Painting 3: Sustaining your Practice (Professional Practice)

Course Level: 3 (HE6) | HE Credits: 40 | Approx. Duration: 12 months at 8hrs/week


When you get to this final level of study, it is essential to view all three courses as a cohesive programme of study. You have four years in total, as a maximum, to complete this entire level, but in practice most students will spend two or three years bringing their final work to a conclusion and ready for assessment. In fact you will enrol on the first two courses (Contextual Studies and Major Project) at the same time, and study them in parallel, since your learning on the first course will inform the second and visa versa. The big advantage of studying in this way is that you will normally have two different tutors for each of these courses, giving you a rich breadth of perspective as you study.

The final course, Professional Practice, is about getting your work out in the public domain in a professional way. It makes sense to embark on this course once you are well underway on the first two courses. This will normally be mid way or two thirds of the way through your study of the first two courses. You will have a third tutor to support you through this final course.

You must submit the first two courses (Contextual Studies and Major Project) for assessment at the same time, and may submit the final course, Professional Practice, for formal assessment at a later point OR alongside the first two courses.


The aims of the course are to:

  • A1 Build on and complete the body of work started during the course Painting 3: Major Project, working in response to a set of research questions developed during the course Painting 3: Contextual Studies.
  • A2 Enable you to complete a body of work to exhibition standard
  • A3 Build your personal and professional development in the planning and execution of an exhibition
  • A4 Support the development of your artistic and professional judgement
  • A5 Further develop your understanding of the making of art, the history of art, and contemporary art practice.


On successful completion of the course the student will be able to:

  • LO1 Deploy technical and practical skills in painting, the works themselves demonstrating a clear visual language and confidence (A1)
  • LO2 Complete an ambitious and highly focused body of work to exhibition standard (A2)
  • LO3 Demonstrate personal and professional development in the planning and execution of an exhibition or other means of display (A3)
  • LO4 Demonstrate sound artistic and professional judgment in the selection of works and venue (A4)
  • LO5 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of historic and contemporary approaches to making and showing paintings (A5)

Course content

  • Assignment one: completion of project plan, with a list of potential exhibition outlets, draft artist’s statement, plus a number of new works (or works in progress) for review
  • Assignment two: completion of a new set of works, written self-assessment and evidence of a developing exhibition plan
  • Assignment three: as assignment two
  • Assignment four: completion of the final set of paintings (which will complete the body of work), written statement about the pieces selected for exhibition and draft press release, evidence of marketing activity, insurance etc.
  • Assignment five: the exhibition (or other viewing platform), photographic/video documentation of the event and a written self-assessment to include viewer feedback, ideas for future works/events.