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Study

Distance Learning

Start your studies online in January 2022

Discover Distance Learning with a difference and join a truly global community of creative learners. Our January-start degrees will kickstart your future in the creative industries, allowing you to study your first year online at home, in the studio or at an international host institution.

Our newly-launched January-start degrees allow you to begin your studies in the Spring term from wherever you are based - whether that be Asia, America, Europe or the UK.

January-start degrees are now open for applications for January 2022. Whether you’re a local applicant rethinking plans to leave the South West for your degree, a mature learner returning to education from the workplace or an international student rethinking plans to travel overseas or looking to save costs — our flexible distance learning provision will ensure you achieve your ambitions without disruption.

Want to find out more? Register your interest here and we'll be in touch to let you know how you can make a formal application. We'll also arrange a meeting with one of our expert academic staff members for a portfolio review and discussion about the course.

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As a student in our January-start cohorts, you will complete your first year of studies remotely by the July of that year, allowing you to take a short summer break before continuing straight on to the second year of your chosen degree at our city-centre Plymouth campus, towards the end of September in that year.

January-start degrees are now open for applications for January 2022.

January 2022:

Our distance-learning programme invites a diverse community of learners from the UK and further afield, to study together in real-time through our online connected-campus. Together we are redefining the art school experience for a digital landscape, future-proofing students for success in a rapidly-changing society and workplace.

At Plymouth College of Art our subject leaders and technicians know every student by name and can offer a personalised learning experience that works efficiently both on-campus and online. In fact, many students have reported that they feel like they’re receiving “a more personalised learning experience than ever before”.

The first year of each BA (Hons) January-start degree consists of six online modules, delivered to the same quality as the college’s on-campus degrees. Students can expect tailored support from a team of expert academics and technicians, helping you make full use of the virtual learning environment to collaborate, communicate and co-create with peers.

The modules in your second and third year of study will be unique to your course specialism. To view a full list of modules and course highlights please view the relevant course page.

Distance Learning does not mean you’ll be studying alone - in fact, we offer the opposite. You will be working with students from around the world, fostering new friendships and networks and developing your practice informed by a transcultural education.

The learning commitment breaks down into approximately twelve hours per week of face-to-face online teaching that you’ll be expected to attend by video call. Alongside teaching hours, you will also engage in negotiated group work, personal practice, academic study and extracurricular activities, all supported by a team of highly-experienced practitioners.

Please note that the nature of this course's remote first year only allows for full-time study, however, if you are classed as a home student (i.e based in the UK), in your second and third year you may opt to study the rest of your degree part-time as per our other undergraduate students.

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Our January-start degrees will begin in the Spring Term of the 2020/21 academic year, and the Spring Term of the 2021/22 academic year. Please find a predicted timetable* for the 2021 intake below:

Welcome & Teaching BeginsTeaching Ends (excluding resits)
W/c 4 January 2021W/c 19 April 2021
W/c 26 April 2021W/c 26 July 2021

*Please note dates are correct at time of publication and may change. Applicants will be notified by email of confirmed timetable and key dates.

You’ll gain access to all of our UK campus-based services including the Learning Lab, Student Support, Careers, Library and Academic Skills team, ensuring you can gain personalised advice on welfare, finances, English language support, time management, IT and access to resources (including an online database of e-journals, research papers, films and more).

Our Students’ Union will also support your smooth transition online, connecting you with like-minded creatives and enriching your studies with opportunities to socialise. To view a full list of Clubs & Societies and upcoming events, please visit the PCA:SU website.

As a Plymouth College of Art student, you are permitted to use all of our on-campus facilities as per other undergraduates, however, it is not essential to succeed on the January-start programme. International students can also access available facilities at their dedicated host institution (e.g Artslink, Shanghai China), later benefitting from the use of our state-of-the-art facilities and LABs in their second and third year, once based in the UK.

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It’s no secret that the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and the continuing rise of automation has caused career disruption across the UK and further afield, forcing many to rethink their role and skillset. The importance of creative thinking and innovation has never been so apparent, and our distance-learning degrees will allow you to retrain and reskill for a rewarding career in the competitive creative industries.

“87% of creative industry workers are highly resistant to the risk of losing their role to automation in future.“
Independent Review of the Creative Industries (2017)

Through close consultation with real-world professionals, academics and alumni, we ensure that all of our undergraduate courses are built with employability skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking, at the heart of the curriculum. As a Plymouth College of Art student, you can be confident that your learning experience is aligned with an ever-evolving job market, as you gain highly transferable skills for careers in art, design, digital media and many other sectors.

Our Careers team are also available to enrich your studies with commercial briefs, work placements and mentoring opportunities, alongside online Q&As, recorded lectures, and roundtable discussions from industry pros. From writing and making the most of your CV to gaining feedback on your portfolio, our expert staff and an enviable network of brands, agencies and freelance professionals will help future-proof you for success in the creative industries, both locally and internationally.


To make an application to study a January-start degree please visit the course page or our Undergraduate How to Apply pages, where you will be redirected to UCAS.

If you would like to speak to a member of our Student Recruitment team please get in touch:


Register your Interest

For more information or to book an informal one-to-one conversation with a Subject Leader, please complete the 'Register your Interest' form below.

Find out more