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Hereford College of Arts
Established1851; 172 years ago (1851)
PrincipalAbigail Appleton
Location, ,
England, UK
Colours  HCA Blue
AffiliationsUniversity of Wales Trinity Saint David

Hereford College of Arts is an art school based in the West Midlands, UK, and is the only specialist college in the region dedicated to the Arts.


It offers courses in both further and higher education fields, in Art & Design, Music and Performing Arts, to local, national and international students. The College has two campuses; Folly Lane is home to College-level courses and the former Royal National College for the Blind building on College Road is home to University-level courses. The BA (Hons) Artist Blacksmithing Course is the only one of its kind in the UK, and is taught at the largest teaching forge in Europe. Students at HCA exhibit their work regularly, and the College welcomes thousands of visitors every year to its annual Summer Show. Many students are selling their work before they graduate, via commissions, live briefs and their own practises. Music and Performing Arts students stage regular productions based at the College and at external venues. Students attend regular specialist shows and conferences and have good links with external companies to further activities.


College Level Courses Diploma in Art & Design, Extended Diploma in Art & Design, Extended Diploma in Music, Extended Diploma in Performing Arts, and the post-18 Foundation Diploma in Art & Design

The College offers a variety of University Level Courses, which are validated by The University of Wales Trinity Saint David

BA (Hons) Artist Blacksmithing, BA (Hons) Contemporary Design Crafts, BA (Hons) Fine Art, BA (Hons) Graphic & Media Design, BA (Hons) Illustration, BA (Hons) Illustration & Animation BA (Hons) Jewellery Design, BA (Hons) Music, BA (Hons) Photography, BA (Hons) Textile Design, FdA Commercial Photography, FdA Film & Photography

The College also offers Postgraduate courses in Fine Art and Contemporary Crafts and Short Courses for evening study and businesses, and Saturday Clubs for schoolchildren.


The college was founded shortly after The Great Exhibition in 1851 prompted the UK Government to set up The Department of Practical Art. Hereford requested to set up an Elementary School of Art on December 4 1852,[1] when it had, “conformed to all the regulations and [was] waiting for the appointment of masters”. Records suggest the school opened in 1853, where it was hailed as a self-sustaining success by South Kensington.[2] The Hereford School of Art and Science register in 1885 [3]shows students from a wide range of backgrounds and industries enrolled in various courses of study. The School of Art and Science continued until 1903, when it moved to LEA control.

Following the post-war shake-up of technical and vocational education in 1944 [4]the Art and Science school at Hereford became known as the Hereford School of Art[5] before becoming the Herefordshire College of Art & Design. The name changed to incorporate the inclusion of Music and Performing Arts. In 2012, a new Arts Space and main entrance for Folly Lane was unveiled, providing much needed social, café and exhibition space. Designed by Hewitt Studios and constructed by Keir Moss, the contemporary and innovative space was funded entirely from college reserves. Landscaped gardens and outdoor areas are integrated into the design. This highly functional space has already hosted a number of exhibitions and events as well as being enjoyed on a day-to-day basis by students and staff. It's kitted out with striking café furniture, soft seating and tables, flexible exhibition panels, wi-fi access and touch-screen computers.

The design and architecture has generated great interest from national and regional bodies, and has been shortlisted and awarded for:

It has also been profiled by MADE to showcase how design is improving the quality of the built environment in the West Midlands and also featured in a cross-section of architectural journals and magazines from the UK and abroad.

In June 2013 HCA acquired the former Royal National College building on College Road. This outstanding building provides much needed teaching, social, studio and workshop spaces for the growing University-Level community, and places degree students closer to the main campus on Folly Lane, with plenty of affordable student housing close-by, including halls of residence.

During summer 2013 HCA refurbished and adapted the spaces into studios, workshops, on-site library, photographic studios and stores, dark rooms and IT facilities including a large digital Mac and printing suite.

Notable students

See also


  1. ^ p.77, First Report of the Department of Practical Art, 1853
  2. ^ First Report of the Department of Science and Art, 1854 (covering the year 1853), p.xxvii
  3. ^ K86/2 Herefordshire Archives and Record Centre
  4. ^ "The National Archives - Homepage".
  5. ^ The Jubilee of County Councils Herefordshire. The County Councils Association. 1939. p. 71.
  6. ^ David Whiting. "Sara Radstone". The Anthony Shaw Collection. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  7. ^ "An ingenious potter, he took an unconventional approach to both his life and his work". The Guardian. 8 April 2009.

52°03′40″N 2°41′49″W / 52.061°N 2.697°W / 52.061; -2.697