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[Image credit: Patricia Farrar]

Study with the

Open College of the Arts

With the Open College of the Arts (OCA), you can study a one-off course or a BA (Hons) degree from home or anywhere you like and at a time to suit you.

The Open College of the Arts is a non-profit educational charity whose charitable purpose is to widen participation in arts education through distance learning methods. You will receive support from a one-to-one tutor who is also an arts practitioner and you will become part of a thriving UK and international student community.  All of our degrees are accredited by the University for the Creative Arts (UCA). We have an exceptional range of part-time higher education courses in painting, drawing, photography, music, illustration, graphic design, creative writing, textiles, sculpture, printmaking, art history and film. An award-winning online MA Fine Art is also available with the Open College of the Arts.

Reasons to study with the OCA:

  • 25 years of learning and creativity

  • Speedy enrolment

  • Global community

  • Student finance funding

  • One-to-one tutor support

  • UCA accredited degrees

  • Study visits

  • Flexible timeframes

Featured student

James Lloyd

I have been studying with the OCA since 2009. The OCA enables me to study fine art to a high standard in a flexible manner so that I can carry on working full time. They are continually finding ways to improve the distance learning experience, for example using on-line forums and by study visits. During my studies I have been able to pursue my own interests and develop a deeper theoretical understanding, unlocking my ability to produce personal, meaningful work. As a result of my work with the OCA I have now been accepted on an MA Fine Art course.

UCA logo

All of our degrees are accredited by the University for the Creative Arts – one of the UK’s leading specialist universities.

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OCA’s courses are independently reviewed. Read the report here: OCA’s QAA Review.

Our We Are OCA blog articles

In the Foundations Drawing course there’s a modest exercise in which students are asked to turn three circles into balls through shading.Most students do the three drawings and, perfectly reasonable, move on to the next exercise. Sharon Mulberry-R...
I recently attended the 'Redefining Print' symposium at the Exeter Phoenix arts venue and wanted to share with you some of the topics and ideas covered. What was amazing about the day was the way it set out to expand our understanding of print wit...
In her Textiles 1 Exploring Ideas unit, OCA student Ailish has been looking at ‘"Reworking" lingerie, lace, and vintage findings into new garments. Previously featured for her playful vegetable patch inspired work, in comparison this new work is d...
I can clearly remember my first rejection. It was as if someone had released a little valve on me. The sort of little valve that beach balls have so you can blow them up. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to write again.

Read more →

"The OCA is fantastic at providing dedicated support from enthusiastic tutors. Course materials enable inexperienced students to build their core skills gradually at the same time as enabling those with more creative experience to work towards developing their own personal voice. I am proud to say that I study with OCA. "

− Ayla Morten, Drawing 1: Drawing Skills

"Illustration 1 has really opened my eyes to the illustration profession. The course materials are really comprehensive, guiding you through various exercises and assignments and the feedback from my tutor is always detailed, positive and really helpful. There is a lot to learn and do but I’m sure I’ll get there with the support of the OCA!"

− Lia Edwards, Illustration 1

"I’ve learnt so much with the OCA, through excellent tutor support and guidance, and a fantastic student forum where we can share our experiences."

− Jereme Crow
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