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Personal Development Courses | Study CPD Online | Open College of the Arts

To find out more details about the transfer to The Open University see A New Chapter for OCA.

Personal development courses

At the OCA, we believe in lifelong learning.

Personal development is all about learning new things, or old things for the first time, all the way through your life.

Learning doesn’t stop at a certain age – it’s something that you continue to do throughout your lifetime. Our mission is to give people opportunity to access the arts in the way that works for them. So, if you want to learn something new and embrace a creative challenge, but don’t wish to study for a full qualification, you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re studying for a different qualification and want to try something new, are working on your continuing professional development (CPD), or are looking to enhance your knowledge and practice, you can do that with OCA through our personal skill development courses.

How it Works

Getting Started

There are several intakes throughout the year you can join, study online, and pursue further education options – or you can investigate a distance learning degree with OCA straight away! Review the key enrolment dates here.

Spread the cost

For the academic year 2023/2024, the listed personal development courses costs:

  • UK Students: £1650, or a deposit of £495 followed by 6 monthly instalments of £192.50.
  • International Students: £1,890, or a deposit of  £567 followed by 6 monthly instalments of £220.50.
Study at times to suit you

Your course materials are accessible online through the virtual learning environment, OCA Learn, where you’ll also have access to student forums, a subject space and the student handbook,. You’ll work primarily from a set text of course materials and resources, but can also sign up to webinars, workshops and study groups in addition to your core learning. You have 12 months to complete a Personal Development course and will need to dedicate the recommended minimum 10 study hours per week. If you have more time to dedicate, you can complete sooner!

Personal Development Courses

BA (hons) Textiles Ribbon Work

Mixed Media for Textiles

Enhance your ideas and designs through textile mixed media investigations.

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Open Foundation Course Work Example

Textiles Vocabulary

Explore the world of textiles using traditional and new techniques.

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Illustration Work by an BA (hons Illustration student

Illustration Sketchbooks

A practical exploration of drawing through a range of creative approaches.

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Key Steps in Illustration

The ideal starting place for every budding illustrator out there.

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person with a hat stood in a field

Expressing Your Vision

Learn how technical decisions you make affect the outcome of your work.

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Scriptwriting will equip you with a toolbox of basics, from layout to dialogue.

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A sheet of creative writing examples

Starting Your Novel

If you don’t know where to start, this course will show you the way.

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Writing Skills

Writing Skills will help you learn techniques that will draw the words out of you.

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How do I study personal development?

Our personal development courses are designed to give you an exciting introduction to your chosen topic, helping you to build up a range of skills that will support you as you take the first step with a new hobby, interest, qualification or career.

An OCA tutor will guide you through the course – as experienced practitioners in their own right they’ll give you tips and tricks to help your practice. These are the same tutors that teach our degree level and foundation courses, giving you the full benefit of their experience and expertise.

In addition, they’ll provide critical feedback on your work, industry insights, answer any queries and much, much more. There is no formal assessment, so you can use your feedback to help develop your ongoing practice and learning. Currently personal development students do not have access to our online library.

You can choose from a range of courses to suit your interests. Mix and match across subjects or stick to one area – the choice is yours. You can build up a portfolio by selecting units from different areas to enhance your knowledge and skills.

Personal Development with OCA is designed to be flexible, supportive, and an enjoyable creative challenge. Take a look at what you can study with us and enrol today.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about our personal development courses, please don't hesitate to drop our admissions team a message using the form below!

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Foundation Courses

At the beginning of your higher education journey? Explore our arts foundations.

Learn more

Short Courses

Looking for something equally creative but less intensive? Explore our range of arts short courses.

Learn more