HCA is a specialist college for the arts - we focus entirely on what creative students need.

Here, you can find your place in an inspiring art school community; while our expert staff, studios and workshops support your individual journey.

HCA’s intimate scale lends itself to natural collaborations and distinctive creative groups. It is the ideal setting for you to discover alternative ways of looking at things – surprising yourself and each other. Students also experience an excellent amount of contact time with tutors in a forum which is small enough for your voice to be heard.

All students benefit from inductions to relevant workshops and studios. If your practice leads you down a new and inventive route; you are free to experiment using HCA’s great range of facilitates. So, if you’re an animator who discovers you’d like to experiment with embroidery – you can! Many of the staff at HCA are also active practitioners in their own right, meaning they can offer you guidance as mentors, specialists and peers.

Whether you want to pursue art, media, design, popular music or performing arts, we have your future in mind.


Two heads (or more) are better than one! At HCA you will find plenty of chances to collaborate with one or multiple people and organisations. We offer opportunities to work with numerous external partners as well as students on other courses. For example, one of our students has collaborated with an innovative, open-source project and hand-built a bespoke recycled plastics extruder, from scratch. In this and many other projects, the onward possibilities are limitless. Our students apply their knowledge, their diverse perspectives and complementary skills from different disciplines to help and inspire HCA peers across our art college.


Curiosity opens many doors. It could be a book that changes your life or an experience you’ll never forget. Feed your inquisitive nature by exploring HCA’s specialist arts Library, discovering new ways of thinking about the familiar in Critical Studies, and joining us on our trips to inspiring events and places. Or simply stop-by different workshops and see what’s being created that day.


Be bold: take creative risks. HCA students are encouraged to forge their own path, making work which ranges from taboo-busting to satire. We help you figure out what it is you want to say and nurture your confidence to say it.


We will set you up with the tools you need to explore and innovate; like one of our students who combined knitting with unconventional 3D materials to realise her fun and inventive kinetic knit project. At HCA, you can experiment across our many workshops in ceramics, textiles, small metals, printmaking, photography and 3D; our Mac and PC IT suites; our fully-rigged black-box style performing arts theatre and music studios.


We believe in the power of your creative voice. Our commitment to individuality can be seen everywhere from our students’ workspaces to the variety of our summer show, Synthesis.

At HCA you will find everything you need to empower your creativity.

Somewhere your individuality can flourish

From our stunning location in the historic city of Hereford, in the picturesque county of Herefordshire, HCA delivers the full range of arts education. We offer specialist creative programmes on many levels: from short courses through to Further Education, Undergraduate and Postgraduate study.

At HCA you will quickly get to know the other students starting your course with you. You will be taught by passionate staff, who take the time to get to know you, understand your talents and are personally invested in your success.

HCA provides a unique, collaborative atmosphere where you can express and develop your ideas. Staff and students enjoy a dynamic conversation, where inspiration flows both ways.

Space to grow

Our size and focus make joining HCA a very different experience of joining vast non-specialist universities. At HCA, the whole environment is lead by creativity. Here, talent is always recognised and potential is never lost in the crowd. We champion our students as individuals – celebrating each person’s successes.

Our scale also means that we are naturally outward-facing. We welcome high profile speakers to run masterclasses and give inspiring lectures. As a student, you will benefit from opportunities to take on live briefs from real clients, work on exciting projects with external partners, and share your work with a wider audience.

Here, at our college built at a very human scale, you can carve out your place at the heart of something much bigger.

A Community with Character

Our historic city, set in the midst of an exceptional landscape, is friendly and relaxed with a great sense of community and plenty of great events and activities to get involved with. Here you can find inspiration, develop your talents, forge friendships and create without boundaries.

Make a connection

Students choose to join us at HCA for many different reasons, but an overwhelming theme is a sense the sense of how HCA ‘fits’ the people who come here. HCA is a place where you can truly be yourself. Rather than trying to make you conform to a house style, inspiring staff will encourage you to be bold and inventive on your route to discovering your individual creative voice. We don’t expect you to fit the mould – go ahead and break it!

With a sense of community, both on campus and out in the city, you’ll be encouraged to engage with wider social issues and think about the potential impact of the things you make. We empower you to make the work you are passionate about and develop deep integrity in your own practice.

Creative Freedom

At HCA, your creative development is our priority. Our scale allows us to reject rigid boundaries between disciplines. We are proud of our open workshop policy, where inductions to our amazing and varied facilities are offered across disciplines.

Our workshops are exciting places full of innovation and cross-pollination between courses. You’re likely to find graphic designers working companionably alongside jewellery students, or fine artists in healthy debate with artist blacksmiths.

Option Module

We encourage and support you to explore your creativity beyond boundaries. Many of our art and design degrees include an option for you to take a complementary module outside of the core programme. This can be a great opportunity to broaden your perspective or develop a specialist interest.


Our Philosophy

Our mission is to empower your creativity

Hereford College of Arts is a specialist arts school where students’ unique creative voices can thrive. We encourage taking bold creative risks, resourceful problem solving and critical engagement with wider social issues.

At HCA, we support students to become collaborative, curious, brave, and inventive individuals.

We believe creative collaboration gives us the power to change the world.

HCA is rooted in place – Herefordshire is a very special and beautiful location – but always connected to the world. Our students are true creative citizens and through the work they produce and their careers in the creative industries and beyond, we are proud of the myriad of ways that they contribute to our economy and society and have a positive impact on the world.

Teaching Excellence

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that Hereford College of Arts delivers high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.

*The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a new scheme introduced by the Department for Education for recognising excellent teaching and learning.

Creative Futures

The creative sector is booming. Employment in the creative industries is growing at four times the rate of the total UK workforce and an arts education provides you with a gateway to this vibrant industry and rewarding career path.

The UK’s cultural sector is renowned across the world, and so is our reputation for creativity, originality, and entrepreneurial flair. The UK’s well-established creative education system has been a key factor in building and developing these skills.

From the day you start at Hereford College of Arts, you begin preparing for your future career. Whether you want to get a job in a prestigious international firm, to set up your own small business, or to work as an independent freelancer for a mix of clients, there is a wealth of opportunity across the creative industries. HCA will help you develop the personal qualities, knowledge and skills that underpin success, whatever your chosen specialism.

Creative Careers

  • There are 2 million jobs in creative occupations across the UK – with fast growth in music, performing and visual art, and also design and designer fashion.
  • Robots won’t steal your job! Research has shown creative professions are some of the least likely to be automated in the future.
  • Projections indicate that creative occupations will grow twice as fast as the average rate of employment, and slightly faster than STEM jobs over the next 6 years.
  • 34.5% of people in all jobs in the creative industries, including supportive jobs, are self-employed.
  • The creative industries are at the heart of the UK’s economic future – classified as one of the priority sectors in the government’s industrial strategy, and they will play a hugely important role at the heart of the UK’s economic future.
  • Qualifications matter – the majority of jobs in creative occupations are held by people with at least a degree or equivalent.
  • Explore even further – the creative industries are a dynamic and exciting place to build your career, but the skills you’ll develop through a creative degree are highly sought-after across a vast range of businesses and wider professions.

Links to the World of Work

The College champions a sense of enterprise, and all students are encouraged to get involved in commercial ventures, exhibitions, and projects – both within the local community and on a much wider scale.

We work closely with a range of employers, and our courses have strong links to local, regional and national businesses that support students with varied opportunities, including employer and industry-related projects.

We give support and advice regarding career and progression pathways, and all our courses have a range of visiting lecturers and professionals who share their knowledge and experience with students. Visit our Partnerships page for more details.

HCA Enterprise Programme

Every degree student at HCA, regardless of their chosen programme, will be given the chance to develop essential practical skills for creative working life:

  • How to create a standout website
  • Social Media for Marketing
  • How to set-up as a creative freelancer

In many cases, you will cover these important topics as part of your degree modules but with the HCA Enterprise programme, you’ll have the opportunity to top-up and extend your skills through talks, workshops and other training resources.

Valuable Transferable Skills

A creative degree will give you a suite of transferable skills, so important for working life, and much sought-after by employers.

You’ll be able to demonstrate:

  • Adaptability
  • Being articulate when expressing complex ideas
  • Collaboration
  • Creative and critical thinking
  • Curiosity
  • Problem-solving

We believe these are core skills for a productive and purposeful life and you’ll find they are embedded in the teaching and learning outcomes at HCA.

HCA Graduate Launchpad Programme

Your relationship with HCA will continue to support you long after you’ve tossed your mortarboard into the air at graduation. Taking the first steps in your career can feel both exhilarating and daunting. We know that our graduates value opportunities to seek follow-up advice from experienced staff, to stay in touch with peers, and to engage with events at HCA that continue to broaden their creative network.

So, from 2019 all our new graduates can access an 18 month HCA Graduate Launchpad Programme including:

  • A professional profile page on the HCA’s creative talent website.
  • Free access to advertised Enterprise Programme events.
  • A face-to-face ‘creative health-check’ and review of your professional development plan (in person or via Skype).
  • Discounts on the HCA short course programme.
  • Invitations to HCA exhibitions, and other networking and social opportunities. You will also be invited to apply for:
  • An annual HCA staff and alumni showcase exhibition.
  • The HCA Graduate Artist in Residence scheme.
  • HCA’s new business incubation hub (from 2019).

After HCA

Our talented alumni go far and wide in their creative careers! James W Griffiths has gone on to become a BAFTA Award Winning Film-maker, Sasha Louise is a Celebrity Fashion Designer and Alice Perrin is a Tattoo Artist on Channel 4 hit show Tattoo Fixers, to name but a few.



Hereford College of Arts
College Road Campus
College Road

HR1 1EB Hereford, England, United Kingdom

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