national diploma in calligraphy FAQs


CLAS National Diploma in Calligraphy FAQ (March 2021)


Q1 – Can I choose whether to do the old diploma or the new diploma?

A1 – In 2021 you may submit work for EITHER the old diploma or new diploma. No new submissions for the old diploma will be accepted after this year, however existing modular submissions will still be accepted

Q2 – When does the new diploma start?

A2 – You may enter the new diploma from this year (2021), and will need to advise us by 31st March in line with our standard deadlines

Q3 – I have already started the old diploma but not yet submitted any work. How will I be affected?

A3 – You can either submit some/all modules in 2021 under the old diploma, or you can enter the new diploma. While there are changes to the requirements and assessment criteria, generally we are still looking for the same standard of work.

Q4 – I have submitted modules under the old diploma, can I continue under the old diploma?

A4 – Yes, you can finish under the old diploma if completed within the timescales. The old system allowed 5 years, so if you started in 2018 you have until 2022 to complete the old diploma (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 = 5 years) – see table below 

Q5 – I have submitted modules under the old diploma but want to change to the new diploma. Can I do this?

A5 – Due to the way that work is assessed, it is not possible to mix and match modules between the old diploma and new diploma. If you prefer the new diploma to the old diploma, you will need to start the process again, but may submit the same work for assessment if it fits the new criteria

Q6 – I am submitting modular entries, do I need to be a member for all years?

A6 – Yes, you will need to be a member as of 31st March for all years you are submitting diploma work for assessment.

Q7 – I do not think I will finish my diploma in time. What do I do?

A7 – contact the diploma administrator who will do their best to help you. We take exceptional circumstances into consideration and may extend your deadlines by up to 1 year. If we have not heard from candidates and the deadline expires you may need to resubmit the diploma as places cannot be held open indefinitely.

Q8 – Why have there been changes to how long we can submit work for when entering modular work, and how long will we have?

A8 – It was felt that as each level has an increasing number of modules, that 1 year per module better reflects the amount of work needed. It sets an achievable target – see table below

Modular entries table


Complete by (old)

All levels

Complete by (new)

Foundation (3yrs)

Complete by (new)

Intermediate (4yrs)

Complete by (new) Advanced (5yrs)
































The year you enrol counts as year 1


Q9 – Have you tested the new diploma assessment criteria?

A9 – The new assessment criteria were checked against several entries in the 2020 assessment and was found to give the same results

Q10 – Why has the diploma changed?

A10 – The diploma has not had an extensive review since its creation in 1994. It was felt that a review was due. Following feedback from candidates, tutors and assessors over many years greater clarity was needed over assessment criteria and making the process easier to understand. The quality of work expected has not changed.

Q11 – Is the new diploma more expensive?

A11 – Any changes to the cost of the diploma are purely in line with routine administrative and postage cost reviews. 2021 prices are in line with those of 2020

Q12 – The new diploma says that I have to complete the modules in numerical order. Why is that?

A12 – Each module builds on the previous module. It is important that one performs letter analysis and historical studies in order to inform their work for later modules. This is particularly important when submitting work over several years as assessors will provide feedback which will help you. If your letter analysis is on italics then we will want to see italics used in your work

Q13 – I submitted my letter analysis in one script but would like to change what I do in later modules. Can I do this?

A13 – We don’t want anyone to feel they need to stick to a script but you will need to submit an extra letter analysis or historical study so that we can see that your new work is based on these studies. If you plan on changing scripts please contact the diploma administrator.

Q14 – Do I have to have entered Foundation before Intermediate?

A14 – No, you can enter the diploma at whichever level is most suitable. If you are not sure which level you should enter, read the requirements for each level and check the CLAS website for examples of work to help gauge where you are. If you have a tutor or mentor, they will be able to help with this

Q15 – If I do not pass, can I appeal or resubmit work?

A15 – Yes, you will have 3 months from the date of assessment to appeal. Appeals will be looked at by the diploma administrator and/or chief assessor depending on the reason for the appeal. On assessment day each piece of work is reviewed by an experienced assessor and undergoes a moderation process with all of the assessors present to ensure that the process is as fair as possible. If you choose to resubmit work you can submit these in the following year, please advise the diploma administrator. You will need to pay for return postage and reassessment fee for resubmitted work





Plus postage


Complete £60

Modular £90

Re-assessment £20 / module

£15 UK

£36 EU

£45 Rest of World


Complete £80

Modular £120

Re-assessment £25 / module


Complete £100

Modular £150

Re-assessment £30 / module

Modular entries pay full fee the first year, plus return postage in each year work is submitted


images courtesy of previous entrants to Diploma – Foundation level 

Copyright while studying for the Diploma

To use a copyright protected work you usually have to seek permission first.

While working towards the Diploma you may use copyright protected works in your studies, for example writing out quotations or referencing artworks in your essays.   Fair use is a part of copyright law that allows you to use such work without seeking permission of the copyright holder provided that it is solely for your own (non-commercial) studies and that the work you reproduce is properly acknowledged, credited and/or referenced.

CLAS may wish to display your Diploma work on our website or magazine.  In order to protect ourselves from copyright infringement, please make clear on your submissions whether they are copyright protected.

If you need more information about copyright, please check the government guidance at Intellectual property: Copyright – detailed information – GOV.UK (