Useful Info From Student Handbook

Visits and face to face activities – course map shows students near you

Blog Structure – need to look at some examples of other students so I have the structure right

Get set up at home properly so I have a dedicated area to study and store my books etc

Printing website : mpix

OCA student website:

·         Contribute to student forum discussions

·         Alert others to exhibitions or events they may want to attend

·         Useful resources within OCA and externally

The OCA blog : find out about study visits and other OCA events

Regional groups – where are these and how can I get involved?

Take a look at youtube for OCA

Student Finance :

Password for Student Finance Bulawayo42#

Customer Reference Number: 67006852799

Student Finance England
PO BOX 210


Student galleries website to take a look at other students’ work

Automatically become a member of the Arts Student Association as soon as enrolled – it can allocate funds for student led initiatives such as visits or workshops, artist talks etc

Andrew Fitzgibbon is the photography representative for the association

OCA’s interactive map enables you to find out which OCA

students live near you


Visit: for student discussion groups

Visit: to find groups for the individual course units you are taking

Visit: to find out who your subject representative is and how to apply for funding if youwant to organise a workshop or study day

Visit: to read our blog, #weareoca, and find out about forthcoming study visits

Visit: to arrange a GoogleMeet


course-mates to see where other students live and add your own name and location

Talk to us at OCA HQ; we have dedicated teams to

support you.





Top Ten Tips For Every Arts Student

1. Dive straight into your studies when you enrol; research shows that the quicker you submit your first assignment, the more likely you are to complete your studies.

2. Talk to your fellow students as they’ve got lots of great ideas from their own experience of studying with OCA.

3. Studying a creative arts subject shouldn’t all be about sitting at your desk. Try and build in visits to galleries, exhibitions, concerts, theatres, cinemas and literary festivals to enhance your learning.

4. Set aside time to study based on what fits in with your lifestyle, your other commitments – and your body clock!

5. Carry a small notebook or sketchbook with you wherever you go for jotting down new thoughts and ideas, drawing & sketching, and making a note of book and journal titles.

6. Plan ahead with a timetable that includes time for reading and reflection, writing your learning log, researching and writing assignments, and, if you are working towards a degree, preparing your work for assessment.

7. Avoid the temptation to study for too long in one burst. Two hours when your mind is alert are more productive than eight when you are tired.

8. Try and be active in the OCA online community, visiting student discussion groups, joining Google Groups, looking at the work of other students and making comments on the discussions you find there.

9. Learn by looking at and critiquing the work of other students. You will find plenty of examples in the student galleries on and on the discussion forums on the student site.

10. If you live near a university, join the library as a guest member. The cost is low – usually no more than £50 a year – and you will be able to borrow books, access journals and have somewhere else to study. If you are not close to a university, then make the most of OCA’s online resources.

This short OCA course will give you a picture of how to

think and how to manage your studies before you get started in earnest, helping you approach your journey into HE with confidence and optimism. The course is free and takes five to ten hours to complete.

Here are some of the topics it covers:

•         Managing your studies

•         Managing your digital environment

·         Approaches to learning

•         Collecting information

•         Research and note-taking

•         Developing your learning log

•         Using blogs

Referencing Methodology

Harvard Referencing

There is a link to the methodology on the OCA blog – compile a list of commonly used references and keep a link in your blog for easy reference

Whether you keep your learning log online, in the form of a blog, or in a notebook, it’s important to add to it regularly. Two or three times a week is a good rule of thumb. You are more likely to produce meaningful and insightful entries if you reflect upon events and activities when they are still fresh in your mind. Look at this example of a blog by Photography student Kate

Home    Assignments     Coursework     Learning Log      About

Outline of The course

Year One – 3 modules worth 40 points each. 2 are compulsory and 1 is elective

PH4EYV – Photography 1: Expressing Your Vision (OPHO4111)  4 40 Core

PH4CAN – Photography 1: Context and Narrative (OPHO4101) 4 40 Core

PH4IDP – Photography 1: Identity and Place (OPHO4135) 4 40 Elective Yes

MI4STS: Moving Image 1: Setting the Scene (OPHO4142) 4 40 Elective No

MI4FCT – Moving Image 1: An Introduction to Film Culture (OPHO4134) 4 40 Elective No

AH4UVC – Visual Studies 1: Understanding Visual Culture (OPHO4118) 4 40 Elective No

VC4CBD – Book Design 1: Creative Book Design (OPHO4123) 4 40 Elective No

CA4CAT – Visual Studies 1: 4 40 Elective No


Year 2 – 2 Modules of 60 Points Each

PH5LDS – Photography 2: Landscape (OPHO5111) 5 60 Elective Yes

PH5DOC – Photography 2: Documentary (OPHO5109) 5 60 Elective Yes

PH5STO – Photography 2: Self and the Other (OPHO5128) 5 60 Elective No

PH5DIC – Photography 2: Digital Image and Culture (OPHO5126) 5 60 Elective No

PH5MIM – Photography 2: Moving Image Methodologies (OPHO5127) 5 60 Elective No


Year/Stage 3 – 3 modules of 40 points each

PH6BOW – Photography 3: Body of Work (OPHO6117) 6 40 Core

PH6CTS – Photography 3: Contextual Studies (OPHO6115) 6 40 Core

PH6SYP – Photography 3: Sustaining your Practice (OPHO6116) 6 40 Core


Approximate additional materials/resources costs for Photography are £250 for

Level 1, £500 for Level 2 and £400 for Level 3


Expressing Your Vision

The first four parts of Expressing Your Vision are structured around the four shooting

modes of a conventional DSLR camera. Quite simply, each shooting mode (auto, aperture

priority, shutter priority and manual) is used to represent one of the fundamentals of

photography: framing, aperture, shutter and exposure. In the final part, on viewpoint,

you’ll turn your attention back from the camera to yourself as photographer.

Before you start

Assignment one ‘Square Mile’

Part one From that moment onwards… Auto – Framing

Project 1 The instrument

Project 2 Visual skills

Project 3 Surface and depth

Part two Imaginative spaces Aperture

Project 1 The distorting lens

Project 2 Lens work

Assignment two Collecting

Part three Traces of time – Shutter

Project 1 The frozen moment

Project 2 Leaving traces of time

Project 3 ‘What matters is to look’

Assignment three The decisive moment

Part four The language of light – Exposure

Project 1 Exposure

Project 2 ‘Layered, complex and mysterious…’

Project 3 The beauty of artificial light

Project 4 Ex nihilo

Assignment four Languages of light

4 Photography 1: Expressing your Vision

Part five Viewpoint – Myself As A Photographer

Project 1 The distance between us

Project 2 Photography as information

Assignment five Photography is simple


Context And Narrative (Core – Compulsory)

Part one The photograph as a document

Project _ Eyewitnesses?

Project _ Photojournalism

Project _ Reportage

Project _ The gallery wall – documentary as art

Project _ The manipulated image

Assignment one

Part two Narrative

Project _ Telling a story

Project _ Image and text

Project _ Photographing the unseen

Assignment two

Part three Putting yourself in the picture

Project _ Autobiographical self-portraiture

Project _ Masquerades

Project _ Self-absented portraiture

Assignment three

Part Four Reading photographs

Project _ The language of photography

Project _ Reading pictures

Assignment four

Part five Constructed realities and the fabricated image

Project _ Setting the scene

Project _ The archive

Assignment five


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