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Faculty of Art and Design (Correspondence Education)

The motivation to study art opens the door to our university. Anyone aged 18 and older, who is qualified to enroll in a university, can enter our programs, regardless of their academic history or experience. A cross-section of society, including housewives and office workers, studies in every region of the country. An 18-year-old student hopes to become a professional artist and a 93-year-old student thinks about life. Their reasons for enrollment are different: to learn technique, to become certified, or to do research. Students can learn at their own paces by enrolling in either “text classes,” which can be completed at home, or “schooling classes,” which require them to attend classes at either the university or another location. Furthermore, an online study based “Department of Liberal and Fine Arts” was established in the 2013 academic year. Our students’ eagerness for learning and the strong bonds between our faculty and alumni together form an active platform for a "Future Built on the Arts."


* Proficiency in Japanese (reading, writing, and conversation) is essential for studying at Kyoto University of Art and Design.

Science of Art Course

We provide three curricula to encourage students consider the role of art in society and to research the theoretical aspects of the arts: courses aimed at providing detailed knowledge of the arts by geographical region and genre; courses that consider the philosophical meaning of art; and fieldwork courses that allow students to gain experience with various styles of art. Graduation project is a senior thesis based on learning from these curricula.

Historical Heritage Course

This course is for those who want to experience the rich heritage of Kyoto and then pursue this in depth as a method of learning about the richness of the objects and spirit that people have cherished through the ages. We aim to nurture people who will carry on this historical heritage and pass it on to future generations.

Creative Writing Course

The goal of the Creative Writing Course is to enable students to understand the rich world of literature. We enable them to read widely and enjoy novels, essays, critical writing, poetry, and the classics, and to write in their own voices. The curriculum is composed of three groups of courses: those aimed at studying the essence of literature; those aimed at learning various modes of literary representation; and seminars aimed at enjoyably learning of the foundations of literary representation. Graduation projects can be either creative pieces or a senior thesis.

Japanese Classical and Traditional Arts Course

There are three curricula in the course, one that considers the history of traditional Japanese culture in relation to the rest of East Asia; one that allows students to learn various Asian/Japanese arts through their own experience; and a third in which students develop their own thesis or undertake and report on practical experience. Through the curricula, we aim to acknowledge traditional arts and culture as part of our contemporary culture and bring them into our everyday work and lives.

Japanese Painting Course

Students learn all the fundamental representative techniques of Japanese painting, from dyed mud pigments to mineral pigments and foil. At the same time, they also learn how to observe objects, paint, and reflect one’s own world onto canvas. One major draw of the course is the chance to receive personal, one-on-one training from individual artists who represent the best of contemporary art in Kyoto, a city steeped in the traditions of Japanese painting.

Oil Painting Course

In the Oil Painting Course, clear objectives are set for each school year. First-year students learn the fundamentals of representation centering on drawing. In the second year, they learn art terms and composition through drawing and oil painting. Third-year students strengthen their own themes and self-expression through free composition, and fourth-year students work on their graduation works. At the joint review of schooling subjects, students receive evaluations of their work from a wide variety of viewpoints, discover their originality and personal themes, and significantly increase the artistry of their work.

Ceramic Arts Course

This course aims to help students create ceramics not just as individual expression, but as works that can add a depth and richness of color to everyday life. Technical instruction in the fundamental techniques of throwing, molding, coiling, and tatara smelting are taught. In addition, the importance of experiencing the “voice” created by fire and earth with our five senses through the process of kneading clay, placing it in the kiln, and firing it is also emphasized. Students also experience off-campus training and create works with locally sourced materials.

Textiles Course

Students can choose their own classes from course offerings in either dyeing or weaving. First- and second year students learn the fundamentals of various dyeing and weaving techniques. From the third year onward they utilize these techniques in full-scale creation. Through attending special lectures and workshops conducted by artists active at the forefront of their field, and at outside classes held at artists’ studios, students experience the diverse world of textile art.

Photography Course

Students can acquire professional photographic skills through using 4 x 5 cameras, learning to work with lighting (and the control of light), and from off-campus shooting workshops. This course teaches students more than how to take technically good photographs. It teaches them how to take photographs that are works of art. After learning professional photographic skills, students will delve into their personal themes.

Information Design Course

In the Information Design Course, students choose between graphic design or illustration courses. While mastering the fundamental knowledge and representative techniques of information design, including typography, animation, and web design, students take courses in planning direction and cultivate the ability to compile information and plan accordingly. In addition, students can develop their inventiveness and thinking power by honing idea representation. Many professional creatives take this course, which offers training in a wide range of approaches to design.

Architectural Design Course

We have prepared a curriculum where students can master the various representative techniques of architectural design, including the digital skills necessary in contemporary architectural design. These include basic operation of CAD programs, modeling, and creating perspective drawings. For analog representation, students gain freehand drawing techniques with exercises including nude sketches, still life, and models. This correspondence education course is the first of its kind in Japan in which students can get qualification of candidacy for examinations of architect certifications.

Landscape Design Course

We have constructed a curriculum to teach students the fundamentals of creating public parks, gardens, and environments, with an emphasis on reviving the field and farm. The course covers the latest design methods, such as green roofs and other inner-city environmental building methods, eco-techniques, public participation design methods, and universal design methods. At the same time, students also learn unique Japanese methods, philosophy, and artistry using Kyoto’s garden culture as a foundation while they take practical courses in drawing, planning, modeling, and presentation.

Spatial Design Course

In this course, we take the concept of omotenashi (hospitality) and give it a form by investigating production from various viewpoints. Students can choose from the interior design of spaces, including domestic and commercial space, or the design of products that add character to these spaces. We foster talented people with the flexibility to succeed in the rapidly expanding field of spatial design. After graduation, students are eligible to acquire various qualifications related to spatial design, such as second-grade architectural licenses, commercial facilitation, and interior planning.

Department of Liberal and Fine Arts (Art University in Your Palm)

Students study all courses up until graduation with an online based curriculum through devices like smart phones or tablets, and acquire the productive “wisdom” necessary to be a member of today’s society. By appreciating the world’s art history and the traditional culture of Japan, and learning the ways of thinking of modern artists and designers, students develop artistic ideas and education useful at work and in living. In addition, we nurture the strength for design and manufacturing, putting cultural assets in practical use, and spreading art education, in their region.