Online Drawing Development Year

A year-long online programme designed to develop your drawing and studio practice 

Designed by artists, for artists, the Online Drawing Development Year is an innovative new course that has been devised to allow arts graduates and those with a developing studio practice, to benefit from live online drawing tuition and a structured critical dialogue with tutors, mentors, and peers over the course of three terms.

Created in response to the success of our new online public courses and the increasing demand for an online course taught at postgraduate level, this programme will provide students with structure, sustained critical engagement and the development of drawing skills, all in dialogue with their existing artistic practice. This is a flexible, part-time course and students will be able to curate their own programme of courses each term, allowing for a balance between work, studio time and other commitments. Delivered online, the course also suits those who live outside of London and abroad or have specific access needs.

Fill in the online application form here

Application deadline: Wednesday 25th September 2024 (12pm, midday).

Course structure

The Online Drawing Development Year is a three-term remote learning course that features a structured series of drawing courses, lectures, mentoring sessions and one-to-one tutorials with practising artists that will complement and develop your own studio practice.

Over the year students will benefit from:

  • Up to three online daytime drawing classes per week every term (or equivalent) equating to 540 hours of live tuition - Students curate the taught drawing programme from our online drawing courses which can be viewed here.
  • Core online classes exclusively for Online Drawing Development Year students 
  • Tutorials with a member of faculty  
  • Mentoring sessions with Core Tutor 
  • Peer-to-Peer crits 
  • Termly online series of lectures and in-conversations with artists, curators and art historians 
  • Professional development series in the final term 
  • Access to termly Digital Streaming Studio 
  • The opportunity for two days of in-person Core classes at our Shoreditch studios and locations in London 


The Royal Drawing School is one of only a few institutions in the world offering in-depth, quality tuition in drawing from observation. All courses offered at the School are divided into three main areas: Drawing in the ‘Studio’, Drawing from Art and Drawing our Environment. Imagination runs as a theme through all these areas and there are also specific courses designed to investigate the role of imagination in drawing from observation. Each term students will be able to choose from over 45 online daytime and evening courses, specifically designed for distance learning. The Online Drawing Development Year is an unaccredited course.

All courses are taught at postgraduate level by a faculty of over 75 distinguished artists and teachers. Online courses use Zoom as well as Padlet, a platform on which students can access resources and share their work. Daytime courses run from 10am–5pm and evening courses run from 6pm–9pm.

Alumni opportunities

As an alumni of the Online Drawing Development Year you will receive an ongoing discount of 50% on online short courses through our Concessions Scheme and have the opportunity to apply to the Dumfries House Artist Residency programme.

In previous cohorts students have put on a group exhibition to celebrate their time on the programme. The school has supported this where possible.

Student experience and open days

You can read more about past student experiences on our blog or come along to one of our online open days where you can hear more about the course, meet tutors and alumni, and participate in a Q&A.

Open days:

Please read our FAQs if you have any questions or you can contact us at

See here for Terms and conditions.

Places are offered through an application process. Applicants will usually have completed a BA degree in a creative subject, but this is not essential; demonstration of a strong studio practice, and a commitment to drawing and study at postgraduate level, will also be taken into account.

To apply for this course applicants need to fill in the online application form which includes writing a 500 word statement telling us about your current practice, and why you think the Online Drawing Development Year is right for you; and upload a digital portfolio of 20 images, 10 of which must be drawings:

  • 10 Drawings - in dry media, ink or watercolour
  • 10 Additional Works - these can be in any media you choose

Images should be saved as JPEGs or PNG files, no larger than 200dpi and maximum 4MB per image. Please ensure images are of good quality. Works should be created within the last three years.

Animators may submit short video files or a combination of video and 2-D images of work within their Additional Works. Please limit each video file to 2 minutes / 8MB.

Please label each image in the following way:

i.e. Untitled_25x25_CharcoalOnPaper.jpeg

Dimensions should be calculated in centimetres. Please keep medium list short - main material and surface.

The application deadline is Wednesday 25th September 2024 (12pm, midday).

Once the application deadline has passed, a panel of practising artists will make a selection based on your application statement and digital portfolio. There is no interview or sketchbook element to the application process. Successful applicants will be offered a place on the course within one month of the deadline.

The fees are £3980 per year. Once offered a place, students will be asked to pay the fee in three instalments. The first instalment of £1500 to secure the place and the second and third instalments of £1240 to be paid in February and April respectively. 


A limited number of means-tested bursaries, offering a 25% discount, are available. To qualify applicants must be a recipient of either disability support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit or Tax Credits, and based in the UK. Bursaries can be applied for once a place has been offered, successful applicants will be asked to provide documented proof as a claimant.