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Level: 4

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 2

Weeks: 30

Hours: 12.00

Start: 14/09/2020

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 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. Student 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, cultivate good working relationships with other creative professionals, and 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.

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 both 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” studies. 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 module 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 »

Helen Clark

Helen Clark

Former BTEC student Helen leads Derby innovation showcase

A company director who studied BTEC multimedia at Derby College is spearheading a key event showcasing ideas and innovation in the city. Helen Clark, 32, attended the former Wilmorton site on a two year course when she was just 16. She is now a director with city-based Clark CX, a website conversion rate optimisation consultancy, which was founded by her husband Pete. Helen said Derby College gave her a crucial insight into the workplace and the course was broad-based enough to allow her to choose in which direction she wanted to take her career. After college she took a graphic design degree in Norwich, which led to design roles in Bath, Mansfield and then Derby. Pete separately attended Derby College on an art foundation course, and Helen joined his business two years ago. They are now putting together TEDxDerby 2016 at QUAD on May 21. The event is a forum which will showcase creative and innovative ideas from speakers predominantly based in, or connected, to Derby.

Helen said: "The BTEC course was like an introduction to the real world and how people work in the industry. We covered a wide range from illustration to graphic design and video work, which helped me to decide which field I wanted to go into."

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