At the Art Academy we want to support our students at every step of their journey with us. High levels of support and guidance is an integral part of the Academy’s ethos and is designed to help the student from first enquiry to completion of studies. The small scale of the institution is advantageous to the provision of student support. It fosters a close community of staff and students where students feel safe and able to seek advice and guidance from a variety of staff.
For main areas of this support please see more details below:
Financial Support & Guidance
As part of the Academy’s commitment to widening participation, accessible learning and inclusive arts education a number of bursaries are made available each year in order to assist applicants who would not normally be in a position to study at the Academy. These are assessed on an individual case by case basis by order of application date. Please see the Bursaries section of our website for more informations.
Students are provided with guidance in relation to pastoral issues at induction and through the student handbook.
Students have access to pastoral care throughout their time at the Academy enabling them to seek support for any personal concerns or issues they might have.
Students who request specialist advice in regards to mental health issues are at first invited to discuss their concerns confidentially with the Head of SEN and/or the Academic Course Manager, who will direct the student to relevant external support services.
On joining the Academy students are provided information on external student accommodation services, local GP services and other information to enable them to settle fully into student and London Life. Please see the Student Life section of our website for more information.
Students are fully inducted to the Academy upon enrolment and provided with the opportunity to take part in cross college artistic and social events as part of freshers activities in order to help them integrate into the Academy community. The Academic team and student council also organise other events throughout the academic year in order to maintain and develop student’s sense of belonging and strengthen the community at the heart of the Academy.
Equality & Diversity
The Art Academy values the rich diversity of our students, staff and alumni, which is fundamental to our character. This diversity informs our teaching and learning and our employment practices, producing both inspired practitioners and leading professionals. We value diversity and we recognise that different people bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge and culture, and that this difference brings great strength in an institution such as ours. We recognise that patterns of under-representation and differences in outcomes at The Art Academy can be challenged through positive action programmes. We respect the rights of individuals, including the right to hold different views and beliefs. We will not allow these differences to be manifested in a way that is hostile or degrading to others.
Policy and Strategy Aims
In order to uphold these values and to sustain an accessible and inclusive environment for all students we will:
For more information please download our Equality & Diversity Policy
The Academy welcomes students with Special Educational Needs subject to being able to support their individual needs. The head of SEN and the Academic Course Manager have overall responsibility both for their welfare and for enabling them to successfully access the curriculum during their time at the Academy. A bespoke programme of elective skills workshops will be mapped for each student if necessary, and alternative assessment models employed where appropriate in order to provide a parity of opportunity with non SEN students. The head of SEN will act as personal tutor and first point of contact for all SEN students. The head of SEN and ACM also ensure that all other tutors working with an individual student with Special Educational Needs are appraised of the needs of that student, and understand what, if anything, they need to do to support the student and his or her learning. In the final year of study, students with Learning Support Needs may be given additional support as necessary as they work towards their graduate show.
The head of SEN, and other staff members as relevant, will keep in regular contact with the parents of students with Learning Support Needs if appropriate, including meeting with them to discuss the progress of the student and any issues arising in their course of study.
The Academy is committed to supporting accessible learning and welcomes students with disabilities, subject to being able to support their individual needs; good accessibility practices and the needs of disabled students in academic provision are reviewed on a case by case basis, with all reasonable adjustments considered in order to provide services and equal educational opportunities to the individual student or applicant.
Students or applicants who declare a disability, specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia), long term health condition or mental health disability are asked to complete a ‘Student Declaration and Identification of Support Needs’ form. This is in addition to the declaration requested at application and is intended to ensure the capture of information needed to ensure a safe a successful educational career at the Academy. A member of the Academic team subsequently contacts the student to discuss their individual support requirements and agree actions, which are made available to relevant tutors and support staff, informing them of any services and adjustments required.
Personal Development Planning
Central to The Art Academy’s ethos is enabling students to become practicing artists. Students are encouraged to set goals, develop their skills and review progress through personal developmental planning. PDP is embedded within the Diploma programmes in the form of a Professional Development module, which provides opportunities to identify and action next steps in planning their career as professional artists and also incorporating reviews of the skills they develop through study into this process. Progress and long term goals are discussed and recorded through one-to-one sessions with staff and tutors and students are invited to reflect on progress and plan their progression through the programmes at annual reviews in the third term.
Career Education & Information
Although the Academy does not have a dedicated careers service or advice and guidance department, career education, advice and is embedded within the programmes in the form of Professional Development modules which provide opportunities to identify and action next steps in planning their career as professional artists. This is supported through the artistic tutorial system. Some career guidance is additionally undertaken by the Academic team (Academic Course Manager & Academic Course Coordinator) and students have the opportunity to seek further advice from guest tutors and speakers where relevant.
The Academy provides a prayer room to allow individuals to observe their faith and believes this essential to harmonious community relations and inter-faith dialogue so are an important element of the Academy’s Prevent approach.
We welcome all enthusiastic candidates to apply. If you are interested please give us a call on +44 (0)207407 6969 to discuss courses or to arrange a visit. We’re a small school in the middle of central London, you don’t need to wait for the next open day to come see us and we’re always happy to chat through the application process, our courses or give you a tour.
Before you apply to The Art Academy you will want to understand what to expect from the application process and how best to prepare. As a small Arts School, be assured that we’ll assess you on your own individual merit and potential to succeed on your chosen course of study with us. It’s an individually tailored but consistent approach. All applicants are required to:
– Undertake an interview
– Have a portfolio review
– Submit written work for assessment of key skills and level of ability for the programme they are applying for.
In some cases the selection process may include the submission of supplementary work in addition to the information provided on the application form and requested as part of the portfolio review.
Specific entry requirements are laid out in the relevant programme sections. All applicants are required to prove UK right of residency; The Art Academy does not sponsor international students through the Tier 4 visa system and therefore cannot accept international students unless they are able to prove right of residency in the UK. In the case of Degree and Foundation Degree programmes, though no formal qualifications are required applicants will need to demonstrate work at least of level 3 equivalent.
English Language Requirements: All applicants are required to demonstrate an appropriate level of English Language to gain entry to The Art Academy. This is assessed through evidencing an approved English Language qualification at level 2 or through the review of a requested sample of written (analytical) work at application. The appropriate level of spoken English is assessed at interview.
At the Art Academy we do appreciate that not all applicants come to us with standard qualifications and we consider a wide range of equivalent level qualifications and professional experience or self-directed learning instead. We try to take into consideration your unique set of qualifications, skills and experience. We are most interested in applicants who can demonstrate their skills, their enthusiasm and commitment to their subject. If you think you can do this, we encourage you to apply!
Visit your chosen programme page to start an application today!
For more information please download our Admissions Policy
After you have submitted your application form, with supplementary images, the Academic Course Coordinator will get in touch with you to arrange your interview. They will be your point of contact throughout the process and will provide you with all relevant information at every step. They will inform you in a more detail what you should bring to the interview in terms of portfolio and sketchbook and what to expect.
It is at your interview that you will undertake a portfolio review. The role of the interviewer is to make a judgment about whether the applicant has the potential to succeed on the programme applied for and to make a decision, which they consider to be in the best interests of the applicant. Whilst interviews are normally conducted with one member of staff present, no application will be rejected without their application being reviewed by another member of staff. An assessment is made taking into account the applicant’s overall potential to succeed i.e. performance at interview and the portfolio of work.
The Portfolio Review Guidance
As general guidance we like to see examples of finished pieces and the development of a project or series of pieces. You may be asked to bring your sketchbook or preliminary sketches and research. We are trying to understand your creative process, your motivations, ideas and areas of interest. We are also trying to access your level of artistic skill, and your potential.
After your interview you may be asked for supplementary material but you will usually be notified of The Art Academy’s decision within a couple of weeks. There are only 3 possible outcomes:
A conditional offer means that the Art Academy will offer an applicant a place providing certain conditions are met before registration on the programme. Each offer is specific to the applicant’s individual circumstances.
An unconditional offer means that an applicant has met the (academic and non-academic) entry requirements and has been accepted onto their chosen programme at the Academy.
Applicants will receive an unsuccessful response if the Academy has decided not to offer them a place on the programme. Applicants can be unsuccessful for many reasons and should be aware that many of the programmes at the Academy receive far more applications than number of places available.
Unsuccessful applicants, or those who do not take up their place, may reapply to the Academy in a subsequent year. Feedback will be given to any applicant who requests it. Admissions decisions based on academic judgement may not be challenged unless there is evidence of prejudice or bias against a candidate.
We will offer opportunities to incoming students to get to know the Academy between the time they accept their offer and when they enrol. You will be invited to come to our graduation show, to get a sense of the community and what you could achieve by studying with us. By accepting offers students agree to abide by the Academy’s Regulations.
Applicants with special educational needs
The Academy provides a welcoming environment for people with disabilities, specific learning difficulties and special educational needs.
Applicants are invited and encouraged to disclose any disabilities or special needs at the point of application so that the Academy can begin to plan any support it may need to provide at the earliest opportunity, including during the admissions process itself. Admissions decisions are always made on the basis of the candidate’s ability and/or potential to complete the course for which they are being considered.
Provided that the candidate is suitable for the programme applied for, the Academy will make reasonable adjustments for disabled candidates in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. This may include special arrangements for the interview. The Academic Course Co-ordinator will provide all applicants who are offered a place with details of the support available for students with disabilities or special needs, so that they can make an informed decision as to whether the Academy is able to provide an appropriate environment for their studies.
Accessibility of The Art Academy’s estate
The Art Academy’s premises are old buildings which inevitably means that access to some areas can be problematic for people with a physical disability. This will continue to be an issue for the foreseeable future. Therefore, whilst this is the case, we undertake to mitigate problems for disabled applicants and students as far as possible by ensuring that where possible, appropriate arrangements are made to hold interviews, classes, workshops, tutorials, exhibitions and other events in accessible spaces. However, applicants and potential applicants who have mobility difficulties should arrange to visit the Academy before completing the application process, to ensure that their needs can be met.
The Art Academy is a true artistic community, an environment of vibrant exchange where students learn from expert practicing artists and wide-ranging creative stimulus. We’ll stretch your thinking at the same time as building your skills across multiple dimensions, not just one. Our approach is bespoke – we don’t subscribe to the view that there is one way to train an artist. We start with the individual, and invest time, supporting each artist through the provision of tailored, hands on tuition. We believe in opening the mind every bit as much as we believe in training the eye and the hand.
Whatever your paths your programme will involve chosing from our elective skills workshops. Whilst our approach hinges on learning and mastering tangible techniques from experienced artists in the studio. We believe in opening the mind every bit as much as we believe in training the eye and the hand.
Every artist should be free to develop and express their vision in whatever language, style or medium best expresses their intentions. But whatever the chosen medium, it requires the same amount of skill and consideration in its formal and conceptual aspects; so a portrait should be as conceptually considered as an installation and an installation as carefully crafted as a portrait. The actual process of creating is a continual balance between thought and intuition, between the editorial, decision making process and the spontaneous flow of creativity. Considered marks, observed unintended accidents and the subconscious knowledge that flows into the work, all enrich the final manifestation.
For more information please download our Teaching & Learning Strategy Policy
Art can be many things: it is ephemeral and magical, almost impossible to pin down; it is the creative force that pulses through the artist, ultimately indefinable. The creation of artwork, therefore requires constant questioning, exploration, commitment and courage.
The Art Academy Artistic Principles:
Stimulus and motivation
An artist’s stimulus comes from a desire to respond to what resonates with them or has meaning to them as an individual, drawn from their experiences, passions and interests. That stimulus sparks an idea which motivates them to start the creative process. Being true to this core motivation can create a unique artistic vision, and is the starting point for developing the concept and intent for their art work.
Intention and concept
The artists’s intention is what they want to express, create or communicate throughout their work. Developing the concept is the way in which they refine their response to the original stimulus through examination, exploration and enquiry. This will begin to determine the best means of expressing their intention and communicating with the viewer. In order fully to develop a concept, this process needs to include rigorous, imaginative, lateral thinking and ingenuity, considering the idea as widely as possible. An effective concept will result in an artwork that opens new perspectives, experiences and understanding for the viewer.Creative and contextual awareness
The artist practices within a personal, artistic, social, cultural and environmental context. It is essential for them to be aware of the context in which they are working. It is beneficial for an artist to understand their personal creative process and the way in which they best create. The artist should be cognisant of the surrounding artistic discourses (both contemporary and historic). They need also to be mindful of the wider context in which they are working – cultural, social, political and
environmental. In developing their art, they need to determine how they wish to respond to or engage with the contexts within which they practice. They need to understand the relevant commercial markets for their work. They need to consider their responsibility to themselves, their peer group and artistic community, the art world and to wider society*.
Visual Language and Craftsmanship
For an artist to develop their own artistic language, they need to understand the application, impact and relevance of their aesthetic decisions. Harmony, discord, measure, balance, volume, contrast, line, colour, composition and craftsmanship form part of the artist’s language, through which they develop their own vocabulary to express their meaning. Craftsmanship encompasses skill in whatever media, both traditional and contemporary. Through the continuous exploration and absorption of a wide range of skills, materials and techniques, the artist develops and constantly refines their artistic language.
Manifestation of Intent
This is the point at which the work manifests itself. The artist manifests their intention for the artwork through the choices they make about their formal language, including media, material, technique and scale. The evaluation of these choices and their relationship to the artist’s initial intent, even when these elements have been used intuitively, is essential for the effective expression of the creative idea. The viewer may also better understand and connect with the artist’s concept when there is a considered relationship between form and intention.
Curation / Presentation
The presentation of an artwork in an exhibition, public or other context is integral to the effectiveness of the piece. The presentation includes the space, the lighting, the structural support system, the layout of the work and the movement of people through the space, the statement and the label system. It also refers to any verbal presentation by the artist about the work; how concise, considered and knowledgeable they are about the context in which they are working and their intentions for the work. All these aspects need to be carefully considered if the artwork is to fulfil its potential. If an artist wishes for their artwork to be seen, it is necessary for them to gain the relevant professional skills to enable this to happen. The presentation of the work should reflect and support the artist’s purpose as well as underpinning the intended experience of the artwork by the viewer.
*at the Academy, part of the context for the students’ artistic creation is the wider community of the Academy. The student has a responsibility to this wider community and their fulfilment of this responsibility will impact on the quality of the work they produce. This will include their attendance, their response to other students and their contribution to the life of the Academy.
Allocation of tutorials varies from course to course, but broadly tutorials at the Art Academy fall into two categories:
On all long courses (with the exception of Certificate) all students are allocated a personal tutor, who is responsible for their pastoral care (in conjunction with the Academic Course Manager and Academic Course Co-ordinator).
Students are allocated a number of artistic tutorials per year (with the exception of Foundation students). Artistic tutorials are in addition to 1-2-1 teaching and tutorials undertaken in skills elective workshops and during assessed modules. Artistic Tutorials have a wide and open brief, giving students the opportunity for focused, one-to-one creative and technical feedback on their art work.
For more information please download our Student Support & Guidance Including Tutoring Policy
Feedback & Assessment
Continuous formative feedback is central to the student centered teaching and learning strategy at the Academy. Students receive verbal, formative feedback for elective skills workshop courses and written summative feedback for core compulsory, assessed modules. Feedback sheets contain grades where appropriate.
Feedback should provide a student with a clear explanation of how the marks have been derived or allocated and a clear understanding of how they can improve their work in the future. It should encourage learning and impact positively upon progression.
Across all our programmes assessment is entirely through coursework and is assessed against the learning outcomes described in the programme specification, course documents and module materials. The Academy believes in and employs continuous formative assessment through active learning opportunities such as one to one and group critique sessions, enabling students to evaluate and analyse their own progress and take control of their learning in order to maximise strengths and address weaknesses. All formative feedback is provided verbally and not recorded. Assessment tasks should also follow a pattern that ensures that assessment is developmental and impacts positively on future learning. They should reflect the increasing complexity and demands of successive stages in the programme.
Assessment processes should be inclusive and appropriate arrangements should be made for the assessment of students with disabilities, dyslexia and long-term medical conditions. Inclusivity in assessment practices should, however, go beyond making special provision for those students with specific needs or giving consideration of what are defined as ‘protected characteristics’ in law and should consider the totality of the constituency of students undertaking the assessment. Assessment processes should not (through design or omission) disadvantage any individual or groupsof students
For more information please download our Assessment and Feedback Policy
The Academy expects the following of all students:
Freedom of Speech
Freedom of speech is an important part of academic and wider life, especially to artists. The Academy will ensure it promotes freedom of speech for its students, staff and visiting speakers. On rare occasions, individuals might seek to express unlawful opinions or an event might lead to a breach of the peace. It is, therefore, necessary to have regulations, as described below, to deal with the situation. However, in assessing any necessary restrictions the Academy will always be mindful of the sacrosanct principle of freedom of speech. Please click here for our Freedom of Speech Policy.
As an Independent School the Art Academy does not have the right to award Tier 4 Student visas. You therefore need to be a member of the EU or have your own visa, to be able to study here.
For those with the right to study in the UK, there is a lot to think through before deciding to study in a different country. This is a short introduction to help International Students with the process, but it by no means exhaustive. Please feel free to call us to talk though any queries you may have and we would be happy to chat through in more detail.
A key benefit for International Students is that The Art Academy is a such a small school, you will meet people quickly and there is a quick route to get a query answered. It won’t take long before you know every face in the building! Our team are also always on hand to answer questions and offer support throughout the process, and as you settle into life at The Art Academy.
We would recommend you visit UK Council for Student Affairs, a fantastic resource for considering studying in the UK:
We accept applications from all EU, EEA and Swiss citizens or those with an existing visa for the UK.
Please call or email us for more information about managing an application from overseas.
165A Borough High Street
London SE1 1HR
+44 (0) 207407 6969
Office Opening Hours
Monday – Friday
9.00am – 5.00pm
Accommodation in London
Please download our Accommodation Pack which has comprehensive information for people moving to London for the first time
Healthcare in the UK
The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK’s state healthcare system providing a wide range of health care services including appointments with a doctor, hospital treatment and dental care. You should register with a doctor as soon as possible after your arrival in London. The Art Academy would advice that you find a GP near where you end up living. You will need your passport and a letter from The Art Academy as proof you are a student.
EEA and Swiss nationals
The UK’s Department of Health has produced a leaflet on Healthcare Information for students from the European Economic Area who may wish to use the National Health Service (NHS).
Non-UK European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals, and their family, should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before coming to the UK to ensure access to NHS services for free.
If you are exercising your right to reside in the UK as a student, in accordance with UK EEA regulations you are required to hold comprehensive sickness insurance throughout your period of residence in the UK. Having a valid EHIC issued by an EEA member state other than the UK satisfies this requirement if you are residing in the UK on a temporary basis as a student. Alternatively you can obtain Forms S1, S2 or S3 from the social security institution in your EEA country of residence outside the UK. You would need to contact the social security institution directly to ascertain whether one of these forms would be relevant to your circumstances. If you are not entitled to an EHIC or cannot be issued one of these forms, you are advised to obtain private comprehensive medical insurance. Further information on the requirement for comprehensive sickness insurance is provided by the UK Council for International Student Affairs.
Short study periods
If your course is less than six months or you are required to make a number of occasional visits to the UK for short study periods and you are from a non-EEA country, you are advised to take out medical insurance as you will be liable for NHS charges for the treatment you receive in the UK except for in a medical emergency and this is limited. Some countries have a reciprocal agreement with the UK which may entitle you to some free healthcare on the NHS but you should seek advice from the health authorities in your home country about what treatment will be covered. EEA nationals should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Private Medical Insurance
You cannot take out private healthcare insurance as an alternative to paying the health immigration surcharge as this is a mandatory fee included as part of your visa application. It is a personal decision whether you also have private healthcare insurance. You may wish to consider this to cover the following potential health-related costs:
If you already have medical insurance in your home country, you may wish to check whether this can be extended to cover your stay in the UK.
Many students come to us with all the determination and talent to make it as practicing artists, but without the financial means to fulfil their potential. That’s why annually we provide a number of bursaries, to give a foot up to our long course students.
Bursaries and any financial need, should be discussed at interview. The Course Coordinator will then follow up by sending out a Student Application Form. This will then be considered as part of the offer that is made.
If a student’s financial situation changes during study, the Course Coordinator should be informed as soon as possible. A review will then take place. We always do our best to help our students.
The Diploma Bursaries
Three bursaries are available for students starting their Fine Art Diploma, Contemporary Portrait Diploma or Figurative Sculpture Diploma in 2017/18.
The awards are worth up to (25%) £1500 per year for up to 3 years.
Bursary recipients will be selected during their interview on the basis of need and merit and informed following the conclusion of the interview process.
The Foundation Scholarships
Two scholarships of (25%) £1250 are available for students starting their Fine Art Foundation in 2017/18. Scholarship recipients will be selected during their interview panel on the basis of need and merit and informed following the conclusion of the interview process.
The Sculpture Scholarship
One Scholarship of (25%) £1500 per year of study for up to 3 years are available for an outstanding applicant with a specialism in sculpture to the Fine Art Diploma Course.
Scholarship recipients will be selected during their interview panel and informed following the conclusion of the interview process.
The Diploma Third Year Scholarships
Two Scholarships of (25%) £1500 are available for the final year of study on the Fine Art Diploma or as an extra third year on the Contemporary Portrait Diploma course. Selection for the scholarships will be allocated on the basis of need and merit and will be offered during the final term of Level 2.
The Edwin Russell Scholarship
The Edwin Russell Scholarship is open to second and third year Fine Art Diploma Students who specialise in sculpture. An award of £150 is given to help with material costs and is designated on a need and merit basis.