UAL: Art and Design, Foundation Diploma

Foundation Diploma

Our Foundation Diploma is a one-year practical and creative vocational course. The course is diagnostic in its approach, enabling students to explore a wide range of specialist areas such as fine art, illustration, graphic design, fashion and textiles, 3D design, photography and animation, before deciding on a future direction within the subject. Investigations into historical and contemporary artists and designers are integrated into practical project work and you will take part in group discussions and analysis of your own work. You will be encouraged to participate in trips to visit exhibitions and fashion events plus overseas trips. Students find this course exciting, fast paced, challenging and rewarding. If you are interested in a creative and commercial career and are interested in the art and design world, this could be the course for you.

Type of study
Examination board

Availability & Details

Art and Design, UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma AF-ARDE3F-D(0000)002

Alton Campus
Academic Year 2020-21 (1 years)
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Applications to be submitted Oct/Nov. Portfolios submitted the week following February half term. After portfolio inspection students will receive an offer by the end of February, others may also be invited to an interview.

It is recommended that students have a minimum of 5 x GCSEs at grade 4 or grade C, including Maths and English, and one A level, or equivalent Level 3 quali¬fication, preferably in a relevant creative subject.

Offered as a combination of Levels 3 and 4, the UAL Awarding Body Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is a pivotal qualification, which provides a transition from general education to specialist art and design education.

The qualification has been designed to encourage exploration, experimentation and risk taking, which will extend the learners’ critical independence and enable them to demonstrate a full understanding of the relevant standards required to achieve progression to higher education.

On the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design course you will study:

  • A range of challenging & creative projects, diagnostic in approach, that explore different aspects of Art and Design including Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Illustration, Photography, Fine Art, 3D Design & Animation.
  • How to use a range of Art and Design materials and approaches effectively such as painting, printmaking, sculpture, Adobe Photoshop, photography, graphic layout, drawing, garment making, illustration.
  • A specialist creative pathway from January that allows you to explore this way of working in depth.
  • The course concludes with a Level 4 Final Major Project in which you choose and investigate a creative topic that fits in with your skills and progression ambitions, with a public exhibition & private view.

Unit 2: Developing Specialist Practice (Level 3)

This unit will provide students with the opportunity to reflect on the knowledge, skills and practices they have developed in Unit 1 of the qualification, and to define their creative ambitions by encouraging a holistic approach to a range of activities, which will support, contextualise and position their creative endeavour within their chosen specialist practice.

Unit 4: Consolidating Practice (Level 4)

This unit aims to provide students with an opportunity to take control of their own learning and demonstrate their achievement by independently initiating, researching, completing and evaluating a project proposal and realisation within their chosen professional context.

In addition, you will take part in group discussions and analysis of your own work and that of others. Investigations into historical and contemporary artists and designers are integrated into practical project work. There will be opportunities to take part in day trips to visit exhibitions, as well as overseas locations.  New York, Iceland, San Francisco, Beijing & Saint Petersburg have been previous destinations.


100% Coursework

To be awarded the UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design students must Pass the following mandatory units:

Unit 1: Diagnostic Investigation into Creative Practice (Level 3)

Unit 2: Developing Specialist Practice (Level 3)

Unit 4: Consolidating Practice (Level 4)

Units 1 and 2 are graded Pass only. The overall quali¬fication grade is based on Unit 4 and is graded as Fail, Pass, Merit or Distinction.

There are additional costs associated with this course, these will vary depending upon which area of specialisation is undertaken. All art supplies are available to buy from the college. Students are also asked to contribute £15 towards the cost of materials for the Final Major Project - Summer Show Exhibition.

How to apply

Contact us


Art Foundation works well for:

Advancing to competitive Art and Design Courses in Higher Education, around the country.

Seeking creative employment.

My experience at the College was great, it’s very different to school, and I think it’s a good step to going to university. The support was amazing, I loved all of my teachers, they helped me through everything. The College is friendly and you will succeed.

Heidi Adamson Brattland, A Level student

College is definitely worth all the effort you put in, you get to meet lots of different people and it’s amazing.

Ebony Puttock, A Level student

I’m very, very happy, I didn’t expect to do so well. The College has been helpful and supportive. I loved my courses, and the teachers were really good – every single one of them. The facilities are great, but it’s the staff that really make this place.

Matthew Randell, A Level student