Distance Learning

What Is Distance Learning with the OCA?

The Open College of the Arts provides high-quality arts degrees via distance learning - but what exactly is distance learning?

Distance learning at the Open College of the Arts is the ability to access education in the arts anywhere in the world without the need to travel to a campus, classroom, or teacher. Instead, the learning comes to you, into your office, your studio, your dining room.

From Great Britain to the Galapagos Islands, America to the Arctic, throughout the EU and beyond – no matter where you’re living, if you want to study with OCA, we can help. All you need is somewhere for us to post the course and work to, and an internet connection.

Open Access & Flexibility

To study with OCA you do not need any prior qualifications or experience. Our ethos and mission is to provide open access to creative arts education. All of our courses are designed with this in mind, so everyone can engage with the content and learn.

OCA courses are designed to give you as much flexibility as possible so that study can fit alongside work, family, caring responsibilities, or anything else life has going on. What this means in practice is that you can start studying with us almost any day of the year. Simply enrol with us on a course, and we’ll give you access and get the course to you so you can get going.

What you’ll learn from

When you enrol onto an OCA unit, foundation, or degree, you’ll gain access to the OCA Student Site, with a wealth of information and everything you’ll need to work through the assignments. These include the assessment guidelines, criteria, Pinterest boards, unit and assignment briefs and more.

In addition, depending on the course, you may also have some specific course texts sent to you where these are required and supplied.

What to expect studying with OCA

There are two key things to practice, understand, and embrace during your OCA studies. These are self-reflection, and criticality, in no small part because this is how OCA courses are structured.

Each student is allocated a dedicated tutor for every unit that you take. This tutor is a practising artist, who will guide you on the course through feedback when you submit an assignment. This feedback will critique your work, picking it apart, tell you what you’ve done well, and equally importantly, what you can improve on and how you might go about doing that.

If you’re not used to this level of criticality, take time to read through the feedback, going back to it repeatedly to understand the meaning behind the words. All feedback is there to try and help improve your practice, and ensure that you do well at assessment.

Feedback is ordinarily written by your tutor, but you can choose to have tutorials through video tutorials such as Google Meet or Skype. These video tutorials can help as you can discuss the work openly.

To become better at work, we need to apply those same critical skills to ourselves and identify what has worked, and what needs to improve. Your tutor will help you to develop this specific skill so you can apply this yourself.

Studying with the OCA

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