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How you'll learn – University of Reading

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  • Develop your creativity

    Art at Reading enables you to draw upon other disciplines

How you'll learn

Immerse yourself in the creative process, explore a range of artistic techniques and develop as an artist. Degrees at the Reading School of Art will inspire and challenge you,  and prepare you for your future career.

Technician teaching students how to use a drill

Style of learning

Benefit from our distinct approach to a combination of art practice, contemporary theory and history.

We present a multi-faceted way of working: through intensive studio teaching, taught lectures, seminars and workshops and through real-world experience.  You will initially spend most of your time in the studio exploring different media and techniques through staff-led projects.  As you progress through the course your teaching will  be dictated by your individual needs and interests.

Your practical studies will be complemented by small-group teaching, giving you the opportunity to openly debate and discuss your work and the work of your peers.

Your modules are applicable and relevant to the outside world. They are regularly updated to ensure you  develop the skills necessary to  push you to the forefront of an ever-changing and developing sector.

You will be encouraged to investigate a vast range of media and experiment with new and emerging art forms. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the creative process and explore: 

  • painting
  • sculpture
  • large scale work
  • photography (digital and wet)
  • installation
  • printmaking
  • 3D printing, scanning and cutting
  • performance
  • video
  • digital art

"Before university, I was very passionate about painting and drawing but, since starting my degree, I have experimented with sculpture, printing, and film. My practice has certainly evolved during my time at Reading, and I now work primarily with film, a medium which I never thought would be an interest of mine but has allowed my practice to develop and improve."

Ellie de Wild, BA Art and English Literature

Students and teaching staff in the film studio


At Reading, our special strengths lie in exhibitions and curatorial practice, in artists' writing and in theoretical and historical approaches to art as well as in performative art practice.  Your academics and teaching staff are all practising artists, curators and writers, and their connections  with the creative world beyond the University will give you access to a wide variety of experience, expertise and career opportunities.

Alongside academics, you will also work with inspirational and supportive curators and professional artists in Reading and London, and from overseas, including China, Korea and Japan. 

An inspiring programme of guest speakers will introduce you to different areas and themes within the art world, further extending your knowledge and interest. 

"In the Reading School of Art, you are surrounded by tutors and lecturers who are enthusiastic about your work, and encourage you to pursue your interests and passions which, as a result, makes the department an enjoyable place to study. "

Ellie de Wild, BA Art and English Literature

Creative community

Open 24 hours a day and seven days a week, our studios are a lively and creative place, brimming with energy and ideas, and the perfect place for you to develop personally and professionally.

There is always a high level of activity in the studios, with events, screenings, performances and exhibitions  regularly taking place.

 Students painting the colour wheel

Professional Practise

Active participation in exhibitions - both internal and externally-facing, collaborations and visual arts events -  is essential for your professional development as an artist.  At Reading School of Art we enable you to take part in as many events as possible.

Curating your own exhibitions and collaborations will help develop self-belief and confidence in your work and give you the chance to focus on and understand the relationship between your work and the audience.

Visiting artists and curators have included:

  • Andrew Cooper
  • Matthew Collings
  • Katrina Palmer
  • Megan Nolan
  • Dawn Mellor
  • Sidsel Meineche Hansen
  • Liv Wynter
  • Rosanna McNamara and Laura Prime
  • Simon Bedwell
  • White Pube
  • Paul Clinton

You will have opportunity to work with both national and international visiting artists and curators. 

A student curating an exhibition


"Our working group consisted of students from Reading, China, Japan and of course S. Korea and it was so amazing to curate and install an entire exhibition ourselves. Just the act of working with each other to get the show up gave me so much insight into different cultures and how much the contemporary art world differs by country and culture."

Alia Coleman, BA Art and History of Art

Reflection and debate

Assessment and feedback, critical debate and reflection are intrinsic to our art degrees and to your success as an artist. It is essential that you can give and receive criticism, and that you can discuss your art and present it to others. 

Active participation in debate and constructive criticism between staff and fellow students is a part of every project you work on. 

"One of the most useful things I learned at Reading was how to receive criticism of my work. We regularly carried out critiques of one another's work - this was an excellent grounding because it's actually very difficult to receive a critique and work out whether it's something that should influence the direction of future work or not."

Abi Daker, BA Art

Inspirational and informative field trips

Regular field trips to museums and galleries , art institutions and exhibitions will teach you about the diverse environments  in which art is displayed and how the audience interprets the work.  These trips prompt discussion and debate, and can inform your own work and its presentation.

Both London and Oxford are only 30 minutes away by train, giving you access to world renowned galleries and Museums. 

The University of Reading is also home to three museums , including The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) and a number of unique special collections. 

Art students on a residency at the Archeology Fieldschool in Wiltshire

Study abroad

Experience life and education in another country. Over a third of our students choose  to study abroad for one term. Our Study Abroad programme offers a whole range of exciting overseas opportunities.

Life after Reading

You will leave Reading empowered with the personal skills and technical ability you need to succeed in your future career. You will be equipped to:

  • develop your own work
  • make connections and build your network in the art world
  • curate exhibitions
  • promote yourself and your work

​Come to an Open Day

Get a real feel for the University, meet staff and current students from Reading School of Art, take part in an art taster session and explore our award-wining campus.

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