Contemporary Portrait Diploma
The Contemporary Portrait Diploma is split into two levels and has a maximum intake of 20 students per level. In full time mode the course is two years, with part time mode typically taking four years to complete.
Students undertake one Portrait Painting or Figure Painting skills component each term and one drawing skills component each term, with the option of a second painting skills day (or a skills day in another discipline, such as print, sculpture, art theory or digital studies). The painting components take the students through a structured, bespoke programme of portrait and figure painting, first introducing the students to portraiture, then looking at composition, and moving in the second year to a series of advanced courses which will encourage different approaches and a more personal style from each individual student. Courses will cover a wider range of issues including how to use tone, observing colour, understanding form and how to simplify the figure or head, and different ways of applying paint. Students will have the option to study self-portraiture, how to set up and complete a portrait from life from start to finish and how to use photography for portraiture. They will have the opportunity to visit the National Gallery to copy portraits by the great masters. You can see a full list of the typical skills components avaliable here.
Students spend a minimum two days a week in elective components honing their skills which underpins the development of their own work and practice in the main component of the course; the studio practice projects. Students are able to work on their studio practice projects outside of tutored timetable in studios in the Academy.
The course includes art history, theory and contextual studies, designed to help students to develop a critical faculty, and to locate their practice in the broader context of history and the contemporary milieu. Digital and Professional studies designed to enable our graduating students to sustain themselves as practicing artists beyond the course. This includes advice on budgeting, exhibiting, marketing, and professional development.
|Monday, Tuesday & Thursdays||Wednesdays – Compulsory||Friday –
eg. Advance figure painting
Art history & theory
On top of the curriculum there is also a rich programme of visiting tutors, one off lectures, workshops and seminars. There is also the opportunity, subject to availability, to join our public courses scheduled during term-time evenings, weekend and holiday Easter and Summer classes.
‘For me the decision to attend art college was not an easy one. I have always loved painting but found that often over the years it was neglected for work and then later the demands of life at home with four young children.
Juggling art with home life is a constant challenge. But the structure of the diploma course allows me the flexibility to attend the skills classes I am interested in each term. When I started the course I could only manage one day a week – I then had three terms off when I had my baby son. Over the following couple of years I have increased my days to two per week. I am now in my fourth year at the Art Academy and my plan is to graduate in 2014.
I have learnt the importance of composition, colour, tone, materials and supports, the fundamentals of composition, perspective, and working at scale. I have explored abstraction, portraiture, life and still life painting, using a variety of different media and surfaces. There is still more to learn.
I have also been encouraged to think commercially, with advice how to market myself as an artist. Last year I showed my work publicly for the first time, which involved writing a website, producing business cards – and being brave! The Art Academy advised me on all aspects of the commercial world – such as how best to hang my paintings, and how to price them. The response was truly amazing. For me, it was life-changing.
I am privileged to have been guided by tutors with diverse talents across a variety of disciplines, all of whom are successful and, in their own way, inspirational. My fellow students come from all walks of life, and are of all ages, and nationalities. We work in an atmosphere that is relaxed, friendly and mutually supportive.
Above all I have learnt to have confidence in my own creative abilities, and to treasure and nurture them’.
Lucy, Part Time Diploma Student
Mermaid Court, 165A Borough High Street, London, SE1 1HR
2 Years (Full Time) with the option of an additional year
4 Years (Part Time) with the option of an additional year
12th September 2016
Autumn Term 2016-2017
12th September – 25th November 2016
Half Term: 17th October – 21st October 2016
Spring Term 2016-2017
Monday 9 January – Saturday 25 March 2017
(half term Monday 13 – Saturday 18 February)
Summer Term 2016-2017
Tuesday 18th April – Monday 26th June 2017 (no half term)
including Bank Holiday Monday 1st May and Bank Holiday Monday 29th May as teaching days (students in).
6 – 8 July 2017 (TBC)
FEES & FUNDING
|Course||Fee Per Level||Fee Per Year||Fee Per Term (incl 3% surcharge)|
|Full-time Portrait Diploma (UK/EU) 2yr||£7,130||£7,130||£2,448|
|Part-time Portrait Diploma (UK/EU)||
Optional third year for both full and part time students £7,130 (or £2,448 per term).
Fees must be paid in advance and can be paid yearly or termly (the latter incurring a 3% surcharge). One level is a full cycle of course components, each of which has to be completed before moving on to the next level. In the full time Diploma, each level is completed in a year; in the part time Diploma, a level takes two years. The Academy reviews its fees on an annual basis, but fees for enrolled students will not be increased from year to year other than to account for the annual rate of inflation.
The Art Academy offers a number of scholarships and bursaries. For more information, please click here.
If you don’t find the answer to your question here, take a look at our Terms and Conditions, or contact us
Can I do the Portrait Diploma course part-time?
Yes, there is a flexible Part-time Portrait Diploma programme. You can vary the number of days you do per week each term, but typically students attend 2 days a week and take 2 years to complete each level of study.
If I do part-time weekday courses, can they count towards a Portrait Diploma?
If you apply to do the Portrait Diploma we will consider other courses you have taken and decide whether to credit you with that course. Part time courses can also build towards a Certificate qualification – see Certificate Courses for details
Are scholarships, bursaries or student loans available for the Portrait Diploma course?
The Academy can offer advice on possible sources of funding for students. See the Bursaries section of our website for more details or contact us to discuss. As the Diploma is an internally validated programme students are not eligible for student loans.
Do you take mature students for the Portrait Diploma course?
Yes, the age range is quite wide and applications from mature students are welcomed.
Do I need to have done formal art training before applying for the Portrait Diploma?
No, but the Portrait Diploma course is for those intending to make portraiture their full-time occupation, so selection is made through interview where we will consider level of ability and commitment through discussion and review of a portfolio of your work. We will though take some account of your prior experience and appliants for the Portrait Diploma should be able to evidence a suitable level of experience and prior enagement with portariture.
What is the structure for paying fees for the Portrait Diploma course?
Fees must be paid in advance – full details can be found on the Fees pages
Is the Portrait Diploma recognised or accredited?
Many students from the Academy’s Diploma course have gone on to do an MA at another insitustuion and some have entered the third year of a Fine Art BA course. The Academy is currently working with other higher education institutions with the aim of launching validated.
How does the Portrait Diploma differ from a BA?
The qualification that we offer is an in-house Diploma, but it goes through similarly rigorous Quality Assurance processes as Degrees, utilising expert external assessors and examiners from London art schools and Universities; Our course is unique and has been very carefully considered and tested. Unlike most BA programmes we offer a very high level of tutored hours for the students which we feel is fundamental to providing the best possible education. As a professional artist, your most important assets are your portfolio and your previous experience. Very rarely is an artist asked what qualification they have. We therefore focus our attention on building portfolios and giving students as much experience as we can within our programmes. Regarding job prospects, our Portrait Diploma is specifically designed to prepare and equip students to undertake a profession as a Portrait Painter. In this respect, your portfolio and experience will be the central focus. In addition to building skills and techniques across a range of disciplines, our programme includes in depth modules in Professional Development, Marketing, Art as a Business, etc to ensure students are able to translate their creative practice into a viable work life.
In order to apply for the Contemporary Portrait Diploma starting September 2016 please fill out our online application form.
Alternatively you can download a .pdf form and post it to us along with at least 5 images of your work.
On receiving your application, we will offer successful candidates an interview. The Art Academy’s Course Administrator will arrange a suitable time and date for interview with the with the Academic Course Manager. Interviews are based on the content and quality of the applicant’s portfolio, CV and application.
TUTOR CONTACT TIME
Among the most distinctive features of The Art Academy approach is the exceptionally high level of personal contact time with teaching staff. Nowhere is this more evident than on the Portrait Diploma which boasts one of the highest levels of contact hours of any higher education Fine Art course. In the two years, full-time Diploma students receive two full days a week (24 hours) of tutored time in different disciplines.
The emphasis of our teaching and learning strategy is quality – quality consultation and quality time. Our teaching body is second to none. All our teachers – permanent staff or visiting lecturers – are practicing artists in their own right. They include prize-winning practitioners and members of leading arts organisations. As well as 1-2-1 contact with tutors in classes, students have individual tutorials with tutors of their choice throughout the year