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[Image credit: Carol Smith]

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

  • One-to-one tutor support

  • UCA accredited degrees

  • Study visits

  • Flexible timeframes

Carol Smith Portrait

Featured student

Carol Smith

I started studying for the BA (Hons) Creative Arts degree in 2010, while I was living in Beijing, and I graduated in 2015.  OCA allowed me to continue to work full time and study towards a degree from the other side of the world.

I don’t think there is another arts education institution that is so flexible and at the same time so professional.

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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.

"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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Our We Are OCA blog articles

‘If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do’

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OCA Level 3 painting student, James Loy, is exhibiting at the Galleon Grill in Blackpool from the 4 - 30 September. The gallery is filled with paintings on canvas of dogs, made in a painterly and expressionistic style as observed in different envi...
The Subversive Stitch documents the history of embroidery, mainly in Britain from the medieval period right up to the present day. If you are serious about textiles this book is essential reading.

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I have been in love with the American documentary from my very first days at film school. The tradition of narrative without commentary is something most auteur documentarists in America take as their mantra. However, one of the genres within the ...