The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts

The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts (PSTA) is primarily founded upon the Postgraduate Educational Programme, which was originally established as the Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts Programme (VITA) at the Royal College of Art in 1984. The Programme transferred to The Prince of Wales’ Institute of Architecture in 1993 which itself subsequently became incorporated into The Prince’s Foundation in 2000. The School was initiated as a separate charity in April 2004 and is located at The Prince’s Foundation premises in Charlotte Road, Shoreditch. HRH The Prince of Wales has specially appointed a body of Trustees who will bring new ideas, support and momentum to the new School.

Master's Programmes



The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts was founded in 2004 by HRH The Prince of Wales. It developed from the Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts Programme (VITA) established at The Royal College of Art in 1984 by Professor Keith Critchlow.


The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts is one of the few places where research into the traditional arts as living, contemporary practices can be pursued. We recognise that for the artist, practice and research are inseparable: arts practice is research. Understanding and knowledge come through the experience of practice. Prompted by questions about techniques, materials, composition, contexts and interpretations, our artists/researchers use practice to explore, conceptualise and communicate what they come to understand and know. Reflecting on their own practice in our setting, they begin to recognise that their arts practice can be a research method, that it can be a way of thinking and knowing.


Departing from previous studies in the field, Dr Marin investigated Pahari painting as a living tradition through analysis of how it is presently understood, practiced, and transmitted. Focusing on 18th century Guler and Kangra idioms, an enquiry into the processes and practice of the artist was used to consider whether it is still possible to achieve the same quality of painting as evidenced in the historical examples. The research draws on extensive fieldwork and apprenticeship in studios of Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan and records the knowledge of contemporary masters. Academic research into primary and secondary texts, including the Guler and Kangra paintings themselves, provided further insights.

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Library services

Primarily for use by students and staff, we have a specialized departmental library in the studios in addition to the main PFBC/PSTA library. Library services are provided by a full time academic and research librarian, to whom all enquiries from alumni and visiting scholars can also be directed.The library catalogue is available in house, online and via an App (to registered users).

Student Life

Campus life

The School is able to offer studio space to all of its postgraduate students. This makes for an ideal study environment, whether you wish to practice the range of techniques taught on the programmes, explore and develop your own ideas, or collaborate with fellow students.The School has two workshops which are equipped with a range of materials, tools and machinery. Our tutors and workshop assistants are always on hand to help students as they develop the vast range of practical techniques that are taught on our programmes.

London, England, United Kingdom


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