What opportunities will this course give me?
This two year programme is designed to prepare you for entry to degree-level art, design and media programmes. Taught within a highly motivated but supportive environment, the programme helps you develop both the conceptual and practical skills you will need to progress to university and make the most of the next level of your education. The Pre-degree Foundation Diploma offers an opportunity to explore the full range of art disciplines and career opportunities available within the creative industries. If you are unsure of what aspect of art, design and media you would like to study at university, then this programme will help you make an informed choice through practical experience supported by critical understanding. You will have hands-on experience in all the art disciplines from fine art, graphics design, illustration and fashion/textiles to photography, animation and digital video production. Working in a studio based environment, each student has a designated work station and access to specialist workshops, equipment and facilities. Under the guidance of a personal supervisor, you will create an exciting and articulate portfolio in preparation for application to university.
For the last nine years we have maintained a 100% success rate in applications to university. Previous students have gained places at courses within all art, design and media disciplines at leading universities throughout the UK including Goldsmiths, London College of Fashion (UAL), Chelsea College of Art (UAL), Central St Martins (UAL), The Slade School of Fine Art and Glasgow School of Art.
What will I be learning?
What does this programme involve?
The Pre-degree Foundation Diploma in Art, Design & Media includes Level 3 and Level 4 units. The qualification is awarded by The University of the Arts, London (UAL) and is delivered in three progressive stages:
Stage 1: Learning Skills and Context (Level 3 units)
In this initial stage you will undertake a rotation of six specialised workshops providing technical skills relevant to all art, design and media pathways. These are photography/graphics; printmaking/illustration; fashion/textiles; fine art/sculpture; digital video production; research and ideas generation. In addition, you will take part in a week of series of life drawing classes. The workshops are extended through a series of short independent projects, which build on the practical investigation of materials and processes. This will enable students to make an informed and confident choice of pathway specialism.
Stage 2: Development and progression (Level 4 units)
This stage enables you to focus on a specific pathway. Students will be encouraged to work independently and are provided with individual work stations to facilitate this process. You will produce work in response to assignments with open briefs which allow students to respond individually to challenging and exciting visual problems. You will specialise in the second part of this stage, preparing a digital and paper portfolio in preparation for application and progression to university.
Stage 3: Project Proposal and Realisation (Level 4 unit)
In this stage you will work with a specialist personal tutor to write and direct an independent Project Proposal. Students will initiate, research and realise, a substantial body of work in response to a subject defined by the learner in their proposal. The project is concluded through a public exhibition of the work produced. It is at this stage that the overall grade is awarded. The UCAS points for these grades are: Pass (32), Merit (64) and Distinction (112).
As part of our commitment to work related learning, we offer a programme of guest speakers, all of whom are professional artists and designers with national and international profiles. In addition to this lecture programme, students are given the opportunity of one-to-one tutorials with these visiting artists. Recent visiting artists have included Professor Alice Kettle, textile artist and Senior Research Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University, Mark Peter Wright, a London based sound artist and Composer of the Year (2009), internationally recognised Graphic Designer Sam Winston, illustrator Jonny Hannah RCA and microbiologist Dr Simon Park, whose has lectured at Chelsea College of Art and whose work with artists and designers has received national and international media coverage.
Why is this course for me?
Taught in a studio environment with access to specialist equipment, facilities and workshops, each student is provided with a designated work station within the art studio. As part of a series of set assignment briefs, students receive regular feedback through tutorials and group critiques. The open briefs are designed to encourage independence and facilitate an individual response to complicated and challenging visual problems. Students receive feedback at the end of each assignment and are formerly assessed at the end of each of the three programme stages, receiving both verbal and written feedback. Students will take part in seminars and have the opportunity to attend the visiting lecturer programme.
Final grades are awarded in response to the work produced during the Project Proposal and Realisation stage. This requires students to professionally present their work in a public exhibition. It is at this stage students will determine their overall grade as Pass, Merit or Distinction. Students are expected to attend all taught sessions and have additional access to facilities during self-directed study periods. Tutorial periods are designed to facilitate progression and include specialist workshops to help students with their UCAS applications and prepare for the academic environment of university. These sessions include an introduction to Harvard referencing, writing a personal statement and developing an online digital portfolio.
What do I need to sign up?
This programme is intended for students aged 18 and over who hold a minimum of one A Level, two AS Levels (one of which should be in an Arts related subject) or a National Diploma in Art and Design. Entry is subject to a portfolio review and interview, in which the student and work presented must evidence commitment, potential and ability.
Applicants must have GCSE Maths and English Language at grade C / 4 or above. This is a requirement of most universities and Higher Education programmes. Mature students may be considered on the quality of portfolio alone and are encouraged to apply.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Students are offered a range of study visits to galleries and museums in cities such as London, Brighton and Oxford. In addition to nationally important exhibitions at major institutions, students are given the opportunity of visiting small independent galleries and the internationally acclaimed Frieze Art Fair (London). Students will also have the opportunity to visit the UCAS Design Your Future Fair in London.
In addition to art materials and sketchbooks, students will need to buy an A1 portfolio in preparation for their university application. As part of this portfolio and the end of year exhibition, students may need digital prints of their work. The cost of this printing is the responsibility of individual students.
Tuition costs for the Foundation Diploma are fully funded for students under 19. For students who are 19+, fees may apply.
UAL Awarding Body is part of University of the Arts London and is the only specialist art, design and creative industries awarding organisation in England. They are selective about who they work with and seek to identify institutions who are innovative, creative and committed to arts education.
Please note that all courses are subject to minimum numbers and course descriptions may be subject to change. A place on your chosen course is not confirmed until all of the necessary enrolment paperwork is signed and any relevant fees are paid. The team will be in touch to discuss this with you, once your application has been processed.
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Need some further advice?
If you require further advice and guidance about any course costs and/or the funding options available to you, the College has a dedicated Information, Advice and Guidance team who can be contacted on telephone 023 8091 1299.