BA (Hons) Carving: Architectural Stone

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The Art School has an unbroken tradition of teaching sculpture, stone and woodcarving since it was founded in 1879. We play a crucial role in keeping alive the skills essential for preserving the world’s most important monuments and buildings, and offer the UK’s only BA (Hons) course in the subject.


In addition to advanced stone carving and sculptural techniques, we provide specialist teaching in related subjects including drawing, modelling, casting, portraiture, artistic anatomy, ornament study, heraldry and the history of carving in architecture and sculpture. You will also be introduced to stone repair and restoration techniques and to related conservation practices and ethics.


We believe strongly that specialist skills should not be taught in a vacuum, so we make Art Histories an integral part of all our courses, and teach it in such a way that it informs, inspires and incentivises. Read more about our engaging approach and stimulating Art Histories programme.


We have excellent links with the industry, both through the Art School’s numerous collaborations and through the tutors’ own professional networks. Our alumni are sought-after for commissioned work and positions in the heritage industry, and many of our students go on to work in historic carving projects in Britain and abroad.


You will study in a motivated, close-knit group of around 30 carving students.  For certain elements of the syllabus, you will work alongside students from both pathways.  All of the tutors are inspiring, established professional carvers, gilders and sculptors, who combine working on some of the country’s most prestigious projects with teaching at the Art School. As active professionals, their experience and valuable network of industry contacts make for a highly vocational course.

We pride ourselves on our staffing levels, so although the final year of the course is primarily self-directed, you are guaranteed all the one-to-one supervision that the subject demands.


Our career development and professional practice seminars cover everything from estimating, marketing and websites to setting up a workshop and working to commission. Live projects will help you develop your portfolio and provide valuable opportunities to learn about the commissioning process first-hand.

“I am always pleased to return to the Art School, It is a joy to see first hand how the Stone Carving Department has developed in terms of professionalism and quality of craftsmanship over the last decade. It is great that students are being pushed to the limits of their abilities and that they are being trained by professionals from within the industry.  I found it inspiring to see some of the students take on challenging architectural carving. Some students pushed their ability in terms of copies from already existing built heritage, whilst some focused on interpreting the use of architectural sculpture to enhance the appearance of a buildings façade in a more contemporary style. Either approach is based on the understanding of architectural ornament, which is what makes this course so unique.”  Florian Kirchertz. Managing Director, London Stone Conservation. External Examiner 2010-14

You can download a pdf of our prospectus here and check out our News page to find out what’s been happening at the Art School.


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