We have already announced that later this year we are planning to introduce two new degrees: Music and Film. Now it is a pleasure to announce that we will be taking a third degree to validation in the autumn: Fine Art.
The main reason for introducing this new degree is in response to student demand. We know there are students who want to work more widely than currently allowed in the Painting degree pathway, but would rather pursue a Fine Art degree – for example combining two and three dimensional practice -rather than the broader Creative Arts degree. We have listened to those requests, talked to our tutors and to colleagues at UCA and are now committed to making this happen.
Once the Fine Art degree is validated – and we are taking all three new degrees to validation in October – existing students whose studies match the Fine Art pathway will be able to transfer across. We anticipate that a number of you on the Creative Arts degree will want to do this. In the meantime for anyone considering studying with the OCA for the first time, there is no reason to delay the decision. The Drawing 1 course will be the entry course for the Fine Art degree. The full pathway will be publicised once the degree is validated later this year.
The commitment to the Fine Art degree, does not mean we are any less committed to the Creative Arts degree. Far from it. Indeed we have taken the opportunity to think about how we can make the inter-disciplinary nature of this degree even more attractive, by allowing students to follow their own direction at level 3.
So from September there will be a new suite of Creative Arts level 3 courses, each worth 40 credits: Body of Work, Research and Sustaining Your Practice. These have been designed as a framework so that students studying the creative arts can study their two selected subjects and propose their own major project in the same way that students on other OCA degrees.
This does means we will be closing some old courses to new level 3 students at the same time: Printmaking 3, Sculpture 3, and Art History 3 will all close. Any students already engaged on a level 3 course will of course continue on it, and be able to combine it with another 60 credit course.
We have also looked at the structure of the Creative Arts degree. With the introduction of the Fine Art degree, Creative Arts students will be required to choose at least one course from two subject areas. We have prepared a flowchart to show how the pathway will work and you can download it from here. If it looks complicated, but the main thing to retain is:
– if you want to study multiple subjects in fine art, eg painting and sculpture – the Fine Art degree is for you
– if you want to study subjects across a broader range, eg drawing and writing – the Creative Arts degree is for you.
So much for degrees, here are some course introductions and changes we will be making in September.
We are introducing a new suite of level 3 Visual Communications courses. There are three 40 credit courses available for all Visual Communications students: Visual Research, Advanced Practice, and Sustaining Your Practice. This completes the Visual Communications pathway and we looking forward to seeing our first graduates in this subject.
We are introducing a new suite of level 3 Textiles courses. Two courses (Personal Specialism and Research) will be available in September and a new Sustaining Your Practice course will follow in the coming year.
As before it does mean we will be closing the existing 60 credit level three courses in Textiles. But as before do not worry if you have already embarked on these: you can continue to study them and your credits will remain valid.
We are introducing two new Photography courses. At level 2, an exciting new course written by Course Leader Jesse Alexander and tutor Wendy McMurdo Digital Image in Culture with replace Progressing with Digital Photography. And at level 1, People and Place gets a rewrite by tutors Sharon Boothroyd and Keith Roberts and is will be relaunched as Identity and Place. Both the older courses will close to new entrants.
Finally there are two new Painting courses. At level 2, Concepts in Practice written by tutor Michelle Whiting with input from Joanne Mullvihill-Allen will replace Exploring Concepts, and at level 1 Understanding Painting Media will replace the Watercolour Practice course. The level 1 course is currently being written by tutor Annabel Dover and will allow students to explore in depth the potential of a painting medium. The structure of the course gives the student the opportunity to make the choice and thus increases the flexibility of the level 1 Painting pathway. Again the older courses will close to new entrants but the credits gained on these courses remain valid.
We appreciate that this is perhaps one of the longest blog posts to hit WeAreOCA and some of it is pretty complex. However rest assured this is all about giving students more choice and investing in new exciting and challenging courses. If you have general questions, please post them below. The team will be very happy to answer individual questions, if you email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0800 731 2116.