Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Full-time) - 2018 Entry

Reasons to study Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

  • Build a strong portfolio enabling you to gain entry onto art and design degree courses at universities throughout the UK including here at University Centre St Helens.
  • Gain a broad experience of creative techniques, disciplines and media, to develop your abilities and skills preparing you for degree level study.
  • Gives you the chance to publicly exhibit your work at the end of year show, which is attended by representatives from art and design industries, schools and the public.
Start/End Date: September 2018 - June 2019
Duration: 1 year full-time
Campus: Town Centre Campus
Course Contact: Fiona Stirling
01744 623274
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Awarded By: 

The Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is an intensive one-year course that bridges the gap between sixth form, college and university. It will enable you to develop the necessary skills and portfolio to apply to a range of art and design degree courses. As you start this course you will be experimenting in a range of areas of art and design, including fine art, fashion and textiles, 3D design, graphic design and illustration.

The various creative projects you will undertake will allow you to explore new ideas, materials, processes and technologies. Individual diagnostic projects and tutorials will help you to distil and identify your main areas of interest and make an informed application to a degree course with the support of an experienced staff team.

The purpose of the course is to enable you to have a broad experience of intellectual and practical skills; progressively taking control and tailoring the course to your individual learning needs, personal ideas and specialist direction. At the end of the course, direct progression onto University Centre St Helens Creative Arts degree programmes is available to those who meet the required academic standard.

Course in-depth

What will I study?

This course is designed to ensure that you have the utmost opportunity to expand your creative, theoretical and contextual skills. The foundation course is a diagnostic course. It will enable you to understand your strengths and areas for development and ultimately will help you decide which area you would like to specialise in. It introduces you to a wide range of skills and disciplines. During this course, you will cover the following areas:

  • Exploratory stage You will experience a range of assignment types, dealing with different materials, skills and basic broad techniques.

  • Pathway stage You will develop the skills you have learned in the exploratory stage and will explore the skills, attitudes and techniques specific to your chosen pathway (fine art, fashion/textiles, 3D design, or graphic design/illustration).

  • Confirmatory stage You will work in your specialist discipline, a final project is required and you are expected to exhibit work at the end of the course. In addition to the above stages, we will support you with your applications to university and will help you compile a portfolio for presentation at interviews.

How will I study?

Learning will be through lectures, teaching workshops, seminars, group critiques, selfdirect learning, written work, presentations, group work, library and gallery study.

Throughout the course, visits to galleries, workshops, museums, exhibitions and places of specific interest are organised to extend awareness of the wide range of contemporary creative opportunities as well as supporting the contextual studies programme, which is an integral part of the Diploma.

The Creative Arts department is friendly and approachable and of a size that enables us to know our students personally and be able to respond to their needs.

How will I be assessed?

You will be continually assessed throughout the duration of the course through practical work, essays, journals and presentations. Work is also reviewed through seminars, group critiques and academic tutorials. The result of your final major project determines your overall grade for the course, which is externally assessed at level 4.

The course culminates with an end-of-year student exhibition that is open to representatives from art and design industries, schools and the public.

Who will be teaching me?

You will be taught by experienced artists and academics who are passionate about student learning and development. They provide you with a lively and highly effective learning environment for you to thrive creatively.

Ref: Fiona Stirling



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Why study Art and Design with us?

Creative Environment

You will develop your skills and creative voice in specialist studios and workshops.

Exploration of Techniques

You will explore a wide range of materials, techniques and skills to enhance your portfolio. 

Work Experience

You will have the opportunity to work on live projects and briefs with local employers.


You will take regular trips to galleries, lectures and workshops for inspiration.

Employer Links

You will be taught by industry experts with strong local and national employer links.

Progression Routes

Our excellent progression routes can lead to an apprenticeship, university or employment.