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In Short

The Arts Foundation course offers you a great opportunity for broad-based study in art and design. You will acquire creative and practical skills, and build up a strong portfolio of work supported by 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 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 two 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.

Entry Requirements

  • •You should be at least 18 years old in the September of enrolment
  • 5 GCSEs at minimum grade C including English
  • At least 2 A Levels, one in an art-based discipline or National Award or National Diploma in an art-based subject
  • Basic computer literacy.

We also welcome applications from mature students who may not have all these qualifications. Selection is based on an interview and your portfolio. You must demonstrate your abilities to explore ideas and media such as: •

  • Observed drawing
  • Colour work in any media • 2D and 3D work
  • Photography
  • Computer-based work
  • A piece of critical writing

All portfolios must include sketchbooks, scrapbooks and work, illustrating your thinking processes and development of ideas as well as finished pieces. Other information such as assessment results and relevant experience may be taken into consideration at the College’s discretion.

Course Content

There are three main stages to this course – Exploratory, Pathway and Confirmatory. Within the early stages of the course the focus is on developing your skills and enabling you to find out exactly where your interests and creative practice may lie, whereas in the latter part of the course a strong emphasis is placed on “personal ownership” and you taking responsibility for your own work and its development.

Stage One: Exploratory (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. Alongside the practical there is also a strong contextual element to the course with a programme of lectures and weekly talks from visiting artists, both of which enable a greater understanding of your creative practice.

Stage Two: Pathway (Level 3 & 4) Having identified your interests within the creative fields, the pathway stage allows you the chance to clarify and consolidate your ideas and hone the necessary skills for your practice. The course splits into two halves, the Fine Art and the Visual Communication Pathways. Stage two begins with a research trip to Berlin to examine the art and culture of the city, on your return you will be allocated your own studio space in which to independently develop your Pathway Project based on your research from the trip. You will work both independently within your own studio space and within the subject-specific workshops to develop your personal project. 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: Confirmatory (Level 4) At this stage of the course you will work within your chosen specialism developing and integrating your skills through a selfinitiated and negotiated project. At the end of the course you will mount an exhibition of your work for the final assessment.

How will I be assessed?

There is continuous assessment with main assessment points in November, February and June.


Students who completed this course have moved on to BA (Hons) Fine Art, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Animation, 3D Design, Photography, Video Production, Crafts, Fashion and Textiles, and Illustration at institutions such as Falmouth University College, University of Brighton, Winchester School of Art, University of Salford and UWE. Students also went on to work as freelance artists, fashion designers and production assistants at companies such as Next and the BBC.


•If you are aged 16–18 as of 31 August on the year of enrolment = no course fee. • 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 have the option 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. There are financial support arrangements (Bursary Funds) for 16–18 year olds and hardship funds available for the over 19s. Please contact reception for details – 01305 208808 or email

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