Barry Hall was brought up in Stocksfield in Northumberland and attended Prudhoe High School where he explains, "Had the good fortune to attend while artist Birtley Aris taught there". He went on to Sunderland Polytechnic School of Art in 1979-82 where he graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in Fine Art.
In 1995-97 he studied for an M.A. in Fine Art at the University of Northumbria.