Why should you study with the

Open College of the Arts?

25 years of learning and creativity

OCA is a thriving creative arts community of photographers, painters, composers, graphic designers, textile artists, sculptors and writers studying part-time creative arts courses at university level. OCA an education charity, was set up by the social entrepreneur Michael Young in 1987.

Speedy enrolment

You can either securely enrol through this website with a credit/debit card or call the office to make your payment. Once your enrolment has been processed, you will receive an OCA email address together with online access to your course and tutor within just a few hours.  You will then receive your physical course materials by courier within two working days of cleared payment.


A real bonus is that our fees are about a third of those charged by traditional universities. What’s more, you can study with us whilst carrying on with existing commitments such as part-time employment, or family/carer responsibilities. You can pay fees as you go or get a student loan if you haven’t already got a degree.

UCA accredited degree

OCA undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses are accredited at higher education level by the University for the Creative Arts, whose alumni include fashion designers Karen Millen and Zandra Rhodes; Oscar winners Daniel Greaves and Suzie Templeton; and fine artists Tracy Emin and Humphrey Ocean.

Personal one-to-one tutor support

Once you enrol you will be assigned a personal tutor who is a creative practitioner in your chosen discipline and who is qualified to teach in higher education.

Quality – QAA

The quality of our online teaching and learning materials was identified as an area of good practice when OCA was inspected in February 2014 by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), the agency responsible for safeguarding standards and improving the quality of higher education in the UK. Read the full report here: OCA’s QAA Report

Study visits

Meet fellow students under the guidance of one of our tutors on our optional study visits; held all across the UK and beyond.

A global community

The OCA has a vibrant student community from around the world. Upon enrolment, you will become part of that thriving UK and international student community.

Study at times to suit you

Many OCA students are combining studies with work, bringing up children or caring for relatives. Some are just starting out in their careers. Others are well into retirement. Most had no qualifications in the creative arts when they began studying. We are not tied by fixed term times, so students can start whenever it suits them.

Our Courses


Our Students


Our Tutors


Our Head Office Team