BA (Hons) Creative Arts

The OCA BA (Hons) Creative Arts degree gives you an exciting opportunity if you have a passion for more than one creative arts practice. This Open degree programme allows you to choose from the full range of distance learning courses available through the OCA, combining the study of art, creative writing, art history, printmaking, sculpture, music, graphic design, illustration, book design and photography. You may combine the media which interest you most, studying poetry and music for example, or art alongside creative writing, or illustration together with photography.

Degree overview

The Creative Arts Open Degree provides a unique opportunity for OCA students to fulfil their creative potential through studying two disciplines in depth to degree level. The development of a new level six programme for this degree gives a real opportunity to grow in its ability to merge two separate disciplines and create one final body of work, contextualise this work and develop an understanding of a professional practice. This will increase the attractiveness and interest of this degree and provide a truly interdisciplinary learning structure that develops a creative practice in a personal and unique way for each student.

Students may choose to study photography and creative writing for example, or textiles alongside painting, or music alongside illustration and so on. Students can choose across the range of units available at OCA, thus combining the study of fine art, creative writing, art history, textiles music, visual communications and photography. The range of choices available is exceptional, and provides an exciting opportunity for those students who have a passion for combining more than one creative art practice. The new level six units of the course provide the students with a breadth of intellectual, practical and transferable skills required for a range of roles in the creative arts.

Students will study two subjects independently at levels four and five as well as completing the compulsory Creative Arts Today course. At level six the degree is structured to engage the students with practical, theoretical and conceptual issues whilst combining this with their unique approach to their selected creative arts pathway.

Degree aims

  • To widen access to education in the creative arts at undergraduate level through Open and Flexible Learning.
  • Ensure students gain the technical skills in each of the disciplines chosen to form a solid foundation for further development.
  • To provide an intellectually stimulating interdisciplinary programme of study based on high quality study material and tutor support.
  • To develop students’ creative capacities and their ability in interpretation and application.
  • To develop students’ critical understanding of the theoretical and conceptual issues central to the creative arts practice and the social, historical and cultural context in which it is practised.
  • To provide an environment in which the student has the possibility of changing their view of the world and their interaction with it both artistically and intellectually.
  • To foster high-level ethical and professional standards and an awareness of the possibilities offered by existing and new developments in areas of the creative arts to expand their application areas.
  • To develop autonomous learners capable of applying intellectual and practical skills in a chosen area of contemporary creative arts activity appropriate to employment, further study, or life-long learning.

Course content

Full details of the content of the OCA BA (Hons) Creative Arts degree, and pathways available can be found through the degree handbook and pathway documents, downloadable below. If you need more information about the content of this Open degree and the course units available through it, please call the office to speak to an advisor.

Creative Arts Degree cover

The OCA BA (Hons) Creative Arts degree handbook

The OCA BA (Hons) Creative Arts degree pathway

Creative careers

The creative sector employs 1.5 million people in the UK alone. By studying with the OCA, you can kick-start your career in the creative industries by working part-time or doing an internship whilst gaining your academic qualifications at the same time. The OCA’s Creative Arts degree will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the professional context and the professional standards required for one of the many available creative careers available. You will have gained an understanding of the needs of the various market segments, and will be prepared for seeking, continuing or changing employment or self-employment relating to the specialism of your choice.

Doug Burton

Programme Leader for Creative Arts and Drawing

I am the Curriculum Leader for Creative Arts at the OCA and tutor Drawing, Printmaking, Sculpture and Creative Arts across all HE levels. My role as curriculum leader has given me an overview of students’ diverse approaches to studying at the OCA. It is an exciting process developing a students unique interdisciplinary approach to making and thinking within the Creative Arts Degree pathway. Prior to joining the OCA I have been a tutor and assessor at Byam Shaw School of Art in London and have also been a technical assistant to a number of leading artists including Sir Anthony Caro.

Through an investigation into the morphology of matter and the history of its material presence my work captures the surface of the world around us to create Drawings, Sculptures and Animations of an altered physical materiality. I am interested in capturing a material history that is found in our immediate environment, and allowing my powers as an artist to augment its physical state. The morphology of surface-structure and ideas are central to my current practice. In a catalogue essay written by David Lillington in 2008 (Doug Burton and Nicky Hirst, Morphology) Lillington describes my working process as “…problem solving, ways of thinking, ‘the idea of the interconnectedness of all things’ – the architecture of thought as much as the architecture of matter and space – are at the heart of his work. They constitute its real subject.”

Doug Burton - Curriculum Leader

Creative Arts Degree course units

The available course units for the BA (Hons) Creative Arts degree can be viewed below.

Level 1 (HE4)

Due to the large number of courses that can be taken as part of the OCA BA (Hons) Creative Arts degree programme, this page only lists the compulsory courses for that degree programme. For more Creative Arts courses at level 1 (HE4), please see the Creative Arts Open Degree Pathway.

Level 2 (HE5)

Due to the large number of courses that can be taken as part of the OCA’s BA (Hons) Creative Arts degree programme, this page only lists the compulsory courses for that degree programme. For more Creative Arts courses at level 2 (HE5), please see the Creative Arts degree pathway.

Level 3 (HE6)


Enquire About this Degree

Please fill in this form to begin the process of enrolling on the BA (Hons) Creative Arts degree or one of OCA’s other undergraduate degree programmes. You are not committing to anything by filling in this form, and a member of the Head Office team will be in touch shortly to further discuss your application.

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All of our degrees are awarded by the University for the Creative Arts – one of the UK’s leading specialist universities.