City Lit Blog

Professional Practice Modules | City Lit Visual Arts

Story added 1st Oct 2020

Raz Barfield, Head of Advanced Programmes, introduces a range of new professional practice workshops launching in the School of Visual Arts. While they’re designed to provide skills and knowledge for students on our own advanced courses, the new workshops are also open to students of creative subjects in Higher Education, or professionals in the creative industries. With a modular structure, these highly focused one-day workshops allow you to ‘fill in the gaps’ in specific areas of knowledge, or you can pick and mix to create a modular course of your own design.



City Lit Advanced Art & Design

Advanced Art & Design was established last year to bring together within a single programme area the most advanced courses in the School of Visual Arts. It is home to many of our most prestigious courses, taught, in many cases, by practitioners with international reputations.


Many students go from our advanced courses to establish themselves professionally, or directly take up places on world-renowned undergraduate or masters courses, in institutions like the Royal College or University of the Arts London.


Equally, our courses also provide an alternative to traditional Higher Education routes, for those seeking to establish themselves as art and design professionals or as independent practitioners.


Evolving creative practices

New advanced courses introduced over the last 12 months reflect the constantly evolving ways that creative individuals make use of the resources available to them, and the opportunities presented by technology for creative expression, as well as the ways in which culture, and ‘creativity’ in its broadest sense, is accessed or consumed.


In addition to recognising these changes, we are responding to the needs of students for a focus on professional skills required in an increasingly competitive environment. This is where our professional practice modules come in.


New Professional Practice modules

Launching now, these workshops will provide you with the skills, knowledge and information you need to take your creative practice further. Whether your interest is in improving your technical/digital skills, promoting and selling your work, or developing a deeper understanding of the cultural and theoretical context of contemporary art and design practice, our growing range of courses will provide the know-how you need.


From these modules, you can pick and mix to design your own programme of learning, consisting of all the skills and knowledge you need (as well as any topics that pique your interest) under the following strands:


Technical fundamentals and skills workshops cover core technical competencies that we all need. That means knowing not just how to make your work but also the underpinning requirements of the technologies and processes we rely on, and how to document, archive and present your work at its best.


Business and commercial skills modules include: working with clients over a brief; promoting and selling your work; setting up a studio or a creative practice; safeguarding your intellectual property and protecting your rights; costing your time effectively…


Our Theory, research and knowledge exchange workshops cover a wide range of subjects related to theory in contemporary creative practice, and the sharing and investigation of knowledge at a number of levels. This ranges from how to write an artist’s or applicant’s statement to research methods and defining research questions. This area will be of particular interest to learners interested in the theoretical aspects of their work, as well as those potentially interested in formal research in art and design.


Society, culture and ethics looks at the ethical and social dimensions and contexts of art, craft and design, past and present. This includes finding or establishing communities related to your cultural and social interests, and ensuring your work is consistent with your values and ethics, as well as being relevant to contemporary society. We also examine art, artists and ideas in historical and contemporary contexts.


Presentation and delivery focuses on building your confidence and capability in presenting your work. Whether that means technical skills in presentation, structuring a pitch, or getting up in front of an audience for the first time to talk about your work, the purpose of these workshops is to support you in delivery, and in communicating your ideas clearly and effectively.


Whatever the focus of each individual session, they are designed and delivered by some of our most experienced tutors from across the School of Visual Arts. The format and delivery of each workshop is appropriate to its subject and focus, with participation and group discussion as key elements, providing real-world scenarios and shared peer experience. You might find that your interest lies in one of the five subject strands, or across all of them, but all will enhance your capabilities and support your learning on any other courses you are currently studying, and you can sign up for just one, or as many as you like.


Now open for enrolment

You may be interested in raising your technical knowledge to a professional level, or in developing a better understanding of cultural and critical issues; you might be looking to improve your presentation skills, or develop closer community engagement… whatever you need to add new dimensions to your practice, or improve your existing capabilities, you’ll find it here.


With the first 20 now open for enrolment, and many more in preparation for the coming months, we invite you to explore our new suite of professional practice workshops, to enhance your existing skills, knowledge and interests, and to develop new dimensions to your practice and creativity.