Get creative with your future

If you are contemplating your future this summer, after leaving sixth form or taking time away from further education, Exeter School of Art could be your best next step, with applications still open.

Providing you with access to experienced teacher practitioners, small class sizes and a variety of creative disciplines, from Graphic Communication to Film and TV production, we offer students the authentic art school experience.

You will find the space, expertise, facilities and culture you need to explore your interests and grow and develop your creative skills and talent.

A Gold Standard accredited school located at the heart of the city, in a state of the art building, Exeter School of art is the perfect environment for kick starting your career in the creative industries.

What’s more, Exeter’s small class sizes support social distancing; enabling the school to open in September and students to continue using the studios and gain practical hands-on experience.

Foundation Diploma

If you have a passion for creativity, but are undecided on the direction you wish to take, the Foundation Diploma could prove the perfect option.

It will better prepare you for a Degree or Foundation Degree course, in a related area at university, by enabling you to study multiple disciplines and decide on your preferred area of specialism. We have, for example, a high number of previous students who have gone on to study at the prestigious London art schools.

Foundation degree

Film and TV production, Graphic communication, Fine Art or Photography.

This course allows you to gain real world practical experience, specific to your chosen career, enabling you to build confidence and develop your skills; offering you access to major employers and industry practitioners.

Offering flexibility, the two-year course enables you to decide at a later date whether you wish to progress the course to BA Hons level at Plymouth University, or enter the world of work with a vocational qualification.

To find out more, visit the Foundation Diploma or Foundation Degree pages on this website or contact our admissions team with any questions you may have:

*The school is TEF Gold standard accredited - based on an audit undertaken by the Office for Students (Govt. led scheme).

Get creative with your future

Get creative with your future

Come and meet University of the Arts London at Exeter School of Art

On Thursday 10 October 2019, University of the Arts London (UAL) will be hosting a regional roadshow at Exeter School of Art. The roadshow will bring together student workshops, portfolio guidance and CPD activity for you and your students. Each session has been designed to provide attendees with exciting new updates and advice about studying at UAL.

Regional Roadshow

Location: Exeter School of Art, Centre for Creative Industries, Queen Street, Exeter, EX4 3SR

Timing: 9.45am arrival - 3pm departure

Student Schedule

  • 10am - 10.30am: UAL welcome
  • 10.30am - 12pm: Student workshops
  • 12pm - 1pm: Lunch
  • 1pm - 2.30pm: Student talk
  • 2.30pm - 3pm: Wrap-up talk

Staff Schedule

  • 10am - 10.30am: UAL welcome
  • 10.30am - 12pm: Teachers' market overview
  • 12pm - 1pm: Lunch
  • 1pm - 2.30pm: Teacher workshops
  • 2.30pm - 3pm: Wrap-up talk

The workshops on offer are a chance to develop new skills and meet UAL academics. On the day the workshops will be hosted by BA (Hons) Acting and Performance and BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design.

Our Regional Roadshow is open to all Level 3 learners studying a creative subject and academics who support students on their journey to university. UAL has an undergraduate portfolio of over 100 courses, covering Art, Design, Media, Screen and Performance, please find out more about our courses and if your students may be right for this event here.

A light lunch will be provided to all attendees. During lunch you will be able to visit UAL college stands allowing you meet the teams, ask questions and pick up prospectuses.

Book today

To book places for the event please email or (Please note the location has restricted capacity and places will be confirmed on a first come first served basis).

Student's collage

Student working on Portfolio

Letterpress workshop at the University of Plymouth

On Tuesday 22nd January 2019, 1st and 2nd year FDA Graphic Communication students visited Plymouth University for a Letterpress printing induction and workshop. The university’s resident print expert, Paul Collier, took the students through all the necessary health and safety precautions before explaining in fascinating detail the history and methodology of the letterpress printing processes.

The students became totally absorbed in every stage of the process and thoroughly enjoyed gaining first-hand experience of this old technology, whilst gaining a greater understanding of the anatomy of typography.

The day also included a guided tour of the University facilities and in particular the BA Hons Degree in Graphic Design With Typography studio space where the Exeter students were able to meet their Plymouth counterparts and view some of their project work.

Adam working on the letterpress Will working in the letterpress room Billy and Paul working in the letterpress room

Working on the letterpress

Student awarded first prize as PsychArt Conference in London

Stephen Raff is a photographic artist working primarily with wet-plate collodion, a process derived from the roots of photography. Using traditional wooden bellowed cameras and mixing raw chemicals to make a light-sensitive material, he makes one of a kind images on glass that offer a certain timelessness and otherworldliness. Charmed with flaws and chemical imperfections, the finished plates exist as precious objects that provide great longevity with an archival quality.

Raff's work investigates the relationship between nature and the human mind, using his photographic practice and imagery to share his own emotional response to this interaction and to raise awareness and spark conversations.

During his second year of the BA (honours) in Photography at Exeter College of Art, Raff was presented with an opportunity to collaborate with the Art Council funded project Alright Mate?.

(from the website) ... Alright Mate? is an audio-visual installation that explores male mental health through presenting conversations and photographs of Exeter residents. It is a collaboration between Exeter-based playwright and mental health specialist Cally Hayes, and artist Hugh McCann, made specifically for Art Week Exeter. For three days, Cally and Hugh recorded chats with Exeter residents about their ideas and experiences around male mental health, and then working with wet-plate photographer Stephen Raff, produced a series of unique portraits of the participants. The exhibition consists of three headphones playing interweaved excerpts of these conversations, and a display of the portraits. ... The original installation was on display at The Roots Foundation and social space during Exeter Art Week. Since then it has been exhibited at Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments for Health, in Exeter and the PsychArt Conference in London where it awarded the first prize. Cally and Hugh continue to grow the project with aims to build upon the existing installation in 2019, for which I am looking forward to being involved in this wonderful and exciting project again.

I would like to thank the course providers at Exeter College of Art for all their hard work and support, without which such opportunities wouldn't exist.

Instagram - s.r.a.f.f
Website -

Students work on exhibition Students work on exhibition Students work on exhibition

Students work on exhibition

Passing on the knowledge

Two former Exeter School of Art Foundation Diploma students recently visited the College to give a talk on their progress.

Emily de Aguilar specialised in Graphic Design on the Foundation course and gained a Distinction. She then took a gap year to earn money in preparation for her BA Hons Degree course in Graphic Design at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Now in her second year at UWE, Emily was able to pass on her positive experiences of the course and life in Bristol to the current Foundation students, accompanied by a very professional PowerPoint presentation.

Matt Bell was one of Emily’s contemporaries on the Foundation course, but took the option of seeking employment as a film maker / animator / videographer / photographer / content designer. As a free-lance creative, Matt is very much a self-starter. His first animation work was for the NHS, and as the result of some serious networking he has now re-located to Liverpool where he has made films, content, and animations for a range of prestigious clients by free-lancing for Black & Ginger and Uniform, two of the leading design companies in the city. Matt’s presentation was extremely inspiring, informative and professional - the gathered audience of students asked lots of questions and were able to gain great insight into working in the creative industry.

Emily and Matt

Sophie West - Winning a D&Ad New Blood "Pencil" Award

The D&Ad New Blood Awards ceremony on 12th July 2018 was a truly glitzy affair - not unlike the Brit Awards or the Oscars ceremony.

Exeter School of Art lecturers Mike Krage and Nigel Lowe were there watching with pride as one of their FDA Graphic Communication students, Sophie West, took to the stage to receive her Pencil Award for her Creative Crisis board game design, sponsored by Hasbro. What makes this achievement particularly special is the fact that Sophie was a second year Degree student; all the other prize winners were in their third year when they entered the competition.

Sophie was also one of only fifty students to be chosen to participate in D&Ad’s New Blood Academy during the summer. This golden opportunity enabled Sophie to work collaboratively with fellow award-winners on several "live" industry design projects.

Although Sophie has just started the third and final year of her Degree course, it looks like she is already on track for an exciting graphic design career.

Sophie West with award

Student wins prestigious award

We just wanted to share some fantastic news with you. One of our 2nd year Foundation Degree Graphic Communication students, Sophie West, has been awarded a D&Ad Pencil for her ‘Creative Crisis’ board game design, sponsored by Hasbro (see link below).

D&Ad Pencils are the most prestigious award any designer could possibly achieve. To put things into perspective, it is the equivalent of winning an Oscar, or a Gold Medal, and this accolade will undoubtedly give Sophie a meteoric career boost.

This is a real first for Exeter College and Exeter School of Art and worthy of huge celebration. Sheer hard work, determination and creativity have really paid off for Sophie and we are delighted for her. She will soon be invited to attend the D&Ad New Blood Awards ceremony in London on 12th July to collect her life-changing prize.

Sophie will be starting her 3rd top-up year at the University of Plymouth in September to achieve the full BA Hons Degree in Graphic Design with Typography.

Sophie West

Design Workshop Day with the Met Office

On Wednesday 25th April the Met Office Content Lead, Ross Middleham, Senior Designer, Dean Jones and Marketing expert Lisa Martin, visited Exeter School of Art to deliver a Design Workshop for 1st and 2nd year Foundation Degree Graphic Communication students. Also present for the day were graphic designers Mark Girvan and Will Day from Exeter based design company, Buddy Creative, and husband and wife creatives Ben and Mary Bowen from Union Group.

After inspiring and informative presentations by the Met Office team, Buddy and Union, the students were set the challenge of re-branding the Met Office in a way that would appeal to a young target audience. Supported by the creative professionals and lecturers, the students worked in small groups and were further tasked with developing ideas for effectively communicating weather forecasts across various social media, using their newly created identities. The day concluded with each group presenting their ideas and design work.

The students took full advantage of this fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into how industry professionals work collaboratively to generate ideas in response to a challenging brief.

Design on a laptop

Showing a design

Students work is exhibited at Killerton House

In September 2017, 130 students and staff from the Art and Design Foundation Diploma course spent the day at the National Trust’s Killerton House learning about Killerton’s women’s suffrage story.   

The students were inspired by the suffrage campaign’s use of slogans, banner, badges, colour and lettering. The Protest Project, which subsequently evolved, formed this collection of the student’s work, in response to what they saw that day and subsequently discovered. Students developed ideas and outcomes in Fashion and Textiles, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Lens Media and Applied Arts.   

The work currently on show at Killerton House comes from the Fashion and Textiles area and is a strong visual representation relating to the overarching theme of Protest. 

Carol Kennedy, Programme Manager said: "Our association with the National Trust at Killerton House is becoming an established, positive and very productive partnership.  Working on the theme of Protest this year has enabled us to explore a broad range of topics in visual and written form and has encouraged wide debate amongst our students.  The more specific focus on Suffrage offered us the opportunity to explore new and informed perspectives on the subject and the resulting art and design work was knowledgeable, inspiring and exciting, showing that this movement still has relevance.  The work produced covered ceramics, printmaking, painting, drawing, sculpture and graphic design work, the pieces on show at Killerton House are some of the Fashion and Textile pieces made during the project.  We have all really enjoyed working with the National Trust and thank Killerton House for the opportunity of working with them. We are already looking forward to our next collaboration in September 2018." 

We spoke to Shelley Tobin, Costume Curator, about the project. "The Protest Project is an exciting and thoughtful part of the exhibition Branded: fashion, femininity and the right to vote. This project is the result of a unique collaboration between Killerton’s team and Exeter College, with staff and students taking part in the project during the 2017 autumn term. Pre-degree Foundation Diploma in Art and Design students were invited to Killerton to see the collections and explore the park, house and garden, following a presentation to students at college by myself and Eileen Dillon, Learning Officer. 

The stunning work on show at Killerton demonstrates the student's attention to detail. Their responses to the women’s suffrage theme are mature and thoughtful, bringing together historical text and imagery with contemporary issues". 

The show at Killerton is open daily and runs until 4th November 2018. 

If you are interested in studying Art and Design with us then please take a look through our courses here

Students work on exhibition Students work on exhibition Students work on exhibition

Students work on exhibition

Students work on exhibition

Students work on exhibition

Ex-Foundation Degree Photography student wins Student Sustainability Research Prize

This year our student Nicky Woods progressed to Plymouth for her third year and went on to win the Student Sustainability Research Prize. Now in its third year, the Student Sustainability Research Prize, awarded by the Sustainable Earth Institute, celebrates the exceptional research underway by students of Plymouth University, looking at creating a better future.

We spoke with Nicky about her award winning project, her time at Exeter College, and what she has planned for the future.

"In 2016, the United Kingdom voted to withdraw its membership with the European Union, bringing an unpredictable future for farmers and modern agricultural traditions. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, one thing is for certain: British farming is going to see a dramatic change. This project studies the day-to-day life of lamb and beef farmers on Dartmoor, a vast moorland situated in the heart of Devon. Famous for its more traditional methods of husbandry, 'To Pastures New' celebrates the devotion of the farmer to his livestock and landscape."

"When making the decision on choosing where to do my degree, I decided to go to Exeter College as it appeared to have a very friendly, cooperative atmosphere, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. The smaller class sizes meant we had a lot of contact time from our lecturers who went above and beyond to make sure we were getting the best experience from our time on the course. With the city right on the doorstep, there were plenty of opportunities outside of the course that enriched my education. Even now that I have moved on from Exeter, the support is still there. I loved every moment on this course, and my experience at Exeter College is one I will never forget."

"I worked as a self-employed photographer throughout my degree, and at present I am trying to develop this into my own business. I enjoy the variety that comes with each commission, and having the opportunity to travel around the country. In my spare time, I plan to keep working with rural and farming communities to document the changes in culture and traditions. I also have plans to improve my skills in alternative methods of photography and see where this may take me in the future."

In her time here at Exeter School of Art Nicky was an exceptional student (in fact she was University Level Student of the Year!), creative, dedicated and hard-working, and it looks like nothing has changed! We wish Nicky all the best with her career ahead and hope to see her winning more prizes in the future!

Nicola Woods

Nicola Woods in front of some of her photographs

One of Nicola Woods photographs

FDA Graphic Communication student "wins over" top design company

World renowned graphic design company, Design Bridge, set a national student competition for 2016 entitled, "WIN US OVER". Exeter School of Art’s 2nd year FDA Graphic Communication student, Debbie Spencer, did just that. Her concept and design work for an awareness campaign to promote the Save The Children charity was based on the Top Trumps card game. Debbie’s idea was aimed at children in the UK to draw greater attention to the plight of less fortunate children throughout the world (such as Syrian refugees). The Design Bridge judges were clearly impressed with Debbie's entry and awarded her the runner-up prize.

Debbie was told the great news when she was invited to Design Bridge’s prestigious London studios for an interview on 7th July – giving her the opportunity to show more of her portfolio of work – and a guided tour of the premises.

Deb's commented,

"I was so thrilled to receive the news that I had been awarded the runner up prize for the 2016 Design Bridge 'Win Us Over' completion. Since then my life has been quite exciting!

At the beginning of the summer interviewed by the Creative Directors at Design Bridge, London, and meetings with the Design Manager at Save The Children.

One of the advantages of the FDA Graphic Communication course at Exeter School of Art is that we were working in a relatively small group and therefore had a great deal of access to excellent support and advice from the lecturers.

Also we were set several design assignments that were related to national student design competitions (such as the Design Bridge and D&Ad New Blood Awards). Our lecturers were really encouraging and instilled a great sense of belief in our abilities, giving us the confidence to present our work in the design industry. One of the great advantages of entering such design competitions as part of the course is the potential recognition that can be gained at a national level."

The result of Debbie’s Design Bridge visit is that she now has a very promising contact at Taxi, another highly successful design company in Bristol, who include Save The Children amongst their long list of clients. A meeting will now be set up so that Debbie can show her work to Save The Children representatives, with a view to them using her concept.

Debbie with her award

Exeter School of Art at New Designers, London July 2016

The FDA Graphic Communication students’ exhibition at New Designers in London was a resounding success. The prestigious exhibition for emerging design ran from 6th – 9th July at the Business Design Centre in Islington.

Completing 2nd year students, Bobby Plows, Debbie Spencer and Lee Burwood, had clearly worked incredibly hard to design, build and “dress” the stand to an extremely professional standard. Their efforts paid great dividends as there was a constant flow of visitors to the stand, from the design industry as well as other educational institutions. The feedback and comments from visitors about the design, layout and high standard of work were very positive and complimentary.

Many design industry people approached the students with a view to offering them paid design work.

Sky Creative expressed great interest in Bobby’s work and they interviewed him about it on the spot.

Lee’s work was selected as a “Show Highlight” by KTN (Knowledge Transfer Partnership). He was one of only 20 others throughout the whole exhibition to be acknowledged in this way. Also, the Editor of Blueprint magazine really liked Lee’s typographic work and left a message asking Lee to send a copy to them for judging with a view to it featuring in September’s issue.

The Design Manager from left his business card for the students as he was impressed with their work and was keen to contact them to discuss future design projects.

Representatives from Oakdene Designs, a home and personalised gifting company, paid particular attention to Lily Bedingham’s re-design of the Lush Handmade Cosmetics identity.

Over the four days, the students made many excellent contacts so all their hard work had really paid off. New Designers had given the students the opportunity to showcase their talents for a massive, national audience as well as putting the recently launched Exeter School of Art well and truly on the map.

Please click here to vist the New Designers website.

Bobby Plows with the exhibition

Lee Burwood and his alphabet design

Showcase of student creativity at Summer Art Shows 2016

Student creativity and works of art will come to life at a series of summer art shows open to the public at Exeter College.

The shows will celebrate the creativity, talent and innovation of students across the broad range of art and design courses on offer at the college.

Photography, fine art, sculpture, fashion and textiles, graphics and other discipline areas will be represented, showcasing the huge efforts of the students and dedicated staff.

The shows are taking place at the Yard Gallery, and other locations in the Centre for Creative Industries, Victoria Yard (opposite Central Station), Queen Street, Exeter.

A launch event, entitled the Summer Show Open Evening, is taking place on Thursday 26th May between 6-8pm.

The season of shows start with the Foundation Degree Show (Photography, Graphics and Fine Art) and University of the Arts Foundation Diploma Art and Design show from 6th June to 14th June.

Helen Burak, Exhibition Co-ordinator and Deputy Head of Faculty of Art and Design, said:
"Absolutely not to be missed, another visual feast of truly imaginative, intelligent and inspiring work will be on display, produced by our very talented students many of whom are progressing onto further courses at Exeter College or to some of the very prestigious universities renowned for excellence in the arts.

"We wish our graduating students a very fulfilling and successful future and welcome you to join us in giving them a good send off."

For more information and dates, please visit the Yard Gallery page.

Summer art show invitation

Five Fine Art Specialism students offered places to study at prestigious Art School

Five Fine Art Specialism students at Exeter School of Art, part of Exeter College, have been offered places to study at a world famous arts college in London.

The five have all gained offers to go to Central St Martins in London, a world-class art and design college which is part of the University of the Arts London. Alumni of Central St Martins include artists and designers who have gone on to win the Turner Prize, the Oscars, as well as a number of Royal Designers for Industry and Royal Academicians.

The students who offered places at Central St Martins are all currently studying the Diploma in Art & Design (Fine Art Specialism) - Foundation Studies, validated by the University of the Arts London.

They are:

  • George Prew;
  • Claudia Etherington;
  • Isobel Jobbins;
  • Troy Harris;
  • Daisy Morey.

Nigel Watts, Head of the Faculty of Art and Design and the Exeter School of Art, said: "We have an excellent relationship with the University of the Arts London, of which St Martins is part.

"I would like to congratulate these students for their achievement. I am sure this is the start of a very exciting journey for them all."

The Exeter School of Art, which is part of Exeter College, provides outstanding education in the arts and design. As well as the Diploma in Art & Design, the School offers Two Year Foundation Degree courses in Fine Art; Graphic Communication; Photography and Digital Arts.

There are still places available for entry for September 2016. For more information, please contact or phone 01392 400500.

exeter school of art students

Exeter School of Art Launched

In an exciting development for the city, Exeter College has recently launched the new Exeter School of Art – reviving more than 150 years of tradition.

Since 1854 there has been a strong history of art and design education in Exeter. Sited in Queen Street, very close to where the original Art School was established all those years ago, Exeter College has worked with partners to bring Exeter School of Art back to the cultural heart of the city.

The launch of the new Exeter School of Art was celebrated at a recent event held at Exeter College’s Centre for the Creative Industries and saw the unveiling of a new identity for the School. The branding was created and designed by two former Exeter College students Robert Boyd and Jimmy Ginn who worked on the project while at the College last year as part of their University level course.

The launch event was attended by Professor Dafydd Moore, Executive Dean of Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Plymouth University, Ross Anderson, Acting Director, University of the Arts Awarding Body, members of the Senior Leadership Team from Exeter College, Governors, Staff, current and former students and many others from the wider art and design community in Exeter.

Richard Atkins CBE, Principal of Exeter College, said: “I am delighted that Exeter College has launched the new Exeter School of Art, which celebrates our links with Plymouth University through our Foundation Degree partnership and the University of the Arts London, and brings back more than 150 years of creative heritage. We are very proud to be able to play our part in developing further the artistic and cultural life of the city and our community.”

Professor Dafydd Moore, Executive Dean of Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Plymouth University, said: “It was great to be a part of this important event in the life of the College. The Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University is very proud both to trace its roots back to 1854 and the Exeter College of Art and Design, and also of our continued involvement in Arts education in Exeter in partnership with Exeter College. The reassertion of that heritage and tradition in the shape of Exeter School of Art opens an exciting new chapter in the cultural and educational life of the city.”

Ross Anderson, Acting Director, University of the Arts Awarding Body, said: “I was delighted to be asked to speak at the launch of the Exeter School of Art on behalf of the University of the Arts London (UAL)

“It's an extremely exciting initiative and hugely positive for the arts in Exeter. Exeter College - and now Exeter School of Art - are a fantastic partner for UAL and we value the relationship hugely.”

The Exeter School of Art will be located within the Faculty of Art and Design at Exeter College. The School of Art will be an integral part of the existing dynamic faculty and will be the home for Art and Design University Level provision and the UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design. We will also continue to work with partners across a wider artistic community within Exeter and the South West, with Plymouth University and with the University of the Arts London, Awarding Body.

Nigel Watts, Head of the Faculty of Art and Design at Exeter College, said: "This is a very exciting time for us. We hope that the launch of the new School of Art will build on the growing sense of pride within Exeter in which creativity and art is flourishing. We have some very exciting plans for the next few years taking the new School of Art forward. I would like to thank our former students Robert Boyd and Jimmy Ginn for their fantastic work in producing the dynamic branding for the Exeter School of Art."

As part of the launch event we were delighted to show works by Ruth Carpenter, Volkhardt Muller and Peter Randall-Page.

The Exeter School of Art has lots of exciting courses on offer to potential students and there is still time to apply for September 2016.

The courses include two year University Level courses in Fine Art, Graphic Communication and Photography and Digital Arts, as well as a one year Foundation Diploma in Art & Design.

To find out more about studying at the new Exeter School of Art, please contact: Exeter School of Art, Centre for the Creative Industries, Exeter College, Queen Street Exeter, EX4 3SR, telephone 01392400500, or email

exeter school of art students

shallow depth of field exeter school of art sign

exeter school of art opening

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