11 Course Leaders: 20 Questions

11 Course Leaders: 20 Questions – A collection of Interviews with 11 London BA Fine Art Course Leaders.

Interviews and Foreword by Sarah Rowles.
Introduction by Patricia Bickers, Editor Art Monthly.

Interviews with: John Timberlake (Middlesex); John Aiken (Slade); Mo Throp (Chelsea); Andrew Bannister (Sculpture Pathway Leader City & Guilds); Louis Nixon (Kingston); Rosemarie McGoldrick (Cass); Stephen Carter (Byam Shaw/CSM); Martin Newth (Camberwell); Dereck Harris (Wimbledon); Jane Lee (Central Saint Martins); Michael Archer (Goldsmiths).

Over the last two or three years there has been an explosion of conferences and editorial content examining the perceived ‘crisis’ in art education and speculating on the causes of student dissatisfaction. 11 Course Leaders: 20 Questions opens up the world of undergraduate art education to find out what is going on.

In this book Sarah Rowles asks eleven of London’s major BA Fine Art course leaders their views on the crisis and how current pedagogical practice compares with their own art school education. She also talks to them about access, what they look for when selecting students, the processes they use in evaluating art, the benefits of art education, the importance of an institution’s reputation, where in art education the education takes place, and how art education influences the work we see in contemporary art galleries. The course leaders generously share their knowledge of the history of art education, the amalgamation of art schools into universities, and give their predictions on how the impending tuition fee increases will affect those who are thinking about studying art.

ISBN: 978-0-9564355-1-4.

Reader feedback and case studies

“A really useful publication, thank you! My daughter is a foundation art student, trying to decide between her offers… I’m sure your book would be of interest to a wide audience of prospective students (and their parents!). We would certainly have been interested in it earlier in the process of researching my daughter’s art education.” Parent – prospective BA Fine Art student.

“This text is the ‘go to’ publication. I think this, like all of your other books are extremely important for Course/Department and Programme Leaders nationally.”  BA Fine Art Course Leader.

“Fantastic to discover this book. Our 19 year old is entering this interesting world with all these same questions! V. impressed with your organisation for tackling this on behalf of future students” Parent – prospective BA Fine Art student.

“I am currently writing on contemporary teaching methods in HE Fine Art and yours was the go to book! I have been constantly telling colleagues about your project since discovering it a few years ago. I am also currently reading your Art Crit Pocket Guide. So a proper fan!” BA Fine Art Course Lecturer

“I teach at the Hong Kong Design Institute and I am currently working on the preparation of a BA (Hons) Fine Art top-up degree here so the book will be very useful for me. Previously I bought a soft-cover version of your book ‘Art Crits: 20 questions’, which was very good.The books are very useful because usually when I talk to course leaders etc. the conversation stays on a very general level so it’s good to read about what happens on the studio floor.” Patrick S. Ford, Lecturer, Department of Design Foundation Studies, Hong Kong Design Institute


“I think that it’s main strength lies, for me at least, in its ability to dispel the myths of elitism that seem to surround the arts in higher education. When I first read it I was preparing for an interview….I’d research the institution, submitted a portfolio of work, prepared myself for questions and settled on confident sounding replies to imagined critiques of my work, and yet I still had many a doubt as to what they would actually be looking for, the type of work they wanted, the quality of the knowledge on display, etc. Reading ’11 Course Leaders’ made me realise that more or less every institution wants the same thing – hard working students who are enthusiastic about their practice, will fit suitably within the content and design of the courses and who will commit themselves to the requirements of the subject they wish to study”. Student MA Fine Art

“I primarily teach A-Level Photography but have also spent time teaching at Foundation level as well as BA students…There always seems to be a discrepancy on every side and in both directions as to what is expected of a student and what they can expect to encounter at the next stage. Books such as yours help to make that discrepancy smaller and enable students and staff alike to make and support more appropriate choices. In fact, I have thought of making use of it in my teaching when students are getting ready to apply to university!” . School Teacher

“I am struck by your approach. Your Q-Art introductions contain an honesty and clarity of insight (and are beautifully readable) that I’ve not found in much art & design pedagogic research. Simultaneously, they allow a confluence of positions and complexities to co-exist. It’s much more inclusive, engaging and realistic than the authoritative (patriarchal) academic research I’ve become accustomed to reading”. Foundation tutor, London Met


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