Short courses


Photo Etching (Summer School Short Course)

  • 30 hours
  • 5 days


This one-week introductory course will explore the possibilities of photomechanical printmaking using photopolymer emulsion as a means of reproduction and as a creative tool for image-making. It builds on techniques taught on the Etching course

Working with both autographic and photographic positives, you'll learn how to produce photo-etchings with incredible tonal range, rich dark blacks, smooth tonal transitions and very fine detail. You'll have the opportunity to develop your plate further by incorporating the various etching techniques available in the workshop.

You'll be guided in translating your ideas through print and encouraged to debate the role of printmaking in a contemporary context. A critical assessment of image making will play a fundamental role in the course.

The course runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm each day. You'll 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

The course will begin with an opportunity to examine examples of original prints by different artists using photo-etching techniques.

This will be followed by a thorough introduction and analysis of the digital workspace and workflow necessary for producing and crafting tonally rich positives for the photo-etching process.

The course will cover:

  • digital workflow and image preparation
  • crafting and printing the digital positive
  • plate preparation and exposure
  • etching and proofing
  • calibrating the printed proof versus the digital image
  • printing techniques
  • further platemaking skills

There'll be plenty of time for one-to-one tutorials so please bring examples of your work.

You'll produce a plate no larger than A4. If you want to produce more plates during the course you'll need to purchase additional copper from the course tutor.

Who this course is for

This course is suitable for beginners and those who want to refresh their knowledge of the basics.

Prior knowledge of etching and Photoshop basics would be helpful. However, the course will go over the fundamentals of both areas.


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 one-week course costs £400.

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 and other Summer School courses 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: Lesley Sharpe.

Course information last modified: 29 Oct 2021, 11:11