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The Heatherley School of Fine Art, 75 Lots Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0RN  |  phone 020 7351 4190

Diploma and Post Diploma in Sculpture

Sustained Courses in Sculpture

The Heatherley Diploma in Sculpture offers a balance between the traditional skills and techniques of sculpture and the contemporary applications of figurative subject matter.

Fees 2017-19

1st Year £8,895
2nd Year £8,810

For more information or to arrange an interview please call us on 020 7351 4190 or send us an email.

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What is the Sculpture Diploma?

The course is a carefully structured programme written within a strong figurative focus and based on foundation study of the human form. We will help you to develop your own creative voice and give you the practical skills and the knowledge you will need to work independently as an artist.

The two-year Diploma course takes place on three days a week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) over six terms of 12 weeks each (72 weeks in all). A further option of a Postgraduate Diploma year is possible for those who wish to consolidate their study over a third year.

Heatherley's School of Arts - Sculpture

2017-2019 Term Dates

2017-2018 Term Dates

AUTUMN 2017 – 12 weeks
Monday 25 September – Saturday 16 December

SPRING 2018 – 11 weeks
Monday 8 January – Saturday 24 March

SUMMER 2018 – 13 weeks
Monday 16 April – Saturday 14 July

Course Duration 72 weeks.
The school is closed bank holiday Mondays 7 May and 28 May 2018.

2018-2019 Term Dates

AUTUMN 2018 – 12 weeks
Monday 24 September – Saturday 15 December

SPRING 2019 – 13 weeks
Monday 7 January – Saturday 6 April

SUMMER 2019 – 11 weeks
Monday 29 April – Saturday 15 July

The school is closed bank holiday Mondays 6 May and 27 May 2019.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

APPLICANTS FOR SEPTEMBER 2018: Please complete the full time application form and post or email to the school. You will then be contacted by the school to arrange a suitable date and time for interview.

Applicants should be highly self-motivated and are asked to bring a portfolio of recent work. As well as examples of three dimensional work, there should also be evidence of drawing ability and an awareness of contemporary art and design issues. Whilst completion of an art foundation course is desirable, a sustained commitment to non-vocational classes and courses would also be regarded as acceptable experience.

Days of Study: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 10am-4pm + additional life drawing class from 4.30pm-7pm either Tuesday or Wednesday. Length of course 72 weeks.

Course Structure

There are 3 stages to the course.

  1. Objective study of the human head and life figure focused on the observation and expressive interpretation of human anatomy.
    You will be introduced to modelling in clay and plaster, armature making, various casting
    methods in plaster and water-based resin and the application of ceramic glazes for firing
  2. Project work which will encourage you to develop personal creativity and explore visual language.The challenging of assumptions about the physical world, the recognition of an interior life of imagination and the need to find ways to communicate these are driving forces to this part of the course.
    You will receive expert specialised instruction in technical processes including welding, assemblage and carving in wood and stone. You will be helped to evolve a personal sensibility in relation to the nature of materials and processes.
  3. During the final stage of the course, you will plan your own programme of personal project
    work. With the help of continuing personal tuition and technical assistance, you will create a sculpture which expresses your own vision. Your work will be presented for assessment and exhibition to the public at the end of the second year.

Throughout the course

You will be helped to understand the nature of aesthetic decision making, how meaning and intention can be expressed to the viewer, how to present and communicate your own vision through the work and how to relate your ideas to social context and an art historical frame of reference.

Course Content

The study of the human form has long provided artists with a rich source of inspiration, visual discipline and creative energy. At Heatherley’s we believe this to be an excellent pathway for those who wish to acquire an understanding of the language of sculpture. We take an observational approach to the human head and figure as our starting point and firm foundation for the Diploma course. Building further on this introduction we explore concepts and imaginative possibilities offered by the human form as inspiration. We examine how these may be communicated by means of the expressive qualities of materials.

You will take part in a carefully structured programme planned to give you a vocabulary of sculptural ideas, strategies and core technical skills. At the end of the course, you will be able to create and exhibit the personal body of work which will express your own vision. You will be prepared for professional practice in sculpture or to take a further course of study at postgraduate level or to follow one of a number of associated occupations.

Assessment and Tuition

  • We use formal and informal assessment which is unit based as a way of making sure that you have understood course content and so that we can help you to develop and progress your work.
  • Criteria for the assessment of creative work will necessarily include a subjective and personal element. We therefore invite the comment and participation of a carefully selected team of
    experienced artist educators and practising artists.
  • Assessment of your progress will take place at the end of each component unit of the course and you will receive a record of short comments made by your project tutor.
  • Personal tutorials, taking place each term, will guide you to establish personal criteria for self-evaluation of your development and achievement.
  • Group forums, discussion and critique, based around informal presentation of project work are valuable opportunities for feedback from the student group, and often the occasion of lively and stimulating exchange of opinion.
  • The first of two major assessments takes place at the end of the first year when work is shown at the annual Diploma Exhibition in July. You will be helped to prepare and present coursework and this will be assessed by the Course Director and Principal of the School. You will be given a report of constructive advice for your record.
  • The second and final assessment of your work will take place at the end of your second year.
    Assessment at this Graduate Exhibition will include an interview with external assessors who represent the Royal British Society of Sculptors and the Society of Portrait Sculptors and you will receive a record of their constructive advice for your reference.
  • Written work required for submission at the end of the second year must achieve a satisfactory standard in order for the award of the Diploma to be made.
  • Students must complete an attendance record of 80% in order to receive the Diploma.
  • We do not grade our award and this is made on a pass or deferred basis. If a student is unable to achieve the standard required he/she will be offered the chance to re-present a body of work for assessment at a later date at the discretion of the assessors.
  • Where there are difficulties due to personal circumstances or for health reasons, appropriate arrangements may be made with the Course Director, for instance to retake or defer part of the course.
  • Heatherley’s Policy is to support the learning experience of all our students and to enable
    those who are disadvantaged to benefit from the course wherever possible. Students should consult their Course Director where additional Learning Support is required and if their circumstances change.


Because of the one to one nature of personal dialogue and the intensive nature of skills teaching demanded by the Diploma programme, we are committed to an exceptionally favourable tutor to student ratio. Small student groups will consist typically of between 5 and 10 students sharing a sculpture studio and with their own project tutors assigned to work with them by the Course Director.

Our team of permanent and visiting lecturers are all practising artists and include graduates of The Royal College of Art, Slade School of Art and other internationally renowned universities. They are members of and exhibit with the professional societies including the Society of Portrait Sculptors and the Royal British Society of Sculptors whose members are external assessment advisors for the course.


On receipt of your application form, we will invite you to an interview with the course director.

You are asked to bring with you examples of recent three-dimensional work (by means of photographic documentation). Drawings and sketchbooks may also be included. Where it is necessary to interview by phone or Skype, evidence of work should be mailed to the school or made available online.

Whilst completion of an Art Foundation course is desirable for the Diploma course we encourage a wide range of student background and experience and recommend application from adult students of any age over 18 years who wish to develop their vocation in art practice.

Applicants for the postgraduate year should have completed Heatherley’s Diploma or a BA course in sculpture or equivalent study.

Suitable applicants will receive an offer of a place after the interview. You should confirm your acceptance of this offer in writing and by payment of a deposit of 10% of the first year’s fees which will secure your place.

Bursary Assistance
(to be included)