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What is the Foundation Diploma in Art, Design & Media?

A highly successful pre-university course

This is a one year, full time course especially for students aged 18 and over who have completed A Levels and are aiming to study Art & Design-related courses at university or take the skills into employment. The qualification is highly respected by universities and employers alike and many institutions stipulate it as a requirement for Art-based degrees.

You’ll need to present a portfolio of art/design work at your interview and you should be ready to discuss your initial ideas with respect to a career in Art & Design.

  • Suited to aspiring artists and designers looking to develop the enhanced creative and personal skills that are necessary for transition into higher education or employment.
  • Designed to develop your knowledge, confidence and independence through exploration and discovery.
  • A broad and exciting course that will demand commitment, determination and perseverance - qualities that are essential for success in all professional fields of Art & Design.


Entry Requirements

  • Minimum of 18 years of age.
  • Minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or a 4 or above (which needs to include English Language and Maths, or you’ll need to be prepared to work to achieve it at College).
  • Minimum of two A Levels or BTECs equivalent (Art qualifications essential at either A Level or GCSE).
  • Written communication is a mandatory aspect of this course. Learners will be expected to produce annotated sketchbooks and critical studies essays.


Qualifications achieved

Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art & Design

Graded as Distinction / Merit / Pass

Apply now


Is this course for me?

  • You want to test and extend your skills and explore the different disciplines of art and design.
  • You want to develop your knowledge, confidence and self-sufficiency in art and design.
  • You are looking to pursue a creative career or move on to higher education in art and design.
  • You are willing to put in the extra hours necessary to get all your work completed within the set deadlines.
  • You are confident in producing written work.


Where does it lead?

Students from this course have achieved progression on a broad range of courses, such as Fine Art, Interactive Arts, Theatrical Costume Design, Graphics and Illustration, Animation, 3D Design, Jewellery and Silversmithing, Textiles and Fashion. Our students have also gained places at some of the most prestigious UK Universities such as Goldsmiths, Central St Martins, Wimbledon and Edinburgh.


What will I learn?

Stage One

Workshops will give you an introduction into different disciplines including drawing, painting, textiles, fashion, graphics, 3D Design and sculpture. This first part of the course enables students to examine the extent of their own skills and aptitudes, as well as exploring different problem solving methods.

Stage Two

Students negotiate a personal programme of study, specialising in their chosen discipline, with a view to developing an impressive, subject-specific portfolio of work and making a successful application to university.

Stage Three

You’ll produce a final project and your course grade will be determined by the quality of this final work. You’ll be able to draw inspiration from a range of contextual studies and local and national galleries.


Assessment and support

There are three formal assessment points during the course, in addition to frequent individual and group tutorials. The course comprises units of learning, which include taught time, independent study and access to resources and assessment. There are specific learning outcomes and assessment criteria that will be shared with you as the course progresses. You will also have a personal tutor who will provide a comprehensive programme of guidance to ensure your success in applying for Higher Education.


Course fees and expenses

If you are aged 18:
This study programme will be FREE for students who are aged 18 on 31 August 2024, or students aged 19-24 with an Education, Health & Care Plan.

If you are aged 19 or over:
Fee : £4,500
If you are aged 19+ on 31 August 2024, you may be able to apply for a 19+ Advanced Learner Loan which can be discussed at interview.

All students will be expected to pay for or provide the course materials and equipment for this course.


Why study at the School of Art & Design

  • This course runs for 20 hours per week over a 4 day period, but - uniquely - students can access exclusive facilities 5 days a week in order to complete the necessary additional work required. In addition, all students have their own dedicated work area.
  • The staff are highly experienced teachers and practitioners who maintain their own practice in various fields of Art & Design.
  • The professional guidance and support provided by the team has often been supplemented by that provided by ex-students, visiting artists, designers and Higher Education Programme Leaders.
  • We set live projects for students when appropriate. For example one of our students won £500 first prize for a Memorial Design for the HMS Birkenhead that was built by Cammell Laird and unveiled at Woodside.


Good to know

Each year, the College’s School of Art & Design host a Summer Art Show, where students’ work is exhibited across the three floors of the building. Visitors come in their numbers to see the culmination of a year’s work from all levels of Art students at the College and celebrate some of the most creative work in the region.


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