FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Please feel free to contact us if we have not managed to answer your question, or for any further information. Please don't hesitate to contact us at any time.

1. How exactly do you operate?
2. Do I have to attend your college?
3. Can I study with you even if I am overseas?
4. Will I need to attend any classroom courses?
5. Can I start this course straight away?
6. How long does it take to complete a course?
7. What if I need more time?
8. Are students overseas allowed extra time to complete their course?
9. How does Home Study work?
10. Are your courses accredited?
11. Are you an academic college?
12. How is work sent and critiqued?
13. How long does it take for my tutor to deal with my work?
14. Can I e-mail in my assignments?
15. Is snailmail a safe way of sending my art work?
16. Is work returned?
17. Do I need any qualifications before I enrol?
18. What qualifications will I receive?
19. What's the difference between Diploma and Certificate?
20. Are there exams or is it based on coursework?
21. After my course, will I be able to start a degree?
22. I paint for pleasure with no interest in selling. Are your courses too commercial for me?
23. Do you ask permission before adding student artwork to the Website and Blog?
24. I've read the details on the website, however I'm not certain which course is right for me?
25. Do you only offer Distance Learning courses?
26. Who offers advice and guidance when I need it?
27. I haven't studied for years! Will I cope?
28. Are there any other costs associated with the courses?
29. Will I need any computer software?
30. Can I order Online?
31. Does the college set a timetable for studies and the submission of work?
32. How do you recognise the achievements of your students on their various courses?
33. If I pay in instalments, will I be sent the whole course at once or will I get the content as I pay my instalments?
34. If I start the course and decide its not suitable for me could I stop paying the instalements?
35. What is a diploma?

1. How exactly do you operate?
Courses can be started at any time. When you enrol, you are sent the complete course in hard copy form. It is broken into progressive study units. At various points you are asked to submit assignments which will enable your course tutor to assess your progress. He/she will provide you with a personal critique following each submission and is available between assignments to give help, advice and guidance as needed. You normally keep the same course tutor throughout your programme. The length of time each course takes varies according to how much time you have available. An average student working 4-6 hours a week will finish a Diploma course in around twelve months and a Certificate course in half this time, but we allow all students up to two years to complete their studies. Assignments can be submitted either by snail mail or electronically.
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2. Do I have to attend your college?
No. All of our art courses are home study. You can study in the leisure of your own home at your own pace.
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3. Can I study with you even if I am outside the UK?
Yes! We currently have a significant number of overseas students enrolled with us. The complete written course will be dispatched by post/ airmail on enrolment. Assignments and critiques can either be dealt with electronically or by airmail.
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4. Will I need to attend any classroom courses?
No. There are no face to face sessions and the College Diploma (which we have been awarding since 1931) is based on evaluation of your submitted work. This can be sent electronically or by post. Posted work is returned with your course tutor's critique.
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5. Can I start the Course Straight Away?
Yes. You can start as soon as you enrol and receive your course programme in hard copy form through the post.
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6. How long does it take to complete a course?
Most of our students study with us part -time. We believe that the average student working 4-6 hours a week can expect to complete a certificate course in around six months and a diploma course in twelve. We allow all students up to two years to complete their studies and in special circumstances extensions can be granted beyond this period at the discretion of the college.
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7. What if I need more time?
Obviously the college needs to plan the allocation of work to our course artists carefully to ensure they are able to give each student personal attention and support. If students enroll and then "disappear" for a long period, it can cause problems when they suddenly reappear - sometimes years later. For this reason we do ask students to keep in touch when, for whatever reason, they need to take a break from their studies. The college allows up to 2 years for the completion of the course. If more time is required: please contact the college to check eligibility for an extension - there may be an administration fee.
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8. Are students overseas allowed extra time to complete their course?
Yes. We recognise that overseas students do need longer to take account of longer postal times. The college has vast experience of working with students from many different countries. There is never a problem in giving such students the time they need to complete their programme successfully.
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9. How does Home Study work?
Our carefully written courses cover much the same areas as might be covered by your local college. However, unlike your local college, home study means that you work entirely from home, completely in your own time and without ever having to attend classes or lectures. Each course is supplied complete in itself.
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10. Are your courses accredited?
The college holds full accreditation from BSI for the provision of our distance learning courses. The BSI Kitemark™ is a registered certification mark owned and operated by BSI. It is one of the most recognised symbols of quality and safety and offers true value to consumers, businesses and procurement practices. Potential students need to know where good quality can be found as quality is particularly important in Distance Learning. New and inexperienced providers are moving into distance learning, but good intentions and a glossy brochures and web sites are no substitute for experience. What students need are well written courses materials, as well as advice and support that are: relevant, reliable and consistent. BSI accreditation provides independent, authoritive reassurance that the London Art College's courses provide all these things. You can enrol with complete confidence.
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11. Are you an academic college?
We are a vocational, not an academic college and courses are primarily intended for the enjoyment of students and to help them develop, if they wish, commercial applications for their art.
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12. How is work sent and critiqued?
Each course is divided into progressive study units and at various points students are asked to submit the best examples of their work to date to the course artist to consider and critique. The critiques are produced individually in response to each submission and are sent to the student with the work they have just sent in. Thus the student builds up a reference library of their original study units, their course artists critiques and a growing portfolio of their own work.
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13. How long does it take for my tutor to deal with my work?
Our tutors are often professional artists as well as qualified teachers. They lead busy lives and cannot always respond immediately to work when it is received. The tutors to endeavour to send students their critiques within 28 days, but usually the critique will be sent back within a couple of weeks and sometimes much faster. There will be times in holiday periods or when services are disrupted for other reasons when it may take longer, but even then it would be very unusual if it exceeded a month. Where there have been delays for reasons outside the student's control, the college will always grant the student an extension of time to complete their studies.
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14. Can I e-mail in my assignments?
While the college reserves the right to see the students original artwork we recognise that with improvements with digital cameras and scanning it may be possible for students to submit assignment work this way. Guidelines will be given to student after enrolment. For students who prefer to rely on snail mail and who accept that this will add to the time in returning their work to them; this is still acceptable.
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15. Is snail mail a safe way of handling my valuable art work?
We have worked with tens of thousands of students over the years, from all parts of the world. In our experience snail mail is still a very reliable method for moving artwork between student and college and vice versa. It is very unusual indeed for work to go missing
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16. Is work returned?
Yes, all work is returned.
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17. Do I need any qualifications before I enrol?
No previous experience or qualifications are required. However, many students really improve their confidence with either the ‘Beginners Drawing’ (B1) or ‘Beginners Painting’ (B2) before going onto other courses, when they might otherwise have struggled initially.
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18. What Qualifications will I receive once I have completed my course?
We are a vocational not an academic college and therefore although the course will teach you the basic principles and will encourage you to develop a personal style of working which can be helpful in helping you stand out from the crowd, your course does not carry academic credits. You will be encouraged to develop a portfolio of work that should be useful later. You do not need any qualifications to enrol.
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19. What is the difference between a Diploma or a Certificate course?
Diploma courses cover subjects in greater depth and usually in a broader way. Certificate courses tend to be more specialised covering a tighter syllabus in the same detail as is found on a diploma course.
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20. Are there any Exams or is it based on coursework?
There are no exams. The courses are very hands on and you will be encouraged to produce plenty of artwork for a portfolio which will be useful for any further courses or career development.
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21. After my course, will I be able to start a degree?
Your course does not carry academic credits but while on the course you will be encouraged to develop a portfolio of work that could be built upon for further courses. Discuss your aims with your tutor as soon as possible for guidance.
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22. I draw and paint for pleasure. I have no interest in selling my work or services. Are your courses too commercial for me?
We recognise today that many people are leisure artists gaining the rewards they need from simply producing good work for their own pleasure. We are very happy to include leisure artists on any of our courses. Everyone wants to improve as an artist and many of our courses are very well suited to help students develop as artists irrespective of whether or not they want ultimately to make money from their art. Tutors are very experienced to help students identify what they want as individuals from their chosen course. Our programmes are very flexible and the tutor can help students maximise the benefits to be obtained.
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23. Do you ask permission before exhibiting work on the Website and Blog?
We find students are very happy to see examples of their work featured on our web site for short periods and we have never had a complaint on this subject.  We would of course, respect the wishes of any student who told us they do not want their work recognised in this way.
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24. I've read the details on the web site, but am still not certain about which course is right for me?
If you have any queries please telephone us on Freephone (in the UK) 0800 3280 465 for a friendly and relaxed discussion about your requirements. From outside the UK you can contact us on +44 1524 847447
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25. Do you only offer Distance Learning courses?
Yes. Since it was founded in 1931 the London Art College has specialised in producing carefully constructed written art courses, fully illustrated, for Home Study. We are the only UK dedicated art college of our type and we have a reputation for excellence that we are justly proud of. Our courses have helped students around the world to improve as artists, cartoonists and illustrators. We have a strong vocational approach to assist those students who want to turn their artistic ability into a source of income, to succeed. Courses are carefully constructed using the most modern methods of teaching and are supported by course artists chosen for their competence as artists as well as their undoubted ability as communicators.
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26. Who offers me advice, help and guidance when I need it?
Our carefully written courses cover much the same areas as might be covered by your local college. However, unlike your local college, home study means that you work entirely from home, completely in your own time and without ever having to attend classes or lectures. Each course is supplied complete in itself. Each student is allocated a course tutor who normally looks after them throughout the time they are studying with the college. Your course tutor will respond to questions between assignments and will send a personal critique each time you send in coursework.
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27. I haven't studied for years! Will I be able to cope?
Distance learning allows you to study your course without being tied down to fixed terms, time limits and attending college. Study when and where it suits you. Once you have enrolled with us; we will send you the complete course most of which include self-testing exercises and assignments as well as giving you access to the course artist and the opportunity to submit examples of your on-going work for comment and review.
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28. Are there any other costs associated with the course?
The cost of the courses covers all monies due to the college, but excludes art materials, paper etc... which should be available locally at relatively modest cost.
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29. Will I need any specific computer software on any of the courses?
The courses themselves are not computer based and you do not need specific software programmes.
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30. Can I order online?
Yes! We use a fully secure online enrolment form which uses secure sockets layer (SSL), a combination of public and private key encryption. This provides a highly secure as well as fast means of both encryption and authentication. However, if you'd prefer not to enrol online, it's just as easy to enrol over the phone, by fax or by post. please see our ordering page for more details. Once you have enrolled with us, you receive your course and assignments.
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32. Does the college set a timetable for studies and the submission of work?
Not normally. We recognise that individual students have their own priorities and differing demands on their time. We recommend that students try to establish a set way of working that suits them personally and that they set themselves targets for the submission of work. However the college does not insist that students work to a preset timetable.
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33. How do you recognise the achievements of your students on their various courses?
The college was established in 1931 and has always issued it's own prestigious Diplomas/ Certificates to recognise performance on our programmes. Awards are made at three levels; Pass; Pass with Merit; Pass with Distinction. We are a vocational, not an academic college, but the value of our Letter of Completion/Certificates and Diplomas in the wider world is supported by our Accreditation by the British Standards Institute (BSi).
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34. If I pay in instalments, will I be sent the whole course at once or will I get the content as I pay my instalments?
When someone enrols, we send the complete course. The student then has fourteen days to decide if the course is suitable. During this period it can be returned for a full refund of the fee paid so long as the course materials are not damaged.
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35. If I start the course and decide its not suitable for me could I stop paying the instalments?
The student then has fourteen days to decide if the course is suitable. During this period it can be returned for a full refund of the fee paid so long as the course materials are not damaged. After the fourteen days, there is a legal obligation to continue the monthly payments until full payment is made. Obviously if there are special reasons why a person needs to drop out, we may waive our rights to further payments, but this is at our discretion. The London Art College awards its own prestigious Letter of Completion/Certificate or Diploma to students who successfully complete their chosen course. There is no examination to sit, but the College awards students a letter of completion or a certificate/diploma at Pass, Pass with Merit or Pass with Distinction grade depending on achievement and application.
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36. What is a diploma?
For our international students who are unfamiliar with these, a diploma is a qualification similar to a certificate. Our courses are not academic qualifications but are London Art College awards, showing completion of the courses to a particular standard.
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