49203106236_f33894ef2f_k
Pre-Degree

Read on for information on opening times, term dates, enrolment information, reading weeks, and more for new and returning Pre-Degree students.

Following an intensive period of development, in consultation with students and practicing artists, in 2020 Plymouth College of Art launched its extended creative studio pedagogy, a hybrid of live online and on-campus creative practice within the physical environment of the college’s rich diversity of industry-standard studios and workshops.

In line with Government guidelines, we were pleased to welcome pre-degree students back to our Pre-Degree Campus, Palace Court and Palace Studios in October 2020. However, due to new national rules announced in early January 2021, our Pre-Degree campus and studios are now closed to all staff and students* until lockdown restrictions are lifted.

*with some exemptions for students whose parents or guardians are key workers, and for those most vulnerable students.

48087145402_9d62b62669_k

Pre-Degree Summer Show, 2018

As one of the UK’s last truly independent art schools, our agile college community was strongly positioned to adapt to change when universities and colleges were asked to close their buildings in March 2020 to slow the spread of Covid-19. Teaching was moved online immediately with no disruption for undergraduate, MA and post-16, or Level 2 and Level 3 students in Pre-Degree.

When the campus reopened in Autumn 2020, new and returning students were able to access 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.

In January 2021, we returned to our carefully constructed off-campus timetable in order to comply with national restrictions and will continue to offer a full timetable of at home learning for students until the restrictions are lifted and allow us to commence on-campus learning once more.

Registration - Extended Diploma (Year 1) and Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (FAD) students

w/c Monday 7 September 2020

Term 1 Begins

w/c Monday 14 September 2020

Half Term

Monday 26 - Friday 30 October 2020

Term 1 Ends

w/c Monday 14 December 2020

Christmas Break*

Monday 21 December 2020 - Friday 1 January 2021

Teaching Begins

w/c Monday 4 January 2021

Half Term

Monday 15 - Friday 19 February 2021

Term 2 Ends

w/c Monday 29 March 2021

Easter Break*

Friday 2 April - Friday 16 April 2021

Teaching Begins

Monday 19 April 2021

Bank Holiday (College Closed)

Monday 3 May 2021

Half Term

w/c Monday 31 May 2021

Term 3 Ends**

w/c Monday 5 July 2021

*College opening dates and times during the Christmas and Easter break are to be confirmed.

**Some commitments such as results day and final exhibition may fall after the end of the formal academic year and are subject to final confirmation with the awarding body.


In 2020, extensive safety measures were introduced across each Plymouth College of Art building, from protective plastic barriers for student and visitor facing services, 2-metre distances between workstations, one way systems and optimised timetables with staggered breaks and start times, to enhanced cleaning regimes, staff retraining and access to sanitising stations that will safely allow students back into workshops and studios, using the equipment and facilities that will prepare them for careers in the UK’s world-leading creative industries.

With new rules in place across every building, Plymouth College of Art continues to work with the Local Authority and Public Health England to support and promote the Track and Trace initiative. As soon as we are able to reopen our buildings, all new and returning students will receive simple guidance on how to return to campus safely.

The Plymouth College of Art, Pre-Degree Progression and Careers year plan is achieved via two platforms of engagement within each learners study programme.

  • The first platform of activities are embedded within the enriching and diverse curriculum model delivered in sessions and includes Creative Careers Toolkit interventions, University progression workshops, the Design to Sell project where we turn our whole campus into a shop for three days, national competitions such as ARTiculation and Worldskills and International Baccalaureate Service Learning interventions and activities.
  • The second platform exists as activities that sit outside the formal curriculum model and includes Work Placement opportunities, the Pre-Degree enrichment programme, our Year 2 GAP year club, and weekly careers interventions that take place throughout the year.

In addition to these platforms of engagement, we intricately track and thread the Pre-Degree Character project throughout the course of each learners study programme. The Character project promotes employability skills, British values, study skills and interpersonal development through a series of activities and termly progress checks. The Pre-Degree Character project consists of six main areas; Curiosity, Ethics, Communication, Wellbeing, People and Grit.


We are looking forward to welcoming you on campus. In the meantime, please continue to monitor your inbox for email updates from our Learning & Teaching team and Admissions.

If you have any questions about your application or course, please email admissions@pca.ac.uk.

If you are a current student seeking information on assessment dates or anything else, please contact predegree@pca.ac.uk.