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Making Change: January 2023

Course Duration

4 days

Are you curious about studying photography or media related subjects at University level but need a bit more experience, a confidence boost or want to immerse yourself in a few new creative techniques before you start your degree?

Join us on our free four-day Making Change course. This course has been designed to prepare you to start university, alongside building a portfolio and gaining support for your application. You will get an art school experience, and during the course you will get the chance to meet the lecturers for the subjects you are interested in studying.

You will learn about studying photography with a spirit of enquiry and experimentation either as a contemporary art discipline or commercial practice. While developing your technical and communications skills you will get to experiment with making films, soundscapes and animations and you will explore the craft and aesthetics of these subjects guided by industry professionals in fully equipped studios and workshops. From lighting and framing the perfect shot, to visualising concepts, this course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to combine visual awareness and innovation needed to create and present a professional portfolio.

This course has previously prepared students to enrol on to a range of Arts University Plymouth Undergraduate courses, including our Extended BA (Hons) Degree, which is a four-year degree route. You can see a full list of the courses you could study here. We have also had students from our Making Change course go on to study at a postgraduate level, and a full list of our postgraduates courses can be found here.

This Making Change course will prepare you to begin your Undergraduate or Postgraduate degree in September 2023.

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The connections we all made on the course were genuine, positive and have created a new opportunity for me that I have been trying to achieve for the past 20 years without success!
Making Change student on a three-week long course, March 2022

With one-to-one support, advice and help putting together a portfolio and completing your application, alongside plenty of exciting artistic exploration, Making Change will help you discover your creative potential. Did we mention that it’s FREE?

The preparation and presentation of a portfolio can be key to your success in securing an offer onto a creative degree. This exciting 4 day course will enable you to prepare a portfolio in readiness for application onto a suitable course at the Arts University Plymouth. Alongside any work you develop, we will encourage and enable you to feel confident in discussing your work with confidence. You will be supported in making an application to one of our Undergraduate or Postgraduate courses, and you will improve your knowledge of the higher education sector.

Are you a mature student? Did you know that 31% of students at Arts University Plymouth are mature students? We pride ourselves on being a creative environment for all ages.

As well as support in completing your application, you'll be given advice and tips on how to prepare your portfolio, as well as comprehensive student finance advice. Previous graduates of our Making Change courses have gone on to study at degree level on subjects including Fashion, Textiles, Fine Art, Craft and Material Practices and Painting, Drawing & Printmaking.

You don’t need to have a portfolio prepared - you just have to bring your enthusiasm and meet the following criteria:

  • At the start of the course I am between the ages of 18 - 70,

  • I'm eligible to work in the UK (i.e. I have a National Insurance number),

  • I am interested in studying at Arts University Plymouth in September 2023,

  • I want to explore higher education opportunities at an undergraduate or postgraduate level,

  • I am eligible for at least two years of student funding or I am looking at self-funding a Higher Education course,*

  • I am able to attend all six sessions (see dates below).

*More information on whether you are eligible for financial support can be found at www.gov.uk/student-finance/who-qualifies. If you are unsure if you are eligible, we can discuss this with you once you have applied.

This four day course takes place on campus at Arts University Plymouth with sessions from 10am to 3:30pm (with short breaks when required), from Monday 23 January to Thursday 26 January 2023.

Days One & Two
Monday 23 January | 10am - 3.30pm
Tuesday 24 January | 10am - 3.30pm

The first two days will allow you to develop new works and experimental techniques, working across film and photography. Working in our industry standard studios you will be able to experiment, test and produce new works which will enhance your understanding of photography and moving image. The work you produce during these two days will contribute to the development of your portfolio.


Day Three
Wednesday 25 January | 10am - 3.30pm

On day three we will review your current work alongside the work you have created on days one and two. With the support of the team you will begin to edit and select the works that will feature in your digital portfolio. If necessary our team can help scan, or capture any artworks for inclusion in your portfolio. A large part of preparing your portfolio is the selection and editing of your work. We also recommend you include works in progress, mood boards, storyboards, scripts and show your ideas through testing and annotations.

Our experienced team will help guide you in preparing a visually interesting and creative portfolio which showcases your creative practice. To support the development of your portfolio there will be scheduled workshops including:

  • Setting up a PDF Portfolio in Indesign

  • Portfolio selection and Image preparation

  • Preparing an Artist statement


Day Four
Thursday 26 January | 10am - 3.30pm
The final day will be dedicated to any final portfolio preparation. You will be working with our experienced team and technical support to complete your portfolio and to present it to the group in our presentation at the end of the day. At the end of the day you will be able to take away your digital portfolio.
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"I enjoyed how much it stimulated my "art brain" after neglecting it for so long! The course inspired me in ways I didn't think it would."
Previous Making Change student

To make an application, please click the "Apply Now" button at the top of this page.

For further information or to request an alternative format, please email Rob Tarasek on rtarasek@aup.ac.uk.

Explore our Courses


Please note that places on this course are limited and subject to fulfilling the eligibility criteria above.

Please note that submitting your application does not confirm your attendance, we will be in contact with you to discuss your application.

All courses are subject to participant numbers and will only run if sufficient numbers are achieved.

Arts University Plymouth reserves the right to cancel a course if insufficient participant numbers are recruited.