Study a Painting degree with OCA

You’ll be able to explore drawing and painting principles such as line, tone, proportion and perspective. You’ll be guided by a specialist tutor who will inspire your creativity, provide specialist insights and feedback on a one-to-one basis to enhance your existing skills and knowledge. Alongside the core units, you’ll have the option to choose from elective modules to suit your own interests and aspirations, enabling you to drastically grow and develop your artistic talents. You’ll build on your personal style that will captivate your viewers and set you aside from other artists.

Course Structure

The BA (Hons) Painting degree is split into eight units; three at Level 1 (HE4), two at Level 2 (HE5), and three at Level 3 (HE6). There are some core units that all students take, many more optional units, and some prerequisites for units at higher levels.

As a flexible degree, you can complete the programme in 3–9 years, with a maximum of three years to complete each level of the course.

Core Units

At Level 1 (HE4) you will need to complete two mandatory units – Drawing 1: Drawing Skills and Painting 1: The Practice of Painting.

The Drawing Skills unit develops fundamental techniques such as using line and tone, and understanding form, perspective and proportion. You’ll be encouraged to explore and experiment with surface, scale and media.

The Practice of Painting unit introduces core aspects of painting practice such as recognising tonal values, using colour, understanding pictorial space, and composition.

All Level 1 (HE4) units help you to develop your own artwork in the context of art history and artists working today. The courses have plenty of scope for personal interpretation of themes so that, whether you are relatively new to art or more experienced, you can use the course to further your own development.

At Level 2 (HE5) there is one mandatory unit for students to complete: Painting 2: Studio Practice. The other unit is elective, with many students choosing Painting 2: Exploring Media.

A shared structure of mandatory course units at Level 3 (HE6) provides a framework for you to undertake a self-directed artmaking project (Painting 3: Major Project) culminating in an exhibition of a body of work which showcases your achievements and passions (Painting 3: Sustaining your Practice). This artwork will be supported by a significant piece of research drawn from your personal interests as an artist (Painting 3: Contextual Studies).

Optional Units

Students have one elective unit to choose at Level 1 (HE4) which can be theory based – Understanding Visual Culture – or practice based – Painting, Printmaking or Sculpture.

At Level 2 (HE5) you can choose between Drawing 2: Investigating Drawing or Painting 2: Exploring Media.

Painting Degree Pathway

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Download the full programme specification

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See more detail about the available units

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Foundations

£900

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£4,050

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£3,340

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,340

For the level

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,350

Per course unit (4o credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 1 (HE4) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards an Open degree, you’ll need three Level 1 (HE4) course units to gain the necessarry 120 credits to move on to Level 2 (HE5).

Level 2 (HE5)

£1,670

Per course unit (6o credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 2 (HE5) course units are worth 60 credits each. If you’re studying towards an Open degree, you’ll need two Level 2 (HE5) course units to gain the necessarry 120 credits to move on to Level 3 (HE6).

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,340

For the level

OCA’s Level 3 (HE6) course units hold differing amounts of credits depending upon the given Open degree pathway, and therefore are varied in cost. For individual pricing, please see the individual course unit pages on this website.

Foundations

£1,050

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£4,500

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£3,690

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,690

For the level

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,500

Per course unit (40 credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 1 (HE4) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards a degree, you’ll need three Level 1 (HE4) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 2 (HE5).

Level 2 (HE5)

£1,845

Per course unit (60 credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 2 (HE5) course units are worth 60 credits each. If you’re studying towards a degree, you’ll need two Level 2 (HE5) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 3 (HE6).

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,690

For the level

OCA’s Level 3 (HE6) course units hold differing amounts of credits depending upon the given degree pathway, and therefore are varied in cost. For individual pricing, please see the individual course unit pages on this website.

More Information

  • OCA degrees are paid for on a unit-by-unit basis and are around a third of the cost of a degree at a campus university. Unit costs depend on the level of the unit, and also whether you live in the UK or rest of the world.

    If you started studying with OCA before 01 August 2017, please contact accounts@oca.ac.uk as different fees may apply.

    If you are funding your course yourself you can either pay for units in full or you can spread the cost by taking advantage of our deposit and instalment facility for which a £50 fee is included in the deposit you pay.

    All OCA courses are listed with Student Finance England, Wales, and Northern Ireland allowing eligible students to apply for a Student Loan to cover the cost of fees. You may also be able to apply for a maintenance loan and/or Disabled Students Allowance to assist you with the cost of study.

    We’ve made this helpful guide to take you through the application process, making applying for Student Finance simple and straightforward.

    Download the Student Finance guide

    The OCA Learner Support Scheme can provide partial bursaries towards course fees for students who are not eligible for funding via Student Finance, based on financial hardship.

    Other sources of funding may include employer contributions, Enhanced Learning Credits (for Armed Forces Serving Personnel and Service Leavers) and Prisoner Education Trust.

    As a student with OCA, most reading materials can be accessed through the digital library services and eBooks, or sent to you in the post.

    Other costs you may find on your degree include purchasing materials/books/texts to assist in your practice and research. These can be around £500–700 at Levels 1 and 2, and £800–1000 at Level 3. Work is largely submitted to tutors and for assessment via email, however postal costs are expected to be around £40 per assessment for sending materials depending on quantity and weight of materials. Rates for overseas students will be higher.

  • Painting is an open access degree; this means that there are no formal qualifications or experience required to join the course. All you need is a passion for the arts, and willingness to learn.

    All OCA courses require students to be IT literate, have a good internet connection, and have a good standard of English equivalent to CEFR B2. Further details on the entry requirements can be found in the Student Regulations.

  • Upon completing the BA (Hons) Painting degree, you’ll be set with skills to help you navigate the workplace. You could use your practice as a professional artist, illustrator, environment designer, character painter or art-worker, the possibilities are endless. Prospects can help you with a variety of options of where your degree could take you.

    In 2017 the Department for Culture, Media, & Sport estimated there were some 3.12 million jobs in the UK creative economy, and 80,000 new jobs were created in 2017 alone. The creative industries are growing faster than any other sector in the UK.

    Creativity is a sought-after skill in today’s job market. Learning this as part of this degree will set you apart from the rest of the pack.

To Join

Make your mark! Join OCA and the creative community by enrolling here!