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Creative Practice FdA Apply Now »

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Level: N/A

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 2

Weeks: 30

Hours: 12.00

Start: 21/09/2020

Days / Times:

Tuition (£): 6500.00*

Interview: N

Course Summary

The FdA Creative Practice is a brand new programme that marks the beginning of an exciting partnership between Derby College Group and The Open University.

As part of this unique programme, students will work with subject specialists in one of four strands (music, performing arts, media and art/fashion) to develop their technical and creative skills and knowledge in their chosen discipline. Students will then use these skills to collaborate with students from other disciplines to enhance their creative work and develop employability skills.

This collaboration sets the course apart from other more specialist degrees and allows students the opportunity to broaden their set of skills, to cultivate good working relationships with other creative professionals, and to develop a comprehensive portfolio of work that is ready to show to potential clients in industry.

As well as the opportunity to take part in vibrant practical projects, students will learn skills and knowledge that are essential to succeed in an industry that is one of the fastest growing areas of the economy. Students will learn how the creative industries are structured, funded and governed, and crucially how to be work-ready in an industry where nearly half of all practitioners are self-employed.

On completion of this two-year FdA, students can then progress to the one-year Level 6 top-up and claim a full BA (Hons) degree.

A note on delivery during the Covid 19 pandemic:

We are planning that our teaching, learning and assessment for 2020/21 will be both online and face to face. Each module will take a unique approach that best supports you in achieving the learning and assessments. You will be part of a variety of online lectures, discussions, tutorials and activities. You will have access to a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) where a range of resources and activities will be provided. You will engage with your peers and teachers via Microsoft Teams, partaking in a range of planned sessions. 

Practical sessions and activities that take place on campus will be undertaken adhering to the current government guidelines. You will be provided with access to specialist equipment and spaces to best support your learning and prepare you for any required assessments. 

At times, we may be required to change our plans in order to comply with Government guidelines. If we make changes, you will be kept up to date via announcements through your course VLE.

Entry requirements

You need a minimum of 112 UCAS points from creative Level 3 programmes (either A-levels or vocational routes).

Applicants will be considered without formal qualifications if they can demonstrate equivalent industrial experience.

Students will also need to take part in an audition or be prepared to show a portfolio/showreel.

Course Content

Each of the two years of the FdA has a theme which runs through each of the practical and theoretical units.

Year 1

The first year allows students to take a ‘snapshot’ of practitioners within their discipline and beyond. Students will reflect on how their work fits into the wider creative landscape by gaining a grounding in how the creative industries are structured, regulated and funded. Students will reflect on how change in creative practice has been driven, and will continue to be affected, by the digital revolution. The end of Level 4 will culminate in a creative symposium or event that showcases students’ creative work in a way that is collaborative. Students who successfully complete this year will be eligible for a Certificate of Higher Education.

Year 2

The second year forces students to push the boundaries of their creative practice and expand their own skills and competencies through study of “Creative Practice and Creative Techniques”. Students will examine practitioners within their fields that are on the creative fringes by engaging with “Critique and Analysis” which will highlight not only self-approaches to creative work but also the impact on culture and society.

They will also study the monetisation of creative work, and the relationship between creativity and commerce through “Entrepreneurial and Business” modules. This will culminate in another end-of-year symposium or show that will be creatively more adventurous in terms of content, themes or potential commercial value.

Students will take control of the marketing of this event by engaging with the modules in “Marketing” and “Experimental Practitioner Event” and will gain first-hand experience of attracting an audience to creative works that are more challenging. Students who successfully complete this year in addition to Year 1 will be eligible for a Foundation Degree.

Students who successfully complete the two years of the FdA can progress to the one-year Level 6 top-up and claim the full BA (Hons) Creative Practice.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will be through a range of practical projects, group projects, academic writing and presentation work. Other assessment methods may be used to better meet student need.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

The cost of the course is £6500. Most prospective students can apply for a loan through Student Finance to cover this cost.

Students may need to provide their own materials for specific projects or purposes.

What can I do after this course?

Further Study

Students can progress to the one-year Level 6 BA (Hons) Creative Practice top-up. 


Students could progress into industry, either with an employer or as a freelance creative practitioner.

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This course is run at the Joseph Wright Centre

About Joseph Wright Centre »

Jamie Holmes

Jamie Holmes

Weaving a success story in textile design

Peak Award winner Jamie Holmes showed there are no barriers to success if you have genuine creative talent. Profoundly deaf, Jamie joined the College from the Royal School for the Deaf and was supported by a signer throughout his studies.
He excelled on his Art and Design Diploma, specialising in fashion and textiles, and now has a place studying Textile Design at Huddersfield University – with his sights set on a future career in the creative industries. At our 2014 Peak Awards, Jamie won the Visual Arts prize, sponsored by Maber Associates Ltd, for his determination and willingness to improve.

When I first started at College, I was really lacking in confidence but I had so much help and support that I really found myself and I am looking forward to making the most of university.


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