Painting Courses

The OCA offers an degree in painting, and you can develop your skills as a painter alongside another subject within the Creative Arts degree. You can also study individual painting courses for personal development, without studying for any degree.


Level 1 (HE4)

Level 2 (HE5)

Level 3 (HE6)


Studying painting courses at OCA

Whichever approach to study you choose – either for an degree or for personal development – you are strongly encouraged to start with the Open course, Drawing Skills. This will lay the foundations for the successful study of painting. Even if you have done a significant amount of drawing in the past, you’ll find Drawing Skills will refresh those skills and bolster your observational skills. Becoming good at drawing is about regular practice. Good drawing provides a springboard for painting practice.

There are a number of Open courses available for painting, starting with The Practice of Painting. This takes your basic knowledge and experience of painting through a series of projects to develop your own visual ideas and means of expression. Along the way you will be introduced to some major artists and art movements.

The level two painting courses, Exploring Concepts and Mixed Media, provide a conceptual framework for your practice. During these Open courses you will work through a range of projects and approaches via historic and contemporary exemplars. Painting courses at level two encourage you to find different and more ambitious ways of working to pursue an individual and inventive art practice. This involves a combination of practical, visual and written work; testing ideas through making and writing in your learning log and essay.

At level three there are three interlinked painting courses: Contextual Studies, Major Project and Professional Practice. These Open courses strengthen the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired in previous painting courses. They provide an opportunity to synthesise theory and practice through self-initiated research and practice projects. These level three painting courses expect a high degree of self-motivation and autonomy to produce a collection of ambitious paintings (in scale, material, method and concept) which are experimental, accomplished and contemporary. You will also be introduced to the realities of professional art practice today. On successful completion of the degree you will have gained a broad knowledge and critical understanding of the principles of and emerging aspects of the discipline.

For further information about our awarding university, UCA, click here: The University for the Creative Arts.

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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 - Painting student

“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 student