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Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media Practice (Full Time)


This course is suitable for adults aged 19+ and those who are aged 18 who have achieved at least one A Level, or equivalent.

The Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media Practice is an intensive one-year course that bridges the gap between college or 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 identify your main areas of interest and make an informed application to a degree course with the support of an experienced lecturing 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 this course, direct progression onto University Centre St Helens Creative Arts degrees is available to those who meet the required academic standard.

This course is designed to ensure that you have ample opportunities 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.

When will I start the course and how long will it take?

This course starts in September and will take 1 year to complete. You will attend college Monday to Thursday, 9.00am - 4.30pm.

The course takes place at St Helens College, Town Centre Campus, St Helens, WA10 1PP.

What will I study?

Learning will be through lectures, teaching workshops, seminars, group critiques, self-directed 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.

During this course, you will cover the following areas:

  • Exploratory Stage One
    You will experience a range of assignment types, dealing with different materials, skills and basic broad techniques.
  • Exploratory Stage Two and Three
    You will develop the skills you have learned in the exploratory stage one and will explore the skills, attitudes and techniques specific to your chosen interest (fine art, fashion/ textiles, 3D design, or graphic design/illustration).

    At this 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, you will be supported with your applications to university and portfolio compilation for interviews.

How is it 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 verified at level 4.

Do I need any previous qualifications to start this course?

This course is suitable for adults aged 19+ and those who are aged 18 who have already achieved one A Level, or an equivalent qualification.

You should have at least one A level or an equivalent qualification as well as four GCSEs at grade 4 (equivalent to grade C) or above.

All qualified applicants will be invited to attend an interview. This is designed to be an informal meeting, providing you with the opportunity to see if the course is suitable for your needs. It also gives the course team the opportunity to discuss and explore your career interests. You will need to bring with you examples of your latest work.

What are the course fees?

The fee for this course is £5,421.

If you are under the age of 19 at the start of this course you are entitled to free tuition.

If you are aged 19 or over, you could also choose to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover your course fees enabling you to study now, pay later. Loan eligibility isn't dependent on income or employment status and there is no credit check. Loan repayments don't start until you have finished your course and earn over £27,295 per year. For more information, please visit our dedicated Advanced Learner Loan page.

What can I go on to do once I have completed this course?

The Foundation Diploma provides an excellent introduction for those students who wish to pursue a career in the creative arts industries. The vast majority of students choose to go on to study reputable degree courses throughout the UK including undergraduate study at University Centre St Helens.

I'm interested in this course, what should I do next?

If you will be aged 18 as of 31st August 2022, please complete our 16-18 application form here, selecting 'Art and Design (Foundation Diploma 18+ only)' as your course choice.

If you will be aged 19 or over as of 31st August 2022, please complete our adult application form here.

However, if you still have questions in relation to this course and wish to receive further information, please submit your enquiry here.

Ref: Fiona Stirling

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Inspiring Success

Amber Thumb

“My favourite part of the course was studying 3D design and textiles, which gave me lots of creative freedom.”

Amber, Level 3 Extended Diploma

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