Course Structure

The course is made up of three stages spread over three terms, during which students explore approaches to observation and experimentation in preparation for expression of their personal ideas in Fine Art and Design. The structure of the course progresses from set assignments towards self-directed study. The course is full time, with five days’ teaching a week. During the first two terms students will have weekly life drawing sessions in the studio where they will draw from the unclothed model.

Stage 1

Stage 1 of the course begins with a series of taught workshops in a range of art and design media and disciplines including drawing, printmaking, sculpture, 3D explorations, photography, animation and bookmaking. In week 5 the first personal project is introduced alongside taught workshops. Every Friday students participate in a contextual studies programme.

Stage 2 and 3

The emphasis during Stages 2 and 3 is more focused on independent study as students continue to develop ideas through personal projects before embarking on their self-initiated Final Major Project. Independent study is supported by timetabled drawing classes and taught workshops throughout Stages 2 and 3 of the course. Students are expected to engage with timetabled lectures, studio critiques and debates throughout the programme


Tutorial and teaching structure

The teaching structure operates in two ways. The first is group teaching, whereby the tutor is assigned a group of students to deliver a set project, seminar, lecture or discussion. The second is one-to-one teaching. Each student will be allocated a personal tutor during the first term of the academic year and will be required to have one formal tutorial each term. 

Contextual Studies

Students have a dedicated lecture and gallery visit day. This contextual studies component introduces the students to a broad survey of working practices and changing attitudes that have shaped the arts over past centuries. Museum/gallery visits and lectures are tailored to provide a critical framework and complement the students’ practical work. The contextual studies programme is curated by art historian Antje Southern.

Students also attend a weekly lecture on Wednesday evenings in Shoreditch, curated by writer/artist Julian Bell and art critic/artist William Feaver. Past talks have discussed Freud, Auerbach and Beckmann, alongside in-conversations with Sir Peter Blake RA, David Shrigley, Tracey Emin RA, Grayson Perry RA and Michael Landy RA. Every spring term the Artists on Film series runs alongside the lecture programme.

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The tutors really care about helping and teaching you – you’re a person with a personality, not just a number. Isabeau Gervais Foundation Year 2014