Contemporary practice: personal project

Course Dates: 10/10/23 - 18/06/24
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: Blended (learn both online and in-person)
This advanced course in contemporary creative practice will support you in developing a personal project through research, experimentation, development and exhibition in a supportive studio environment. The course is facilitated by practising artists, theorists and curators.

This course requires an application prior to enrolment. Please contact Visual Arts for more information.
This course will be delivered online and in person. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £2,099.00 Senior fee £1,679.00 Concession £1,469.00

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Course Code: VM676

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Tue, day, 10 Oct - 18 Jun '24

Duration: 30 sessions (over 37 weeks)

Before booking on this course, please register or log in to your account to complete a short online assessment. We need you to do this to check that this course is the right level for you.
Why do I need an advice session?

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The course focuses on developing you as an individual creative artist practitioner to establish a strong creative methodology and a critically informed body of creative work relating to a project theme of your choosing (please see application form). The course is experimental in its ethos, and group members are expected to be active in contributing to classes and workshops and engaging supportively and collaboratively with their peers. The course is taught by professional artists, makers, cultural theorists and curators and provides opportunity to present ideas in presentations, tutorials, crits and interim shows and a final, professional exhibition in an external venue or site. To join this course you may be working in any creative medium, including 2D and 3D arts, installation, creative textiles, photography and digital arts, object art, performance and body art, conceptual art, mixed-media and collage, book arts, design or craft, etc. and will be encouraged to engage with and develop work in a contemporary context, explore alternative methods of exploring or representing project ideas, and perhaps combine mediums and approaches.

This course will be delivered online and in person, and will involve tutor presentation and class discussion. Student preparation and homework outside class times is strongly encouraged. To fully participate in this online class you will need:
- An email address
- A reliable internet connection
- A computer/laptop/tablet with a fully updated browser (preferably google chrome). Your device will need a microphone, and preferably a camera.

What will we cover?

This course runs over three terms and provides a weekly opportunity to develop, discuss and produce a personally determined project from initial research to final exhibition. The initial stages focus on research and conceptual development where you will carry out practical and theoretical research into your chosen theme and begin to make experimental work. Tutors will support you in developing your own research plans, identify personal sources, as well as deliver workshops covering topics such as experimental sketchbook work, creative research, theoretical reading and visits to exhibitions and artist studios. There will be time to work on your project in the course studio with one-to-one tutorial support and group crits. Term 2 focuses on studio practices and experimentation, where you will develop a body of practical work to extend your project creatively, and will include an experimental 'interim' exhibition of work in progress. During this term advice sessions will be provided for those planning on progressing into further study at post-graduate level or more professional practice. The final term will focus on realising your project - through exhibition, website, publication or other means. Workshops will look at professional practice, curating, and advertising an exhibition, as well as critical explorations of your work. This term will enable you to realise your project, bringing together the ideas and practices you have explored, and present this in a professional, self-curated exhibition.

Please contact for more information on applying, and to organise an interview to discuss your ideas with the course leader.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Identify and develop a personal project utilising practical and critical research
- Initiate and develop a body of experimental work in accordance with a chosen project theme
- Demonstrate reflective and evaluative skills in assessing and reviewing your progress and results
- Develop and produce contemporary creative outcomes for presentation and exhibition.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an advanced course, and students will need to demonstrate a good level of creative ability within their chosen area of practice. Ideally, you will have completed a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, the CityLit Fine Art Course, or demonstrate equivalent or similar experience. Potential students will need to be open to contemporary practices and creative experimentation, and be able and willing to engage in critique of their own work and those of their peers. The course involves group work and collaboration on exhibitions and other events, so you will need to be open and willing to working with others. You should have a good standard of spoken and written English to engage with set readings, artist statement writing, group discussion. You will be expected to be able to read short extracts, some theoretical essays and articles, and make written notes.

Basic computer skills are essential, and you will be expected to access and use the course's online forum and webpage (guidance on this will be given at the start of the course).

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course will be delivered by a team of tutors who are all active contemporary artists, designers, theorists or curators. You will be taught through a wide range of tasks and activities, including personal tutorials, group crits, experimental workshops, drawing workshops, lectures, seminars, reading groups, gallery and studio visits. Course participants will be expected to also plan and develop their own work schedule within the studio environment and independently. Students will be expected to develop project work outside of class and should have their own space or studio to do so.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Whilst basic materials will be provided, students will be expected to supply any specialist materials or equipment. Some equipment and resources will be available to students but need to be negotiated and organised through the application process. Students should prepare for each studio session, and book or bring any materials or resources they may require.

If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, City Lit students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Past students have gone on to set up their own studios, participate in solo and group exhibitions, establish artist collectives and working groups, and participate in artist residencies. Many students have progressed onto post-graduate art course across London and in other European countries, studying at major London art universities including Goldsmiths, Central St Martins and City and Guilds.

We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.