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Pre-Degree Campus at Palace Court

Palace Court, Pre-Degree campus

Palace Court is home to five hundred 16-19 year-old students studying arts, crafts, design and media, the creative Extended Diploma campus is just around the corner from the inspiring historical surroundings of the Barbican waterfront, Plymouth Arts Centre and only five minutes walk from our Tavistock Place campus.

Our Palace Court campus is only 200 metres away from the sea, offering students the chance to truly experience Britain’s Ocean City. 

Marking a return to Palace Court for the college (we first began using the site in 1949), the creation of our Pre-Degree campus fits alongside existing college and Plymouth School of Creative Arts facilities to support a progressive continuum of creative learning and practice in the region that lasts from the age of four up to Masters level study.

Fashion and Textiles Studio at Palace Court

Our work at Plymouth College of Art has been based at various locations since the college's founding, 160 years ago, in 1856. We first occupied Palace Court in 1949, when Fine Art, Art History and Architecture were taught in studios designed to admit high levels of natural light. The college continued in the building until our Tavistock Place campus opened in 1973, bringing all activity together under one roof.

Palace Court is an exciting, open-plan space with lots of history – just waiting to be filled with the next generation of leading artist, designers and makers.

In medieval times Palace Court was a monastic foundation, later becoming home to John Paynter, a noted Plymothian, and Mayor of Plymouth in 1487. As future Queen of England and first wife of Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon stayed there in 1501 after disembarking from Spain.

Courtyard with protected white mulberry tree.

The original medieval court was demolished at the end of the nineteenth century to clear the way for construction of the Palace Court school, and our grounds still feature a private garden complete with a beautiful protected white mulberry tree, and a historic Grade II listed section of medieval wall and archway — the only surviving remnant of the original monastic foundation.

Palace Court was officially opened by Katie Greenyer, Creative Director for Red or Dead, on Wednesday 2 November 2016 alongside our annual Design to Sell event encouraging enterprise and entrepreneurship in students studying on our Extended Diploma courses.

For information on visiting Palace Court, please visit our Getting Here page.