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Covid-19

We are committed to supporting students and ensuring minimal disruption to your studies at this challenging time whilst complying with the latest government guidance. Plymouth College of Art is currently open to staff and students, following a phased return that took place from Monday 8 March, with hybrid learning taking place from Monday 26 April 2021.

Our priority is keeping your learning and creative portfolio on-track and ensuring that you can progress in your academic, personal development and attainment. Throughout the pandemic, we have based much of our decision making on what we believe to be an essential need to maintain the progression of students, in as timely and focused way as possible, in order that your individual ambitions and future prospects are kept alive and more importantly are achievable. Where decisions over learning have had to be made in response to the pandemic, these are carefully considered to ensure that as much of the essential characteristics of Plymouth College of Art’s learning journey is retained.

We believe that maintaining access to the right working space and industry-level facilities is important for many disciplines. Phase 3 of opening began

from Monday 26 April onward, with a return to a hybrid teaching timetable, including our usual opening hours on weekdays and Saturdays. Students from all levels will need to have returned to term-time accommodation within commuting distance of Plymouth College of Art to begin accessing facilities and resources on campus again by Monday 26 April.

If you need any advice or additional support regarding your studies for this online period please initially contact your Subject Leader.

We want to reassure students that we have taken into account the impact that this national lockdown will have on your work and our staff are highly experienced in the assessment and marking of work-in-progress.


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If you are a new starter or returning student please visit your dedicated Welcome Site for essential information on enrollment, timetables and key dates. For more information please email hello@pca.ac.uk


What changes have the college made?

Throughout the year we have prioritised student access to our industry-standard facilities and equipment, in small groups where necessary, to ensure the learning outcomes of study programmes continue to be met.

Here are just some of the measures we’ve put in place to support our current students:

  • Deadline extensions for all degree and masters level coursework submission and blanket Extenuating Circumstances applied for all HE students.

  • No detriment approach to degree calculations, ensuring no Level 6 (final-year) student is unfairly disadvantaged.

  • Online inductions including an interactive programme of interdisciplinary workshops, live stream presentations from the college Principal and Students’ Union, module briefings and virtual demos from our Learning Lab technicians.

  • Free and open access to our Virtual Library Counter and online database housing over 30,000 e-books and e-journals and 1000+ film and television items, plus bookable advice sessions and flexible loans.

  • Complimentary hardware and software, including Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Drive, and specialised materials and equipment.

  • Online Student Support and wellbeing appointments, including one-to-one counselling and mindfulness sessions.

Access to the right working spaces and facilities is vital for artists, designers and makers, which is why the College plans to allow students to pursue and complete their studies and develop their creative practice with as much space for making within campus-based specialist workshops and studios as possible, subject always to Government guidelines and pandemic controls.

New and returning students have access to group teaching with academics and highly-skilled technical demonstrators within our industry-standard workshop and studio spaces, alongside live video-based lectures, tutorials, one-to-one activities and integrated offline learning.

The college’s main Tavistock Place campus is typically open six days a week, with late-night access Monday to Thursday.

The Ground Floor IT Suite at Tavistock Place has also introduced enhanced safety measures, which include:

  • Design and layout improvements to our IT suite, ensuring social distancing and compliance with expert advice on sanitisation;
  • Bookable computer workstations, arranged in advance using the Connect-2 online booking system, via the Student Portal (If you have not used Connect 2 in the past and require an induction please see the guidance on the Student Portal.
  • A campus one-way system, temperature checking and sign-in process upon arrival;
  • A Student Campus Induction Form to help you understand how to work and study onsite;
  • Track + Trace protocols, as advised by Government guidelines;

To book access to the IT Suite, please read our safety guidelines and complete the induction form via the Student Portal and check your college inbox.

Further access to workshops and studios will be regularly reviewed throughout the year according to Government guidance, prioritising as much access for students as possible as the year progresses.

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Unlike many larger universities, where the arts faculty often competes with other unrelated courses, Plymouth College of Art offers a close-knit, specialised community where subject leaders and technicians know every student by name and can offer a personalised learning experience that works efficiently on campus and online.

Each subject at the college has responded to the challenge of lockdown in different ways, creating new ongoing projects through video teaching and briefings that have taken advantage of the opportunities of live online learning by connecting students with practising artists locally, nationally and from around the world.

  • BA (Hons) Fashion, Media & Marketing students have put their questions to graduates working with brands including Dior, Pro:Direct and END, within the growing online series of Pro:Talks.
  • As part of the new Digital Visiting Lecturer series, BA (Hons) Film & Screen Arts and BA (Hons) Digital Media Production students have been advised by industry experts including Maria Norman, Head of the BBC Natural History Unit whose CV boasts Blue Planet Live, Animals with Cameras, Dynasties, and Seven Worlds One Planet, and foam sculptor Richardo Paiz, who has worked on sets, environments and props for productions including Avengers and From Dusk Till Dawn.
  • BA (Hons) Illustration students have developed their work at home alongside their peers during online life drawing classes as well as participating in portfolio surgeries hosted by industry specialists including Fig Taylor from the Association of Illustrators
  • BA (Hons) Fine Art students have been advised on setting up as artists-in-residence within their own home spaces by independent curator Ben Borthwick, formerly of Tate and Italy’s Miart.
"Many students have reported that they feel like they’re receiving a more personalised learning experience than ever before"
Paul Fieldsend-Danks, Academic Dean

Our Students’ Union Manager and President-Elect have been hard at work since the start of the academic year with socially distanced or online activities including online quiz nights, viewing parties, in-person workshops, cake and coffee mornings and social mixers.

More information on clubs and societies, upcoming online events and ways to connect can be found on our Students' Union page.


We encourage you to continue checking your college email and the Student Portal regularly for the latest college guidance.

If you are a new student with questions about your application or course, please email admissions@pca.ac.uk

If you are a current student seeking information please speak to your Subject Leader in the first instance or email health@pca.ac.uk