• Introduction

    Not published to students
    Current

    Welcome to the OCA Assessment Guidance resource on OCA Learn. 

    You can navigate through the different aspects of assessment and the subject areas on the left. These sections are:

    Applying for assessment

    The applying for assessment section provides key information for assessment events and offers access to the Assessment Application Form.

    Preparing for assessment

    The preparing for assessment section gives access to the Preparing for assessment guidance document. This document provides an overview of the assessment and submission process for all Open College of the Arts (OCA) Higher Education courses. It offers structured guidance and support on how best to prepare for assessment. It also provides access to the Summary of updates documents, that can be used by students who may have consulted previous versions of assessment guidance to check whether or not changes have been made since they last consulted the guidance.

    This section also includes links to other resources at the OCA that may be useful to all students in their preparations for assessment, such as: 

    • Academic referencing
    • WeAreOCA blog posts related to assessment
    • OCA Assessment FAQ’s Padlet

    Assessment criteria

    The Assessment criteria section gives access to the OCA's assessment criteria guidance document. The assessment ‍criteria apply to all students submitting for assessment from August 2021 onwards.

    Subject areas

    There are several subject areas at the OCA, and each may vary when it comes to assessment. Each subject area has been listed to the left for ease of navigation, and each subject area section contains:

    • A list of course units that show which course unit is covered in the given subject area.
    • Course Guide documents which can help you to identify the Learning Outcomes (LO) and any additional guidance associated with the course unit you are submitting for assessment.
    • Assessment‍ criteria documents that relate to that subject area.

    Please bear in mind that these subject areas may apply to more than one degree programme as many of OCA's degree programmes share course units. For example, a student studying Graphic Design or Illustration would find find these units listed under the Visual Communications subject area, or if they study on the BA (Hons) Fine Art degree, their course units may be listed under the Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture or Visual Studies subject areas. We recommend that students take the time to check they are referring to the correct areas and documents for guidance, and if they’re unsure, they should contact the Assessment Team - assessment@oca.ac.uk - for clarification.

    Reflecting on assessment

    The reflecting on assessment section holds the assessment survey ‘Feedback on OCA assessment’ which we encourage students to complete once they have finished submitting their work for assessment and have received their results following the exam board.

    • Applying for assessment

      Not published to students
      Current

      We ask students to apply for assessment, so we know in advance who will be submitting work to a given event. Below you'll find information on how to apply for assessment, including the Assessment Application Form.

      Timescales and deadlines for assessment events

      There are three assessment events during each academic year; In November, July and March. The dates during which applications should be made and work should be submitted are set out in the table below: 

      Key Dates November Assessment Event March Assessment Event July Assessment Event
      Deadline for receipt of application 31st August 7th January 30th April
      Earliest date for receipt of work at the OCA 15th September 15th January 15th May
      Deadline for receipt of
      work at the OCA
      30th September 31st January 31st May

      Please note that any applications or work sent outside the above dates cannot be accepted.

      Assessment Application Form

      Students who wish to submit their work for formal assessment should first complete the Assessment Application Form below.

      • Available but not shown on course page
        Not published to students
    • Preparing for assessment

      Not published to students
      Current

      Preparing for assessment guidance document

      This resource provides an overview of the assessment and submission process for all Open College of the Arts (OCA) Higher Education courses. It offers structured guidance and support on how best to prepare for assessment.

      • pdf
        Available but not shown on course page
        Not published to students
      • Available but not shown on course page
        Not published to students
      • pdf
        Available but not shown on course page
        Not published to students
      • pdf
        Available but not shown on course page
        Not published to students
      • pdf
        Available but not shown on course page
        Not published to students
      • Available but not shown on course page
        Not published to students
      • Available but not shown on course page
        Not published to students
    • Assessment criteria

      Not published to students
      Current
      • pdf
        Available but not shown on course page
        Not published to students
      • Available but not shown on course page
        Not published to students
    • Creative Arts

      Not published to students
      Current

      The course units covered in this section are:

      • Creative Arts 3: Body of Work (CA6BOW)
      • Creative Arts 3: Research (CA6RES)
      • Creative Arts 3: Sustaining Your Practice (CA6SYP)

      Below you'll find the Course Guide for assessment of Creative Arts units and the relevant Assessment Criteria.

    • Creative Writing

      Not published to students
      Current

      The course units covered in this section are:

      • Writing 1: Writing Skills (CW4WGS)
      • Writing 1: Art of Poetry (CW4AOP)
      • Writing 1: Scriptwriting (CW4SCW)
      • Writing 1: Starting your Novel (CW4SYN)
      • Writing 2: Writing for Children (CW5WFC)
      • Writing 2: Writing Short Fiction (CW5WSF)
      • Writing 2: Poetry - Form and Experience (CW5PFE)
      • Writing 2: Life Writing (CW5LFW)
      • Writing 2: Moving on with Scriptwriting (CW5SCW)
      • Writing 3: Retrospect and Prospect (CW6RAP)
      • Writing 3: Independent Project (CW6IDP)

      Below you'll find the Course Guide for assessment of Creative Writing units and the relevant Assessment Criteria.

    • Drawing

      Not published to students
      Current

      The course units covered in this section are:

      • Drawing 1: Drawing Skills (DR4DRS)
      • Drawing 1: Exploring Drawing Media (DR4EDM)
      • Drawing 2: Investigating Drawing (DR5DRA)
      • Drawing 2: Personal Approach to Drawing (DR5PAD)
      • Drawing 3: Body of Work (DR6BOW)
      • Drawing 3: Contextual Studies (DR6COS)

      Below you'll find the Course Guide for assessment of Drawing units and the relevant Assessment Criteria.

    • Fine Art

      Not published to students
      Current

      The course units covered in this section are:

      • Fine Art 3: Advanced Practice (FA6APR)
      • Fine Art 3: Research (FA6RES)

      Below you'll find the Course Guide for assessment of Fine Art course units and the relevant Assessment Criteria.


    • Interior Design

      Not published to students
      Current

      The course units covered in this section are:

      • Interior Design 1: Exploring Principles & Theories (ID4EPT)
      • Interior Design 1: Exploration through Experimentation (ID4ETE)
      • Interior Design 1: Exploring Creative Principles (ID4ECP)

      Below you'll find the Course Guide for assessment of Interior Design units and the relevant Assessment Criteria.

    • Moving Image

      Not published to students
      Current

      The course units covered in this section are:

      • Moving Image 1: Setting the Scene (MI4STS)
      • Moving Image 1: Fact & Fiction (MI4FAF)
      • Moving Image 1: Animation (MI4ANI)
      • Moving Image 1: An Introduction to Film Culture (MI4IFC)
      • Moving Image 2: Moving Image Methodologies (MI5MIM)

      Below you'll find the Course Guide for assessment of Moving Image units and the relevant Assessment Criteria.

    • Music

      Not published to students
      Current

      The course units covered in this section are:

      • Music 1: Composing Music (MU4CPM)
      • Music 1: Stylistic Techniques (MU4SYT)
      • Music 1: From the Present to the Past (MU4PTP)
      • Music 2: Moving on with Composition (MU5MWC)
      • Music 2: Orchestration and Arrangement (MU5ORA)
      • Music 2: Instruments and Repertoire (MU5IRA)
      • Music 3: Major Project (MU6MPR)
      • Music 3: Contextual Studies (MU6CTX)

      Below you'll find the Course Guide for assessment of Music units and the relevant Assessment Criteria.

    • Painting

      Not published to students
      Current

      The course units covered in this section are:

      • Painting 1: The Practice of Painting (PT4POP)
      • Painting 1: Understanding Painting Media (PT4UPM)
      • Painting 2: Studio Practice (PT5STP)
      • Painting 2: Concepts in Practice (PT5CIP)
      • Painting 2: Exploring Media (PT5EXM)
      • Painting 2: Mixed Media (PT5MXM)
      • Painting 3: Major Project (PT6MPR)
      • Painting 3: Contextual Studies (PH6CTS)
      • Painting 3: Sustaining Your Practice (PT6SYP)

      Below you'll find the Course Guide for assessment of Painting units and the relevant Assessment Criteria.

    • Photography

      Not published to students
      Current

      The course units covered in this section are:

      • Photography 1: Expressing Your Vision (PH4EYV)
      • Photography 1: Context and Narrative (PH4CAN)
      • Photography 1: Identity and Place (PH4IAP)
      • Photography 2: Landscape, Place and Environment (PH5LPE)
      • Photography 2: Landscape (PH5LDS)
      • Photography 2: Documentary Fact and Fiction (PH5DFF)
      • Photography 2: Documentary (PH5DOC)
      • Photography 2: Self and the Other (PH5SAO)
      • Photography 2: Digital Image & Culture (PH5DIC)
      • Photography 3: Body of Work (PH6BOW)
      • Photography 3: Contextual Studies (PH6CTS)
      • Photography 3: Sustaining Your Practice (PH6SYP)

      Below you'll find the Course Guide for assessment of Photography units and the relevant Assessment Criteria.

    • Printmaking

      Not published to students
      Current

      The course units covered in this section are:

      • Printmaking 1: Introduction to Printmaking (PM4PMI)
      • Printmaking 2: Developing Your Style (PM5DYS)

      Below you'll find the Course Guide for assessment of Printmaking units and the relevant Assessment Criteria.

    • Sculpture

      Not published to students
      Current

      The course units covered in this section are:

      • Sculpture 1: Starting Out in 3D (SC4SCL)
      • Sculpture 2: Studio Practice (SC5STP)

      Below you'll find the Course Guide for assessment of Sculpture units and the relevant Assessment Criteria.

    • Textiles

      Not published to students
      Current

      The course units covered in this section are:

      • Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary (TX4ATV)
      • Textiles 1: Mixed Media for Textiles (TX4MMT)
      • Textiles 1: Ideas and Processes (TX4IAP)
      • Textiles 2: Contemporary Context (TX5CCX)
      • Textiles 2: Contemporary Practice (TX5CTP)
      • Textiles 3: Personal Specialism (TX6PER)
      • Textiles 3: Research (TX6RES)
      • Textiles 3: Sustaining Your Practice (TX6SYP)

      Below you'll find the Course Guide for assessment of Textiles units and the relevant Assessment Criteria.

    • Visual Communications

      Not published to students
      Current

      The course units covered in this section are:

      • Illustration 1: Key Steps in Illustration (VC4KSI)
      • Illustration 1: Illustration Sketchbooks (VC4ISK)
      • Graphic Design 1: Core Concepts (VC4GDC)
      • Book Design 1: Creative Book Design (VC4CBD)
      • Graphic Design 2: Working with a client (VC5GRD)
      • Illustration 2: Responding to a Brief (VC5ILL)
      • Visual Skills 2: Visual Exploration (VC5VEX)
      • Visual Communications 3: Advanced Practice (VC6ADP)
      • Illustration 3: Advanced Practice (IL6ADP)
      • Graphic Design 3: Advanced Practice (GD6ADP)
      • Visual Communications 3: Visual Research (VC6RES)
      • Illustration 3: Visual Research (IL6RES)
      • Graphic Design 3: Visual Research (GD6RES)
      • Visual Communications 3: Sustaining Your Practice (VC6SYP)
      • Illustration 3: Sustaining Your Practice (IL6SYP)
      • Graphic Design 3: Sustaining Your Practice (GD6SYP)

      Below you'll find the Course Guide for assessment of Visual Communications units and the relevant Assessment Criteria.

    • Visual Studies

      Not published to students
      Current

      The course units covered in this section are:

      • Visual Studies 1: Creative Arts Today (CA4CAT)
      • Visual Studies 1: Understanding Visual Culture (AH4UVC)
      • Visual Studies 2: Understanding Visual Culture (AH5UVC)

      Below you'll find the Course Guide for assessment of Visual Studies units and the relevant Assessment Criteria.

    • Reflecting after assessment

      Not published to students
      Current

      We encourage students to complete the assessment survey ‘Feedback on OCA assessment’ once they have finished submitting their work for assessment and have received their results following the exam board.

      • Available but not shown on course page
        Not published to students
      • Available but not shown on course page
        Not published to students
    • Note to editors

      Not published to students
      Current

      Course Dashboard