Graduate Diploma Arts: Art & Material Histories

This section details all that you need to know about making an application to Graduate Diploma Arts: Art & Material Histories, including timelines and deadlines, advice on fees and funding, along with guidance on digital and interview portfolios.

The 2019/20 Course Application and Reference Form are now available. To avoid any problems the forms should NOT be completed online but downloaded to a computer and opened in the latest version of Adobe Reader. If you do experience any problems, or if you have any questions about the forms, please contact us at:

  1. Mac users should download and use this Application Pack for the 2019/20 Course Application and Reference Form.
  2. PC users should download and use this 2019/20 Course Application and Reference Form.

We utilise Application Windows to manage admissions on to our Courses. Please check the What about the actual application section below for the dates of the next Application Window.

I am thinking of studying at the Art School what should I do?

First you should make sure you know all about our Graduate Diploma Arts: Art & Material Histories course by reading, Why Study Here and Course Details.

We strongly recommend you attend an Open Day for a tour of the Art School and discussions with tutors, who provide details and information about the course. Open Days are a great opportunity to meet students currently studying on the course and to hear about their experiences. Graduate Diploma Arts: Art & Material Histories Open Days are organised on an individual basis from early November each year and can be booked here.

For those of you who cannot attend an Open Day, you can download the Course Handbook. We are, of course, happy to discuss the course with you by phone.

We welcome applications from anyone committed to study with us with the aptitude to do so. If you have a disability that you are concerned might affect your chances of study, please read our Equality & Diversity and our Inclusive Learning & Participation policies describing our attitude to access. For further information and guidance please read What Student Support can I get? below.

It is important to remember we manage our own applications and do not currently participate in UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). If you have any enquiries about Graduate Diploma Arts: Art & Material Histories, or any other of our courses, please contact us directly.

What fees would I pay?

Fees for students joining in 2019/20 Graduate Diploma Arts: Art & Material Histories course have been set at:

  • Full time Home/EU Students £9,250 per year of study
  • Full time International Students £13,500 per year of study
  • Part time Home/EU Students £4,900 per year of study
  • Part Time International Students £7,150 per year of study

While the Part Time course cannot sponsor Tier 4 International students, for those with appropriate Visa clearance can apply for the course.

If you are concerned or worried about your ability to pay the fees, please read How can I fund my studies? below.

Material expenses

To study Art & Material Histories at this level will incur some costs besides the costs of travel, accommodation and living costs during your time studying.

Study trips

Many of our visits to galleries, museums and collections are free of charge, however some exhibitions are likely to incur a small cost.

During the course there is an optional field trip to Venice with an itinerary of specialist talks and visits for Conservation, Historic Carving and Art & Material Histories students: in 2017 this cost each student £460 for travel and accommodation (£500 if a single room is required).

Whilst we encourage you to take these trips, we understand it is not always possible, so they are not compulsory nor essential.

If you are not able to participate, the Art Histories team will prepare an alternative itinerary of museum and gallery visits that you can follow in London.

The presentation of written and research work can incur some costs – the binding of dissertations, the printing cost of zines or self-made books, and the creative display of research can add up to approx £50.

Successful Application Processing Fee and Deposit

A non-refundable Successful Application Processing Fee of £225 (Home/EU) /£325 (International) is charged on acceptance of a place.

A Deposit of £500 is also charged on acceptance of a place but forms part-payment of your fees.

Successful Application Processing Fees and Deposits are paid on acceptance of a place but should you change your mind before the course commences, deposits may be refundable. Application Processing Fees are non-refundable.

Refund Policy

To be eligible for a full refund you will need to provide notification of your decision to withdraw from the course (cancellation of contract) in writing within, whichever is the later date of:

a) fourteen (14) days of your original formal acceptance of a place and your payment of the deposit; or

b) up to six (6) weeks before the start date of the course.

Should you decide to cancel the contract outside of this period (less than six (6) weeks before the course commences and after fourteen (14) days have passed since your original formal acceptance of a place) you will not be eligible for a refund of the deposit.

Are there any Grants or Financial Awards?

It is possible that you may be eligible for a bursary to help fund your Graduate Diploma Arts: Art & Material Histories. Bursary support is allocated on the basis of need and merit, and according to the guidelines set out by each Benefactor.

Applicants must have been offered a place in one of the Art School’s courses before submitting a grant and financial assistance application.

Should you wish to be considered for Grant and Financial Assistance please download the following documents:

Please note our bursary applications will open from 01 February 2019. 

Email all the required documents to with your full name, course and year. The grant application deadline for incoming students varies according to the course; however, as some of the applicants will depend on a grant in order to accept our course offers, these applications are normally reviewed as soon as they are received by the administrator and processed thereafter. Otherwise, the deadline is usually by end of May or end of November each year.

The Art School also operates a Hardship Fund that enrolled students can apply to if they are facing financial hardship. Please note that the fund cannot be relied upon, nor is it sufficient, to finance a student’s course of study.

When making an enquiry or for further information, following an offer of a place on the course, please state your full name, course and year of entry, email:


How else can I fund my studies?

Student Loans

We anticipate students on the full time course to be eligible for a student loan from the Student Loans Company however, this does not apply if you have already completed your first degree or equivalent qualification. It is worth checking your eligibility with the Student Loan Company.

Hardship Fund

The Art School also operates a Hardship Fund that enrolled students can apply to if they are facing financial hardship. Please note that the fund cannot be relied upon, nor is it sufficient, to finance a student’s course of study.

Professional & Career Development Loans

Professional & Career Development Loans can help pay for learning that enhances job skills or career prospects. This is a bank loan which is paid back when a course has been completed, however, you do not pay interest for the period while you are in learning. A number of our full-time courses are registered with the Learning Skills Council for such loans. Please note that the loan only covers a maximum of two years. The National Careers Service can provided further information by telephone on, 0800 100 900.

What are the Entry Requirements and Selection Criteria?

The Graduate Diploma Arts: Art & Material Histories course is suitable for applicants who can meet the entry requirements and can demonstrate a high level of commitment and motivation in relation to the subject and the course.

Entry requirements

All applicants have to meet the minimum entry requirements for admittance to the course, including the English Language Requirements (If you do not speak English as a first language) though there are three different ways of doing so:

1) Standard educational

Applicants who have achieved a relevant UK Honours degree at 1st or upper second level (or International equivalent).

2) International educational

Applicants who have achieved an international qualification equivalent to a BA (Hons) degree at 1st or upper second level.

3) Other experiential

Applicants who can demonstrate equivalent prior professional experience will be considered through a process called Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning (AP(E)L), which involves a judgement of various work-life and formal educational experiences against the selection criteria.

Using a process called Recognition /Accreditation of Prior Learning (R/APL), Art School Admissions Tutors consider how various work-life and (in)formal educational experiences meet the educational level of the entry requirements.

Please see our Recognition/ Accreditation of Prior Learning Policy here.

English Language Requirements

All applicants who do not speak English as a first language are required to provide evidence of their English language skills. The Art School cannot accept any applicant who scores lower than the equivalent of Level 6.5 from the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS), with a minimum of 6.0 for listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

If you do not require a Tier 4 visa and wish to take The Cambridge English Exams, your score requires to be in the range of 176–184 or higher.

Selection Criteria

To distinguish between all the applicants that meet our entry requirements we select those that we believe have the current ability and potential to:

  • demonstrate a high level of commitment and motivation in relation to the subject and the course;
  • instigate relevant research and synthesise information to support your intentions;
  • critically evaluate your own and others’ achievements and identify areas for development;
  • evidence knowledge and understanding of a range of Art Historical themes and contexts;
  • pro-actively plan and prioritise your own time and set achievable goals;
  • evidence of critical thinking and research abilities, particularly in written work.


What about the actual application?

Application deadlines, interviews and outcomes

If you are applying for the Graduate Diploma Arts: Art & Material Histories please note the following:

Applications received by 25 January, will be interviewed between 11 February and 01 March, the outcome of which will be communicated by 29 March.

Applications received by 10 May, will be interviewed between 20 and 31 June, the outcome of which will be communicated by 08 June.

Timeline summary GradDip Arts: Art & Material Histories
Applications received by: …will be interviewed between: …with the outcome communicated by: …offers to be accepted by:
25 Jan 11 Feb & 01 Mar 08 Mar 29 Mar
10 May 20 & 31 May 08 Jun 23 Jun

Due to the nature of small and tailored year group, we often accept applications after those deadlines. Please contact Admissions Office for more information

Please note, applications for 2020/21 will not be processed before 01 November 2019 at the earliest.

What to submit

If you would like to apply for Graduate Diploma Arts: Art & Material Histories, you must submit by email:

a PDF application form, completed in full, which must include a personal statement of up to 500 words explaining your motivations for your application.

You must also arrange for at least one academic reference to be emailed direct to the Art School from your referee(s). Please use the reference form.

If you do not speak English as a first language, please provide proof of English Language Skills with your application.

Application Form

Please note, the Application Form must be downloaded and cannot currently be completed online. To prevent problems when completing the form, please ensure you are using the latest version of Adobe Reader.

The application form is your first opportunity to tell us about yourself, as well as being a vital source of the information we need to make a decision. Please take your time to complete the form accurately, consulting the guidance and the website as necessary: remember that if your application is successful you will need to provide proof of your identity and entry requirements.

When you have completed the application form remember to check you have provided all the information required. Ensure the accuracy of your responses and remember, if successful, you will be required to evidence your claims. We suggest you save a copy of your application form, for your own records and please don’t forget to send the Reference Form to your chosen referee(s).

Please submit your completed application form to

The Art School only accepts applications on the form it provides for that purpose, and reserves the right to reject incomplete or alternative applications.


What happens to my Application?

Receipt of Application

Once your application is received by the Art School Admissions Office, you will receive an acknowledgement email that lists all the items received and any outstanding. If upon receipt of your application, the course is full, you will be placed on a waiting list.

Application Processing

The Admissions Office will check your application to ensure you meet the minimum entry requirements and make an assessment of your fee status.

Assuming your application is complete and you meet the minimum entry requirements, you will then be invited to interview.

Interview invitation

The interview invitation details the date and time of your interview at the Art School. If you are living overseas, online-video interviews can be arranged.

If you are at all concerned that a disability might interfere or inhibit your interview, please let us know in your application: we will make any reasonable adjustment, which is within our capacity, so that you might fully participate in an interview.

What about the Interview?

The actual Interview

Comprising a conversation between you and senior tutors from Art Histories, the oral interview lasts approximately 30 minutes. The interview explores your application and prepared interview material. All the tutors involved are trained in the fair and equitable conduct of interviews and are fully conversant in the Art School’s Admissions Policy.

Graduate Diploma Arts: Art & Material Histories applicants come from a wide range of backgrounds, from a professional environment to recent graduates of art histories related undergraduate courses. We ask applicants to select relevant material to bring with them such as examples of undergraduate course work or relevant writing or project-work from previous employment.  If you do not have any material to bring with you we ask that you inform us in advance so that we can consider an extra interview exercise for you.

We encourage you to inform us in advance if the arrangements for your interview require adjustment due to an existing condition or disability. For example if you might require more time or specific access arrangements or other support. Our aim is to ensure that all eligible applicants are given a fair opportunity to demonstrate their potential to study on the course.

Interview Questions For Applicants

The interview will be relatively informal and we want you to feel comfortable and confident. To ensure fairness and to help you prepare we have agreed upon a set of key questions that all applicants for the Graduate Diploma Arts: Art & Material Histories will be asked at interview and these are set out below.

Please remember that the purpose of the interview is to enable you to demonstrate, and help us to see, your potential to study on the course. You should also use your interview visit as an opportunity to get a good idea about the Art School: our values and ethos, the course, and what studying here would be like and we encourage you to ask questions and see the interview as a two-way process.

Interview elements involve applicants in:

  • Applicants have a short interview with a set of key questions. (30 minutes)
  • Submissions of relevant material (such as undergraduate course work/ relevant writing/previous project-work), this will be reviewed by the interview panel after the oral interview.

Key questions:

1. What attracts you to study this subject at Graduate Diploma level and why did you decide to apply for this particular course?

2. What do you hope to achieve after completing the course, do you have any specific ambitions?

3. How do you think your previous professional/ study experience has prepared you to take on the challenge of studying at this level?

4. Please select an example of your own work (either written or made) that you think indicates your future direction and tell us about it:

  • what were your initial ideas and motivations?
  •  what was your research based upon and how did you approach it?
  • what do you think it achieved?
  • what, if anything, would you do differently now?

5. Please tell us about your ideas for areas you would like to research and explore and in particular:

  • why you think this course will support you to achieve your ambitions?
  • how you would make use of the opportunities that studying on the course would offer you?
  • why this is the right time for you to tackle this?

6. Do you have any questions for us?

What happens after the Interview?

Communicating interview decisions

We email the outcomes of interviews by the dates outlined in the application timelines.

Interview decisions

After the interview process has been completed the team will carefully analyse the results of the interview components and determine whether the applicant will either:

  • be offered a place on to the course;
  • be offered a place on the course with requirements – for example on successful completion of an undergraduate course they are in the process of completing;
  • not to be offered a place on this occasion.

Offer letter

Offer letters detail:

a) any academic condition of the offer;

b) the fees liable along with how and when to pay them; and

c) the Terms & Conditions relevant to the year of study.

Accepting an offer

The offer letter includes a Registration Form that must be signed and dated and returned to the Art School to confirm acceptance of both the offer and the Terms & Conditions.

Applicants usually have three weeks to accept an offer of a place, though this time may be shorter, later in the application cycle. The exact deadline to accept offers will be detailed in the offer letter.

Failure to accept an offer

Any offer of a place that is neither accepted nor declined by the required deadline, will automatically become deferred.

Registration and after

The return of the registration form, along with any fees required, confirms Registration with the Art School and a place on the course.

An official welcome letter is sent in July, which provides important enrolment and course information.

Withdrawal following registration

To withdraw following registration but prior to enrolment, the Art School must be informed in writing, for which the Model Cancellation Form can be used.

To be eligible for a full refund  notification must be provided within, whichever is the later date of:

a) fourteen (14) days of the original formal acceptance of a place and the payment of deposit; or

b) up to six (6) weeks before the start date of the course.

Please note:

  • all refunds will be made to the individual or organisation that originally paid the fees; if a third party has paid the deposit on behalf of the student the refund is made to the third party;
  • refunds can only be made to the account from which the original payment was made;
    if entitled, refunds will be processed within 21 days;
  • all refunds will be made in GB pound sterling;
    any bank charges or currency conversion costs incurred in making a refund shall be borne by the student or the third party receiving the payment.

For international students, tuition fees and deposit will become non-refundable after a CAS number is issued.

What are the Term Dates for 2019/20?

Term dates 2019/20 

Full time

Autumn Term: 30 September – 13 December 2019

Spring Term: 06 January – 22 March 2020

Summer Term: 14 April – 26  June 2020


Part time year one

Autumn Term:  30 September – 13 December 2019

Spring Term:  06 January – 22 March 2020

Summer Term: 14 April – 26 June 2020


Part time year two

Autumn Term:  September – December 2020 (TBC)

Spring Term: January –  March 2021 (TBC)

Summer Term: April – September 2021 (TBC)


What Student Support is available?

A student guide to accessing help and further advice

For students enrolled at City & Guilds of London Art School, the Access to Learning Department provides advice, help and support in the following areas:

  • Support for learning
  • Support for disability
  • Advice and support for health conditions
  • Advice and support for mental health
  • Advice and support with anxiety and depression
  • The learning Mentor
  • Counselling
  • Course based needs assessments
  • Personal Learning Plans
  • Assistance with DSA applications
  • Advocacy
  • Pastoral support
  • General advice and information

Don’t worry if you can’t immediately find what you want, there is an email address below if you need to contact us with any queries.

Any student, at any point in their program, can register with Access to Learning.

Registering your information allows us to observe our duty of care and the effective safeguarding of your rights to disclosure and confidentiality.

If you have any particular needs or support issues, early disclosure is essential to ensure the timely provision of any appropriate advice or assistance.

Access to Learning Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I inform the Art School of my situation/needs?

A: If you have enrolled, and know that you will need some help with writing, or are worried that a long-term condition means you need to make regular doctors’ appointments and you might be late, what should you do?

You should first inform the Art School of your situation or specific needs in one of the following ways:

disclose your situation on your Application or Enrolment Forms;
complete the forms at the end of this leaflet and send to:
Access to Learning, City & Guilds of London Art School, 124 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4DJ or email

  • make an appointment with Access to Learning, Mondays 09:30-16:30, term time only:
  • talk to your Pastoral Tutor, who will, with your permission, advise you and/or refer you to Access to Learning
  • talk to your Personal Progress Tutor, or your Head of Department who will also advise and/or will, with your permission, refer you to Access to Learning.

Q: Will my information be treated as confidential?

A: The Art School respects your right to confidentiality in relation to your disclosure.

We will not give out information about your situation or your needs unless you give us permission to do so.

Q: What happens after I have disclosed/ completed registration with Access to Learning?

A: On receipt of the information you have provided, Access to Learning, will email you to arrange a meeting in the first few weeks of the term. The meeting will discuss and identify the type and level of assistance required and what the Art School may be able to provide.

There will be a formal assessment following the meeting to confirm arrangements for assistance, if it is required.

There may be another meeting with you to complete a Learning Plan or an Access Plan, (depending on your situation).

This Plan will set out any specific requirements agreed with you and will be used to ensure that you are provided with the agreed adjustment or support identified.

Q: What should I do if I am planning to apply for Government DSA funding? *

A: Please contact Access to Learning so that we can advise you on making an application. You will need to supply specific information to apply for DSA funding:

For a specific learning difference such as dyslexia:
Evidence in the form of a post-16 diagnostic assessment, in English, from an educational psychologist or suitably qualified specialist teacher.

  • If you have a disability:

Provide a diagnostic assessment from a relevant professional

  • If you have an ongoing situation or health condition that impacts upon your access to learning, making, your well-being or attendance:

Provide diagnostic and/or valid documentary evidence of your situation or condition,(such as a letter from your GP or specialist).

Remember not all students are able to apply for DSA funding:

Foundation Diploma students, International students and students enrolled on Diploma courses are usually not funded by Student Finance DSA.

* Student Finance England Disabled Student Allowance: We encourage and assist students with a recognised condition and valid supporting documentation, to apply for government funding wherever possible. Students with a valid diagnosis for conditions such as Dyslexia, M.E, Depressions, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and many others, are recognised as eligible for DSA. Students enrolled on BA or MA courses can apply online at:

Q: I have never been diagnosed with a learning difficulty, but feel that I need some extra advice, support or help, what should I do?

A: Email or visit Access to Learning to discuss your concerns and speak to your Pastoral Tutor for advice.

Q: I need confidential advice that isn’t listed above and I would rather discuss it before registering with Access to Learning what should I do?

A: Email or visit Access to Learning to discuss your concerns.

Q: I have a situation or condition that impacts upon my experience /learning /wellbeing what should I do?

A: We always recommend you share this information with your Pastoral Tutor Email or visit Access to Learning to discuss your concerns.

Q: Would tutors and technicians need to know about my situation?

Some staff members may need to know about your situation so that they can provide you with the appropriate assistance or support. It may be necessary to inform other tutors of any relevant information regarding your Learning or Access Plan to ensure you receive what you need to engage with the course.

Disclosure is discussed and agreed with you in advance.

Q: How will staff be told about my situation?

A: Where required staff members will be informed about your needs via the Learning or Access Plan made after your first meeting. We may also e-mail, phone or meet with them, if appropriate.

With your permission we might email your tutor and arrange a meeting to discuss your Learning or Access Plan.

Q: What if I don’t want anyone to know about my situation?

A: You may choose to keep all information about your situation, condition or Learning/Access Plans entirely confidential so that information cannot be disclosed to any other person.  It is your right to do this – but please be aware that the School will be restricted in its ability to meet your needs if you do so.

Q: Is there ever a time when disclosure may occur without my permission?

A: In the case of an emergency, or if there are concerns about the health safety and/or well-being of you, another student or student group, our Duty of Care will be observed and this may result in disclosure to an appropriate person.

Where can I find the Course Handbook?

Here you can download the Graduate Diploma Arts: Art & Material Histories course handbook together with some of the City & Guilds of London Art School’s key policies related to the student experience.


Art School Policies

Below is a selection of relevant Art School Policies



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