Foundation diploma in art and design: stage 1

Course Dates: 14/01/20 - 03/04/20
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Ute Brief-Kreymann
Simon English
Marcus Richards
Andrea Voisey

This exciting course is a chance to develop key creative skills and approaches to art and design in 2D, 3D, life drawing and critical studies. If you complete stage 1 successfully you'll be able to progress onto stage 2 of the formal Foundation Diploma in Art & Design. Please note that the course runs for two days (10.00 - 17.00) per week. Students are able to choose between studying on Tuesdays and Wednesdays OR Wednesdays and Fridays. In addition to the two days a week there will be six evening sessions (18:00 - 20:30) on Wednesday evenings.


What is the course about?

This course is validated by the University of the Arts London Awarding Body, and leads to the internationally recognised Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. This award is the ideal preparation for study in higher education at either undergraduate or post-graduate level*. The course will equip you with core skills, contextual knowledge and creative methods for employment or to begin to establish yourself professionally as a practising artist, designer or maker. Through exploring a range of ideas, methods, techniques and specialist practices you will build a body of personal creative work and identify and further your own creative interests and ideas with specialist tutor support.

Over the four terms of the course, you will be taught a wide range of subject specialist disciplines including: drawing and painting, sculpture and 3D, printmaking, digital art and film-making, graphic design and illustration, ceramics, fashion, costume and creative textiles. These specialist workshops will be combined with core workshops in drawing, basic photography, colour theory, creative research and experimentation, ideas development, studio practice and critical studies that will help you develop your individual creative direction and project work. In the final stage you will choose two specialist areas to focus your creative learning and skills, and work towards a professional public exhibition in an external gallery.

* progression is not guaranteed, and will depend on your previous qualifications and experience, your creative development over the course, and the standard and quality of your creative work upon completion of the diploma.

What will we cover?

Stage1 is designed to develop your skills and the fundamentals of visual practice and research. Stage 1 includes workshops in drawing, painting, sketchbook work, conceptual ideas development, 3D and sculpture, and for two days per week, and life drawing classes in the evenings on Wednesday for half of the term. During stage 1 you will work in a range of media, and explore a number of fundamental creative techniques and methods, both in our studios at City Lit as well as in London's museums and galleries. The course is taught in its entirety by practising artists, designers and thinkers who bring their professional insights to their teaching and workshops. For more specific information about the programme, including course structure, teaching staff and student work please see the course outline for Stage 2 or contact

This course concerns contemporary practice and debate. As such you can expect to be stimulated and challenged by some of the ideas and images discussed.

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

• use and apply observational and expressive drawing techniques;
• sculpt and design creative work using resistant and soft materials;
• analyse and respond to the work of historical and contemporary artists and designers;
• develop a sketchbook with records of gallery visits, independent research, idea
development and experimental work;
• start to build and formally present a portfolio of creative project work;
• reflect on and evaluate your creative work.

Your Stage 1 portfolio will demonstrate your skills, knowledge and creative abilities and prepare you for progression onto Stage 2 of the diploma.

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

The course is at intermediate level, and upon application we will invite you to meet a member of the team to discuss the programme and share some recent creative work. We are interested in any art, design or craft work that you have done, in any form or media, and we especially like to see drawing skills and sketchbook work, and any evidence of your creative ideas, interests or passions.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for
health and safety information, and you will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

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

You will be taught by an experienced team of practising artist-educators, designers and theorists in our main Foundation studio and sculpture workshop at City Lit's main building on Keeley Street. The course is taught through a mixture of practical workshops, creative excercises and project briefs, illustrated talks and discussion seminars, personal tutorials, and museum and gallery visits. Foundation students are expected to do some research and sketchbook work outside of classes, and be keen to visit galleries and museums in their own time.

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

All essential materials are provided, but we do recommend you buy an A4 sketchbook and some basic art materials depending on your creative interests. Tutors will advise on what you may need as the course develops. A good camera is highly recommended, but not essential.

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

Foundation Stage 1 is ideal preparation for progression onto Stage 2 and the formal Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, which will equip you with the skills, knowledge and creative portfolio to progress into higher education at degree level, advanced level practice courses at City Lit, and for higher level learners with appropriate qualifications, onto post-graduate courses. Guidance on progression will be provided on the course, particularly during Stage 2 where you will receive support with applications as well as meet numerous pracising artists, designers, makers and creative professionals who will share their experience in art and 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


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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Excellent course, well paced, good overview and critiquing of contemporary art, wide ranging, extremely knowledgeable and supportive tutors. Excellent scope to be creative and 'do art'.
Course Rating
Review by NPM / (Posted on 24/11/2018)
Tutor Biographies
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.

Check your level

Course Code: VA648

Tue+Fri, day, 14 Jan - 03 Apr '20

Duration: 36 sessions (over 12 weeks)

Full fee: £699.00
Senior fee: £559.00
Concession: £210.00

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.
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