Stay inside. Stay inspired. - The Open College of the Arts | Distance Learning Degrees and Courses

Stay inside. Stay inspired.

Welcome to the OCA's lockdown hub - everything you need to keep creative, further your artistic career goals and learn something new through Covid-19.

Keep scrolling to browse our personal development, foundation and short courses, explore our free creative resources, and get involved with our creative community.

Such strange times we're living in...

But at OCA, we're actually already used to staying home.

As the UK’s leading distance learning creative arts university, providing a huge range of courses to students around the world, we’re ideally placed to support your creative goals through all of this.

We’ve got the tutors, the infrastructure and the course materials all ready to go. Whether your education plans have been put on hold, you’re suddenly looking to retrain, or you’re just trying to stay creative, OCA can help.

There’s no enrolment deadlines – you can start your course whenever you like.

Explore our courses and resources below…

Quick links:


Degree Courses Foundation Courses Short Courses Personal Development Courses

Browse all courses by subject area

Short Courses

Focusing on a single topic, these short courses run for 8-10 weeks. Planned for launch in Spring 2020, they've arrived just in time for lockdown life.

These CPD-accredited courses are designed and led by OCA’s expert tutors to go deep into a topic and develop expertise yourself in topical issues. They are short but insightful, and accessible to all.

Photography as Language

Learn the theoretical and technical skills on how to think about photography.

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Creative Education

Explore how teaching and creativity interact, and how you can creatively teach.

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Personal Development Courses

Adapted from our full degree pathways, these personal development options let you focus on one core area of the arts.

Learning never stops – no matter where you are in life. Whether you’re looking to retrain, turn a passion into a career, or just improve your skills in a hobby, personal development courses from OCA give you the tools to do it, with dedicated support from one of our tutors.

Mixed Media for Textiles

Enhance your ideas and designs through textile mixed media investigations.

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Textiles Vocabulary

Explore the world of textiles using traditional and new techniques.

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Illustration Work

Illustration Sketchbooks

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

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drawing examples

Key Steps in Illustration

The ideal starting place for every budding illustrator out there.

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Expressing Your Vision

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

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creative writing examples


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

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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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Open Foundation Courses

Take your art foundation course online with OCA. There's no enrolment deadlines - you can start any time!

We know that so many school leavers are suddenly having their further education plans thrown into disarray. If you’re not sure what to do next, or have had plans put on hold, then an Open Foundation distance learning course might be just the thing you need. Start immediately, and be ready to take the next step as soon as things are a little more certain.


The best starting point to develop your drawing skills.

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Fundamental creative, visual and technical skills in photography.

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Develop your visual skills and explore different ways of using materials.

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Drawing for Textile Art, Design & Fashion

An introduction to drawing for textiles and contemporary drawing practice.

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Interior Design

An investigation into the conceptualisation and occupation of space.

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Music theory, composition, arrangement, ear training and history.

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Creative Writing

Inspiring and encouraging new students to practise independent writing.

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Painting practice, practical application and contextual material.

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Drawing from the Past

A new way of looking at and thinking about works of art and art history.

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Creative Challenges from OCA

Weekly creative challenges from OCA.

A series of inventive, family friendly workshops to reignite your creative passion from home. Share your creations with us on social media using #StayInsideStayInspired and learn something new!

Our workshop packs will be published on our #WeAreOCA blog every Monday and will include everything you need to get creative at home.

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Contact Us

Any questions about our courses, or about OCA in general? Just fill in the form below to send us a message.

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