Skip to main content

In Short

The Part Time Foundation Diploma in Art & Design offers you a great opportunity to study part time over two years. In the course you will explore and establish your practice within the broad spectrum of creative practices within art and design. It is the perfect place to build and challenge your practice if you are confident in your creative direction, develop skills and perfect your portfolio. Equally, if you are just excited at the possibility of being creative but uncertain of how to develop, then this is a great place to explore and clarify your interest wherever it may lie within the creative arts.

You will acquire creative and practical skills and build up a strong portfolio of work through project and studio led practice, supported by industry experience, visiting artists, regular visits to galleries and an international trip. The Foundation is a truly exciting course that is designed to allow you to explore and establish your own specific creative practice. Through a series of intensive workshops you will be exposed to a huge variety of working methods, media and ideas to allow a strong skills base and a truly informed decision when specialising in a given field. You will also undertake independent projects in which you lay the foundations for your working practice, learning how best to inform and develop outcomes within a sustained creative framework.

Please go to the department’s website and Instagram account to view current student work:


Entry Requirements

The part time programme in Foundation Studies Art and Design is aimed at: Mature students wishing to explore the possibility of a second career in art and design or Younger people who, through personal circumstances, are only able to attend college on a part time basis. All applicants must be 18yrs of age or older on the 1st of September in the year of entry.

Entry qualifications for 18yr olds are identical to those joining the full-time programme. 5 GCSEs at minimum grade 4 including English, One A level, or equivalent Level 3 quali­fication, preferably in a relevant creative subject and basic computer literacy.

Mature students without these qualifications are actively encouraged to apply, as they may well have other attributes. On the part time programme, those without formal or recent qualifications are frequently in the majority.

In addition to (or in lieu of) formal qualifications, selection is based on performance at interview and the quality of the portfolio. Candidates should present a range of recent work which reflects their achievement in art & design. This might include observed drawing, colour work in a range of media, or design work in 2 & 3 dimensions. Please bring work which shows your skill and potential for further study in art and design. Sketchbooks, scrapbooks and work which shows thinking processes and evidence of the development of ideas as well as finished pieces should be included in your folio.

Course Content

The Part Time Foundation covers the same learning objectives and units as the Full-Time version, it is just spread over two years.

There are three main stages to this course; Diagnostic Investigation into Creative Practice, Developing Specialist Practice and Consolidating Practice. Each stage builds upon the last aiding to refine and develop your creative practice. Year One addresses the first stage of the course with the focus on developing your skills, enabling you to find out exactly where your interests and creative practice may lie. In year Two you study the latter parts of the course, a strong and increasing emphasis is placed on personal ownership and taking responsibility for your own work and its development.

The three stages progress the academic level at which you are studying, the course begins at Level 3 in stage one, then stage two and three are delivered at Level 4. If you intend to progress on to higher education this will put you at a significant advantage on that course.

Throughout the course you will have open access to the Foundation Studio and a wide range of industry appropriate workshops; Print room, 3D workshop, Ceramic Studio, Photo Studio, Darkroom, Textiles and the Mac Room, and in the second year your own dedicated studio space.

Year One

Stage One: Diagnostic Investigation into Creative Practice (Level 3) You will have the opportunity to work across a wide range of art and design disciplines from illustration to fine art installation, taught by staff who are specialists within the field. The workshops and educational environments are all subject specific and equipped to a professional standard. Within the projects, the emphasis is placed on the exploration of media and materials, demonstrated through observing and recording information, the development of skills and creative responses, and is underpinned with strong and broad-ranging research. Drawing is a critical skill within all disciplines, vital as a research tool, crucial to observation, and a method to both explore and communicate ideas. To develop and strengthen your skills, life drawing is integral to the course and practiced weekly for the first term. Alongside the practical there is also a strong contextual element to the course with a programme of lectures and talks from visiting artists, both of which enable a greater understanding of your creative practice.

Year Two

Stage Two: Developing Specialist Practice (Level 3 / 4) Having identified your interests within the creative fields, this stage allows you the chance to clarify and consolidate your ideas and hone the necessary skills for your practice. Having identified personal interests, you will develop a personal project through a series of elected industry specific creative workshops. You will gain confidence in generating, developing and presenting your work and ideas, as well as building up a distinctive portfolio of work in preparation for higher education interviews.

Stage Three: Consolidating Practice (Level 4) This is the graded element of the course and the exploration of a personally defined studio led project which will be exhibited in the end of year show.

Over the two years there will also be a variety of interesting trips and experiences you can be involved in, including international trips and arts festivals. Typically, over the course of a Part Time Foundation there will be residential trips to the Venice Biennale and to Berlin, as well as trips to local galleries such as Hauser and Wirth as well as Bristol and London galleries. There is the very exciting Arts Festival / Industry experience where you will have the opportunity to work alongside a professional artist on an external project and artistic extravaganza. Also, an opportunity to partake in Dorset Arts Week.

Previous students have been inspired to progress their creative studies further at Weymouth College and have studied on the Foundation Degree in Contemporary Fine Art Practice or the FdA in Contemporary Photography Practice, as well as to travel nationally to study. E.g. BA Hons courses in Fine Art, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Animation, Photography, Video, 3D Design Crafts, Fashion/Textiles and Illustration.

Students have also set up very successful independent art practices in their own right on completing the Part Time Foundation Diploma in Art & Design.

How will I be assessed?

Stage one is taught at level 3 and is pass or fail, with a review in October and a formal assessment and diagnostic review in November.

Stage two is delivered at level 3 / 4 and is pass or fail, with ongoing review and a formal assessment in February.

Stage 3 is delivered at level 4 and assessed and graded at level 4 on portfolio evidence and final exhibition of work.


A selection of Art & Design materials is advantageous, but there are opportunities to purchase paper and materials within College.


If you are over 19 as of 31 August and enrolling on a full-time programme of study a tuition fee will be applicable in most cases.

Age 19-23 and it’s your first full level 3 Qualification – no fees to pay.

Age 19-23 and you already have a level 3 qualification – fees of £5421.

Age 24+ – fees of £5421.

You may be eligible to apply for an advanced learning loan to cover your fees, please call 01305 761100 to book an appointment to speak to the guidance team about this.

Please note International Students will be charged an additional £250 admin fee on top of their tuition fee.

Apply Now
Artboard 7Artboard 6emailArtboard 9Artboard 9Artboard 11Artboard 17Artboard 10Artboard 16Artboard 18