Foundation diploma in art and design

Course Dates: 17/09/24 - 19/06/25
Time: 10:30 - 17:00
Location: Keeley Street
The UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at City Lit is an exciting and challenging multi-disciplinary art, design, craft and media programme. It is designed to give you the best possible introduction to a wide range of materials, techniques and processes, and to support you in identifying and developing your creative interests and thinking. Validated by the University of the Arts London Awarding Body, it is an internationally recognised qualification with a UCAS tariff that enables you to apply directly to University.
The course fee is £5421, plus an upfront fee of £100 payable at the time of your enrolment.
If you are unable to pay the course fee upfront, you can choose to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan from Student Finance England (SFE) to help cover the cost, repayable after the course ends. You can find more information about the Advanced Learner Loan
If you are unable to pay the upfront fee, you can talk to our Information, Advice and Guidance team who will advise you on other financial support available. You can contact the Advice and Guidance Team by phone on (telephone temporarily unavailable) or by email:
For more information, please call Advanced Practice on .
93% of 100
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £5,521.00 Senior fee £5,521.00 Concession £5,521.00
Choose a start date

Check your level

Foundation diploma in art and design
  • Course Code: VA654
  • Dates: 17/09/24 - 19/06/25
  • Time: 10:30 - 17:00
  • Taught: Tue-Thu, Daytime
  • Duration: 93 sessions (over 40 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor:

Course Code: VA654

Choose a start date  

Tue-Thu, day, 17 Sep - 19 Jun '25

Duration: 93 sessions (over 40 weeks)

Before booking on this course, please register or log in to your account to complete a short online assessment. We need you to do this to check that this course is the right level for you.
Why do I need an advice session?

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The Foundation course is designed to give you the creative skills and the portfolio you need to progress to higher education or to prepare for work in the creative industries. It builds on your prior experience, linking skills with ideas and challenges, expanding your creative thinking, your contextual knowledge and your critical independence.

You will be taught a wide range of core and practical skills within specialist disciplines including fine art, sculpture and 3D, printmaking, digital media and filmmaking, visual communications, graphic design and illustration, ceramics and contemporary textiles.

During the course you will develop your capacity to analyse and reflect on your progress and position within the context of art and design together with building a body of personal work which identifies your own creative interests and ideas.

Foundation is the ideal course if your ambition is to develop or change to a career in the creative arts, apply to higher education, establish yourself as a professional artist/maker or if you want to explore and develop your creativity to a more advanced level.

It is a questioning and stimulating course which explores contemporary creative practices and debates, alongside developing technical skills and critical thinking.

What will we cover?

The course is divided into 3 units

Unit 1: Diagnostic Investigation into Creative Practice.
This unit will allow you to explore and experiment, and research a broad range of different disciplines, and their professional relevance, to understand both possibilities and limitations. As a result of this, you will have an informed idea of where you want to specialise and what creative pathway you would like to take.

Unit 2: Developing Specialist Practice
This unit will provide you with the opportunity to reflect on the knowledge, skills and practices you have developed in Unit 1 and to define your creative ambitions within a chosen specialist practice

Unit 4: Consolidating Practice.
In this unit you will initiate research and complete a Final Major Project within your chosen professional context, working towards a professional exhibition in a public gallery.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- explore, develop and apply a wide range of specialist art, craft, design and media skills in the development of creative output in a chosen art/design discipline
- build a wide-ranging, high level portfolio of creative work for use in applying for further study or for opportunities in the creative industries appropriate to your personal aims and goals
- bring together and realise your creative thinking and practice in a final major project and present your work in a professional exhibition in a public gallery space.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The Foundation course is a Level 3 course with the last unit stepping up to Level 4. This final unit is graded and attracts the following UCAS points: 80/96/112 (Pass/Merit/Distinction).

You will need a level 2 in English or be working towards a level 2 to enable you to follow written and verbal instructions, to support demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, to take part in group discussion, and to complete a written assignment.

Direct entry is via an application form and a digital portfolio submission (please click 'start assessment' on the right hand side of this page to begin), followed by either an interview or, if appropriate, a recommendation to enrol on a pre-Foundation course. Our pre-Foundation is designed to develop a portfolio of work to enable you to apply to the City Lit Foundation Diploma or elsewhere. (Course codes VA646, VA648, VA650).

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught by a team of staff comprising practicing artists, designers, theorists and experienced teachers, using a wide range of teaching methods, including demonstrations in our fully equipped specialist studios, expert tuition from leading practitioners, tutor-led discussions, group work and practical exercises, practical workshops, individual research projects and studio-based creative assignments. There is also a range of critical studies lectures, seminars and workshops, and museum and gallery visits. All students will be expected to dedicate approximately a day a week to independent study. There is individual learning support available for those with specific learning difficulties.
Note: this course runs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

The majority of materials you will need in the studios at City Lit are provided. We ask you to purchase basic materials for your independent study, such as an A4 sketch book. As the course develops you will need an A1-size portfolio case to store and present your portfolio work. Whilst we aim to provide you with the essential, basic materials necessary to develop your work, you may be required to provide your own specialist materials depending on the type of work you wish to develop. Financial support towards travel or materials may be available to you, and there may be opportunities to apply for bursaries during the course. Please contact the Information, Advice and Guidance team at for more information.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

The majority of our students go on to study at university at undergraduate or - in some cases - post-graduate level, or progress onto advanced visual arts courses within City Lit. Alternatively, our students often take up work in a field related to art and design. In the past our students have gained employment in galleries, established their own studios, set up small businesses, participated in artist residencies, and shown and sold work in exhibitions and events nationally and internationally.

During the programme we offer advice and support with applications and guidance on possible progression routes. In recent years all students who apply to Higher Education have been offered places on completion of the Foundation course. There is a dedicated progression aspect to the course that guides you through the UCAS process, prepares you and develops your awareness of the many other employment opportunities in the creative industries.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00. See the course guide for term dates and further details.

We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.