The Course

The Foundation Diploma is a highly intensive but rewarding course for students wishing to seriously engage with, develop and hone their artistic/designer skills and professional aspirations.

It is a mostly practical course demanding a high degree of discipline and self-motivation. The course focuses on preparing students for entry into Higher Education Art and Design programmes (or in gaining employment via other routes) by giving them the opportunity to explore a number of different creative areas, enabling them to discover their own creative pathway and prepare a strong relevant portfolio of practical work.

The initial Exploratory Stage will introduce students to a wide range of art based disciplines and experiences; later in the course they will specialise in a chosen subject area where they can really begin to explore their personal interests and develop their own ideas. Students will be supported with weekly tutorials and group critiques to aid students’ personal studies. The course is full time consisting of 22 guided hours a week with a further 5 hours devoted to Life Drawing and Contextual Studies qualifications (worth up to 90 UCAS points).

Where It Will Lead

The Foundation Course is often required by universities, because it gives students an opportunity to develop their own work and create a strong portfolio. From the Foundation Course students can go on to study a range of Higher Education courses or explore alternative routes.

Study Programme

Key areas of Study and Specialisms:

  • Fine Art Drawing
  • Fine Art Painting
  • Fashion & Textiles
  • Graphics & Illustration
  • Print & Photography
  • Life Drawing
  • 3D Design & Sculpture
  • Art History & Contextual Studies

Structure of Course

The course consists of 3 stages, Exploratory, Pathway and Confirmatory with each stage containing a number of assessable units (7in total). These are structured to help students work more independently on researching, experimenting, responding and interpreting set briefs while developing their own personal interests, style of working and discovering which creative route they are more drawn to.

To achieve the whole qualification, a student must achieve a pass for all 120 credits taken. The final unit, which is worth 40 of the 120 credits, will be based around a final project where the students will exhibit and promote their own work at the end of year exhibition. This part of the course is also graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction and will constitute the final qualification grade.

Stage 1 - Exploratory 40 Credits

  • Unit 1 Researching, Recording and Responding in Art and Design
  • Unit 2 Media Experimentation in Art and Design

Stage 2 - Pathway 40 Credits

  • Unit 3 Preparation and Progression in Art and Design
  • Unit 4 Information and Interpretation in Art and Design
  • Unit 5 Personal Experimental Studies in Art and Design
  • Unit 6 Extended Media Development in Art and Design

Stage 3 - Confirmatory 40 Credits

  • Unit 10 Final Major Project in Art and Design


Assessment is based on presentation of project work as evidenced through Sketchbooks, reflective Journals, contextual research & recordings, tutorial records and observations, group critiques and other practical work created. Assessments are used to provide guidance on your progress and potential in areas of specialist study and take place in a formative capacity daily and in a summative way on completion of each stage of the course.


The course is full time consisting of 22 guided hours a week with a further 5 hours devoted to Life Drawing and Contextual Studies qualifications (worth up to 90 UCAS points). Students will also be expected and encouraged to access and utilise the Foundation Studio for more independent study.


There are very good studios and facilities for drawing, painting, printing, textiles, animation, photography, graphic design and three dimensional work, with a well equipped computer suite.


You will be asked to pay a studio fee of £80 which will cover the cost of workshop materials at Exploratory stage and some of the costs for end of year exhibition. (Students will be expected to take part in fundraising activities also for the end of year show).Students will be expected to pay for any additional materials required during final Confirmatory stage.

You will also be expected to have a personal art Kit, including Sketchbooks, painting and drawing materials, a USB storage device and other specific equipment and materials as specified on more detailed kit list.


Trips will be arranged to Galleries and Exhibitions and there is the possibility of a visit abroad to experience a different artistic culture.

Entry Requirements

Minimum age 18 5 GCSE passes in grades A-C which must include Maths and English. 2 A-Level passes. All applicants will be expected to take part in a portfolio interview before starting the course.

Prospective students can gain further details from Course Co-ordinators: Damian Daly E-mail: Laura Morgans E-mail: or on college number: 01793 611470