Charlie Stiven talks about the programme
Edinburgh College of Art

"Students have a dedicated studio tutor but also work with other staff from the programme and across the wider School of Art, all of whom are practicing artists."


This programme is centred on the studio, it builds and expands on a long history encompassing a range of approaches, both in terms of concept, context and methods.

Edinburgh College of Art has exceptional purpose built studios where students are encouraged to identify, reflect on and develop their personal visual and intellectual vocabulary through the language of Painting.

The nurturing and development of the individual is a priority. Each student is allocated their own studio space as well as having access to spaces within and out-with the college where students install work individually or collectively; these events create a platform for discussion.

Students have a dedicated studio tutor but also work with other staff from the programme and across the wider School of Art, all of whom are practicing artists.

One-to-one and group tutorials are a crucial part of the programme and regular seminars and crits take place where students are encouraged to discuss and present their work to fellow students, staff and to different external agencies.

Students begin by interpreting projects through their own interests, leading to developing and negotiating their own programme of study and ultimately to an independent and self-reliant practice.

Drawing is a vital element in the programme, both as a means of analysis and research and as a discrete entity. Students are encouraged to explore Printmaking either as a form of image making or a means of the production of multiples, editions and Artists’ Books.

Students are instructed in technical methods, use of materials, methods of installation and presentation. Theory and Practice are inter-linked; thinking through the stuff of Painting is challenged and supported by a high level of criticality. We want students to not only explore how to make a painting but also what it means to make a Painting.



Many graduates pursue careers as artists or enter other art-related professions and go on to undertake residencies and commissions in a global context. A high percentage of graduates establish themselves in workshops and studios. Many have achieved considerable success and built international reputations.

Our programmes provide a progressive education in contemporary art practice. Our students develop analytical and practical skills, the ability to work with others in an organised manner and the ability to think laterally. These attributes can be applied to a wide range of career possibilities.

Some students continue their studies at postgraduate level. Others have gone on to teach or to make an impact in the wider creative industries.

How to apply and entrance requirements

If you'd like to study on an undergraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh website, where you'll also be able to

  • see the structure of the programme and what you will study each year
  • see detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder
  • get information on what to expect after you apply
  • find out about fees
  • find out where to go for further advice and guidance

Take me to the University of Edinburgh website on how to apply for undergraduate

If you’re applying to study on one of our Art or Design degree programmes, you’ll also be required to submit a mini portfolio. Our application guide explains what you need to submit and by when.

Art & Design: How to Apply application guide (PDF)

If you have any questions about the application process, our Undergraduate Admissions Office will be happy to help you.

Email the Undergraduate Admissions Office:

Alumni profiles


Charlie Stiven

Programme Director - Painting


Facilities and resources

These facilities are provided for both cold and hot casting processes, allowing you to work on small as well as large-scale pieces.

Welding torches, a forge, forming and shaping tools, and a 1-ton gantry crane with access to main workshop areas.

The Photography Suite provides facilities and studios for students to gain a grounding in nearly all aspects of photography including process and developing as well as printing of photographs.

This large wood workshop hosts a huge range of machinery and hand tools for the cutting, shaping, and general fabrication of woods, as well as metals, plastics, and cardboard.

Overlooking Edinburgh Castle, our painting studios provide a bright and airy space for working in.


College of Humanities & Social Science Undergraduate Admissions Office

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 3565