CERTIFICATE

Our Certificate programme is ideal if you’re serious about beginning to develop your abilities, but have limited time.

We recommend the course is studied 1 full day (10am-4pm) a week over 2 years. We have three 10-week terms a year, and you can start the course any term. During this time you’ll specialise in 1 of 4 disciplines: painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking. (Students can also opt to take a general Fine Art Certificate, working across multiple disciplines).

The Certificate Programme aims to develop your technical skills in your chosen discipline and to encourage you to start to develop your artistic vision. Each course features a comprehensive bespoke study programme in the selected discipline, which enables you to develop your own direction. Study will be characterised by detailed personal guidance. Tutors work with you to improve your existing skills, and introduce you to new techniques – traditional and contemporary – offering innovation in how you express your work.

Our teaching body is second to none. All our tutors are practising artists in their own right. They include prize-winning artists, artists with work in national collections and members of leading arts organisations. Central to our philosophy is that teaching and learning should be in small, supportive groups: our tutors get to know students individually and students learn from both the tutor and from each other within teaching groups not exceeding 15 people.

Taking a Certificate course opens up an avenue of opportunity for you. Students become part of a thriving artistic community. As a second year Certificate student you have the opportunity to exhibit work at the Graduate Show and throughout the Certificate course, you are able to join other classes run by the Academy free of charge*. 

The Certificate programme can be started at the beginning of any term throughout the year. Although you will receive formative verbal feedback from your tutors throughout the course, the Certificate course is not formally assessed (nor is it necessary to compete work outside of the taught sessions). You will, however need to meet the minimum attendance requirement (80%) and all 6 modules to pass the course. More information can be found in our Programme Handbook.

The Certificate course is internally awarded; it is not part of the RQF (Regulated Qualifications Framework).

Please see the Certificate Student Handbook for more information.

Please read our COVID-19 FAQs about how the Academy has made changes to help keep you safe.

*Students are also able to take advantage of free places on the Academy’s public courses (evening, weekend and short courses). These are available at the discretion of the Academy and subject to availability.

Bespoke Programme

The Certificate is a flexible programme and can be customised to your needs. Should you want to take a course in more than one discipline at the same time (painting and drawing, for instance), this can be arranged since the courses take place on different days. We can tailor your programme to your needs, all the way to the culmination of the Graduate Show.

The programme is made up of 6 individual Elective Skills Workshop Courses. These courses are common components to all our academic programmes at the Academy, so you will be working alongside a diverse group of students. You will choose your Electives from a range available each term. The day you attend will be dependent on the course you choose each term.

Painting

The Award: Certificate in Painting

The programme focuses on a wide range of painting disciplines. It includes plenty of specific skills development but also explores other interesting and diverse methods. Within programme components there is ample scope for creative development and expression while learning the comprehensive skill set.

Programme Structure

Each year comprises 3 terms, each consisting of 10 teaching weeks.

There are three possible study days for the Certificate in Painting: Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays. While the curriculum is slightly different on each of these days they are potentially interchangeable on a term basis.

You are also able to attend the following in addition to your regular study days:

  • Guest lectures and talks by visiting artists.
  • Tutorials – students have 1 artistic tutorial each term with a tutor of their choice.

Sculpture

The Award: Certificate in Sculpture

The Academy has its roots in championing and training sculptors. This programme focuses on a wide range of sculpture disciplines. It includes plenty of specific skills development but also explores other interesting and diverse methods. Within programme components there is ample scope for creative development and expression while learning the comprehensive skill set.

Programme Structure

Each year comprises 3 terms, each consisting of 10 teaching weeks.

Within this programme you have the option to concentrate studies in the following areas:

  • Experimentation with a variety of techniques and mediums (Tuesdays)
  • A focus on figure modelling (Thursdays)
  • A focus on creative sculpture (Mondays)

You are also able to attend the following in addition to your regular study days:

  • Guest lectures and talks by visiting artists.
  • Tutorials – students have 1 artistic tutorial each term with a tutor of their choice.

Drawing

The Award: Certificate in Drawing

Drawing is the foundational tool of the artist and the Certificate at the Academy will help you hone this tool. This course is a fantastic springboard for all sorts of possibilities, whether you want to take further steps as an artist or you want to re-ignite this skill as part of your professional practice. The Certificate in Drawing is a practice-based course for those who wish to pursue their artistic practice but have limited time.

Programme Structure

Each year comprises 3 terms, each consisting of 10 teaching weeks.

Drawing courses usually run on Friday only.

You are also able to attend the following in addition to your regular study days:

  • Guest lectures and talks by visiting artists.
  • Tutorials – students have 1 artistic tutorial each term with a tutor of their choice.

Printmaking

The Award: Certificate in Printmaking

The Certificate in Printmaking is a practice-based study programme, covering a broad range of intaglio and relief printmaking techniques; etching, linoleum, woodcut, drypoint, collagraph, photopolymer and photo etching. Classes are designed to help you hone your printmaking skills, enabling ample scope for creative expression and specialisation. You will develop ideas through self-led projects to achieve a portfolio of contemporary prints, culminating in the participation of the Academy’s Print Show. The programme develops a broad range of professional skills, informed by regular visits to print exhibitions and end of term group crits directed by visiting artists, gallerists, editioners and curators.

Programme Structure

Each year comprises 3 terms, each consisting of 10 teaching weeks.

There are three possible study days for the Certificate in Printmaking: Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays. While the curriculum is slightly different on each of these days they are potentially interchangeable on a term basis.

You are also able to attend the following in addition to your regular study days:

  • Guest lectures and talks by visiting artists.
  • Tutorials – students have 1 artistic tutorial each term with a tutor of their choice.

Student Story

“The whole experience at the Academy has very much been a transformative journey not only in terms of my are but also within myself.”

Having attended an open day at the Academy, I was inspired by the method of teaching as well as their ethos, so was very keen to enrol to enhance with the aim of enhancing my work. Speaking with the Principal, I explained that I felt stuck in my practice and would welcome further guidance. I was selling my art, but was not really content with the body of work I was showing. Tanya had suggested the ‘Painting in Practice’ course would help me develop as an artist.

Since then I havn’t looked back – the time has flown by, my work has improved and I am so pleased that I made the decision and am so grateful….READ MORE

Iaysha Salih, Certificate Student

Fees and Funding

Fees 2020/21

Fees must be paid in advance and can be paid yearly or termly (the latter incurring a 5% surcharge).

Total Course Fee (2 years) Per Year Per Term (incl 5% surcharge)
Total Course Fee (2 years) £3, 980 Per Year £1,990 Per Term (incl 5% surcharge) £697

Please note, these are our 2020-21 fees. Fees are subject to annual review and are likely to increase by due to inflation in the following academic years (this is capped at 5% annually).

Materials

Studying Fine Art at this level will incur costs in addition to fees, accommodation, travel and usual living expenses. Whilst some basic materials are provided for certain Elective Skills Workshop Courses, you will be required to cover other costs such as those associated with the final year Graduate Show and materials required to successfully complete the course. We estimate that these costs will be between £200 and £600* per year, depending on materials, chosen disciplines and stage of the programme.

The Academy has a small shop onsite, where you will be able to purchase some materials. Some guidance on where to purchase other specialist materials is in the student handbook and Tutors can also advise you.

*Please be aware that this is an estimate for guidance (based on survey results from previous students) only and actual expenditure will vary from student to student, depending on the nature of the practical work they choose to make.

Trips and Visits

Some components of the programme will suggest students visit relevant exhibitions. These are quite often free as they are in commercial galleries. Where there is an entry fee, whilst we encourage you to take these trips, we understand it is not always possible, so they are not compulsory nor essential.

Deposit

As a small independent art school we are unable to hold places offered indefinitely. If your application is successful you’ll need to pay a deposit of £100 (which will be deducted from your first term’s tuition fee) and return your signed contract to secure your place.

Funding

As an independent institution our courses are not subject to public funding and as a result there is no exemption from fees for under 19 year olds or access to student loans.

Refunds

Once you’ve returned the signed contract and paid your deposit, you have a 14-day cooling off period to change your mind. If you choose to cancel during this time, we’ll refund your full deposit. After this period, the Academy reserves the right to retain this deposit if you fail to enrol.
You’ll need to pay your tuition fees before the start of the programme. Beyond the statutory cooling off period, you must inform the Academy of your intention to withdraw. If you wish to withdraw from your course after its official start date, you will be liable for a fee. Full details of the liability can be found in our Terms and Conditions. Should you need to, you can suspend study for an agreed period. Please see our withdrawal and interruption of study policy for more information.

Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information on Fees.

Entry Requirements

There are no pre-requisite qualifications to making an application to the Certificate Programme. During the application process we will try to access a candidates  ability and enthusiasm for their subject. Entrants must be over 18 at the time of entry and must demonstrate competency in spoken and written English, which will be judged through the applicants Personal Statement and interview.

On receiving an application, we will offer candidates an interview. Interviews are based on the content and quality of the applicants portfolio, CV and application.

Portfolio

Students are asked to bring to the interview a portfolio containing the following:

  • 5 pieces of original finished work, which show your technical ability in a range of media. Please bring photographs of 3d installation work or if some of your work is digital bring this on a device to show it.
  • 1 sketch book showing your own areas of interest, individual thought process or development process of finished work.

If you do not have all of the above, please do not worry, just contact the office and we can speak to you about alternatives.

Admission Policy 

The Academy operates a fair and transparent admissions process to ensure that the widest range of people (with the motivation and ability to study at the correct level) have an opportunity to benefit from the Fine Art education we provide. To find out more information please see the Art Academy’s Admissions policy and Criminal Convictions Policy and Procedure.

Academic Regulations and Policies

As a student of the Academy it is very important you are aware of our Academic Regulations and Policies. These apply to any of our students studying on any of our Pre-Degree and Degree programmes and outline the agreed procedures and protocols to ensure all students understand both expectations and support available to them. To find out more information please see our Academic Regulations and Policies page.

Open Days

If you are interested in studying at the Academy and would like to attend one of our Open Days, please fill in our Open Day form on our Open Day page.

Our Open Days offer an invaluable opportunity to gain in-depth information on our courses, learn about our dedicated and talented tutors and experience our vibrant and welcoming community.

Apply

We welcome applications from all enthusiastic candidates. Please email academiccourses@artacademy.org.uk  or call +44 (0) 20 7407 6969 to discuss courses further or arrange a visit.

To apply, please fill out the online application form here.

If you wish to apply by post, please email admissions@artacademy.org.uk to request an application form.

FAQ

If you don’t find the answer to your question here please contact the Academic team on +44 (0) 20 7407 6969 or email academiccourses@artacademy.org.uk:

Do you take mature students for the Certificate?

Yes, applications from mature students are welcomed.

Do I need to have done formal art training before applying for the Certificate?

No. Selection is made during the interview we will consider your ability, commitment and prior experience.

What is the structure for paying fees for the Certificate?

Fees can be paid yearly or termly – full details can be found on the ‘Fees & Funding’ section of the Certificate webpage. The first term must be paid for prior to the start the course. Furthermore there is a deposit required from all students enrolling on the course.

Is the Certificate recognised or accredited?

The Certificate is not accredited. It is not part of the QCF (Qualifications Credit Framework). It acts as a bridge between our Short Courses and our Academic Programmes and is an excellent way to build up your portfolio, or simply improve your skills. Many students from the Academy’s Certificate programme have gone on to further or higher education and accredited courses within the Academy and at other art schools and universities.

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