Levels of study

Choosing the right course

Whatever stage you're at in your eduction, our extensive choice of courses will offer you the right level of study to further your chosen career.

Our pre-degree (or foundation) courses give you the opportunity to explore a wide range of art, design and media subject areas, while our undergraduate degree courses allow you to explore your chosen specialism and find your own style.

When you study for a taught postgraduate course, you embark on a project that allows you to deepen your understanding of your chosen subject area. We also offer a number of postgraduate research opportunities.

Pre-sessional English programmes are specifically designed to enable international students to meet the language requirement for your main course of study, while our international pathway courses are designed to give you a fast-tracked and guaranteed route onto one of our other courses.

We also offer short courses, including language courses, portfolio preparation workshops, taster days and summer schools.

Levels of study at UCA

Find out more about the levels of study we offer at UCA.

  • Pre-degree and Foundation Studies

    Pre-degree courses give you the opportunity to build your portfolio, whilst exploring a range of disciplines and developing yourself as an artist. Here’s a snapshot of what’s on offer:

    If you have GCSEs, but not A levels…

    If you’re passionate about a future in art & design, you can come straight to university aged 16, after completing your GCSEs. Our Diploma and Extended Diploma courses are an alternative to AS and A levels, developing your creativity and skills in a university setting. You’ll earn the same quantity of UCAS tariff points as if you’d studied AS or A levels and you will also develop a portfolio of work that will help secure you a place on a degree programme.

    If you’ve completed your A levels…

    Our Diploma in Art & Design – Foundation Studies is globally recognised as bridging the gap between A levels and creative degree courses. It will give you the opportunity to explore specialist disciplines that aren’t covered by the A level syllabus, such as crafts, fashion, graphic design and animation. After receiving a grounding across a range of subject areas, you’ll work with our course leaders to build an impressive portfolio of work in your main area of interest.

    If you’re an overseas student and you need to develop your English language skills…

    Our International Foundation in Art, Design & Media blends creative development with English Language Teaching enabling you to reach your IELTS target for undergraduate level study as well as developing your portfolio.

    If you are returning to education…

    Our Access to Higher Education Diploma is offered on a part-time basis and is designed to prepare those returning to education for a degree course.

  • Undergraduate

    If you know what you want to study and you have some experience in the subject area, you can apply directly to one of our undergraduate degree courses.

    Most of our degree courses are three years in length, but some courses also offer a four year option. This includes a preparatory year at the start of the course so that you can develop your skills before progressing onto the main three year course.

  • Postgraduate (Taught)

    Whether you’re looking to embark on your first postgraduate course or take your research to the next level, we can help you.

    Master of Arts (MA)
    This is our most common postgraduate degree option, available in a range of subjects across each of our campuses. The course is one year when studied full-time (from September to September).

    Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    We offer this degree for Fashion Business at UCA Epsom. It is one year when studied full time (September to September). This type of degree focuses on developing your strategic, management and communication skills in a specialist creative context.

    Master of Architecture (MArch)
    Our MArch in Architecture, available at UCA Canterbury, is Part 2 in becoming a registered architect with the Architects’ Registration Board and Royal Institute of British Architects (ARB/RIBA). It is one year when studied full time (September to September).

    Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
    This is a two year course when studied full-time (studying September to May both years). We offer an MFA in Photography which places emphasis on professional practice and development.

    Master of Research (MRes)
    UCA offers an MRes in Crafts; a bespoke and uniquely tailored course to those wishing to research their chosen material, its impact on society and its social, historical context. The course is one year when studied full-time (September to September).

  • Postgraduate (Research)

    Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
    We offer the opportunity to study for an MPhil on any of our campuses. This is a research degree that is taken after completing a taught Masters’ degree, such as an MA. You can choose your research area from a selection of specialist creative areas. This is a two year course when studied full time (September to September).

    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    We also offer the opportunity to study for a PhD on any of our campuses. This is a research degree that is taken after completing either a taught Masters’ degree or an MPhil. This is a three year course when studied full time (September to September).

  • Pre-sessional English

    Our pre-sessional courses are designed to prepare you to study art and design with us. Each course will improve your IELTS score by 0.5 or 1.0 and ensure you meet the English requirements for your desired course.

    These courses are available if you plan to progress onto an undergraduate or postgraduate course, or the Graduate Diploma: Art & Design course.

  • International Pathway

    If you’re an overseas student and you need to develop your English language skills…

    Our International Foundation in Art, Design & Media blends creative development with English Language Teaching enabling you to reach your IELTS target for undergraduate level study as well as developing your portfolio.

    If you’re an overseas student and you would like to study at postgraduate level…

    Our Graduate Diploma: Art & Design course is specifically designed to prepare you for postgraduate level study at UCA. This course will help you develop the academic skills and practical subject expertise needed to succeed at Masters level.

  • Short courses

    We offer a wide range of short courses, including Easter and Summer Schools, taster days and English Language courses.

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