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Postgraduate

Graduate Diploma Fine Art

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours

College
Chelsea College of Arts
Start date
September 2023
Course length
1 year (full time)

Graduate Diploma in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts enables you to develop an independent art practice and build confidence in your approach.

Course overview

Graduate Diploma in Fine Art is aimed at students who wish to progress to MA level or pursue a career within the field of fine art.

What to expect 

  • A practice-led course that brings together a wide range of media. These include film, video, digital media, sound, print, performance, drawing, painting and sculpture
  • At Chelsea practice and theory are integrated. This helps you understand the contexts and conditions that shape and frame contemporary art practice
  • A tutor group that you will meet on a regular basis to discuss each other’s work
  • Significant control over what you learn, the pace you do this at and how you might show this. You will be helped in these decisions through on-going dialogue with your tutors and fellow students
  • To develop an independent art practice enabling you to progress onto MA level
  • A framework to help you develop a critical body of work. This will enable you to locate your ideas and practice in relation to contemporary art and debates on cultural and theoretical issues
  • To produce a portfolio of practical work, write proposals for MA or other applications
  • To articulate your ideas in relation to other appropriate practices and theories, both in writing and in the form of verbal presentations
  • Inductions into the processes and facilities available in the college’s studios and workshops
  • Negotiated access to Chelsea's shared workshops. These include ceramics, casting, laser cutting, photography, audio-visual editing suite, metal and woodwork. View the Chelsea facilities

Mode of study 

Graduate Diploma Fine Art is offered in full-time mode and consists of 30 teaching weeks over 1 academic year. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study.

Contact us

Register your interest to receive information and updates about studying at UAL.

Contact us to make an enquiry.

Course units

Unit 1 - Building Practice

This unit is an introduction to your course, the college and the university.

  • Inductions to relevant learning resources and workshops at Chelsea
  • An introduction into the ways in which theoretical material and research can be used in relation to art practice
  • A programme of artist talks, lectures and seminars
  • Regular tutor group sessions
  • Develop an enquiry-based practice which includes making and writing
  • Take part in an exhibition
  • Draft a piece of critical writing related to your practice
  • Be encouraged to challenge your already established practice
  • To consider the value of taking risks and experimentation

Unit 2 - Public practice: Development and Realisation

In this unit you will develop your work further. You will produce a portfolio of work that can be used within a professional context or in order to apply for an MA.

  • You will make your work public externally and within the college 
  • Continue to develop an independent enquiry-based practice
  • Document your work including how it becomes public
  • Give an enquiry focussed presentation
  • Complete a piece of critical writing
  • Present work in the college showcase
  • Have workshops, tutorials and crits

Learning and teaching methods

  • Documentation workshops
  • Exhibition and work in progress crits
  • Group and individual tutorials
  • Presentation skills workshops
  • Technical skills workshops relating to installation
  • Workshops on portfolio presentation and digital technology

Student work

  • chelsea-graduate-diploma-fine-art-1-1000.jpg
    Graduate Diploma Fine Art interim show
  • chelsea-graduate-diploma-fine-art-2-1000.jpg
    Graduate Diploma Fine Art interim show
  • chelsea-graduate-diploma-fine-art-3-1000.jpg
    Graduate Diploma Fine Art interim show
  • chelsea-graduate-diploma-fine-art-4-1000.jpg
    Graduate Diploma Fine Art interim show

Staff

Fees and funding

Home fee

£12,700

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£25,970

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • BA (Hons) degree or equivalent academic qualifications
  • Evidence of ability in art or design
  • Alternative qualifications and experience will also be taken into consideration
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio of work

Entry to this course will also be determined by the quality of your application, your portfolio of work and personal statement.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • A combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit, but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

Selection criteria

We look for:

  • Evidence of visual and conceptual creative abilities
  • A clear commitment to the chosen field of study
  • The potential to develop the full range of practical, critical and conceptual skills necessary to complete the course
  • The ability to benefit from the learning environment and experience
  • An awareness of the contemporary and historical context of fine art
  • Some understanding of the role that contemporary critical thought and historical study can play in the development of personal creative work
  • The ability to communicate and discuss issues and ideas both verbally and in writing
  • The ability to manage your own time and initiate projects

Apply now

Apply

Home students apply by direct application.

Apply

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course.
  • Your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans.
  • Any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. These will be reviewed by the academic team.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the interview stage. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes. For support with your interview, visit our Interview tips page.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 pages showing your artwork - in any media such as drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, video (with embedded links), performance or other.
  • Clear documentation of large work.
  • Evidence of research and development of ideas.
  • Evidence of recent written work - where relevant to your practice.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current graduate diploma course and wish to continue your studies at Chelsea College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

The round 1 deadline has been changed to 19 December to give you more time to make your application.

When you'll hear from us

If this course requires a digital portfolio as part of the application process, you will be invited to submit this through UAL’s online submission tool, PebblePad. We will request this separately after initial processing of your application is complete. Once we request your portfolio, you will have 7 days to submit it.

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Apply

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a graduate diploma course:

Apply

Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course.
  • Your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans.
  • Any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Immigration history check

Whether you’re applying online via UCAS, through a UAL representative or by direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History Check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. If you don’t complete the check we won’t be able to proceed with your application.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. These will be reviewed by the academic team.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the interview stage. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes. For support with your interview, visit our Interview tips page.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 pages showing your artwork - in any media such as drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, video (with embedded links), performance or other.
  • Clear documentation of large work.
  • Evidence of research and development of ideas.
  • Evidence of recent written work - where relevant to your practice.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current graduate diploma course and wish to continue your studies at Chelsea College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Careers

The course is aimed at preparing students for further study at Masters level or pursuing a career in the field of fine art. This could include art practice, art writing, curation, arts administration, art consultancy, collaborative practice and community arts.

Find out how careers and employability helps our students and graduates start their careers.