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OCA’s MA Fine Art is a unique postgraduate course delivered by distance learning at Level 4 (HE7). It’s ideal for tutors who want to develop their own practice to inform their teaching, artist practitioners seeking to develop their practice further, those with an undergraduate degree who wish to move into creative sectors of employment, and undergraduate students looking to progress to postgraduate study outside the conventional higher education system.

This course is a three-year, part-time programme offering students academic challenge and innovative delivery. Launched in 2011, it was the first MA Fine Art in Europe to be offered by open learning and is OCA’s first step into postgraduate provision in its 28-year history.

OCA’s MA Fine Art prepares students for professional practice in their chosen discipline, supporting the existing practice and aspirations of students working in a wide range of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, installation, performance, time-based work, digital art and photography. The emphasis of the programme is on studio practice, with theory, context and professional practice integrated throughout.

The flexibility of the MA Fine Art programme, through online delivery and being part-time, makes it accessible to students who, because of work and family commitments, would not otherwise be able to consider studying at higher degree level.

Students travel through the course together in a cohort, sharing experiences and learning through group and individual work. The curriculum builds from a more structured programme towards autonomous study, with an emphasis on enquiry, critical reflection and exploration. Through lectures, seminars, tutorials and critiques as well as one-to-one tutorial support, students benefit from the expertise of core course tutors and guest lecturers and tutors, who have a range of expertise including curation, media and marketing, art theory, professional practice and related disciplines (for example anthropology).

Progression routes are individual as well as collective. For some students, progression comes from receiving commissions for work. For others, it is about exposure of their work to a growing audience through exhibiting in specific galleries. Equally important evidence of progression for students is increasing the range and impact of their peer networks nationally and internationally or moving on to further, related study or work in the arts.

IT / online requirements

Prior to application, an IT survey must be taken to ensure sufficient skills, knowledge and internet / online capabilities. Advice is then given if necessary.

Career choices

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.


Visit the Fine Art (Distance Learning) - MA page on the University for the Creative Arts website for more details!

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