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02 Jan 2013

Open College of the Arts: Online MA Fine Art

Enrol for September 2013 online MA Fine Art now
Open College of the Arts


Flexible part time three year totally online MA Fine Art from home

Jane Horton, Curriculum Director
0044(0)1226 730 495

Open College of the Arts
Redbrook Business Park
Barnsley S75 1JN

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Announcing The Open College of the Art's MA Fine Art, the only MA Fine Art in Europe offered by open learning.  MA Fine Art intake from students taking their finals this academic year in fine art, painting and sculpture. The course may be of  interest to art technicians working in art departments as well as fresh graduates who are looking for a flexible, cost-effective way to take their own study further and gain a postgraduate qualification. We are accepting expressions of interest for the September 2013 intake. The three-year course is validated by The University for the Creative Arts.   UCA is one of Europe's largest specialist universities of art, design, architecture, media and communication.  Its alumni include fashion designers Karen Millen and Zandra Rhodes; Oscar winners Daniel Greaves and Suzie Templeton; and fine artists Tracy Emin and Humphrey Ocean.  The total fee for the three-year course, excluding accommodation costs at the workshops, (which can optionally be attended online) is under £7,000.

The Open College of the Art's MA Fine Art through open learning are more flexible than those for traditional full and part-time MA options.  There may be students due to graduate in summer 2013 for whom OCA's combination of lower fee levels and flexible provision may enable them to continue on to further study at postgraduate level, and who may otherwise not have been able to do so.

Selection process and fees

Selection for the course is through interview and the submission of a portfolio of work.  Throughout the selection process and the course itself, we place high emphasis on the development of professional practitioners.  For that reason, we did not offer a place to some students who applied for this year's course as we did not believe their work was of the required standard for study at postgraduate level.

As an education charity offering higher level courses by open learning, we are able to keep the fees for all our courses competitive.  We know from what current MA students tell us that this competitive fee level, combined with the flexibility with which the course is delivered, has extended the opportunity of studying Fine Art at postgraduate level to students who would have been unable to commit to a full-time MA.

Course leadership, teaching and assessment

The MA Fine Art course leader is Caroline Wright, whose practice spans visual and live work.  She works in mediums as diverse as glass and gold, as well as the human body.   All OCA tutors teaching the MA Fine Art are practising artists who also teach at postgraduate level.  MA Fine Art students are supported as a group by tailored videos, videocam, online seminars and online forums, and one-to-one by their personal tutor.  Successful assessment on the course attracts credits under the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATs). 

About the OCA

The Open College of the Arts (OCA) was founded by Michael Young in 1987 to widen access to creative arts education through open learning.  It has an average of 3,000 active students each year, all of them part-time and 95% of them UK-based.  In the 2011/12 academic year, our student enrolments grew by 27 per cent and we introduced new specialist BA Honours degrees in Creative Writing, Painting, Photography, Textiles and Visual Communications. 

If you have students who would like to find out more about this flexible, cost-effective route to a postgraduate qualification in fine art, I would be grateful if you could let them have the course details provided below.   These include information about course content; course leadership and tutors; the course fee; and course structure, credits and assessment.  There is also a link to the course handbook on OCA's website and a freephone number for students who would like to talk about the course and studying with OCA in more detail. 

Please feel free to get in touch with me directly ( if you would like more information about OCA's MA Fine Art.

MA Fine Art, Open College of the Arts
Information for prospective students

1. Course content and structure

The emphasis of the new MA is on studio practice, which occupies 70 per cent of student time.  Students are supported as a group throughout the course by tailored videos, videocam, online seminars and online forums, and one-to-one by their personal tutor.  Students can take between two to four years to complete their MA. The OCA's priority in designing the course has been to provide students with the flexibility they need to support its philosophy of widening participation in higher education.  The course offers an opportunity for students for whom an MA in Fine Art may previously have been out of reach to work towards a postgraduate qualification at the same time as earning a living. Students who wish to be considered for a place on the new MA Fine Art course need a good degree in a visual arts subject.  OCA will also consider applications from students with other academic or professional qualifications, or relevant employment experience and a portfolio of work.  All applicants are invited to a portfolio interview. 

2. Course leadership and tutors

All tutors teaching the MA are practising artists and existing OCA tutors and are qualified to at least Master's level.  Each has more than ten years' experience of teaching in higher education.  The course leader is Caroline Wright, whose practice spans visual and live work.  She works in mediums as diverse as glass and gold, as well as the human body.   

3. Course fee

The total course fee is £6,725 excluding accommodation costs at workshops.  This is payable in one go, or in annual instalments over three years.  It should be noted that the fees may include an inflation increase each year.

4. Information for undergraduates
Europe's first MA Fine Arts
by distance learning

The new online MA Fine Art by, with the Open College of the Arts, is an ideal course for students graduating in fine art, painting, textiles, sculpture and ceramics who wish to take their studies further. The MA is the only distance learning Fine Art programme MA in Europe, is practice based (rather than focussed on theory) and has flexible entry requirements.

You will have a personal tutor who is both a practising artist and has extensive HE teaching experience. You can still be in employment while you are studying, based at home, and continuing your usual art practice as well. This course is extremely flexible and its structure means you can earn while you learn and at the same time advance your career prospects. People studying this MA will be better placed to gain higher level teaching posts in the field of art, or move into creative sectors of employment.

This self-study course, with online collaboration with other students as well as the opportunity to attend workshops with them, consists of six modules to enrich your understanding of art and help you fulfil your artistic ambitions and develop your visual identity.

The course encompasses a broad practice based philosophy in Fine Art, allowing flexibility of practice from skills based work through to conceptual practice.

Find out more:
Freephone 0800 731 2116
Enrolment form: