BA (Hons)


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The Open College of the Arts is the distance learning college of the University for the Creative Arts – one of the UK’s leading specialist art and design universities.


The OCA BA (Hons) in Painting is for those who wish to focus on drawing and painting to become reflective artists with the skills necessary to effectively develop a personal artistic vision or voice. A range of options at Level 1 (HE4) also provides the opportunity to explore another visual art discipline to enrich and broaden your skills including sculpture and printmaking.

Degree overview

As you progress through the levels of this degree, you gain a broad knowledge and critical understanding of the principles of Art and knowledge of emerging aspects of the discipline and those at the forefront of debate. The degree includes options in drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. You will have gained the ability to communicate information and justify your work, and be a resourceful and independent learner. You will have a breadth of creativity and inventiveness, as well as a range of artistic techniques. You will be able to articulate and comment upon underpinning art theory and concepts through writing and speech.

Degree aims

  • To ensure students demonstrate proficiency in a comprehensive range of painting practices and techniques.
  • To develop students’ creative, and critical capacities and their ability to reflect on, interpret and evaluate their own and the work of others and to communicate this to others.
  • To develop students’ theoretical, conceptual and contextual understanding of fine art, the practice of painting and contemporary debate in the discipline.
  • To foster inventiveness, risk taking and reflection as a method of learning, to develop a personal language as a painter.
  • To equip students with professional and transferable skills to sustain a practice.

Degree prospectus

Full details of the Painting degree can be found in the Programme Specification below.

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The Open College of the Arts is the distance learning college of the University for the Creative Arts – one of the UK’s leading specialist art and design universities.

“When I discovered the Open College of the Arts offered a degree which specialised in painting I chose to enrol because the course was through distance learning which suited my lifestyle and other commitments. I had my own dedicated tutors for each module as well as the support from other students within the OCA’s online community forums and so never felt isolated in my studies.”


Jereme Crow, Painting alumnus

Programme Leader for MA Fine Art, Fine Art and Painting

Caroline Wright

My practice encompasses site responsive visual and performance work using media as diverse as glass and gold. I have made work for cities and rural spaces, community spaces, galleries, theatres, churches, on desolate uninhabited islands and for audiences in the 100s and of one.

Creative careers

The creative sector employs 1.9 million people in the UK alone.

By studying the OCA BA (Hons) Painting degree, 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.

Careers that a Painting degree can lead to include Exhibition designer; Fine artist; FE teacher; HE lecturer; Illustrator; Museum/gallery curator; Printmaker; Secondary school teacher; Art therapist; Arts administrator; Commercial art gallery manager (taken from

More on careersEnquire

Fees, funding and other costs

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:

Per Unit – Level 1 (HE4) Per Unit – Level 2 (HE5) Level 3 (HE6 – Entire Level)
Per course unit (3 x 40 credit units required) Per course unit (2 x 60 credit units required) For the whole level (composition varies depending upon the subject area being studied)
UK £1,315 £1,630 £3,260
Rest of World £1,460 £1,800 £3,600

If you started studying with OCA before 01 August 2017, please contact 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 super-helpful guide to take you through the application process, making applying for Student Finance a piece of cake – 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.

Enquire now

Please fill in this form to enquire about the BA (Hons) Painting degree or one of OCA’s other undergraduate degree programmes. You are not committing to anything by filling in this form.