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Student fees from August 2023

This is a duplication of the post on WeAreOCA for your information.

We are announcing today the fees which will apply in the next academic year (from 01 August 2023 to 31 July 2024). The aim is to continue to keep fees affordable for students whilst maintaining the high quality provision the students expect from OCA.

Our organisational costs are rapidly increasing, due to both inflation which is being felt around the world, and costs associated with our move to The Open University. To mitigate the increase in costs in staffing, logistics, estates, services, and course production we are increasing tuition fees. With The Open University, there will be additional benefits for students, however the internal service charges will be higher than those under the University for the Creative Arts as The Open University will be providing extended services.

In 2021 we introduced a new fee structure, established in consultation with the Student Association, which was created to provide a more transparent structure with changes to the cost per credit for all students at all course levels (also known as stages).

We have taken that feedback from last year on board when looking at our fee structure for 2023/24. We know that you value transparency around reasoning, expenditure, and value for money in your studies. We explored aligning international student and UK student fees but this is not currently possible to do so under the current economic conditions.

Student Fees 2023/24

For UK students in the forthcoming academic year, each credit studied at undergraduate level will be £41.25 per credit (£37.50 in 2022/23). So for a 40 credit unit this equates to £1,650, or £2,475 for a 60 credit unit. (10% increase)

For International students in the forthcoming academic year, each credit studied at undergraduate level will be £47.25 per credit (£43 in 2022/23). So for a 40 credit unit this equates to £1,890, or £2,835 for a 60 credit unit. (10% increase)

At postgraduate level the cost per credit for new cohorts beginning in 2023 is £49.50 (£45 in 2022/23), so each 60 credit unit is £2,970 for UK students; and for students outside the UK £66 (£60 2022/23) per credit, so each 60 credit unit is £3,960. (10% increase).

Foundation courses will increase to £1,025 (£935 in 2022/23) for UK-based students and £1,175 (£1,075 in 2022/23) for international students.

Short courses will increase to £335 (£305 in 2022/23), these fees apply to all UK-based and international students.


Increasing tuition fees is, at the moment, the only way for OCA to cover the increasing costs that we are facing. We do not receive additional funding in the form of external grants or sponsorship, which we are aiming to rectify in the coming year. By diversifying our income we aim to reduce the pressure to increase the fees you pay.

OCA courses have moved through periodic review and refreshment, to an improved and more comprehensive format of three modules at all three levels. This has been costly to implement however the beneficial change should lead to more students than ever before achieving success through OCA.

We recognise that for some students there are financial difficulties through this cost of living crisis so we are increasing the amount of hardship funding available for students who may struggle to pay fees. We are also increasing the criteria and number of funding applications which are considered, therefore making a greater number of students eligible for structured bursaries and support to study.

The College remains committed to working with the student association to enhance study support and student communications, and are currently investing in these areas. In addition, we have given students increased engagement time with more opportunity for tutor-led peer sessions such as group critiques.

Fee increases are still unwelcome, especially with the inflation levels we are experiencing in the UK during this cost-of-living crisis. We are working very hard to minimise the impact of these increases. We will be working with The Open University to create new financing options for students; OCA students in the UK nations will have increased access to funding routes, including in Scotland.

Will Woods Principal (OCA)

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