Courses and special events >

Widening Participation activities help young people learn more about the different creative courses they can study at college and university, and support them to build a portfolio of work to apply. We offer on-campus and online study options to help young people do this.

S6 Portfolio Course (18 weeks)


  • Wednesdays, 5pm – 8pm, 6 September – 24 January 2024
  • Thursdays, 5pm – 8pm, 7 September – 25 January 2024
  • Sundays, 2pm – 5pm, 10 September – 28 January 2024


  • Thursdays, 5pm – 8pm: 7 September – 25 January 2024
  • Saturdays, 10am – 1pm: 9 September – 27 January 2024

The S6 Portfolio Course runs for 18-weeks and is open to eligible S6 pupils who plan to submit a UCAS application to study a creative undergraduate degree starting in September 2024. The course includes a number of creative projects that will help participants to generate high quality, relevant work suitable for their portfolio. The course builds a variety of key skills, with a focus on developing creative process, using research to enhance practical work and building confidence for self-directed study. Participants are encouraged to experiment with a wide range of materials (provided free of charge) and will gain experience of study methods at GSA including peer learning, tutorials, group critique and independent projects.

Architecture Portfolio Course (10 weeks)


  • Mondays, 5pm – 8pm, 9 October – 18 December 2023
  • Saturdays, 2pm – 5pm, 14 October – 16 December 2023


  • Wednesdays, 5pm – 8pm, 11 October – 13 December 2023

This is a 10-week course for eligible pupils in S5 or S6 who are interested in studying architecture when they leave secondary school. The course is designed to give pupils the knowledge and skills needed to compile a strong portfolio of work specifically for architecture courses. Key skills covered include orthographic drawing, model making and using research to inform project outcomes. Participants are encouraged to develop an active interest in Architecture by looking closely at the built environment around them and researching precedents of internationally important contemporary architecture. 

Architects in the Making 

  • Saturday 27 January 2024, 10am – 3pm

An on-campus workshop for eligible applicants to Architecture at GSA. Participants will work with Architecture staff and students to learn more about the undergraduate course and produce relevant 2D and 3D work to enhance their portfolio.

S5 Portfolio Course (10 weeks)


  • Block 1: Sundays, 10am – 1pm, 10 September – 12 November 2023
  • Block 3: Sundays, 1pm – 4pm, 11 February – 14 April 2024


  • Block 2: Tuesday, 5pm – 8pm, 12 September – 14 November 2023
  • Block 4: Tuesdays, 5pm – 8pm, 13 February – 16 April 2024

A course for eligible S5 pupils who are interested in studying a visual creative subject at art school or college. This runs for 10 weeks and participants will take part in a number of short creative projects including an introduction to sketchbooks, experimental drawing and working in 3D. The course culminates in a group crit where pupils display all their coursework and discuss their strengths and areas for development. Many pupils who complete this course include the work they produce in their portfolio.

S4 Taster Weeks (5 days)

  • Summer: 10 – 14 July 2023, 10am – 3pm daily
  • Spring: 8 – 12 April 2024, 10am – 3pm daily

These courses are the perfect opportunity for eligible S4 pupils to find out if studying a visual creative course is right for them. Young people join us on the GSA campus for five days to take part in a range of creative activities in one of our studios. A visit to a gallery or museum is built in to every S4 Taster Week to help participants learn more about contemporary art, design and architecture. It’s a great chance for young people to make new friends from other schools and meet professionals currently working in the creative sector.

S4 Creative Club 

  • Saturday 26 August 2023 
  • Saturday 30 September 2023 
  • Saturday 28 October 2023
  • Saturday 25 November 2023 
  • Saturday 27 January 2024 
  • Saturday 24 February 2024
  • Saturday 30 March 2024 

A series of live online workshops taking place on the last Saturday of every month, 11am - 1pm. Participants learn how to make interesting creative work with a new art material, posted to them for free before each session. Tutors provide guided demonstrations of each activity, and pupils share photos of their work to receive feedback during each session. S4 pupils can attend as many workshops as they like, subject to successfully booking a place before each one.

Watch & Chat

  • Monday 18 September 2023
  • Monday 2 October 2023
  • Monday 16 October 2023 
  • Monday 30 October 2023
  • Monday 13 November 2023 
  • Monday 27 November 2023 
  • Monday 11 December 2023

A drop-in fortnightly film club for S5 and S6 pupils taking place on Microsoft Teams, 5pm - 6pm. The videos shown will introduce participants to a diverse range of contemporary creative practitioners, help them develop good secondary research skills and give them a space to practice talking about art, design and architecture in preparation for potential future interviews. 

Special Events

We work with our friends from across the creative sector in Scotland to offer additional special events. Eligible pupils should register with the Widening Participation programme as soon as possible to receive information about these.

Allocation of places

To request a place on any of the above activities, please email 

Places on all Widening Participation courses and events are limited and while we endeavour to work with as many eligible young people as possible, we prioritise care experienced young people and those living in quintile 1 priority postcode areas in line with Scottish Government guidance when allocating places.

Register with Widening Participation

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