Join the only arts school in the West Midlands, providing college-level, degree-level and MA courses
Hereford College of Arts (HCA) is one of the UK’s historic arts schools with our roots in a great tradition of art and design education. We were founded almost 170 years ago but are wholly focused on creative education for the modern world, preparing students for a vast array of employment, enterprise and personal practice.
Hear what it's like to study at HCA
We are immensely proud of the quality of our courses and support for students, including how we have managed to maintain teaching and learning through pandemic. This has been recognised in the National Student Survey (NSS). In the 2021 survey, when our students were asked the question ‘Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the course’ our score was 84%. This is ‘significantly higher’ than the benchmark figure for our institution. This places Hereford College of Arts in the top 15% of all institutions in the UK for this measure.
Join our unique creative community
Community and collaboration are at the core of our ethos. Even the most talented creatives needs a peer group to keep them motivated, inspired and productive. From your first day at our arts school you’ll be supported to start building a professional network to serve you well throughout your career.
Hereford has a vibrant and welcoming arts scene. HCA students are actively encouraged to participate, and are helping to shape exciting new cultural developments.
Join HCA and you will join a passionate creative network of students, staff, alumni, visiting speakers, professional partners and our exceptional roster of Honorary Fellows.
Explore student work
An individualised journey like no other
Creativity is in our DNA across the whole organisation. Many of our staff also pursue their professional practices in the UK and abroad. It is what makes HCA such a very special community of learning. Your voice as a creative will be nurtured.
All of our staff are ready and willing to put their years of experience behind guiding your work and helping you develop your unique creative practice. Just a little help from even one mentor can save you from years of struggling to figure out who you are as an artist, designer, maker or performer, where you want to go with your work, and how to get there.
Due to our scale, we can offer close and frequent communication with tutors and technicians meaning your journey will be personal to you, and you will not get lost in a crowd.
“After that first open day I went to at HCA, I knew it was the place where I belonged.
BA (Hons) Graphic & Media Design graduateRead Chloe's story3
At HCA, we encourage you to develop depth and expertise in your degree subject as well as a valuable breadth of insight into other creative practices.
Whatever degree programme you are on you will have a chance to take an induction and develop skills in any of our HCA campus workshops.
Our specialist Technical & Digital Demonstrators are passionate about their disciplines. They are equally passionate about passing on their knowledge and expertise.
Your course subject does not limit you to what you can explore, so with their help if you choose, you will be introduced to new processes and skills giving you the confidence to use a range of specialist tools and techniques. They will support you as you make your ideas come to life.
We encourage you to collaborate with students on other courses in formal and informal projects.
We offer HCA+ as a way to enrich your learning through optional free short courses.
“Make the most of the availability of one-to-one tuition, be it technical or academic. From speaking to friends about their experiences of different universities, it’s become clear that the support available at HCA is rare.
BA (Hons) Photography graduateRead Lorna's story3
According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, creative industries continued to power the growth of the UK’s workforce in 2019, adding new posts at twice the rate of the rest of the economy.
With an estimated 2,040,000* jobs – 75% of them outside London – the UK’s creative industries are developing new jobs faster than other sectors.
All our college-level, degree-level and MA courses involve close communication with tutors and technicians, specialist support, career and business coaching to allow students to achieve their full potential, not only as artists, designers or performers but also as business professionals.
*Statistics taken from Creative Industries Council
We host visiting artists from around the world and we offer a wide range of enrichment events that will allow you to make contacts.
Real-world professional projects and work experience
Employers across a wide range of creative industries as well as other sectors looking for creative solutions often turn to us as an arts school first when looking for artists, performers, designers and makers.
In addition, we support our graduates through their first eighteen months following completion of their degree through a programme called Launchgrad, highlighting opportunities for creative employment, funding opportunities, continued skills development, and continued networking.
“We are granted so many opportunities to progress with help from local exhibitions, artist talks, and live briefs which allow students to make contacts for when they graduate and further their careers.Read Rachel's story3
Many of our students decide to set up their own businesses. Along with developing and honing your creative abilities, you will learn the basics of how to run a small business, including how to make a budget, price your work or event, handle basic business skills and market your work.
Student productions, performances and exhibitions will also allow you to get your work seen and purchased by the public. Even during the pandemic, we exhibited online through high profile shows. We will encourage you to enter national and international competitions and HCA graduates often exhibit and attract industry attention in London degree shows
We are proud of the range of industry partners we work with across all our courses and we are passionate about students gaining real world experience. We are delighted for example that the local BBC team has recently relocated to our College Road Campus.
We are also proud of our academic partnership with University of Wales Trinity St David. We believe this offers you the best of both worlds, the student experience of a personal scale specialist arts school with the confidence our academic operations meet the quality standards of one of the UK’s oldest universities with its powerful partnership resource.
At HCA we are a supportive and close-knit community that takes measures to support the wellbeing of our students and staff, with this in mind we actively encourage them to engage in a range of practices, activities and provides information to offer support on campus and online.
On campus, we have a friendly wellbeing lead that is trained to help anyone that is struggling. On our website you will find information on how to get in-touch, for tips and advice on how to help your own mental health as well as that of others and for information on charities, resources, and practices that can benefit your mental and emotional wellbeing.
Graduation: Class of 2020 & 2021
Why the world needs creatives
Arts and creativity are fundamental to human experience and survival.
Artists observe, imagine, affect, create.
Creativity is needed to drive our economy, support our wellbeing and help shape a better more sustainable world.
It can be a catalyst for change, be instinctive, feed our culture, reflect nature, nurture community and soothe the soul.
In today’s world, we are faced with many challenges, which creative minds can strive to solve. The skills and graduate attributes developed through our creative education: such as effective communication, application of critical reasoning, innovation, adaptability, empathy, resilience, global awareness, are valued and transferable across a wide range of industries.
Artists are the catalyst for growth, evolution and advancement of society. The skills of critical thinking and cultural influence encourage the building of communities both nationally and globally.
This is why it is imperative that creative people receive the opportunities to gain education and training in the arts.
At HCA, we will support you to
Live a creative life
Follow a creative career
Be a performer, be a designer, be an artist
Make a difference