Foundation in Art & Design (UAL Level 3 and 4) Part Time

What is the Course About?

These are pivotal courses which provide a transition from general education to specialist art and design education, enabling you to make an informed decision when applying to higher education or seeking employment within a related industry.

The programme builds on your prior experience, linking skills already acquired with ideas and challenges which will expand your critical independence and enable you to demonstrate a full understanding of the relevant standards necessary to progress to higher education or to a career of your choice.

A coherent and integrated sequence of learning activities will enable you to identify and capitalise on your strengths and affinities. The qualification is characterised by academic rigour and a student-centred learning culture, encompassing analytical principles, exploratory and investigate practices, contextual research, material experiences and risk-taking.

Later in the first term, you will be given the opportunity to take a week-long educational trip to London. The trip gives you the chance to visit/explore galleries, museums, media studios, and current major exhibitions. There will also be an opportunity to research university options in and around the London area and to visit the UCAS Fair.

University of the Arts London (UAL) Awarding Body is currently the UK’s largest provider of the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design qualification. The qualification is generally delivered over one year but can also be studied as a part-time option over two years.

What will I study?

The content of this course was developed in discussions with representatives from the industry, other universities and further education colleges to ensure it provides you with the relevant skills, knowledge and understanding needed for progression.

Stage 1

You will undertake a diagnostic investigation into visual language and creative practices. This exploratory investigation will allow you to become familiar with and experiment within a wide range of art, design, media and other creative disciplines, as part of your journey to, or reinforcement of, an area specialism.

Stage 2

Reflecting on the knowledge, skills and practices developed in the Stage 1, you should define your creative ambitions by encouraging a holistic approach to a range of activities, which will support, contextualise and position creative endeavours within your chosen specialist practice.

Stage 3

This is the final part of the course. It aims to provide you with an opportunity to take control of your own learning and demonstrate your achievement by independently initiating, researching, completing and evaluating a project proposal in your chosen professional context.

What are my progression and career options?

The qualification will allow you to develop a portfolio of work, enabling you to progress to higher education or employment. Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3) has been UCAS tariff rated and provides UCAS points: pass 80, merit 96 and distinction 112. UCAS does not recognise qualifications at Level 4, so unlike its Level 3 counterpart, the UAL Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 4) does not result in tariff points, but it is still recognised and accepted by universities across the UK. Many universities that deliver this qualification offer the Level 4 version.

The qualification will prepare you for employment or self-employment, as well as a wide range of undergraduate courses in Art, Design and Media, and other related subjects depending on the chosen specialism, including:

  • fine art

  • mixed-media: sculpture, ceramics, installation, printmaking

  • moving image: video, film, animation

  • photography

  • performance art

  • interactive arts: interactive media including web, app, and game design

  • graphic communication: advertising, packaging design, design for print, illustration, communication graphics, branding

  • multimedia: motion graphics, design for film and television

  • fashion/textile design: fashion design, fashion textiles, costume design, digital textiles, printed and or dyed fabrics and materials, domestic textiles, wallpaper, interior design, constructed textiles, art textiles, and installed textiles

  • 3D design: ceramics, sculpture, exhibition design, design for theatre, television and film, interior design, product design, environmental design, architectural design, jewellery/body ornament, and 3D digital design

  • photography/lens-based media: portraiture, landscape photography, still life photography, documentary photography, photojournalism, fashion photography, experimental imagery, multimedia, photographic installation, and moving image

  • media: television, radio, print, video, digital media, computer games, photography, advertising, and publishing

  • curation and exhibition management: history and conversation, collections (private, public, digital) galleries and visual culture.

How will I be assessed?

Close tutorial guidance is given throughout the course and you will be assessed at regular intervals, approximately every six weeks. In the Spring Term, you will prepare a portfolio of work for application to higher education. The course culminates in a final major project, towards which, you work independently based on an assignment that you have written.

These qualifications are assessed by way of two internally assessed and verified units (Unit 1 and 2, or Unit 1 and 3), which are subject to UAL quality assurance. The overall qualification grade is based on Unit 4 and is graded fail, pass, merit or distinction.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification, however:

  • It is ideal if you have completed your A-Levels, Diploma or Extended Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3), or related subjects.

  • It is recommended that you have a minimum of five GCSEs, grade 4 or grade C and above including Maths and English and one A-Level or equivalent Level 3 qualification, preferably in a creative subject.

  • You should provide suitable evidence of your learning and achievement in the form of a portfolio of work, during your interview.

There are no age restrictions for this qualification. However, most of the students taking this qualification are expected to be 18+ years old, as it is most suitable for adult learners.