The Prince's School of Traditional Arts
The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts (PSTA) offers postgraduate degree Programmes in the traditional arts of the world. The Programmes are validated by The University of Wales and combine both the practice and the theory of these arts and crafts. The School encourages the understanding and appreciation of the universal and perennial values that are fundamental to the arts of the great traditions of the world. It promotes awareness that the beauty of form, pattern and colour are not simply aesthetically pleasing or good design but are representative of a profound universal order.
The postgraduate Programmes were first established at The Royal College of Art in the 1980s under the auspices of the Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts Department (VITA). They now form the main focus of the recently established (2004) Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, an independent charity under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales.As far as we know, The School is the only one in the world where students have the opportunity to study and practise traditional arts at postgraduate level. Not only do the Programmes offer many short courses in a wide variety of arts and crafts – from sacred geometry and islimi to stained glass, wood marquetry and ceramic tiles (and many more) – but also candidates participate in seminars on the universal principles which lie at the heart of them: their inherent meaning and symbolism.
The study of geometry, both its practical skills together with its symbolic significance, is one of the most important courses offered to all students since it is understood to be the language underpinning the sacred and traditional arts of the world.
The School also offers short courses in such arts and crafts as sacred geometry, islimi (biomorphic painting), traditional pigments, Persian miniature painting and more.
Today, with the support of The Prince and Wales, the School has flourished, taking on, not only more students both nationally and internationally, but also expanding into outreach projects in local communities and abroad. It is now recognized worldwide as a leader in building bridges between cultures through the teaching of traditional art and design.
The School welcomes students from around the world who choose to re-learn the values of traditional art and make a practical contribution to their survival – as well as reinforcing the vision of its president, HRH The Prince of Wales.
Degrees and Diplomas Offered
All degree schemes are run by the School and validated and awarded by the University of Wales, UK.
Each year the School reassesses the different components of the programme to respond to the requirements of the incoming students; this is essential for postgraduate students. We are also developing a series of short courses for those students wishing to undertake short-term intensive studies.
PSTA provides students with studio space and workshops; facilities include kilns for ceramics, wood-working tools, printing equipment, as well as computer facilities.
Each summer the Degree Show celebrates the variety of ways in which students have drawn inspiration from the traditional arts. The Show demonstrates the underlying ethos of the School, namely ‘the integration of the universal and the individual’ by exhibiting the skills students have learned in their own project work.
Applicants for postgraduate degrees should submit a completed application form and reference together with supporting work of a practical and/or written nature, demonstrating competence and commitment to the proposed subject. Slides and photographs are acceptable to accompany both written and practical work; evidence of study sources and experience can be included.
The Education Manager,
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