance and other experimental forms.

Their Master’s programme takes 1 year, whereas their DPhil duration varies, and you’ll be focusing on more advanced painting, moving image, performance, sculpture, installation and writing courses. 

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8. Universität der Künste Berlin (Germany)

  • Tuition: No Tuition Fees

Being ranked #31 among the best art Universities in the world by QS World University Rankings made it an easy spot to join our list. 

It’s worth noting that it takes a longer time to complete the BFA programme especially when compared to other best painting schools in Europe on our list. You can complete it within 5 years.

The school is one of the few schools in Germany (3 to be precise) that unites both the faculties of art and music in one institution. Their admission is competitive and only high-talented individuals are selected.

And the best part is that the school offers a tuition-free programme in accordance with Germany’s law.

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9. Loughborough University – Fine Art BA (UK)

  • Tuition
    • UK: £9,250
    • International: £22,000

This list of best Art schools in Europe for painting wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the BA in Fine Art at Loughborough University where students will be diving deep into contemporary Fine Art. They will be learning more about drawing, painting, sculpture and print, photography, video and sound, digital media and interdisciplinary activities.

Speaking of accolades and awards, the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide awarded them the second-best school in the UK for Art and Design.

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10. Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs (France)

ENSAD provides a 5-year degree course which is divided into two sections (3 years + 2 years). Within the first three years, students will acquire the fundamentals of Fine Art and initiate the Grand Project. Then the remaining two years will be channeled into research.

Throughout students’ studies, they will receive courses in drawing, painting, sculpture, art history, aesthetics, law, new technologies, foreign languages, etc.

We need to point out that the school is among the top 40 art schools in the world by QS World University Rankings.

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You can see that Europe offers several excellent artistic education, which gives passionate, aspiring, and professional painters a pool of options to choose from. Each school has one or more things that make them unique, whether it’s traditional painting techniques, Stippling, Glazing, Sgraffito, etc.

So the best way to choose from this array of Institutions is to focus on your goals, scan through their curriculum and know which fits your purpose. As we said earlier, be watchful of your budget too.

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