Advanced Creative Practice in Art and Design

This informative and practical course will give you the knowledge and skills to develop a professional creative CV, write proposals for various opportunities, and create a personal statement that articulately describes your practice.
It can also help you develop content for an artist's website. You will learn about how and where to look for creative opportunities that suit your practice. E.g. exhibitions, publications and residencies.
Classes will involve some self study and information being sent to you via email or Moodle. The course will be run via Zoom, please make sure you have installed in in advance of your first class.

Who is this course for

This course is for students who have completed Level 3 Art or Design Access or Foundation or have reached an equivalent level through taught or independent art and design work. Students will therefore have reached a suitable level for entering a BA in Fine Art or Design, but may be unable to do so for financial or other reasons.

The course will enable students to progress and develop their creative practice at the next level. In some cases, students may be able to use the course to develop their practice sufficiently to progress to an MA.

What does this course cover

The course will have art and design practice as its main focus. Throughout the year students will have access to different studios (painting, drawing, sculpture, textiles and printmaking) in order to develop their individual practice. Some technical assistance in sculpture, printmaking and textiles will be available. Students will be encouraged to challenge themselves and be as experimental as possible with materials.

This year long non-accredited course will have a blended structure of three weeks in the studio followed by two weeks at home.

The studio time will be used to develop practical skills and work on your projects. During the weeks at home you will have a 1 to 1 tutorial with your tutor via zoom and will be expected to continue and expand your contextual research. A different theme will be set for term one and two, which will form the inspiration for your practical work. In the final term students will be responsible for writing their own individual project brief. The work they produce from this term will (if possible) be exhibited in an external exhibition. The development of the students creative practice will be supported with discussion through one to one tutorials which will be run on zoom and group crits in the studio at the end of each term.

The course will include a Contextual Studies component, focussed on active engagement as practitioners with the work of contemporary visual artists and designers. Critical analysis will be developed to support the student's own creative process and presentation skills.
There will be a professional development element to the course that includes, writing an Artist Statement, building a website, understanding how to use social media as a way to promote your work, photographing, editing and uploading images of your artwork.
Verbal, written and self-evaluative skills will be developed to enable students to present their work effectively and submit for external opportunities such as commissions, exhibitions and placements.

By the end of this course you will:
1. Have developed ideas for creative practice from visual research into a range of sources, e.g. into approaches and materials; the work of artists, designers and other cultural practitioners; private or public events and histories.
2. Be able to identify and develop a personal progression in your creative practice.
3. Have demonstrated your verbal and written skills in reflection, evaluation, analysis and presentation.
4. Have initiated, planned and implemented a major project, bringing together, individual interests and working methods.
5. Contributed towards the necessary planning, publicity, curation and hanging of an external exhibition (where possible).

What will it be like

Teaching will be based on structured projects in Term 1, moving to longer projects and self-initiated practice in Terms 2 and 3. Studio tuition will be supported by short individual tutorials and group discussion and crits.
Creative practice will be supported by individual research and experimentation.
Teaching and learning in contextual studies will take place through, discussion, seminars and presentations. Students will be expected to develop self-evaluation as a way of progressing their creative practice.
The course is not accredited and does not have an external assessment system. Students will be assessed internally and given verbal feed-back on their progression, in order to support further development.
Students at this level will be expected to do an average of a day's independent work outside the course. This will include:
* Developing or extending the use of sketch/workbooks for visual research
* Visiting museum/galleries, researching and documenting the work of other artists/designers, and of other sources and influences
* Keeping a course log, including notes and photographs of work, and self-evaluation
* Producing individual or collaborative written and presentation materials
* Producing independent work in response to set and self-initiated briefs

What else do you need to buy or do

Tutorials will be run on Zoom, please make sure you have installed it in advance of your first class on your computer or mobile device. You can sign up for free here:

You will need a microphone (it's fine to use whatever is built into your device) and camera, so we can see you via video. You may also want to use headphones during the session.

You can participate in class sessions through the use of a computer, laptop, tablet or other similar internet enabled device. Please note that if you only have access to a smartphone, you will be able to attend the class sessions and participate in them but you will find it more difficult to benefit from the full range of materials and activities involved in the course if this is your only means of connection.

Make sure you have a small space to work in during the session and that as far as possible that you can keep this space quite and clear of interruption so that you can concentrate on what is happening in the class.

By signing up to the course you are consenting to being on camera. The content of the lesson may occasionally be recorded by the tutor for internal education and training purposes but any such recordings will not be made available to anyone outside of the Mary Ward Centre organisation without us asking you again for further permission to do so.

Paper and basic materials for sculpture (e.g. plaster, wire) and textiles/printmaking (e.g. printing inks) are provided by the Centre. Students on this course will be extending and developing their individual methods and practice, and will need to provide their own materials as appropriate. However, there will be an emphasis on using found and lightweight materials wherever possible, and to work creatively with budgetary constraints.

What this course could lead to

Students can progress towards an independent creative practice. It may also be possible to take the course for more than one year to provide a continuing framework for practice.

Students can progress to higher education in art or design, both BA and MA.

There is detailed information in Reception about all our courses at the Mary Ward Centre.
Information about other learning opportunities can be obtained from Learn Direct: and from the following websites:;;;;


I’d recommend the Mary Ward Centre because it's very accessible and open and it's filled with really interesting people.


Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why choose Mary Ward?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’