Silhouettes of four staff and student gallery visitors roam an ambient room of multicolour light and video projections. A brick column cuts through the middle.
About Us

Critically engage with social, cultural and visual phenomena in a buzzing art school environment. Staff and students from the School of Critical + Cultural Studies are empowered to investigate, curate and critique, honing their historical and theoretical creative expertise through meaningful encounters with art and artefact.

Plymouth College of Art is known internationally as home to physical and digital working environments that encompass some of the richest and most diverse ecosystems of materials, technologies, processes and practices available in an art school.

Our academic schools understand that for creative and intellectual curiosity to flourish, this requires the right balance of ingredients; from access to internationally-acclaimed artists and industry professionals, to world class campus-based specialist workshops and studios; from inspirational teaching that reimagines the world we live in, to flexible approaches to learning that encourage participation and heighten creative engagement.

At Plymouth College of Art, we invite and inspire new modes of creative practice that redefine citizenship in the 21st century. Our programmes examine the interconnectedness of the arts and society, exploring distinct disciplines, expanded fields of study, and the spaces emerging between, across and beyond.

The School of Critical + Cultural Studies offers an integrated programme of creative arts education to support the development of your practice through the exchange of academic and practice-led inquiry. Common units of study provide a framework for individual creative practitioners to consider and explore questions across socio-cultural, ethical and political contexts. Throughout your study, you will have the opportunity to be working alongside students from all schools and taught by multi-disciplinary staff teams helping you build critical and cultural competencies to plural positions and diverse perspectives.

Students in the School of Critical and Cultural Studies acquire the tools to explore social, cultural and visual phenomena, and learn the historical foundations and contemporary innovations associated with their specialism, such as the curatorial and public presentation of objects and events, histories, theories and criticism. Through research and writing practices, students will investigate the expanded field of production that arises from responding to new conditions in the world outside the studio.

Our innovative approach to your learning incorporates our extended creative studio pedagogy – a hybrid of online and on-campus creative practice within our diverse industry-standard studios and workshops. This is supported through regular one-to-one and group teaching in studios and workshops; and live through our digital platforms to include video-streamed guest lectures by internationally-acclaimed practitioners, digital roundtable discussions with industry pros, online peer-to-peer crits and creative workshops.

Our units of study are designed to deliver a tailored art-school experience that builds your technical skills, nurtures your ideas and develops your conceptual and critical voice, connecting you with real-world projects nationally, internationally and in our local community. Moreover, our curriculum is designed to accelerate the personal and professional attributes needed for a career in the creative industries.

The School of Critical + Cultural Studies is home to the following BA (Hons) degrees:

So many other universities and institutions have become almost completely transactional. Plymouth College of Art is a beacon of hope that stands in contrast to those other institutions. Here, we still value the individual human being - the artist and the maker.
Stephen Felmingham, Head of School (Critical + Cultural Studies)