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Advanced Course

Fine Art Advanced Course

This is a one year full-time course designed to support those interested in spending time exploring and developing their practice in greater depth. Alongside self-directed briefs we shape the course tutoring to meet the individual student’s need. You can choose to specialise in Painting, Printmaking, Portraiture, Sculpture, Drawing, Performative based practice or all of these.Typically, our graduating students continue their own studio practice or apply for postgraduate study. Weekly tutorials ensure the continuous progress and direction of individual work, while gallery and artist’s studio visits support students writing on the cultural context of their developing work. Application is by portfolio interview with the Principal.

Course Aims

The course will develop and consolidate the learner’s practice through exploration and discussion. It will provide a context in which learners can identify their strengths and ambitions building a sequential series of works. Students will develop an informed awareness and understanding of the relationship between their strengths and ambitions, and achievable targets.

Course Structure & Modules

Full-time students will receive up to 18 hours of tutored studio time and access to the Advanced Course Studio seven days per week, 9am – 9pm (Mon-Thurs), 9am-7pm (Fri-Sat) and 10am – 4pm (Sun).
The course runs from September through to June. The Autumn and Spring Term are 13 weeks long, and the Summer Term 10 weeks. Your final self-directed major project will be externally assessed.

Studio & Gallery Visits

Intimate studio visits to internationally acclaimed artists provide inspiration to our students. In the last 18 months we have visited the studios Frank Bowling OBE RA, Philip King PRA, Gerry Judah, David Breuer Weil and Zadoc Ben David.
Our gallery and museum visits underpin the student’s contextual studies and introduce them to a wide range of research resources. In the last twelve months students have visited major institutions including Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Royal Academy, V&A, British Museum, Imperial War Museum along with visits to various private galleries.

Field Trips

We like to introduce students to different learning environments, whether this be drawing on Hampstead Heath or visiting the Henry Moore Studio and Gardens. In 2019/20 we are planning a half term visit to Verrocchio Art Centre in Tuscany. The costs for visits outside London are not included in the course fee.

Further Study

Recent students have gone onto to postgraduate study at Central St.Martins, Chelsea School of Art, whilst others have received recognition for their studio practice with exhibitions and commissions.


All our tutors are practicing artists with diverse studio practices that cover the broad range of ideas in contemporary art. Leon Platt is the course leader, with whom you will have weekly tutorials. Your other tutors will depend on the direction you wish your practice to take. We also have a visiting lecturer programme that includes artists, alumni and curators.

Tutor Contact Time

Each week students will receive a minimum of 18 hours tutor contact time per week. With a small cohort every student will receive the support they require to reach their creative potential.

Entry Requirements

Applications are open from January with interviews for the next academic year taking place in May. On occasion late applications are accepted. Ideally, we would like to see a portfolio of work that relates to your application. This should be no more than 10 digital images. However, as a non-for-profit charity our aims and objectives are to expand on the philosophy of Joseph Beuys and reach out to anyone who wishes to explore and discover art and design. As such applications are reviewed on an individual basis so if you are interested in taking the course please call or email the office to discuss your position.


Opportunities for all

We welcome applications from mature students who are looking to explore their artistic potential in a sustained learning environment. Each year our student cohort is a diverse group of ages, languages and ethnicities. For students for whom English is not their first language we can offer private tuition. This supplementary cost will give the student the support to sit the IELTS level 6.0 exam, which is a currently a minimum requirement for postgraduate study at the majority of academic institutions in the UK.


The course fee is £7,500. A one off, non-refundable registration fee of £100 is payable on acceptance to the course and an £150 examination fee due in May. Fees are to be paid in full in July before the Autumn Term.

Booking enquiries

Call 020 7794 1439, email info@hsoa.co.uk, visit us or complete the form below.

How would you like us to contact you?