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Posted 15.04.19

Plymouth College of Art awarded Taught Degree Awarding Powers

By Phillip Buchan

Plymouth College of Art has received Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP), granting the independent Higher Education Institution the power to award its own degrees from 2019.

Following this decision from the Privy Council, Plymouth College of Art will validate and confer its own BA (Hons) and Masters awards within its own regulatory authority. The college's undergraduate and postgraduate awards have for over 20 years been externally validated, and since 2006 by The Open University.

The college remains one of the few remaining independent university sector art schools in the country, and has a distinctive commitment to creative pedagogy, interdisciplinary exchange, collaboration, and social impact. Founded in 1856 as the Plymouth Drawing School, the college has recently invested over £12 million into its extensive crafts workshops and learning resources, combining over 160 years of history with modern thinking and cutting-edge facilities.

Professor Andrew Brewerton, Principal and Chief Executive, said: “Since its founding, in 1856, Plymouth College of Art has evolved continually to meet the needs of our students and our city in time. The conferment by Privy Council of Taught Degree Awarding Powers is, however, a historic moment in our evolution as a modern university. Since 2010 the College has reinvented itself through progressive transformation, including significant curriculum development to foster creative entrepreneurship and graduate employability within the creative economy. We are highly focused on cross-disciplinary learning across an unusually wide range of contemporary visual arts, craft, design and media practises”.

The College has operated under a number of names, in different sites across the city, since it was founded in 1856 as the Plymouth Drawing School. As a Higher Education Institution, Plymouth College of Art will retain its independent and specialist art school ethos, its values and close-knit community of thinkers and makers. And the College will maintain its internationally distinctive creative continuum model that was established with the founding of Plymouth School of Creative Arts in 2013, and includes the College’s dedicated Pre-Degree campus for 16 to 19-year-olds and its commitment to the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design as an entryway for students who have not had access to a wide range of artistic mediums, materials and processes in their education to date.

Jacqueline Moore, Director of Communications, said: “This is a great moment for Plymouth College of Art, our current students and graduates. High-quality education for life in contemporary arts practice is the creative catalyst for personal, professional and cultural transformation. With Taught Degree Awarding Powers we will continue our commitment to social justice and creative learning both within the college and across our community, acting as catalysts for the change we want to see in the world.”

With Taught Degree Awarding Powers the next steps for the College will be to continue its comprehensive curriculum review, which began with the establishment of the new School of Design + Communication and School of Art + Media. With a view to consolidating, developing and innovating the range of creative degree courses offered at the College, senior academic staff are examining how the future curriculum will meet the College’s commitment to creative pedagogy, interdisciplinary exchange, collaboration, and social impact.