Distance learning

UCA - Open College of the Arts

The University for the Creative Arts offers one of the broadest ranges of course options in the UK for studying in the arts by distance learning, offered through our distance learning college, UCA Open College of the Arts.

Through our Open programme, you can study a one-off course leading to a Certificate or Diploma in Higher Education or build towards a full BA (Hons) or MA degree whenever and wherever you like and at a pace that suits you by distance.

We have validated the educational quality of the Open College of the Arts for many years and OCA is now part of the University for the Creative Arts family, allowing for developments in our portfolio that provide the very best opportunities to students studying at distance. 

Open distance learning can be the perfect solution to studying in the arts at any point in your career. On an Open course you will receive support one-to-one from an expert academic tutor who is also an arts practitioner and you will become part of a thriving UK and international student community.

All of our part-time distance learning courses and degrees are UCA accredited. We have an exceptional range of part-time courses in painting, drawing, photography, music, illustration, graphic design, creative writing, textiles, sculpture, printmaking, art history and film. Our courses are perfect for a portfolio learner. An award-winning online MA Fine Art is also available through our Open programme.

Visit the UCA - Open College of the Arts website

Distance learning courses

The range of choices available through our Open College of the Arts portfolio is exceptional - enabling you to build the programme around your personal interests.

BA (Hons) Creative Arts

This course gives you an exciting opportunity if you have a passion for more than one creative arts practice.

BA (Hons) Creative Writing

This course will allow you to gain experience of writing in a variety of literary forms including life writing, poetry, script writing, short fiction and writing for children,

BA (Hons) Drawing

This degree gives students the unique opportunity to study drawing as a distinctive creative practice.

BA (Hons) Fine Art

The Fine Art degree focuses on the core media within fine arts – Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, and Printmaking.

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

The course focuses on the visual language of graphic design and application of creative problem solving to deliver visual solutions that communicate effectively.

BA (Hons) Illustration

The course focuses on drawing, image making, narrative and creative problem solving. Drawing and image making are central to the study of illustration and are explored through the use of sketchbooks, figure and reportage drawing and the relationships between ideas, visual research and outcomes in project work.

BA (Hons) Moving Image

The course offers a broad range of exploration possibilities and aims to equip the student with a set of skills that aids their progression into whichever field of the moving image that they should choose.

BA (Hons) Music

Centred upon practical work, this degree provides students with the skills required for a career in music, including composition, orchestration and arrangement and the practical implementation of historical knowledge.

BA (Hons) Painting

The BA (Hons) in Painting is for those who wish to focus on drawing and painting to become reflective artists with the skills necessary to effectively develop a personal artistic vision or voice.

BA (Hons) Photography

The course is unique in that it assumes no prior knowledge beyond the basic operations of a camera. It is modular in concept and delivery and the student is free to choose from the available units at each level to suit their own interests and aspirations.

BA (Hons) Textiles

The BA (Hons) Textiles degree programme will develop your textiles arts practice with a wide range of media and techniques. You will also develop your creative capacities in the interpretation and application of imagery, tactile awareness and understanding of the theoretical and conceptual issues central to the practice of textile art.

BA (Hons) Visual Communications

The BA (Hons) in Visual Communications builds knowledge across the disciplines of graphic design, illustration and book design all aiming to prepare you to become a visual communications professional, capable of applying your intellectual and creative skills to communications solutions.

MA Fine Art

MA Fine Art prepares students for professional practice in their chosen discipline, supporting the existing practice and aspirations of students working in a wide range of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, installation, performance, time-based work, digital art and photography.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about distance learning courses with UCA Open College of the Arts, please contact the OCA enquiries team on:

Freephone: 0800 731 2116
(From abroad: +44 1226 730 495)

or via the OCA contact page

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