Open College of the Arts

0800 731 2116

www.oca-uk.com

Guide to Courses 2009–10

Foreword
These are exciting times to be studying with the OCA. Times of both continuity and change. As an educational charity dedicated to widening access to high quality education in arts our core purpose remains unchanged. It drives everything we do. At the same time our relationship with Bucks New University has enabled us to offer an increasing number of students the opportunity to gain credits towards a degree – up 40% in the last year. We are working with our tutors to bring on stream new courses to widen the choice available to students and to provide a greater number of coherent degree pathways. Distance learning has many advantages – flexibility above all others. The opportunities offered by web technologies are increasing allowing students to communicate with us, but probably more importantly with each other. Some of this communication is taking place in our web forums, but it also happens elsewhere – one only has to look at the vibrant OCA student flickr group. Totally outside our control, it is effectively a virtual student union. I hope this guide will make you want to join our student body. If you do, you will be embarking on a voyage of discovery. You may start on that journey with a destination in mind. That could be to gain a degree or develop your skills and personal artistic vision. Most of our students now want to do both. It needs application, a sense of purpose and you will have to question your practice – but if you approach this journey with an open mind, it will enrich your life. That's a big promise, but one I am happy to put my name to.

Gareth Dent Chief Executive Open College of the Arts
Front cover: detail from a painting by Catriona Meighan Inside cover: from the sketch book of Colin Adey 1

Studying with the OCA
What is the OCA? Why choose the OCA? Who are our students? Our tutors Our courses The learning log The tuition system Choosing the right course 5 6 7 8 10 11 12 13

BA Hons in Creative Arts
Planning your qualification pathway

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Contents

Courses
Fine Art Photography, Film and Digital Media Textiles Art History Creative Writing Composing Music 20 38 52 60 68 82

The small print
Frequently Asked Questions Enrolment Fees, discounts and bursaries 90 92 96

The OCA online

inside back cover
Detail from a collage by Sandra Kendall

What is the OCA?
The Open College of the Arts (OCA) is a creative arts college specialising in distance learning. We are an educational charity and our mission is to give you the skills to discover and express your creative talents. Our courses span a wide range of disciplines and all of them can be studied entirely from home. You can work towards a BA Hons in Creative Arts, or a Certificate or Diploma in Higher Education. Or you can study for the sheer pleasure and interest of practising new skills and exploring your creativity. When you enrol, you will be joining a vibrant, worldwide community of artists, writers, photographers and composers. If you decide to work towards a degree, you will be following a recognised higher education programme validated by a UK university and meeting the highest quality standards.

Detail from a painting by Joan Barker

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Why choose the OCA?
The OCA is unique. We specialise in the creative arts (we don't do anything else) and no-one offers a wider range of home study courses in creative arts disciplines. You can enrol with us at any time and because you will be working from home, you can fit your studies around other commitments. There are no age limits and for our Level 1 courses, there are no entry requirements. We believe in open access for everyone who wants to discover themselves as an artist, get a qualification, or just develop new skills. All our tutors are experienced teachers and practising artists, writers, photographers or composers. Our range of subjects and our ‘ladder’ of study levels offer something for everyone, from beginners right up to those with substantial experience. It also means there are opportunities for everyone to progress. Our website – www.oca-uk.com – will showcase your work and it also supports lively online discussion forums. • Study for a degree, career or pleasure • Wide choice of subjects • Courses from entry level to Level 3 • Start any time • Work at home at your own pace • One-to-one tutoring from an established practitioner • No entry requirements at Level 1 • No exams • Excellent value for money • Combine study with employment

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Who are our students?
Two thousand students enrol with us each year. They are of all ages and from all walks of life – from baristas to barristers. Our oldest student is 90. Since the OCA was founded in 1987, we have enrolled and supported over 50,000 students worldwide. Most are from the UK. Five per cent are from the EU or overseas. The nature of distance learning means that you do not have to be a UK resident to enrol. And if you are a UK resident but move abroad, or if your work takes you abroad, your course travels with you. Many of our students are studying for a degree. Others want to boost their career and work prospects. Some are studying as a leisure activity. Some of our students already have a portfolio of work behind them and enrol because they want to explore a new discipline or top up existing qualifications. However, many people who study with us are beginners new to the creative arts. They are starting out on an exciting journey of discovery in which they will uncover unsuspected skills and insights. The one thing they all have in common is the desire to explore and practise one or more of the creative arts. The OCA is very proud of the progress and achievements of its students. OCA students have provided (unless otherwise indicated) all the images used as illustrations in this Guide.

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Our tutors
We have over 200 tutors, based throughout the UK. All the OCA tutors are experienced teachers. They are also practising artists, photographers, writers or composers. Their combination of professional expertise with a strong background in teaching is a key strength of the OCA. You can be confident in your tutor’s ability to help you develop your skills and give you supportive and constructive feedback. Jose Navarro (pictured) has been an OCA tutor for two years and holds a MA in Documentary Photography from the University of Wales, Newport. He has been a researcher for Rough Guide’s Morocco, Europe and Kerala titles, and editor of Alastair Sawday’s Spain and Morocco books. He was the official photographer on Raleigh International’s expedition to Guyana. In 2001 he received an On the Line Millennium Commission Award for a cycling/photographic project in Mali. Jose’s project on Spanish semi-nomadic shepherds was short listed for the 2008 BJP/Nikon Project Assistance Awards. He continues to travel and photograph in remote wilderness areas.

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Our courses
You have a choice of over 40 courses from six schools and you can study at introductory level up to Level 3. You can start your course at any time and work at the pace which suits your personal circumstances. Choosing the right course on page 13, will help you decide where to start. Our courses are written by leading subject specialists who are both practising artists and established authors in their field. Course materials are practically-based and set out clear programmes of work. They are designed and structured to support home-based study. They are also very enjoyable. They progressively develop technical expertise and stimulate critical and formal awareness. Course materials include examples, illustrations, exercises, projects and assignments. Supplementary materials vary between courses but typically include logbooks and artist materials. At Level 3, course materials play a less important role as students at this stage of their studies are working independently on projects negotiated with their tutor. If you have a disability which might present a barrier to studying we can often help by adjusting the presentation of the material. To get the most out of your course, you need to work regularly over an extended period. Most courses require a minimum commitment of up to eight or ten hours a week and typically take between 12 and 15 months to complete, depending on the course. If you decide to have your work formally assessed for a degree or other qualification, then you may have to step up your hours of study to get your portfolio to a higher standard. You can also supplement your studies by taking part in the OCA workshops. These are held regularly all over the country by our tutors. Workshop fees are additional to course fees. At the end of your course you will receive a certificate of completion. If you have your work formally assessed you can achieve higher education credit points if you obtain a pass mark or above. Assessment fees are additional to course fees.

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The learning log
As part of the coursework on OCA programmes, all students keep a learning log. The log is an important tool in developing your creative practice and recording growing understanding of your subject. It also shows that you have covered all the ground required by the course. For degree, diploma and certificate students, the log is considered as part of the assessment process and contributes towards your final mark. The exact content of the log depends on the course. Typically it records ideas, drawings, sketches, notes, influences, discoveries, thoughts, research findings and observations as you work through your course and your assignments. For example, in art history courses the log is made up of notebooks and sketchbooks recording your reactions to individual works of art, comments on exhibitions, paintings and fine art objects, and research notes on artists, periods and movements. In creative writing, the log takes the form of a writer’s diary of notes, ideas and observations, your responses to other writers, and a reflective account of your own creative work. In art, design and photography courses, the log typically takes in sketchbooks, written commentaries on your work, a research file, your reactions to other artists, and project plans and commentaries. In composing music the log will record personal reactions to pieces of music and performances, and work in progress. While the OCA calls this important part of the course a ‘learning log’ you may also hear it referred to as a ‘learning journal’, a ‘personal learning journal’ or ‘reflective journal’.

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The tuition system
All courses are supported by one-to-one tuition. You can use post or email to send your assignments to your tutor for a written report, feedback and advice. You will be in contact with your tutor at regular intervals. For many of our courses, you can opt to see your tutor face-to-face. Your choice of tutorial method should suit your personal circumstances, but both methods are designed to give you close and detailed support. Students have 18 months to complete a course although we recommend a timetable of ten months. Students agree a timetable to deliver assignments with their tutor and need to keep to it as far as possible. Please note that, because of the nature of the medium, sculpture students usually meet their tutor face to face, although we offer web-cam tutorials as an alternative. Distance tuition You are allocated a tutor and receive their details in your course pack. You work from the course materials and send regular assignments to your tutor. These are returned to you with comment and advice. The course fee includes tutor feedback on your set assignments, but you can purchase feedback and comment on additional pieces of work if you wish. Face-to-face tuition You choose a tutor within travelling distance and you meet them at mutually agreeable times and dates. You are entitled to an agreed number of hours’ tuition – typically five hours. Tutors work from their own studios or other suitable teaching space. Where appropriate, and with students’ consent, small tutor groups may be formed from individual enrolments as an alternative to one-to-one tuition as a way of increasing contact time. As for distance tuition, you can also purchase additional tuition on an individual basis. You can find out where your nearest tutor is by contacting Academic Services on 0800 731 2116 or by visiting the course pages on www.oca-uk.com.
If you would like more information about how the OCA home study works, please contact us on 0800 731 2116 for a copy of the OCA’s Guide to Studying at Home. This is also available on our website.
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Choosing the right course
The range of the OCA courses and levels give you opportunities to progress. Courses are graded in difficulty so you can start at the level which suits you. Course levels Level 1 – equivalent to First year university study Level 2 – equivalent to Second year university study Level 3 – equivalent to Third year university study The level of course you choose will depend on your starting point and your reasons for studying. Some people study with us for many years just for pleasure. Others start studying for pleasure and decide later on that they would like to go for a degree and progress to higher level courses. Some students know from the beginning that they want to get a degree or other higher education qualification and choose courses which make a sound degree pathway. Sometimes students decide to go for a qualification after finishing their courses when they realise they have reached the required standard. The beauty of the OCA approach is that you do not have to decide on your end point straightaway. Complete beginners in a subject and people studying for pleasure usually start with Level 1 course. There are no entry requirements for these courses and you can work your way up from there. Students who come to us having developed a portfolio of work through previous study can start with a higher level course: direct entry. But if you want to start a subject above Level 1, you need to be confident about the quality of your work and it is advisable to speak to us first. If you are heading towards a degree, then you must make sure you fulfil the prerequisites for studying your subject at Levels 2 and 3 – see page 17.

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BA Hons in Creative Arts
If you know you will be studying just for pleasure, you can skip this section, but if you think you may want to get a qualification, then please read on. Nearly all our courses are accredited. This means that they carry higher education credit points and that successful study with us can lead to a Certificate or Diploma in Higher Education or to an Honours degree in Creative Arts. • a Certificate requires 120 credit points at Level 1 • a Diploma requires 120 credit points at Level 1 plus 120 points at Level 2 • a BA Hons degree requires a further 120 points at Level 3. Our Level 1 courses carry 40 credit points. Level 2 and 3 courses carry 60 points. The table below sets out how many OCA courses you need to take at each level in order to gain your chosen qualification.

Qualifications, credit points and OCA courses
Qualification Certificate in Higher Education Credits required 120 points at Level 1 OCA courses 3 Level 1 courses

Diploma in Higher Education

120 points at Level 1 120 points at Level 2

3 Level 1 courses 2 Level 2 courses

BA Hons in Creative Arts

120 points at Level 1 120 points at Level 2 120 points at Level 3

3 Level 1 courses 2 Level 2 courses 2 Level 3 courses

You can choose when to be assessed but you do not have to take formal exams. Assessment is based on examination of your course portfolio by an independent assessor. The minimum pass mark for each course is 40 per cent.
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Costs
There is an assessment fee of £100 for each course which you choose to have formally assessed. The equivalent fee is discounted when you enrol on your next course. At current course prices and including your final assessment fee, you can get an Honours degree, working at your own pace, without having to attend classes and without having to take formal exams, for £4,265. As you pay for only one course at a time, the total cost can be spread over a number of years. And you can continue working and earning while you study.

Credit transfer
If you have already successfully completed credit-bearing courses at the appropriate level in the same or a similar subject area, you may be able to bring these credits with you to the OCA. By claiming credit for what you have already achieved, you can reduce the length of time it would otherwise take to get your qualification. Credits may also be claimed for prior learning which has not been formally assessed, provided you can demonstrate that the learning was at the required level and relevant to your chosen study path. It may also be possible to have a portfolio of your work assessed and earn credits. If you think you may qualify for the award of prior credit, please contact us and ask for an Accreditation of Prior Certified Learning (APCL) application pack or Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) pack. Through the National Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme, you may also be able to transfer your OCA credits to higher education institutions throughout the UK.

More information about our degree
Information sheets with more details of how the BA Hons in Creative Arts and other higher education qualifications work are at www.oca-uk.com
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Planning your qualification pathway
You can decide to work towards a qualification at any point in your studies, going back to fill in any gaps in your programme if you need to. You can focus on one subject area, or you can ‘pick and mix’ your subjects, but your chosen studies must make up a coherent pathway. For this reason you must fulfil the prerequisites for moving on to study a subject at Level 2 and Level 3. The prerequisites are shown below. Study level Level 1 Level 2 Prerequisites At Level 1 there are none To progress to Level 2 in any subject, you must have studied that subject at Level 1 – eg, to study Photography at Level 2, you must have studied a photography course at Level 1 To progress to Level 3 in any subject, you must have studied that subject at Level 2 – eg, to study a Level 3 course in creative writing, you must have successfully studied creative writing at Level 2.

Level 3

Progression routes in each section set out all our courses by level of study so you can see at a glance how you can move towards your preferred qualification. If you think you will be working towards a degree, diploma or certificate, please call us before you enrol to discuss your initial choice of courses. You can’t expect to know at this stage in which discipline you will specialise by the time you reach Level 3, but we can help make sure your Level 1 and 2 choices keep a coherent study pathway open. We are here to help you plan your pathway, so please call Academic Services on 0800 731 2116.

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BA Honours Degree in Creative Arts
Exit

These courses must be from the same subject area

Level 3 course

+

One other level 3 course

Diploma of Higher Education

Progress to level 3
Level 2 course

Exit

+

One other level 2 course

Certificate of Higher Education

Progress to level 2
Level 1 course

Exit

+

Two other level 1 courses

Through accreditation of previous study or of a portfolio of work it may be possible to gain credits which provide exemptions from some level 1 and 2 courses.
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Bucks New University
OCA courses are accredited by one of the UK’s newest universities. The origins of Bucks New University go back to 1893 and the foundation of a County School of Science and Arts, based at High Wycombe. By 1963 this had become the High Wycombe College of Art and Technology. In 1975 the college merged with Newland Park College of Education – a former teacher training college – and became Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education. It became a university in 2007. Bucks New has around 9,300 students on a mix of full- and part-time courses. It has three faculties: the Faculty of Creativity and Culture; the Faculty of Enterprise and Innovation; and the Faculty of Society and Health, all aligned to employment markets. OCA’s links are primarily with the Faculty of Creativity and Culture, which has four schools: the School of Design and Craft; the School of Visual and Communication Arts; the School of Music, Entertainment and Moving Image; and the School of Arts and Media. Over half of the students at Bucks New are ‘mature’ – that is they are aged 25 and over. You can find out more about our accrediting university at www.bucks.ac.uk

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Drawing by Jane Apthomas

Drawing 1: Painting 1: Starting to Paint Painting 1: Watercolour Painting 2: Exploring Concepts

Fine Art

Painting 2: Finding Your Way Painting 3: Your Own Portfolio Painting 3: Advanced Printmaking 1: Introduction to Printmaking Printmaking 2: Developing Your Style Sculpture 1: Sculpture 2: Sculpture 3:
Detail from a painting by Sue Gilmore

Example of Painting Progression Route
BA Honours Degree

Exit
Painting 3
Your Own Portfolio

+

Painting 3
Advanced

Diploma of Higher Education

Progress to level 3
Painting 2
Exploring Concepts

Exit

+

Painting 2
Finding Your Way

Certificate of Higher Education

Progress to level 2
Drawing 1

Exit

+

Painting 1
Starting to Paint

+

Painting 1
Watercolour

Through accreditation of previous study or of a portfolio of work it may be possible to gain credits which provide exemptions from some level 1 and 2 courses.

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Fine Art
The OCA’s courses in Fine Art help you develop as a visual artist. You can explore a range of disciplines and you can follow a study pathway which can take you right up to degree level. Or, if you prefer, you can take courses just for your own pleasure and interest. We offer specialist courses in drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking. In most cases, these disciplines are available from Level 1 through to Level 3. These are progressively challenging, highly rewarding courses at higher education level which require a real commitment in terms of time and effort. All our courses are highly practical and they will help you develop formally and technically as you explore your chosen media. Just as important, they will also help you grow as an artist, create a personal visual language and have confidence in your creative ideas. As you move through the course levels, you will have increasing autonomy and independence as a student and as an artist. At Level 3 you will be planning your own programme of work.

Career prospects
Visual arts graduates typically go on to work as independent artists or teachers or in the creative and media sector – for instance in museums and galleries, theatre, community arts, publishing, advertising and media.

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Drawing 1:
Seeing and being able to reproduce what you can see is the foundation of visual communication, which is why drawing skills underpin most work in art and design. Our drawing course will help practitioners from all disciplines to draw what they can see and what they can imagine. Anyone can learn to draw and the course is aimed at beginners, but many experienced artists and designers take the course to improve their drawing skills. The course aims to provide a structured introduction to the skills of drawing; introduce a wide range of media and methods; help students see in a selective way and become more aware visually and artistically. Content: • Mark making and tone • The human figure • Observation in nature • Drawing outdoors • Draw and experiment. Assignments: 24 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials Credit points: 40 at Level 1.

Drawing by Victoria Parsons

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Painting 1: Starting to Paint
This course will develop your skills as a painter and your knowledge of painting. You learn how to analyse and select from the visual world and how to translate what you see into painting. You study art of the past, learn about the main approaches to painting over the last hundred years and see your own work in context. You will be using acrylics and/or oils and you will be developing your drawing skills. The course can be taken by a complete beginner or by someone with experience looking for a new approach to their work. We strongly recommend starting your painting studies with this course, but if you are convinced you have already covered the ground, direct entry to a higher level course is possible – but please speak to us first. The course aims to develop skills in using drawing for investigation and for generating and recording ideas; develop skill and confidence in using a range of media; introduce important artists and movements in the twentieth century. Content: • Painting materials and techniques • Understanding and using colour • Perspective and the third dimension • Picture composition • Working from studies and photographs • Painting the figure • Painting outdoors. Assignments: 32 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Either face-to-face or distance tutorials. Credit points: 40 at Level 1.

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Painting 1: Watercolour
This course explores the many ways in which watercolour can be used. It introduces the qualities and potential of the medium, covers basic methods and concepts and will help you learn how to use tone and colour effectively. You will be encouraged to experiment and to look at a wide range of source materials for inspiration. You will increase your knowledge of the history of watercolour painting and you will be studying the work of contemporary watercolour artists. The course aims to introduce the medium of watercolour and develop skill and confidence in using it; develop visual awareness and the ability to translate observations and ideas into paint; and increase knowledge of the history of watercolour painting. Content: • Using tone • Looking at colour • Working with mixed media • Finding your own style • History of watercolour. Assignments: 13 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Either face-to-face or distance tutorials. Credit points: 40 at Level 1.

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Painting 2: Exploring Concepts
This course builds on Painting 1: Starting to Paint. It investigates in greater depth ideas introduced at Level 1 and it places greater responsibility on students for the choice of painting subjects and how to approach them. More time is also spent on each painting. You will be introduced to watercolour and explore new ways of using acrylics and oils. You will also be comparing your work with that of other artists and studying a number of paintings in detail. The course aims to deepen understanding of painting techniques; introduce different subjects and attitudes to painting; help students understand how their work relates to that of other artists; strengthen self-reliance and the ability to express attitudes to the visual world through a personal visual language. Content: • Abstraction and abstract painting • Painting detail • Figure painting • Using watercolours • Urban and rural landscapes. Assignments: 21 projects, five assignments and a final personal project. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Either face-to-face or distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 2.

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Painting 2: Finding Your Way
This course also builds on Painting 1: Starting to Paint. It progressively requires you to make your own choices of subject and approach. It introduces new concepts and new painting subjects and you will explore some previous subjects, such as the human form, in greater depth. You can work in acrylics, oils or watercolours and you will be introduced to collage. There is a wide choice of projects and you can work on those that best suit your interests. Theoretical studies will help you ‘place’ your work in the context of twentieth and twenty-first century art and you will be offered guidelines to help you evaluate your work. The course aims to further develop skills in drawing and painting; explore new painting subjects and approaches; study the human figure in greater depth; strengthen selfreliance and the ability to express attitudes to the visual world through a personal visual language. Content: • Painting animals • Movement • Painting and collage • Still-life • Painting people – a portrait; a nude; a group • Abstraction and the abstract • Themes and ideas. Assignments: 21 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Either face-to-face or distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 2.

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Painting 3: Your Own Portfolio
This course builds on the skills you will have acquired at Levels 1 and 2 and it will give you maximum scope to develop and express your own ideas. There is continuing emphasis on the importance of drawing as a means of discovery and you will be offered particular painting themes to explore, but, in discussion with your tutor, you will decide on most of the content of your programme yourself. In the theoretical element of the course you will study three important movements in twentieth century art. The course aims to continue developing the quality of practical work and the use of a personal visual language; help students plan and complete a major programme of practical work; deepen understanding of twentieth century painting. Content: • Drawing as a means of discovery • Painting themes • Theoretical studies in twentieth century art • Illusion in paint and how different artists use paint • A personal major project. Assignments: Students complete five assignments, which they can either choose from a range of suggested projects or decide for themselves, and they carry out a major personal project which takes the form of a series of at least six paintings developing a theme or idea. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Either face-to-face or distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 3.

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Painting 3: Advanced
This course will help you make the transition from self-motivated student to independent artist. With the help of your tutor and the course guidelines, you will plan your own study programme and by the end of the course you will have demonstrated your ability to conceive and develop innovative visual ideas and take them to a successful conclusion. You should normally have already completed a Level 2 course in painting before embarking on Painting 3: Advanced, but direct entry onto the course is possible for more experienced artists who wish to work one-to-one with a professional tutor. All students choose their own tutor from the OCA portfolio of advanced painting tutors. The course aims to improve the quality of practical work; further develop use of a personal visual language; help students to plan and complete a major programme of practical work and become independent as artists. Content: • Develop your study programme in discussion with your tutor • Design and complete a series of progressive and related projects • Write project commentaries • Maintain a reflective learning journal • Produce an extended written project of 2,500 – 5,000 words. Assignments: Students complete a portfolio of work, write project commentaries and produce the extended written assignment. They also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Either face-to-face or distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 3.

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Printmaking 1: Introduction to Printmaking
This course has been designed to allow you to explore printmaking techniques which you can learn at home without the need for complicated equipment or materials. You will carry out a series of projects and experiments and undertake preparatory work including analysis and selection from visual sources. Design, composition and colour projects will help you to turn your ideas into printed images. The course is aimed at complete beginners or more experienced printmakers looking for a new and better approach to their work. For a list of equipment requirements, please visit our website. The course aims to help students see in a selective way, develop visual ideas and ways of expressing them and explore and use different techniques and media; develop awareness of the history of printmaking and the work of other printmakers. Content: • Monoprinting • Relief printing • Collotype collage prints • Combined processes. Assignments: 15 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 40 at Level 1.

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Printmaking 2: Developing Your Style
Printmaking 2 has been designed to follow Printmaking 1 to help you extend your knowledge and experience of printmaking as a medium through further exploration of techniques and methods. The course assumes you have already gained practical knowledge of printmaking methods including relief prints such as linocut or woodcut, monoprints and collotypes. The course has been divided into five assignments. Each one allows you the opportunity to develop a given theme through a choice of printmaking methods. Here you can become immersed in your own response to the subject and the method you choose which suits the way you wish to express your ideas. At all stages of the course your preparatory work and contextual studies will be the key to the success of your design and you should allow yourself plenty of time to develop your ideas in your sketchbooks and learning logs before you make your prints. Content: • Landscape • Abstract prints • Chiaroscuro • Portraits • Prints from memory. Assignmnents: Five major assignments with related projects. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit Points: 60 at Level 2.

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Sculpture 1:
This course will introduce you to three-dimensional art and help you develop to the point where you can work on your own. You will be surprised how quickly you can accomplish things you would have thought impossible. You will use drawing for accumulating and refining ideas, follow up references in course texts and keep a log of reflections on your work. The course aims to develop understanding of the techniques and skills of sculpture; introduce use of construction techniques involving a variety of media and tools; develop basic skills in drawing and the use of drawing to develop ideas; develop the ability to think in the round; introduce the work of other sculptors. Content: • Relief • Stacked sculpture • Modelling in clay and plaster • Casting • Carved sculpture. Assignments: 10 projects and five assignments, and reflect in writing on their work. Students also maintain a learning log and complete five logbook activities. Tutorials: Face-to-face tutorials. Credit points: 40 at Level 1.

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Sculpture 2:
This course builds on the foundations laid in Sculpture 1 and encourages you to develop more ambitious ideas. Projects are more open-ended and demanding in size and composition than at Level 1 and you have progressively more scope to choose your own projects and how to go about them. You will continue to develop drawing skills and you will be considering sculpture in relation to architecture. The course aims to introduce new techniques and materials; develop increasing independence and self-reliance as a sculptor; extend awareness of the importance of drawing as an adjunct to sculpture; develop a broad appreciation of the history of sculpture, public sculpture, and the debate between figuration and abstraction. Content: • Public Sculpture • Planes: construction/deconstruction • Organic abstraction/natural form • Monumental Sculpture • Your own vision. Assignments: 13 projects and five assignments including a written critical review. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Face-to-face tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 2.

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Sculpture 3:
This course will help you make the transition from self-motivated student to independent artist. With the help of your tutor and the course guidelines, you will plan your own study programme and by the end of the course you will have demonstrated your ability to conceive and develop innovative visual ideas and take them to a successful conclusion. You should normally have already completed the Level 2 course in sculpture before embarking on this course, but direct entry is possible for more experienced artists who wish to work one-to-one with a professional tutor. All students choose their own tutor from the OCA portfolio of advanced sculpture tutors. The course aims to improve the quality of practical work; further develop use of a personal visual language; help students to plan and complete a major programme of practical work and become independent as artists. Content: • Develop your study programme in discussion with your tutor • Design and complete a series of progressive and related projects • Write project commentaries • Produce an extended written project of 2,500 – 5,000 words. Assignments: Students complete a portfolio of work, write project commentaries and produce the extended written assignment. They also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Face-to-face tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 3.

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Detail from the learning log of Sarah Scales

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Photography, Film and Digital Media

Photography 1: The Art of Photography Photography 1: Digital Photographic Practice Photography 1: People and Place Digital Film Production: Creative Concepts Digital Arts 1: A Creative Approach Photography 2: Progressing with Digital Photography Photography 2: Landscape Photography 2: Social Documentary Photography 3: Your Own Portfolio Photography 3: Advanced
Detail from photo by Sharon Kaplan

Example of Photography Progression Route
BA (Hons) Photography and Associate of the Royal Photographic Society

Exit
Photography 3
Your own Portfolio

+

Photography 3
Advanced

Diploma of Higher Education

Progress to level 3
Photography 2
Landscape

Exit

or

Photography 2
Social Documentary

or

Photography 2
Progressing with Digital

Choose 2 units from 3
Certificate of Higher Education

Progress to level 2
Photography 1
The Art of Photography

Exit

+

Photography 1
People and Place

+

Photography 1
Digital Photographic Practice

Through accreditation of previous study or of a portfolio of work it may be possible to gain credits which provide exemptions from some level 1 and 2 courses.
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Photography, Film and Digital Media
Digital cameras have transformed the ease with which images can be captured and manipulated. They have also transformed how we use photographs with the growth of websites like flickr. A less remarked change is digital photography is an interest pursued by men and women alike. The initial satisfaction many feel when they produce their first digital images is immense, the ease and quality are beyond comparison with what could be achieved with the average consumer film camera. However, it doesn't take long to realise that there is far more that can be achieved, and some of the big questions like 'how can I best capture this significant event, or what this scene means to me' remain elusive. The OCA photography programme is designed to help you develop your personal creative vision. The courses are written by Michael Freeman, author of The Photographer's Eye and a widely published editorial photographer. In addition to photography, students can pursue studies at level one in film and digital arts.

Careers
Photographers and digital artists typically work, often freelance, in publishing, journalism, public relations, advertising, design studios, teaching, media and broadcasting.

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Photography 1: The Art of Photography
Designed as the entry point to OCA's degree level photography courses, this course helps you apply art and design principles to photography, use your imagination and learn how to use the technical capabilities of the camera to compose well-structured and satisfying images. Relative newcomers find that they quickly gain confidence and start to use photography creatively. More experienced photographers are offered a structure which helps them to re-examine their approach to photography and to develop their expressive and technical skills. The ideal camera for the course is a single-lens reflex with either a zoom lens covering wide-angle and telephoto or interchangeable lenses, and which allows you to adjust aperture and focus manually. Compact digital cameras now have many of these features, you do not absolutely need an SLR camera, but you may find a few of the projects beyond the capabilities of your camera. Content: • The principles of composition • The principles of graphic design in photography • The basic properties of colour • Structuring an image • Using light, both natural and artificial. Assignments: 45 projects and five major assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 40 at Level 1.

42

Photography 1: Digital Photographic Practice
One of the key purposes of this course is to develop your photographic skills in terms of the quality of the images you produce. Specifically, to ensure that whatever equipment you own you can produce the best quality images for print or web. In the increasingly democratic world of digital photography these skills are essential to make your work stand out. A second key purpose of this course is to start you thinking about images and ethics; photographs are representations of fact or as expressions of your personal vision. The many small changes which are possible in digital images can enhance an image or mislead a viewer. In your learning log you will think about images you see and your reactions and how it informs your practice. The course is written to form a coherent level one undergraduate programme when taken in conjunction with Art of Photography and People and Place Content: • Workflow • Digital image qualities • Processing the image • Reality and intervention • The final image. Assignments: 25 projects and five major assignments. Students also maintain a learning log Tutorials: Distance tutorials Credit Points: 40 at level 1.

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Photography 1: People and Place
One of the key purposes of this course is to stretch your photographic skills in terms of the subject material you choose. Specifically, to broaden the range of your work by tackling subjects that include people. It is suitable for anyone wishing to develop their photographic practice and gain an understanding of particular challenges of portraying human subjects and their environment. A second key purpose of this course is to start you thinking in terms of photographic assignments; Photographs to order, in other words. There is a considerable difference between photographing at leisure and photographing to deliver a particular result that you have promised in advance. The assignment ethos in photography involves planning and preparation, thinking in advance about what and how to shoot, with constant reviews of the progress as the shoot continues. The deadline itself establishes a cut-off point, and just by existing neatly circumvents a common creative issue — when to stop and say that the work is finished. Typically students would have completed Photography 1: The Art of Photography before starting this course. Content: • People — aware • People — unaware • Buildings and spaces • People interacting with place • People and place, on assignment. Assignments: 23 projects and five major assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit Points: 40 at level 1.

44

Digital Film Production: Creative Concepts
This course is a practical introduction to the creative ideas and techniques that can be employed in digital film production. It will provide insight into the creative processes involved in visualising and realising a wide range of moving image sequences. This is a practical course. The assessment is based on production and most of your learning will be achieved through practical exercises. You will watch and analyse films for ideas and techniques. You will be asked to write some analysis and reflection on your own work and to keep an ongoing research blog. This analysis is for practical knowledge rather than theoretical understanding. You will not be looking at how films can be ‘read’ but how they can be ‘written’. This course explores creative concepts and techniques rather than technical skills. For instance when we talk about camera techniques we will consider how an image feels, what meaning it conveys, how it is composed, rather than what f-stop, focal length and camera settings will be required to achieve a specific effect. Content: • Framing • Composition • Creating Meaning • Narrative. Assignments: 18 projects and four major assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit Points: 40 at level 1.

45

Digital Arts 1: A Creative Approach
This course introduces you to a broad range of techniques used in the generation of digital images. It will help you develop visual awareness, allow you to explore the potential of the medium and help you to use computer hardware, software and peripherals in a creative and individual way. You will cover colour theory, image manipulation, file types, compression techniques, ‘layers’ and ‘painting’, and the effects of ‘feathering’ and ‘distortion’. You will also look at copyright law as it affects digital images. The course is suitable for beginners or for people with some experience who want a fresh approach to their work. Basic computer skills are needed. The course aims to develop understanding of the creative potential of digital imaging software; develop and practise the technical skills inherent in digital imaging; introduce copyright issues. Content: • Scanning 2D and 3D objects • Brushes and painting • Filters and effects • Layers and blending modes • Distorting and enhancing images. Assignments: 20 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 40 at Level 1.

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Photography 2: Progressing with Digital Photography
This course follows on from Photography 1: Digital Photographic Practice and examines in greater depth the special procedures and shooting and software techniques that will help you realise the full potential of this medium. The course also looks at the implications of realistic alteration to photographic images, its purposes and intentions and how it can be used to enhance creative expression. The course aims to develop skills in managing colour using digital software, in creating composite images, and in retouching images while maintaining their credibility; explore the ethical issues surrounding digital alteration of images. Content: • Full colour control • Image combination • Photo-realistic retouching • Degrees of alteration • New worlds of imaging. Assignments: 30 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 2.

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Photography 2: Landscape
This course looks at the specialised area of photographing landscapes and deals with the technical control of large subjects. It explains the best way to approach the creation of successful landscape pictures, shows you how to work with variable natural light, how to look at landscapes, and how to pre-visualise your photographs. It also looks at the development of themes and style in landscape photography. The course aims to develop knowledge of shape, perspective and colour in the design of photographs; explore and use different lighting effects; extend knowledge of the choice of viewpoint, lenses and accessories; develop a personal style in interpreting and recording landscapes. Content: • The design elements in a landscape • Light and its measurement • Using available light • Selecting viewpoint and lens • Style and themes. Assignments: 42 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 2.

48

Photography 2: Social Documentary
This course looks in depth at photography which documents, investigates or comments on people and situations. It provides a structure for exploring documentary subjects in an exciting and positive way. It builds on Photography 1: The Art of Photography and develops your experience in using compositional and lighting skills in selecting, editing and juxtaposing images. It looks at timing and anticipation, working with available light, identifying and interacting with potential subjects, and matching equipment and strategies to different situations. The course aims to develop understanding of the meaning and purpose of documentary photography; help students choose appropriate equipment and use it to good effect; explore the principles of the photo essay; develop skills in editing and selecting images to convey the message. Content: • The reporter’s eye • The telling moment • Working in low light • Documentary styles. Assignments: 41 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 2.

49

Photography 3: Your Own Portfolio
This course encourages you to develop a personal visual language as a photographer and help you improve the quality of your practical work. You plan and negotiate the content of your programme with your tutor. It must include a major project on a theme which you choose yourself. You will also explore in detail a chosen genre of photography and three major movements which have influenced twentieth century photography. The course will explore the tension between intent and process in creating photographic images; extend your ability to communicate a wide range of visual experiences into information which can be translated into photographs; investigate the theories and concepts underlying your chosen projects; make innovative use of means of expression and technique; deepen your understanding of photography. Content: • The continuing importance of composition • Photography themes • Theoretical studies in twentieth century photography • Researching different ways photographers have approached the medium • A major personal project. Assignments: Students complete nine projects and five assignments. They also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 3.

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Photography 3: Advanced
This is a personalised learning programme in which you develop your own style in a genre of your choice. We provide you with a course framework and you use this to work with your tutor in devising your own study programme and projects. You will be encouraged to develop a high degree of self-motivation and autonomy and you are expected to explore issues of content and style and the technical and philosophical issues connected with your work. Level 3 study requires a significant development from Level 2. We therefore recommend completing one of our Level 2 courses before embarking on Photography 3: Advanced, but direct entry is possible for experienced photographers who want to work on a one-to-one basis with a professional tutor. All students choose their own tutor from the OCA portfolio of advanced photography tutors. The course aims to build on existing skills and knowledge; improve the quality of your practical work; further develop use of a personal visual language; support students in designing and completing an extended programme of work. Content: • Design an extended programme of personal study in discussion with your tutor • Produce a strong portfolio of photography in your chosen genre • Carry out appropriate research • Read extensively in your genre • Complete an extended written assignment (5,000 words). Assignments: Students complete a portfolio of work, produce an extended written assignment and maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 3.

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Textiles

Textiles 1: A Creative Approach to Textiles Textiles 2: Textiles 3: Your Own Portfolio Textiles 3: Advanced
Detail from a piece by Penelope Stevenson

Example of Textiles Progression Route
BA Honours Degree

Exit
Textiles 3
Your Own Portfolio

+

Textiles 3
Advanced

Diploma of Higher Education

Progress to level 3
Textiles 2

Exit

+

Printmaking 2

or

Painting 2

Choose 1 unit from 2
Certificate of Higher Education

Progress to level 2
Textiles1

Exit

+

Printmaking 1

or

Painting 1

or

Drawing 1

Choose 2 units from 3

Through accreditation of previous study or of a portfolio of work it may be possible to gain credits which provide exemptions from some level 1 and 2 courses.
54

Textiles
Our courses in textiles are particularly popular. This is because they build on creative craft skills which many of our students already have, and because textile design can be a way into the world of art and design for people who have not traditionally thought of themselves as ‘artists’. The courses will allow you to develop from being a beginner without specific technical or drawing skills to being able to use a variety of textiles media and produce your own textile designs in a personal and creative way. You will also learn about how textiles have been used at different times in history and in different cultures. We offer textiles at three levels and all courses carry higher education credit points. This means that you can include textile design as part of your study pathway if you are working towards a degree. For more information about the BA Hons in Creative Arts, see page 14. The courses are challenging but highly rewarding. They need a sustained commitment over several months.

Careers
Textiles are around us everywhere. They play a huge part in our everyday lives and textile designers work in a wide range of design-related industries including clothing, fashion, technical textiles, manufacture, architecture, the performing arts, retail, product design and ceramics.

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Textiles 1: A Creative Approach to Textiles
This is a highly practical course which focuses on design and self-expression through the medium of textiles and gives an initial introduction to textile techniques. You will learn how to translate drawings into stitching, practice basic design skills, paint and print on fabric, and create two- and three-dimensional shapes and forms. You will work on a design project and translate your ideas into a finished piece. You do not need any technical equipment to do the course and you will be given advice on how to get hold of basic materials. The course is for people who already have expertise in a craft technique such as sewing, embroidery and knitting but lack the skills and knowledge to create their own designs. The course aims to help students develop visual ideas through drawing; explore and apply design ideas using different textile media and techniques; develop an individual approach to designing and creating images; acquire a basic understanding of the historical and cultural origins of textiles and the diversity of textiles in practice. Content: • Building a visual vocabulary • Developing design ideas • Colour and design • Three-dimensional forms in fabric • Fabric construction • Woven structures • Your own design, from sketch to finished piece. Assignments: 10 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Either face-to-face or distance tutorials. Credit points: 40 at Level 1.

56

Textiles 2:
This course extends the work done in Textiles 1: A Creative Approach, and helps you develop your own ideas and designs to a higher level. You will gain a greater understanding of your preferred textile techniques, become more self-reliant as a designer and develop a more personal approach to design through a mixture of structured and self-generated projects. Several new areas are covered, particularly dyes and dyeing, and these allow you to experiment with colour. You will also be investigating textiles from other cultures and twentieth century textile movements. The course aims to develop greater understanding of techniques and a more individual approach to visual ideas and design; explore in greater depth the historical and ethnographic context of textiles. Content: • Natural and man-made fibres • Identification of fibres • Dyeing and screen printing • Designing a scarf • Twentieth century designs. Assignments: Seven projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Either face-to-face or distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 2.

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Textiles 3: Your Own Portfolio
This course helps you to develop your personal practice either as a textile artist or as a designer maker through a series of projects which may ultimately lead to a creative and cohesive collection of practical work. At the same time it aims to make you more aware of contemporary art markets and give you an understanding of the diverse ways in which textile practitioners’ network and find suitable outlets for their work. At a personal level, communication skills such as presentation of ideas and finished work, an artist’s statement and a collection of images of your own work will form part of the major project. The course aims to improve abilities in research, analysis and communication of visual experiences; demonstrate confidence, critical awareness and technical skills to develop ideas into professional quality textiles. Content: • The importance of sketchbook work and visual research • Major Influences and developments in Twentieth Century Textiles • Planning a collection of Textiles (your major project) • Colour • Materials • Telling the tale • A question of scale • Analysing process. Assignments: Nine projects and five assignments including a written critical review. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Either face-to-face or distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 3.

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Textiles 3: Advanced
This course will help you make the transition from self-motivated student to independent designer. With the help of your tutor and the course guidelines, you will plan your own study programme and by the end of the course you will have demonstrated your ability to conceive and develop innovative design ideas and take them to a successful conclusion. The projects you choose to do can develop any aspect of your previous work but they can also explore completely new ideas. You should normally have completed Textiles 2 but direct entry onto the course is possible for more experienced designers. All students on this course choose their own tutor from the OCA portfolio of advanced textile design tutors. The course aims to improve the quality of design work; develop further the use of a personal visual language; help students generate and complete a major programme of practical work and demonstrate independence as a designer. Content: • Design an extended programme of personal study in discussion with your tutor • Design and complete a series of progressive and related projects • Write project commentaries • Produce an extended written project of 5,000 words. Assignments: Students complete five major design projects, write project commentaries and produce an extended written assignment. They also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Either face-to-face or distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 3.

59

Art History

Understanding Art 1: Western Art Visual Studies 1: Looking and Seeing Understanding Art 2: Pathways into Specialism
Detail from the learning log of Sue Gilmore

Example of Art History Progression Route
BA Honours Degree

Exit
Understanding Art 3
Advanced

+

One other level 3 course

Diploma of Higher Education

Progress to level 3
Understanding Art 2

Exit

+

One other level 2 course

Certificate of Higher Education

Progress to level 2
Understanding Art 1

Exit

+

Visual Studies

+

One other level 1 course

Through accreditation of previous study or of a portfolio of work it may be possible to gain credits which provide exemptions from some level 1 and 2 courses.
62

Art History
Our art history courses are designed to help you look at and respond to art with understanding and appreciation. They give our degree students the option of including one or more art history courses in their study pathway and they give everyone who enjoys art the opportunity of studying artistic movements, periods and works of art in a focussed and informed way. The courses are stimulating and enjoyable and they take a ‘hands-on’ approach using observation, research, drawing, photographs and practical exercises as well as written work. Complete beginners can start with our Level 1 course on the history of western art. Those looking for a theoretical grounding in thinking about images and their use will want to study the Level 1 Visual Studies course. At level 2 you begin to develop the analytical tools to specialise in the particular periods or art forms that interest you most. At level 3, the study is a negotiated programme agreed with your tutor.

Careers
Art historians work in a wide range of occupations in sectors such as museums and galleries, publishing, teaching, arts administration, bookselling, conservation, auction houses, curating, exhibitions and journalism.

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Understanding Art 1: Western Art
This course introduces you to the development of western art from Ancient Greece to the present day. You are encouraged to respond to art not only by writing about it but also by means of sketches, diagrams or photographs. This helps you to absorb works of art more fully, to analyse them and to place them in context. You will develop confidence and ability in analysing works of art, understand broadly the cultural and historical context of art, and learn about accepted theories and practices in art. You will also develop a systematic structure for analysing, researching and recording information which you can then apply to any art form in any location. A World History of Art by Honour and Fleming and a nine-hour video sequence, Art of the Western World, are included with the course materials. The course is for fine art students wanting to include art history in their degree study programme or anyone who wants to develop greater appreciation of art. Some skill in drawing is helpful but not essential. The course aims to develop a basic understanding of the history of western art in chronological order from classical to modern times; develop skills in analysing works of art; help acquire a structured approach to observation, research and recording information about works of art. Content: • The Classical tradition • Gothic and Renaissance • Baroque • Romanticism to Impressionism • The twentieth century • Still-life, portraits, the figure, interiors and landscapes. Assignments: 30 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 40 at Level 1.

64

Visual Studies 1: Looking and Seeing
This course explores the core theories that underpin a contemporary understanding of visual culture; particularly it looks at the ideas in Structuralism, Post-Structuralism and Post-Modernism. At this first level the view is broad rather than deep to provide an introduction to the discipline and to act as a basis for further study Though this is necessarily a theoretical course, the intention is that the students should apply the theories as the means to gain their understanding. Content: • Introducing visual studies • Ways of seeing • Signs and symbols • Looking and subjectivity • Ideas about reality. Assignments: Students complete 29 projects and five assignments. They also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 40 at Level 1.

65

Understanding Art 2: Pathways into Specialism
This course introduces you to more specialised study in art history. It follows on from Understanding Art 1: Western Art, continues your reading of Honour and Fleming’s A World History of Art, and helps you to think more deeply about art from all parts of the world, from pre-history to the present day. The course is more open-ended than at Level 1 and this allows you to pursue your own particular interests. You will move from the general to the particular in your study of art history, look at works of art in a careful, informed way, and develop an open-minded approach to the art of many periods and cultures. The course aims to help students decide which areas of art history to specialise in; further develop skills in analysing works of art through practical and written projects; extend skills in observing, researching and recording information about works of art. Content: • Looking at art movements • Reading about art influences • Understanding materials and methods • Responding to art • Interpretations and meanings. Assignments: 12 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 2.

Understanding Art 3: Advanced will be introduced in late 2009
66 Detail from a painting by Mark Thirlwell

Creative Writing

Writing 1: Starting to Write Writing 1: Poetry Writing 1: Lifelines – Autobiography Writing 2: Imaginative Non-fiction Writing 2: Poetry – Form and Freedom Writing 2: Experience of Poetry Writing 2: Storylines Writing 2: Writing for Children Writing 3: Your Own Portfolio Writing 3: Advanced
Photo by Brian Bethell

69

Example of Creative Writing Progression Route
BA Honours Degree

Exit

Your Own Portfolio

+

Advanced Writing
Diploma of Higher Education

Progress to level 3
Poetry form and freedom Imaginative nonfiction

Exit

or

Experience of Poetry

or

Storylines Choose 2 units from 5

or

Writing for Children

Certificate of Higher Education

Progress to level 2
Starting to Write

Exit

+

Poetry

+

Lifelines

Through accreditation of previous study or of a portfolio of work it may be possible to gain credits which provide exemptions from some level 1 and 2 courses.
70

Creative Writing
Our creative writing courses are designed to inspire you and help you believe in yourself as a writer. We offer a wide choice of programmes, beginning with Starting to Write, and going on up to Writing Advanced, a higher level course in which you devise your own programme and produce an extended piece of writing at BA dissertation level. The courses span a variety of genres (fiction, autobiography, imaginative non-fiction, poetry and writing for children) and they provide strategies, exercises and materials which help you to understand your own creative processes and develop as a writer. They will sharpen your skills of observation, focus your imagination and verbal skills, and show you how to bring your observations and ideas to life in a way that will engage and hold your readers. As you move through course levels, you will be steadily sharpening your critical, editing and rewriting skills, developing your understanding of literature and learning more about the history, conventions, styles and techniques of your chosen genre(s). All our creative writing courses carry higher education credit points and can contribute towards the BA Hons degree.

Careers
Skilled writers work in sectors such as education, journalism, publishing, broadcasting, public relations, advertising, film and media.

71

Writing 1: Starting to Write
A fundamental look at how imaginative writing can express personal experience. This course is rich in ideas, examples, helpful exercises and theoretical and historical information. It will help you to practise writing in various genres, to develop critical models, to acquire primary skills in drafting, editing and presenting creative work, and to respond to constructive suggestions and criticism. It is for complete beginners or more experienced writers seeking a fresh approach in their writing. The course aims to give students practice in writing from direct sensory experience and detailed observation; explore language and style in different literary forms; develop discrimination and choice in drafting, evaluating and editing texts. Content: • Getting started • Writing about people • Making your characters speak • Style and language • Plot and structure. Assignments: 32 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 40 at Level 1.

72

Writing 1: Poetry
This course explains and illustrates the essential elements of the art of poetry. It helps you to think about poetry and what it can do and it will help you to write better poems. The course is firmly structured but leaves you free to be creative as you write poems on a wide range of subjects and practise different styles and techniques. You will also develop a vocabulary for analysing and evaluating poems, study the work of other poets and keep a learning log as a source of ideas and a record of your thoughts. The course aims to develop a flexible and informed use of language; increase appreciation and understanding of the genre; explore different ways of looking at poems; develop a critical vocabulary and understanding of poetic techniques and traditions. Content: • Building poems from observational notes • Writing poems on a range of subjects and in various styles • Learning the value of redrafting • Developing an understanding of style and vocabulary • Exploring powerful themes and issues • Learning how to present manuscripts • Extending knowledge and appreciation of other poets. Assignments: Five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 40 at Level 1.

73

Writing 1: Lifelines – Autobiography
This course develops the techniques of autobiographical writing. It is suitable for students who have completed Writing 1: Starting to Write or students who already have some writing experience and are considering writing an autobiography or a family biography. It offers examples and practical strategies for your writing and encourages you first to accumulate stories from different moments in your life, then to express them vividly and put them together in a satisfying way. You will also be exploring different approaches to narrative and testing out ways of structuring your material. The course aims to develop an understanding of the genre of autobiography and awareness of your own place in contemporary society; develop understanding and skills in structure and narrative techniques; support students in creating and collating pieces of autobiographical writing. Content: • Reasons for writing • Diaries and letters • A sense of self • Milestones in your life • Homes and places • The family. Assignments: 44 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 40 at Level 1.

74

Writing 2: Imaginative Non-fiction
If you have a story to tell – it might be an adventure, a journey, an autobiography, a triumph or a defeat – but are aware that even non-fiction needs excellent writing skills, then this is the course for you. You will increase your awareness of the formal conventions of first person non-fiction and develop critical models which will help you assess your own and others’ writing. You will create, develop, edit and finish a small body of work. You will also boost your skills in researching, drafting and editing, in presenting your work and in responding to constructive criticism. We recommend taking Writing 1: Starting to Write before embarking on this course, but direct entry is possible for more experienced writers. The course aims to explore the genre of personally-based non-fiction; support students in drafting and editing self-generated texts; develop discrimination in form and technique; encourage wide reading in personally-based non-fiction. Content: • A short history of creative non-fiction • The reinvention of the self • The Romantic vision • Ethics and courage • Self-censoring • Self-publishing • Legal and emotional issues • Deepening your research. Assignments: Five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 2.

75

Writing 2: Poetry – Form and Freedom
This course has a particular focus on poetic forms. It will increase your understanding and enjoyment of good poetry, old and new, help you discover new ways of looking at poems and help you to write better poems yourself. You will have considerable flexibility in choosing the style and content of your assignments. We advise taking Writing 1: Starting to Write before embarking on this course, but direct entry is possible for more experienced writers. The course aims to increase awareness of the formal aspects of poetry; create opportunities to practise independent, creative poetry writing which shows diversity of structure and form; develop informed, critical models of your own and others’ poetry; develop higher level skills in drafting and editing poems; encourage wide and critical reading of poetry. Content: • The sonnet • Terza rima, villanelles and terzanelle • Sestina, pantoum and rondeau • Ballads, ballades and odes • Blank verse, syllabics and free verse • Poetic techniques and traditions. Assignments: 15 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 2.

76

Writing 2: Experience of Poetry
This course stimulates awareness of contemporary poetry and will help you produce a strong and varied portfolio of work. It contains an introduction to the history, art and techniques of poetry and it presents and discusses many poems to help you deepen your understanding of form, themes and technique. As well as writing new poems, you will increase your awareness of the formal requirements of the genre. You will boost your skills in researching, drafting and editing, in presenting your work and in responding to constructive criticism. We advise taking Writing 1: Starting to Write or Writing 1: Poetry before embarking on this course, but direct entry is possible for more experienced writers. The course aims to explore the structure, form, historical context, limitations and strengths of poetry writing; support students in drafting and editing poems; develop discrimination in terms of form and technique; encourage wide and critical reading in contemporary poetry. Content: • A short history of British poetry • Landscapes • The natural world • The urban scene • Fantasy and the subconscious • Politics and conflict. Assignments: Five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 2.

77

Writing 2: Storylines
This course explores writing short fiction and develops your awareness of this highly rewarding genre. It contains an introduction to the art of the short story and presents stories and essays by contemporary writers who also discuss their working methods and techniques. As well as writing your own stories you will be exploring the history, structure and conventions of story writing and you will be reading widely in the genre. You will hone your skills in researching, drafting and editing, in presenting your work and in responding to constructive criticism. You will have considerable flexibility in choosing the style and content of your assignments. We advise taking Writing 1: Starting to Write before embarking on this course, but direct entry is possible for more experienced writers. The course aims to explore the structure, form, historical context, limitations and strengths of story writing; support students in drafting and editing stories; develop discrimination in terms of form and technique; encourage wide and critical reading in contemporary and earlier short stories. Content: • The evolution of short fiction • Beginnings of the story • The first literature • Northern Europe and Britain • European and classical influences • Beginnings of the modern story • The twentieth century • Publishing and contemporary short fiction • Narrative techniques. Assignments: Five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 2.

78

Writing 2: Writing for Children
This course is about bringing whole worlds into existence right in front of the child’s ‘eyes of the imagination’. A children’s writer needs to be a safe and genuine maker of wonders, someone who can create a world that is marvellous, mysterious and unaccountably enchanting, yet always provide an underlying sense of security. The course will help you to develop your writing in this specialised field. It pays careful attention to the main age bands recognised by publishers and you can choose to specialise within one of those bands. As well as writing your own stories and experimenting with form, style and technique, you will be looking at the work of wellknown children’s writers and at their own notes and thoughts on their work. You will also have the opportunity to read widely within the genre. We advise taking Writing 1: Starting to Write before embarking on this course but direct entry is possible for more experienced writers. The course aims to explore the difference between story telling and story writing; develop a psychological foundation for your writing; discuss the problems and dangers of writing for children; develop understanding of the relationship between text and illustration. Content: • The art of storytelling • How to enthral a listener • The psychology of children’s stories • Making sure that stories are ‘safe’ • Drafting, texture and form. Assignments: Five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 2.

79

Writing 3: Your Own Portfolio
By the end of this course you will have developed and extended your creative strategies. Through looking critically at your work and at your own creative processes, you will become more aware of these processes and more disciplined. You will also be building pieces of writing from observational notes, writing on a range of subjects and in a range of styles, exploring some powerful themes and experimenting with different forms. You will hone your editing and redrafting skills, develop your understanding of style and vocabulary and extend your knowledge and appreciation of other writers. By the end of the course you will have developed a solid foundation for your future writing and a clear idea of your own creative voice and direction. The course aims to help you write better poems and stories; look critically at your work and the processes involved in creating it; and gain an insight into the creative processes of other writers. Content: • Entering the imagination • Getting inside the subject • Finding the patterns • Rewriting and editing • Building the collection. Assignments: Five assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 3.

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Writing 3: Advanced
This course is based on the mentoring and supervising model. There are no course materials as such. Instead students choose a tutor from OCA’s portfolio of advanced writing tutors and then work with their tutor to develop and agree their own personal programme. Thereafter, your tutor will be responding to the writing you produce as part of the agreed programme. You will be working at BA dissertation level on an extended piece of writing of your own choosing, increasing your appreciation of your genre, and developing high-level skills in researching, drafting, editing and presenting your work. We advise taking a Level 2 writing course before embarking on this programme but direct entry is possible for more experienced writers. The course aims to support you in designing and implementing your own learning strategies and in creating, developing, editing and finishing an extended piece of writing; deepen your understanding of your chosen genre; develop appropriate critical models of your own and others’ writing. Content: OCA provides a framework from which you devise your own programme. Assignments: Six assignments. Students also maintain a learning log. Tutorials: Distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 3.

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Composing Music
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Composing Music 1 Composing Music 2 Composing Music 3: Advanced
Detail from a photo by Shirley Plowright

Example of Composing Music Progression Route
BA Honours Degree

Exit
Composing Music 3
Advanced

+

One other level 3 course

Diploma of Higher Education

Progress to level 3

Exit

Composing Music 2

+

One other level 2 course
Certificate of Higher Education

Progress to level 2
Composing Music 1

Exit

+

Two other level 1 courses

Through accreditation of previous study or of a portfolio of work it may be possible to gain credits which provide exemptions from some level 1 and 2 courses.
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Composing Music
Distance learning works extremely well as a way of learning to write and compose music and our students achieve impressive results. This unique series of courses will take you from an understanding of music to being able to produce extended pieces of work using advanced compositional techniques. The courses focus on composition, this means the skills gained can be applied across genres. Whatever your musical interests you are likely to find both challenges and rewards.

Careers
Composers typically work freelance in the performing arts, teaching, film, media, broadcasting and advertising. Many choose to be amateur musicians and combine a wide range of musical interests and activities with their ‘day job’.

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Composing Music 1:
It takes a little courage to see yourself as a composer, but this course will allow you to test out your potential and develop the relevant skills. Whatever type of music interests you, this course will help you create and write down your own compositions so that by the end you will have written several short pieces of music. Projects are set in a broad range of musical contexts, including percussion solos, pentatonic melodies and counterpoint. The grounding it gives should be equally of interest to musicians across the spectrum of traditions, including folk and jazz, as well as ‘classical’. In order to enjoy - and benefit from - the course, you will need a reasonable grasp of music theory (e.g. Grade 5 from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music). You should also have – or be prepared to acquire – one of the music software packages such as Sibelius. Throughout the course, challenges to ingenuity and inventiveness will lead to an approach to composition which has breadth. The constant questioning of contrasting means to achieve an end is an important ingredient of compositional skill. Content: • Exploring rhythm and percussion instruments • Exploring melody and different scales • Rounds, descants and polyphony • Counterpoint • Exploring harmony and cadences. Assignments: 14 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a listening log. Tutorials: Either face-to-face or distance tutorials. Credit points: 40 at Level 1.

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Composing Music 2:
This course continues the quest started in Composing Music 1. During the course you will manipulate harmonic progressions to suit your own taste (it doesn’t have to be in the mainstream ‘classical’ tradition); compose accompaniments for songs (focusing in particular on the techniques of word setting); write for string and brass instruments; and experience working within some 20th and 21st century styles (including minimalism and writing for commercial and media needs). The course is designed to build very specifically on the work undertaken in Composing Music 1. It would therefore be quite difficult to start your study of composition with this course. As with Level 1, students are expected to be comfortable with music theory and have access to a suitable notation package, such as Sibelius or Finale. Composing Music 2 provides a strong and varied foundation for further development. As with all OCA music courses, the grounding it gives should be equally of interest to musicians across the spectrum of traditions, including folk and jazz, as well as ‘classical’. Content: • Harmony with words, including word setting and accompaniments • Voices together, including a vocal jingle and a choral ‘amen’ • Adding strings, including a guitar prelude and a short piece for string quartet • Expanding the band, including a brass fanfare and a TV signature tune • An exploratory finale including a dance band arrangement and a serial piece. Assignments: 16 projects and five assignments. Students also maintain a listening log. Tutorials: Either face-to-face or distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 2.

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Composing Music 3: Advanced
This course will develop your technical and artistic skills as a composer and leads to a substantial piece of work, using advanced compositional techniques. There are no formal course materials as such; instead, the course takes the form of a compositional plan which you negotiate with your tutor, who will him/herself be an experienced composer. Students embarking on this course usually have in mind an extended piece of work which they want to write. This could, for example, be a song cycle, chamber work, light opera/musical, choral setting or jazz suite. The student and their tutor-composer work together for about a year as the piece develops. This personal and very flexible approach is usually greatly appreciated by students (and tutors!) and this close collaboration can lead to the successful completion of significant and rewarding works. The course aims to help you produce, with guidance, a major composition; further develop your compositional techniques; and embed the skills of developing, revisiting and reforming musical ideas over a sustained period. Content: • Produce a compositional plan, setting out the overall scope of the composition • Negotiate the plan with your tutor • Research contrasting examples of respected compositions in the relevant repertoire • Build up the work in agreed sections, receiving on-going guidance and feedback • Complete the composition and review its effectiveness as a whole. Assignments: Extended composition (see above). Students also maintain a listening log. Tutorials: Either face-to-face or distance tutorials. Credit points: 60 at Level 3.

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Frequently Asked Questions Enrolment Fees, discounts and bursaries

The small print
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Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions
When will my course materials arrive? If you are paying by credit or debit card and living in the UK, they will arrive within three working days of cleared payment. If paying by cheque, within eight working days. If some of your course materials are not in stock, there could be a short delay. If you live outside the UK, once we have received your payment we will dispatch your materials within five working days. Can I have my course materials sent to any address? Yes – please see the notes on the enrolment form on page 93. If you want materials sent to a Post Office, you must give us, with their permission, the full name and address of the postmaster. Are there lower age limits? No, but if you are still in full-time education, discuss things with your school or college before enrolling as you need to be sure your OCA course will not take time away from other studies. Can I use email to send assignments to my tutor? Depending on the nature of your course and your tutor’s preferences, email can be a good option. This is something you can discuss and agree with your tutor. But please note that for some courses, for example all the painting courses, email is not always a viable alternative to the post. How much tutor time comes with my course? All your tuition is one-to-one. If you are on a course with distance tuition, your course fee includes the time taken by your tutor to consider and comment in detail on five assignments. If you are on a course with face-toface tuition, the fee covers ten one-to-one meetings with your tutor. You can have fewer, but longer, meetings if you wish.

Can I purchase more tuition? Yes, you can buy extra distance or face-to-face tuition. Simply contact OCA. What if I need to ask a question between assignments? The OCA website has discussion forums which are regularly monitored. This is the first place for getting answers to general questions. Your tutor will advise when and how they can be contacted between assignments. I’m thinking of going on to full- or part-time study at college or university after my time with OCA. Can you give me some advice? Many students have done this, using their OCA portfolio of work. Sometimes credits you have accumulated with the OCA can be transferred to another institution. The earlier you discuss your plans with your tutor or with OCA’s Academic Services, the better. You should also contact the college or university you want to go to at an early date to check their requirements. Can you offer help to students with disabilities or health difficulties? Studying at home at a pace which suits you should be helpful. Your tutor and the OCA staff will help you get the best out of your course. Timetables can be extended and if standard print is hard to manage, there are large print versions of some courses. We may be able to adjust course materials to compensate. For details, contact Academic Services.

Email enquiries@oca-uk or ring us on 0800 731 2116 if you have a question.

Frequently Asked Questions
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How to enrol
Enrolling couldn’t be simpler. Once you have decided on your course, all you need to do is complete the enrolment form enclosed with this Guide to Courses and send it to us with your payment. You can pay by Mastercard, Visa, Switch, Maestro or Delta, or by cheque payable to ‘Open College of the Arts’ Before completing the form, please see the guidance notes below and also read the conditions of enrolment on page 94. If you are paying by credit or debit card, you can enrol by telephone – just call us on 0800 731 2116. Once your payment has been received, you should receive your course pack within eight working days if you are a UK resident. The pack will include everything you need to get started: course materials, assignments, student card, details of your tutor and how to contact them, and your student handbook. If you are not sure which course is the right one for you, please give us a ring on 0800 731 2116 to discuss your options. You can also visit the website for more information about all our courses. You can also enrol online at www.oca-uk.com. Enrolments taken after 4pm will be processed on the next working day.

Enrolment
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Notes on the enrolment form
Section 1: Your personal details Please complete all sections, as the information you give us about yourself at enrolment allows us to get a picture of the makeup of our student body. Section 1: Alternative address for parcels OCA can arrange to deliver parcels to an alternative address if you are not going to be at home to sign for them. Unfortunately, we are not able to ask the delivery company to attempt to deliver first to one address and then, if there is no answer, to your second or alternative address. Please also note that deliveries are not available at weekends. We try to have initial course materials delivered to addresses in England please contact the OCA office for details. Section 2: Which course? Decide which course or courses you want to take and check that the mode of tuition offered suits your needs. For face-to-face tuition, enter your preferred location – you can find out which locations are offered by ringing Academic Services on 0800 731 2116. For any advanced course, please indicate your preferred tutor – you can find out about the tutors on our advanced courses by requesting a list of tutor specialisms from the Academic Services on 0800 731 2116. Section 3: What it costs Course fee: check the course fee from the course list on the enrolment form and either tick the box for paying the full fee now or the box for paying by instalments. Complete either Box A (full course fee) or Box B (the deposit). Delivery supplement: there is a charge to cover the extra distribution costs of sending materials outside the UK: Other EU countries – £60 Rest of the world – £100 Enter the appropriate delivery supplement if it applies. Section 4: How to pay If paying by credit or debit card, enter your card number, the expiry date and the issue number where relevant. within eight working days of your enrolment. Elsewhere different schedules apply –

Enrolment
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If paying by instalments, you will also need to complete the direct debit instruction. This authorises your bank or building society to pay us regular sums from your account at our request. Please note: course materials will be dispatched when we have received this instruction. We regret that direct debits can be taken only from UK bank accounts. If you do not have a UK bank account and want to pay by instalments, please enclose with your enrolment form sterling or euro post-dated cheques to cover your instalments. Section 5: Conditions of enrolment and signature Please be sure to read the conditions of enrolment and sign the statement.

Direct debit guarantee

Enrolment
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This guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that take part in the direct debit scheme. The efficiency and security of the scheme is monitored and protected by your own bank or building society. If the amounts to be paid or the payment dates change, Open College of the Arts will notify you 14 working days in advance of your account being debited, or as otherwise agreed. If an error is made by Open College of the Arts or your bank or building society, you are guaranteed a full and immediate refund from your branch of the amount paid. You can cancel a direct debit at any time by writing to your bank or building society. Please send a copy of the letter to us.

Conditions of enrolment The fee includes the provision of courses and tuition, but other activities, such as extra tuition, assessment of work for credit and workshops, will involve additional cost. The OCA tries to provide courses for all who send in an enrolment form, but this may not be possible if a course is full. Correctly completed applications will be dealt with in the order in which they are received.

We reserve the right to decline an enrolment or to terminate tuition when, in the opinion of the Chief Executive, this is in the best interests of the student, or the college as a whole. We offer instalment facilities on the understanding that all payments will be made. All invoices are due for payment within 30 days of the invoice. Any invoice outstanding beyond this period will be referred to Daniels Silverman Ltd and will be subject to a surcharge of 15% plus VAT to cover the collection costs incurred. This surcharge together with all other charges and legal fees incurred will be the responsibility of the customer and will be legally enforceable. If for any reason we cannot provide tuition, we will refund you in full on the return of your course materials, or in part if you retain the materials. Beyond 30 days and up to 18 months from receipt of course materials, you may, on written request, defer your course once for a period of up to one year. Students are expected to complete the course within two years. We reserve the right to use any student work or reproduction thereof for our promotional purposes.

Money back guarantee If the OCA materials do not meet your requirements, return the package in full, securely packed, by recorded delivery to arrive at the OCA within 14 days of receipt. We will refund your payment in full, or credit your account, provided that the materials arrive at the OCA in perfect condition. We regret that this money back guarantee does not apply to students outside the UK. Once you have enrolled, after the 14 days have elapsed, the materials belong to you and are non-refundable. If you wish to withdraw within 30 days of the receipt of the materials, we will refund course fees, less the amount of the deposit in the price list. Beyond 30 days, no refunds can be made and all outstanding fees must be paid within agreed timescales.

Enrolment
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Fees, discounts and bursaries
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Fees
The standard course fee is £595. If you wish to pay by instalment, the standard course fee is £280 deposit and five payments of £68.

Discounts, bursaries and other help with fees
Discounts following assessment If you are re-enrolling after having had your previous OCA course formally assessed, you are entitled to a discount of £100 off the course fee. All you need to do is enter the figure of £100 in the deductions box on the enrolment form. OCA bursaries The OCA is an educational charity. Although we receive no core government funding, the charity’s trustees have established a bursary fund to help with course costs. Please visit our website or ring Academic Services on 0800 731 2116. Employers and local authorities Many employers have schemes which help with fees, particularly for accredited courses. Local authorities may have information about local educational grant-giving trusts. Schools may support their teachers with the cost of work-related courses.

The OCA online
We are constantly updating and introducing courses. This year we plan to introduce new courses in Digital Arts, Art History, Textiles, Creative Writing, Illustration and Music. In addition to giving the latest information about our courses the website offers students the opportunity to discuss their course, seek help, share their work and find out details of workshops and competitions.

Whenever I'm asked for advice about starting to write, I always tell people to do a course. It's an important step between just writing for yourself, and being prepared to expose your work to the scrutiny of others. A good course will give you both encouragement and criticism, and it's a way of proving to yourself that you're really serious. I'd been writing for years without success, and it was taking a course that changed my life.
Marina Lewycka

Open College of the Arts
Michael Young Arts Centre Redbrook Business Park Wilthorpe Road Barnsley S75 1JN 0800 731 2116 enquiries@oca-uk.com www.oca-uk.com

OCA is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.2125674, a registered charity no.327446

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