Full-time courses

Are there any age or experience restrictions?

There are no restrictions on experience. However, you have to be 16+ years to apply. Beyond that, there are no age restrictions.

Are there any subsidised places?

Currently there are no subsidised places available to students.


Are your classes suitable for complete beginners?

Yes, the course is for those of all levels and suitable for beginners, it will give you an overview of the craft of drawing and painting. You will be grouped with other beginners and receive 1:1 tuition as well as demonstrations and critiques. We provide a constructive and supportive environment in which to learn.

Can I pay for the first class and then decide whether to continue and pay for a year?

We try to be as accommodating as possible but we cannot offer the option of a taster class. This is because one three hour session is not illustrative of the course as a whole. You can gain as much, if not more, a sense of the school and teaching from a visit. All those interested are welcome to come and visit the school and organise a follow-up conversation either in person or over the phone.

Can I pay in instalments?

The course fee must be paid in full before the start of the course. For those who are registering more than six weeks before the start of the course, a non-refundable deposit of £1,000 is sufficient to reserve a place for one term. The balance must, however, be paid 4 weeks before the start of the course. Please note that the option to pay in instalments (i.e on a termly basis) is available only to individuals, and not to those whom organisations are sponsoring directly.

Can I study on the Diploma or Foundation course part-time?

LARA has a number of Part Time places. However, as we give priority to students wishing to study here Full Time, these are dependent on how many full time students we have.

If you would like to study part-time for 3 or more days please contact us and we will discuss available options.

If you would like to study part-time for 2 days or less, we recommend you contact us 2 weeks before the start of term. By this point, we will be able to give you a decision on places, what days are available etc.

Studying part-time still allows you to follow the LARA curriculum, but at a different pace than if you were studying full-time.

Contact us to discuss options.

Can the School help with finding accommodation in London?

The School does not have Halls of Residence, however, a list of contacts is available from the School Office which will help you in your search for accommodation.

Spotahome helps students find private accommodation. They have offered LARA students a discount. Please contact us if you'd like the discount code.

Do I get an officially recognised qualification at the end of the course?

LARA does not offer a government accredited qualification. The school believes that students want to receive clear, practical instruction in the principles and methods of drawing and painting. In the eight years since its inception the school has grown enormously. Thanks to the quality of the teaching we have gained the support of foundations, galleries and museums and we continue to develop new partnerships for the Studios and our artists, many of whom are represented by galleries both in the UK and abroad.

Do I need to submit images with my application, if so what kind of images should I submit?

We require applicants to send us five photographs of recent drawings, paintings or sculpture. This allows our faculty to determine who is best suited for study with us; during the selection process, they want to see if a student's work reflects an interest in figurative realism, if he or she is attempting to draw or sculpt from life, has looked at or studied from the old masters, and finally, exhibits some raw talent. It is a good idea to submit examples of work done in the materials we use, like charcoal or pencil, or possibly oil. These suggestions are not meant to imply the student must already be working at an advanced level, or has had prior training in classical techniques, but simply demonstrate that he or she is interested in working figuratively, and in the realistic tradition.

Do you offer accommodation?

No, regrettably LARA is unable to provide students with accommodation, but we will try and help where we can.

How can the School help if I have Special Educational Needs?

The School is a small organisation, which is totally self-funded and does not receive funding from government. As such it is not in a position to provide the range of facilities and support services that can be expected from larger educational institutions. That said, our small size allows us to offer a personalised, supportive environment and the flexibility to address individual needs in a simple and straightforward way. We encourage all students to contact the office if they have had learning support before, are concerned about or have a condition or disability that might impact upon their learning experience, in order to assess the students' situation and develop a plan for support.

How do I register for a course place?

To book a place on our full-time courses or short courses simply contact us, call +44 (0) 207 738 8884, or book directly on our website.

How long is the Diploma Course?

After completing your Foundation Year (4 consecutive terms), you are automatically accepted onto the Diploma Course. The Diploma Course curriculum includes further drawing, painting and advanced painting and consists of 8 terms of study. Painting study begins at completion of the drawing curriculum (which takes on average 7 terms from the beginning of the Foundation Year) and then, when a student is ready, advanced painting. Students who have completed the Diploma Course may choose to stay for an additional year of specialization if they have completed the required exercises on the curriculum. 

How much do I need to cover costs of living in London?

Please note that the figures below are just an estimate that might serve you as a guide, and will vary depending on the area of London you live in, and on your personal lifestyle. Rough estimates of cost of living per month:

  • Accommodation: £600 
  • Bills (electricity/gas/council tax): £60
  • Transport: A monthly 18+ student travel card for bus and underground covering zone 1-2 is ca.£85. The Art School is located in zone 2. You might not need access to zone 1 if you live in other zones of London, or might only need to use buses for your commute, so for more details, please refer to the TFL website 
  • Please note that you also need to consider food and telephone (mobile) expenses, which will greatly vary depending on your lifestyle and telephone plan.
I am an international student (from a country not included in the EU and EEA), can I get a student visa if I am accepted on your courses?

Unfortunately LARA is presently not an accredited institution, as the cost of compliance with all the requisite paperwork is so high that we would have to drastically reduce the number of tutored hours, or raise the fees to an unrealistic level. Always check your status before setting out. For full information, see the Home Office website: http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/

I'm an overseas student, do I need a visa to study at LARA?

Yes,  most people, except citizens of the countries of the European Union, need a visa to study in the UK. Unfortunately LARA is presently not an accredited institution, as the cost of compliance with all the requisite paperwork is so high that we would have to drastically reduce the number of tutored hours, or raise the fees to an unrealistic level. Always check your status before setting out. For full information, see the Home Office website: http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/

Is the School accredited?

Not yet, no. We are working on this...

May I skip the Foundation and go directly onto the Diploma course?

Normally all students are required to have completed the Foundation in Fine Art in order to be accepted onto the Diploma course. The purpose is for the student to acquire the necessary skill base before confronting more complicated problems in advanced drawing or painting. On occasion, students with prior training in a classical atelier may gain advanced entry on to the Diploma curriculum. Their level is determined by the faculty during the application review, and the portfolio meeting the criteria assessed on the Foundation in Fine Art.

Must I begin the program in the Autumn?

Students may begin their studies either Term 1 (January), Term 2 (April), Term 3 (July) or Term 4 (October). Full orientation is provided to all new students at the beginning of each term.

What do I need to bring?

We stock all the materials you need and provide an online as well as shop-front service. If you already have materials you are welcome to bring them with you and our teachers will advise where and if you need to supplement them. It is preferable not to go out and buy materials beforehand as they may well be more expensive and not the quality you need.

What do most graduates do after completing the program?

After completing the three-year program in either painting or sculpture, most of our graduates undertake careers as professional artists. Our website features The LARA Alumni Gallery. Students usually begin to sell their work to commercial galleries in Europe before they finish their studies. Afterwards, they participate in group and solo shows in these galleries. Also on our website, on the Alumni Gallery page, is a link to a listing of galleries that feature work of our graduates.

What is the atelier technique, and how is it unique to the school?

The atelier technique is an age-old tradition, artists like Sargent spent some of their most formative years in an atelier, learning alongside masters and developing their expertise through hard work and constant practice. In an atelier the tutor will work alongside the students so that one learns from demonstrations and critiques. Groups are kept small to allow for more teacher-student time. At the Studios the class size does not exceed 12. The tutors also play an active role, regularly critiquing your work and giving demonstrations, which, we believe are a key tool for learning. LARA the school has since championed the value of rigorous skills based training and brought the craft back into mainstream arts education.

What is the average work week?

Full-time Students are in school 36 hours per week, from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm, and some evenings, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm, for Anatomy, Art History, and additional figure drawing.

What is your cancellation policy?

You may make a substitution without charge at any time before the start of the course, but all cancellations must be confirmed in writing. If your cancellation is received more than four weeks before the start of the course, you will be eligible for a full refund. If your cancellation is received between two and four weeks before the start of the course, 50% of the course fee will be retained and, if you cancel less than two weeks before, the course fee is entirely non-refundable. If written notification is not received and you do not attend, the full course fee will be retained as a cancellation charge.

All deposits paid are non-refundable.

What materials will I be provided with?

All students are expected to supply or purchase their own materials.

What will I get at the end of the course?

The certificate of attendance will be awarded to all those who attend at least 80% of the course sessions.

When should I register?

Registrations are accepted on a first come, first served basis, and the registration process will be closed once all places on the course are taken. You are advised to register early, to avoid disappointment.

Where and when is the course held?

The course sessions are held on week days (Monday-Friday) for the Full-Time course. 

Where do your tutors come from?

Our tutors have been selected from the best of our own student body: some of our principle tutors and all of our program directors were students more than 10 years ago. They are aided by a large group of student assistants – recent alumni and third year students who help with the daily critiques. Students receive one critique in the morning and one in the afternoon on their individual projects, whether they are working on a cast or still life in their studio space, or are in front of the model. The many competent works on our web site is fruit of this teaching methodology and of the dedication of our students to their studies.

Who is the course suitable for?

The course is designed to attract complete beginners, students and professional artists with the opportunity to perfect their skills.

Will I be eligible for funding support from Student Finance England?