Concrete and glass sculpture by Colin Wilkes, BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts
Study

Creativity doesn’t just happen in the studio, workshop or darkroom. It’s a way of life. A lot has changed here since we started out over 160 years ago, but this simple equation of making and living still shapes everything we do.

At Plymouth College of Art, we invite and inspire new modes of creative practice that redefine citizenship in the 21st century. Our undergraduate programmes examine the interconnectedness of the arts and society, exploring distinct disciplines, expanded fields of study, and the spaces emerging between, across and beyond.

Located in the coastal city of Plymouth with many points of access to the world, we encourage our students to work at the threshold of their practice, gaining new knowledge through shifting boundaries and unexpected routes. Studying here, creative practice is not merely aesthetics or making forms, it is making futures — yours and ours.

Our three-year BA Honours degrees demand an energetic and inquisitive approach to critically underpinned practice, which is central to all the programmes. As well as producing practical creative outcomes to a range of projects and live assignments you will also be expected to contextualise your ideas culminating in the writing of a dissertation which is often very influential on the development of practical work and vice versa.

alt="In a white exhibition space, long pieces of off-white fabric hang from the ceiling with the ends tucked into black boxes. The material has black edges with small text printed on it."

Atemporal by Harriet Kotvics, BA (Hons) Fine Art

BA (Hons) Degrees

Our programme of BA (Hons) degrees has a consistent structure and direction, ensuring that all subjects have business and professional practice embedded throughout. The first-year is an introduction to processes and materials, and to the differences, for example between working as a freelancer and as part of an organisation within the industry.

You’ll also be introduced to contemporary issues, concepts and approaches in the area that you choose to study. Across the range of programmes, you’ll develop strong visual awareness and communication skills. The second-year builds on these foundations, and you’ll concentrate on refining your creative practice by working on live briefs, undertaking work placements, or preparing for internships.

It’s an ideal time to explore the potential of cross-disciplinary approaches in the studio, before beginning your third-year review of your practice. You’ll continue to refine your practice in the final year, and have the opportunity to enhance your practical and professional skills, culminating in an exhibition at our annual Degree Shows. Students have also exhibited nationally at New Designers, Free Range, D&AD New Blood and Graduate Fashion Week.


"Academics have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our students on the level of support and personal connection that they continue to receive. In fact, many students have reported that they feel like they’re receiving a more personalised learning experience than ever before."
Paul Fieldsend-Danks, Associate Professor and Academic Dean
alt="A girl in a yellow top sits at a desk working on an art sculpture built from multicoloured strings."

Extended BA

The Extended BA entry year programme is year one of a four-year degree and is designed as a preparatory year to ready you for the transition to the full degree programme of your choice.

This route provides an opportunity to develop your portfolio and technical skills in a specialist subject area. We offer places to students who have at least five GCSEs, grades 9 - 4 (A* - C), including English Language and a combination of AS and A-level qualifications or equivalent (with one in a creative subject). We also welcome applications from mature students who may not have the qualification profile but have other experience and knowledge. All applicants will be required to show a portfolio of creative work.

alt="A man stands in a white gallery space looking at two framed photographs showing landscapes of forests."

We Collaborate

We’re an independent, university sector art school with an internationally distinctive identity. Here you’ll find fashion designers, ceramicists, games designers, fine artists and photographers, all sharing facilities and ideas. It’s a truly collaborative cross-disciplinary environment.

Nationally, we’re a Founding Associate of Tate Exchange and internationally we act as advisors to the Cheongju International Craft Biennale. Our contribution to the creative industries and cultural agenda continues to grow, offering more opportunities each year to collaborate with leading artists from around the world.

Find out about our Facilities and LAB's on the Resource pages or take a virtual tour.


Unrivalled Access

We believe that contemporary arts practice is the catalyst for personal, professional and cultural transformation, and in order to achieve this we pride ourselves in providing high levels of contact time and studio access, not just a few timetabled hours a week.

Living what you do means getting immersed in learning, and that requires constant access to the facilities, technicians and tuition that you need to develop.

Find out more on our Learning and Teaching page.

Industry ready

From day one on campus you will be encouraged to think of yourself as a professional practitioner. Whatever you wish to do, we can support you during your studies and help you to fulfil your long-term career aspirations. Our students go on to direct music videos for Dua Lipa, pitch fashions for ASOS, design games for Playstation and shoot photography for The Guardian.

Employability is at the heart of our curriculum design. We will bolster your practical and theoretical learning with an enviable programme of visiting lecturers, live projects and industry placements.

Alongside professional development, you’ll also gain skills in business planning, entrepreneurialism, project management, creative direction and budgeting. Working with you we’ll ensure your creative practice becomes a springboard to lifelong fulfilment and a rewarding career in the competitive creative industries.

Find out more on our Careers & Employability page.


Global Horizons

Any history of Plymouth has to include the horizon. We are an international art college, welcoming students from around the world to share ideas and practice, and we encourage our students to explore global opportunities and horizons.

We use our onsite exhibition space, The Gallery, to showcase international creative artists, and we welcome guest lecturers from overseas at every opportunity, as well as curating, publishing and exhibiting abroad ourselves, and arranging exchange programmes with our partners overseas.

Find out more on our International pages.

alt="An evening in the city of Lille, France looking out onto a large crowd all watching a videomapped projection on an old building."

BA (Hons) Animation students exhibit videomapping at Fete de l'Anim, Euranim Projects 2016. Image © Morgan Rio.

Close-knit Community

Atmosphere is a hard thing to put into words, but so many people who come to our undergraduate campus say the same thing: it feels like home.

Small but mighty, our talented community of 400+ undergraduate students, expert academics and highly-specialised technicians prides itself on ingenuity. Together we experiment, innovate and make things happen!

Our visitors say there’s a “family feeling” and “energy in the air” at Plymouth College of Art, and we have to agree. Wandering our undergraduate campus you’ll find filmmakers mingling with fine artists, ceramicists collaborating with costume designers, and staff conversing with students. You’re not a face in a crowd or a number on the list, you’re our top priority.

Hear from current students and discover why they chose to study in Plymouth or find out about our Students' Union.


Inspiring surroundings

From unspoilt coastline and countryside to top clubs, arts venues and historic sites. Whatever you’re into, there’s something close to Plymouth College of Art for you to enjoy.

Whether you’re staying at home or your heart is set on a sea-view apartment, city-centre townhouse or lively student halls experience, Plymouth has a long-held reputation for it’s fun and friendly student scene and there are renting options to suit all budgets. Here you’ll meet new friends, make memories and above all, feel safe and secure in your first home away from home.

Find out more on our Student Life pages.

Get in touch

When you’re ready to get to know the college further, we recommend you book a one-to-one chat with our student recruitment team. You can informally discuss your aspirations, gain portfolio advice and application support, or ask to be connected with a subject leader from the courses you’re interested in. No question is too big or small!

Please email liaison@pca.ac.uk or call +44 (0)1752 203434 to get started. You can also speak to us via Whatsapp on 07722 744184 or arrange a video call via Google Meet.