A diploma in art and design foundation studies is a practical, hands-on course that aims to develop your technical, creative and conceptual skills in a studio environment. By completing this course, you can progress onto a Higher Education programme, such as an HNC/D, Foundation Degree or Degree. Alternatively, you may choose an apprenticeship or employment in the creative industries.
The course is delivered in three stages over three terms, in one academic year. Stage 1 - Learning Skills and Context will see you explore a range of media, materials and approaches in relation to our Fashion, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography and 3D pathways. For Stage 2 - Development and Presentation, you will select your chosen specialist pathway and produce an Art & Design portfolio for an area of Higher Education, apprenticeship or employment that is related to your career aspirations. The diploma in art and design foundation studies will culminate with Stage 3 - Proposal & Realisation, for which you will undertake a self-negotiated Final Major Project. This will see you produce a body of work that showcases your creative identity and skills, and will be displayed at an end-of-year exhibition. Stages 1 and 2 will be supported by specialist workshops and demonstrations, and all three Stages will encourage students to develop their critical thinking and independence.
You will study up to a maximum of 20 hours per week over a maximum of four days per week. Timetables will be given to all students during enrolment and induction week. There are seven units across the year of study, which are all internally assessed. Six units are delivered through projects and workshops in Stages 1 and 2, and the final unit is delivered through a Final Major Project in Stage 3. Lessons, workshops and critiques will be delivered by lecturers who are experienced educators and practitioners, and hold qualifications in the areas in which they teach.
You will achieve a UAL Level 4 Diploma in Art & Design Foundation Studies.
The first two stages of a diploma in art and design foundation studies will be marked at Level 3 with Pass or Fail being awarded. Stage 3 will be marked at Level 4 and will result in a final grade of Pass, Merit or Distinction being awarded.
You will attend an interview at Stratford-upon-Avon College with a member of the course team. You will need to bring a portfolio of recent art work and a reference from your current or most recent school or college. You will then be invited to a Workshop Day to meet the course team and other students who will be attending the course in September.
You must be 18 years old or over and will normally possess five GCSEs (Grade 4 or above), and either a minimum of one A Level or a Level 3 Extended Diploma in a creative subject such as Art & Design to take a diploma in art and design foundation studies. However, applications from mature students without these qualifications are welcomed.
You will be expected to attend College equipped with a range of Art & Design materials. Many general items can be purchased at the College, though you may also need to purchase equipment that is specific to your chosen specialist pathway. You will be advised by members of the course team on the most appropriate art materials and tools to purchase. The West Midlands are blessed with a large number of museums and art galleries. You are strongly encouraged to visit these in independent study time in order to develop your knowledge of contemporary and historical art and design practice. In addition, college educational trips will be arranged at a reasonable cost to students.
*Free of charge if you are aged 18 at the start of the course. If not, a fee of £4,200 will apply.
Most diploma in art and design foundation studies students progress onto an Art & Design course at Higher Education, as well as apprenticeships and employment. This could lead to careers in fashion and textiles, fine art, graphic design, illustration, 3D design, photography, museums and galleries, and education.
Architects plan and design the construction and development of buildings and land areas with regard to functional and aesthetic requirements.
Product, clothing and related designers plan, direct and undertake the creation of designs for new industrial and commercial products, clothing and related fashion accessories, costumes and wigs, and for building interiors and stage sets.
You could work in press photography, advertising photography, editorial photography, corporate photography, or go freelance!
Estimators, valuers and assessors plan and undertake the calculation of probable costs of civil, mechanical, electrical, electronic and other projects, estimate the value of property and chattels, and investigate insurance claims to assess their validity and to assign liability.
Secondary education teaching professionals plan, organise and provide instruction in one or more subjects within a prescribed curriculum in a secondary school.
Higher education teaching professionals deliver lectures and teach students to at least first degree level, undertake research and write journal articles and books in their chosen field of study.
Further education teaching professionals supervise and teach trade, technical, commercial, adult education, secondary and post-secondary courses to students beyond minimum school leaving age.
Artists create artistic works using appropriate techniques, materials and media; design artwork and illustrations; and restore damaged pieces of art.
Arts officers, producers and directors assume creative, financial and organisational responsibilities in the production and direction of television and radio programmes, films, stage presentations, content for other media, and the promotion and exhibition of other creative activities.
Merchandisers and window dressers replenish stocks of goods in stores, advise retailers on the optimum display of merchandise and create displays of merchandise in shop windows.
Jobholders in this unit group investigate and write up stories and features for broadcasting and for newspapers, magazines and other periodicals, evaluate and manage their style and content and oversee the editorial direction of these types of output and publication.
Jobholders in this unit group design, develop and maintain websites to meet a client's specified requirements.
Graphic designers use illustrative, sound, visual and multimedia techniques to convey a message for information, entertainment, advertising, promotion or publicity purposes, and create special visual effects and animations for computer games, film, interactive and other media.
CAD Technicians or Draughtspersons prepare technical drawings, plans, maps, charts and similar items.