Thursday, August 22, 2019

Art Education: Courses, Workshops and Talks at the V&A Academy

The V&A Academy provides courses, workshops and talks for Adult Learners at the Victoria and Albert MuseumThey are predominantly art history related and also focus on design and decorative art as well as fine art.  They also include professional development courses which may well have wider application to those involved in the business of art and design.

At this time of year people often start planning any courses they want to do over the winter months - hence his post!

If anybody wants to recommend any other venue for courses please contact me


The 2019–20 V&A Academy Course programme is our richest, most varied yet. Whether you’re looking for an inspiring weekend or an in-depth exploration of your favourite subject, we welcome all kinds of learners. You can expect exclusive lectures from V&A experts, hands-on sessions with museum objects, behind-the-scenes access and day trips to see history in context.
examples of some of the courses

They've recently published their V&A Academy 2019 - 20 Courses brochure PDF (3.1 mb)

Titles of Available Courses in 2019-20

The Courses vary from:

  • Year Courses 
    • these take place on one fixed day per week for three terms.  
    • Day tickets are available for some of the days in these courses. 
    • There are also optional visits to External Locations
  • Short Courses - often frequented by those who have retired.
    • in each of the Autumn, Spring and Summer Terms
    • typically 4, 8 or 10 week courses
    • some are in the evenings
  • Weekend Courses - unsurprisingly are on Saturday and Sundays making them accessible for those who work.
They also include professional development courses for those working in art galleries and museums or wanting to do so.  For example
Enrich your spare time with the specialist knowledge of inspiring practitioners and historians. Join intimate groups who share your passion and learn something new in the beautiful surroundings of the V&A.
In terms of prices:
  • Each course lists for details of ticket prices. 
  • Seniors (over 60s) are eligible for a ticket price reduction 
  • Further reductions are available for ES40 holders and registered disabled people.
Some may think the prices are expensive (I noted quite a few comments to this effect on Facebook). However I don't think those making the comments have take courses with professional tutors with good credentials and experience of their topic. Nor maybe looked at the cost of some academic courses recently. I don't think the courses are cheap - but I don't think they're expensive either. 


From calligraphy to virtual reality, and from illustration to photography, our workshops offer a huge variety of ways to get hands-on experience and explore new skills. Learn from experts, get closer to our collections and meet others in a creative environment.

Again, there's a very wide variety of workshops - and some have already developed a waiting list and/or second dates! (eg the Creative Industry Masterclass)

Prices vary from FREE to over £400 with the majority between £100 and £00 depending on whether they are one or two days. 

My take on the V&A Courses and Workshops

I've done courses and workshops at the V&A in the past and, based on my experience, I think they're better than some you may see from other sources.  Plus 
  • they include some courses which are not easy to find elsewhere
  • the surroundings and the artefacts are superior to many places!  
  • Tutors will vary by course. However each are listed by name and you can look them up and make your own judgement about whether you think they are worth the money!


The V&A also runs Talks and these can sell out fast eg a Conference and Study Day on Dyslexia Creates - Neurodiversity, Creativity and Success in the Arts has already sold out.