Foundation Courses | The Open College of the Arts | Distance Learning Degrees and Courses
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Open Foundation Courses

Designed for those who want to develop skills and understanding before embarking on degree level study, or as interesting courses in their own right.

Why choose an Open Foundation Course with OCA?


If degree study is new to you or you are uncertain about where to start, you are strongly encouraged to consider starting with the OCA’s Open Foundations courses.

These courses will provide the building blocks you will need to start out on a degree pathway, and will help to build your confidence and familiarise you with the study skills you need to study from home. This is especially relevant if you have been out of education for a long time.

By choosing to study OCA’s Open Foundations courses, you will get the same level support as OCA undergraduates and can join study visits, access the OCA student website, participate in online forums, and tap into the many and varied resources there. The courses are not accredited but, by completing the course, you will gain the confidence that you are ready for degree study and progress in your subject.

Assessing your options


We're living in strange times thanks to Covid-19 - and we know that it's thrown so many further education plans into disarray.

An arts foundation course is a popular choice for those looking to start a fine art-related degree, whether it’s a requirement for your chosen university or not.

When you study with OCA, there’s no set start date – you can start now, study online, and pursue further education options in September 2021 after a long summer break – or you can look into a distance learning degree with OCA straight away!

Drawing

This Open Foundations drawing course will give you the best starting point to develop basic drawing skills, explore different ways of using materials and tools, and discover drawing as a pleasurable and inventive activity.

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Photography

This Open Foundations course aims to equip you with fundamental creative, visual and technical skills in photography. It is a practical, task oriented course filled with creative approaches to developing your photography skills.

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Textiles

This Open Foundations course will help you develop your visual skills and explore different ways of using materials and tools to develop your own textile ideas, introducing you to the nature and context of textiles.

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Drawing for Textile Art, Design & Fashion

This Open course is designed as an introduction to drawing for textiles and contemporary drawing practice more broadly. You will be introduced to expressive, gestural methods alongside more traditional approaches.

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Interior Design

This Open course has been designed to offer you an insight into the creative processes, critical thinking and practical skills needed to conduct a personal investigation into the navigation, conceptualisation and occupation of space.

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Music

This is a bespoke course designed to help you develop as a composer, musician, or music appreciator. It will give you a firm grounding in music theory, basic composition and arrangement, ear training and music history.

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Creative Writing

The Open Foundations Creative Writing course is designed to inspire and encourage new students to practise independent writing. You will start writing immediately, drawing from personal experience, and you can expect to make rapid progress.

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Painting

This course introduces you to painting practice, practical application and contextual material. You will explore a range of subject matter including still life, interiors, landscape and the figure, and there will be an emphasis on working from life.

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Drawing from the Past

This foundation course is designed to provide students with a new way of looking at and thinking about works of art and art history, learning strategies that should allow you to discover and generate knowledge on your terms.

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Studying with us

Our flexible part time Open courses come to you, wherever you might be, and whatever your circumstances. We recognise that distance learning education can require a greater level of self-motivation than traditional campus-based study, and so we offer a range of online facilities and support.

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