We look forward to returning to live teaching in 2023 and are currently designing the format of the return. We are interested in your feedback. Please fill in this short questionnaire regarding future courses.
The Slade Summer School has run short courses since 1987. It has developed on principles of building an educational exchange between the Slade School and the public and has evolved into a unique community of practicing and student artists.
The summer period offers an opportunity to welcome to the public into the art school to join courses and work with staff and Slade students in our historical studios at UCL. We previously offered fine art-based courses over a 10-week period between July and September. Our short courses were between three days to 10-weeks duration.
Time and space for personal creative growth and enquiry is built into the design of the summer school. Studio spaces are accessible outside taught hours from early morning until evening. Students, staff, and visitors can attend an evening programme of artists and student talks, lunchtime workshops, exhibitions, and floor talks. There is also access to a range of museums and study spaces unique to UCL.
We welcome a wide range of students: school and university students, lifelong learners looking to change direction from their current professions, and those experienced in the performing or visual arts, but often new to fine art.
The courses are frequently diagnostic in that they help students decide the direction they would like to take in future education or professional practice. Students may progress to BA or MA courses, artists residencies or studio practice. Many also return to their former practice or profession with an augmented knowledge, e.g., arts professionals and teachers.
Fine Art Foundation
Our Foundation Course previously ran full time for 10 weeks offering students an introduction to first principles of a contemporary fine art education. These include drawing, painting, film, photography, sculpture, methods and materials, performance, and contextual studies. The course is designed to focus on the interconnectedness of these disciplines and seeks to work with essential practical and theoretical underpinnings. It culminates in an exhibition project. The emphasis is on hands-on experience and individual creative growth.
Short courses, mainly in drawing and painting, typically run over two weeks allowing a sustained period of study and progression. They offer introductions for beginners, developing a personal practice, and advanced personal practice. We also offer specialised one-week or three-day courses for skills building in specialist fine art areas such as etching, casting, low tech photography, wood engraving or digital print.
Our summer school benefits from interaction between students from the different courses, invited artists and staff who come from a broad range of fine art practices and current Slade students, all of whom can participate in the extracurricular programme. Our community engages with creative practice and enquiry at various levels and shares their diverse backgrounds and experiences.
Our Summer School and Short Course team has developed, contributed to, and led many new widening participation initiatives focusing on supporting students, who are under-represented in higher education, such as portfolio support, workshops and access to online learning tools. Our considered approach is designed to develop pedagogies that best bridge the gap between secondary and higher education. See the Summer School Widening Participation page to see the work of our team.