Short courses


Material Journeys: Representation into Abstraction (Summer School Short Course)

  • 60 hours
  • 2 weeks


This two-week course will help you develop the abstract qualities within your creative artistic practice.

You'll do this through practical experimentations with painting and mixed-media techniques.

The aim of the course is to expand ideas around representation and abstraction through a hands-on exploration of historic and contemporary material processes.

You'll learn about historical art movements as well as the changing role of abstraction in contemporary practice, its processes and its relationship to figuration.

The course runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm each day. You'll also have the option of attending extra-curricular events such as talks and exhibitions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

This course is part of the annual summer school run by the Slade School of Fine Art at UCL.

Course content and structure

In week one you'll investigate painting through the properties and possibilities of traditional and modern media, grounds, supports and pigments.

Each day there will be a demonstration, slide talk or gallery visit.

You'll be guided through a range of practical techniques and approaches to composition, form and space-making systems.

Through a series of playful and flexible projects, you'll gain experience with an array of experimental methods and learn to apply this knowledge in the studio.

In week two you'll build on these experiences and develop your own ideas and responses through a personal project.

Throughout the course you'll receive regular individual tutorial support, alongside feedback from visiting artists and your fellow students.

Who this course is for

The course is suitable for those of all abilities.


You can request an attendance certificate after completing the course. These can only be supplied during the year you take the course and can't be produced retrospectively.


This two-week course costs £800.

A 10% discount is available for UCL current students and staff. You'll be asked to enter your UPI number (available on your UCL ID card) when booking.

Course fees must be paid in full at the time of booking.

Only basic materials will be provided. Once you've been accepted onto the course you'll be sent details of the materials you'll need.

Slade Summer School

The Slade Summer School offers a unique opportunity for you to work within the studios and vibrant atmosphere of the Slade - a world-renowned school of fine art. 

You'll become part of a wider community of artists and will have a real sense of studying in an art school environment among Slade students and alumni. You'll test your abilities while learning new skills and different approaches to making art.

You can take part in a lively range of extra-curricular activities, including: 

  • art history lectures and artist talks introducing the varied contexts and histories of fine art
  • exhibition openings and talks by Slade undergraduate and postgraduate students about their work
  • a series of artists' projects run by Slade tutors, alumni and recently graduated student residents - you'll be invited into these studio spaces to discuss the works with the artists 

Evening events take place at 5pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. 

Take an extended programme of multiple courses

Many different one, two and three-week courses are available. You can build a personalised programme of study by taking a series of short courses over the ten-week period. 

Please call the Summer School team if you'd like do this - they have detailed knowledge of the curriculum and can help you plan a programme.

All the Summer School courses available are listed on the Slade website.

Further information

Read more about this course and others on the Slade website, which provides information about booking and cancellations. 

Course team

All tutors are practising artists

All tutors are practising artists

Course leader: Malina Busch

Course information last modified: 29 Oct 2021, 10:34