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Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media


This one-year foundation course gives you the chance to explore different creative areas before choosing the subject you want to take a degree in.

It's the perfect way to find your creative voice and to boost your existing skills and portfolio if they’re not quite up to degree standard – or you might just like to enjoy a year of being creative before moving on to something else. After successful completion of this course, students are awarded the widely recognised UAL Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3).

Guaranteed place on a BA degree at AUB upon successful completion (except the Acting and Creative Writing courses, which require auditions or written submissions).

Course information

This course is geared towards the preparation of a portfolio of work to support your application to a Higher Education course. Throughout the course, your practical studio work will be supported by a programme of contextual studies in art and design. You can view the full specification from awarding body UAL.

Please note that fees and funding, including the availability of maintenance loans for the Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media are different from our Undergraduate courses. Please visit our Fees and Financial Support page for more information.

The Foundation Diploma sets out to help students discover a preferred area of practice. You'll develop core learning skills and extend your understanding of creative processes in preparation for undergraduate study or employment. This is an intensive course that provides high level insight into contemporary creative practices and the potential to focus studies into specialist areas.

Students will develop sound understanding of the creative process and skills that prepare students fully for progression in our purpose build Foundation buildings with state-of-the-art studios.

Course Duration

1 year (full-time)


Read more about fees


Find out how to apply

Stage one

During stage one, students will explore broad core principles and working practices in Art, Design and Media which will lead students to discover their preferred area of study. Simultaneously, students will increate their critical comprehension and creative skill sets. The course provides insight into the range of options available for stage two study.

Stage two

The course offers multiple 'specialisms', and you'll choose to study these from mid-November.

The specialism for stage two are:

  • Graphic Communication
  • 3D – Art, Craft and Design
  • Fashion, Costume and Textiles
  • Photography
  • Fine Art
  • Film and Animation
  • Illustration

Each specialism has a range of expert tutors, and support from visiting tutors and technical staff. During stage two, you'll engage with several project over 12 weeks and begin to focus your portfolio towards your specialist areas. You'll also make your Higher Education application through UCAS.

Stage three

Stage three consists of a self-initiated project, which is negotiated with your tutor and managed more independently. In this stage, you can put into practice all of the skills that you've learned from the first two stages. The final outcomes are exhibited in TheGallery and studios.

See what our students are doing

A Foundation diploma is the perfect way to begin your creative pathway. Take a look at the gallery below to find out more about the work that our Foundation students have been making.

"Foundation is the heart of the creative industries, we encourage students to push their boundaries, take risks and experiment with new exciting ways of creating. Through a mix of specialisms, students can take control of their journey and use the course as a springboard into the wide range of undergraduate courses we have to offer. At the same time, students are able to explore the interplay of the disciplines to support the building of their portfolio."

Josh Read | Course Leader | Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media

Meet our course team

You’ll be taught by specialist lecturers and technicians on the Foundation course. You can find out more about staff by browsing their profiles below.

Headshot for J Read.

Joshua Read

Course Leader - Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media

Obscure angle of the Drawing Studio

Hester Poole

Lecturer - Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media

Roland Dry head shot

Roland Dry

Pathway Leader - Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media


Demeter Dykes

Lecturer - Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media

Stephanie Horan headshot

Stephanie Horan

Pathway Leader (Graphics) - Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media


Rachel Larkins

Lecturer - Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media

Obscure angle of the Drawing Studio

Kevin Lawton

Senior Technician - Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media

Marcus Voss headshot

Marcus Voss

Technician Demonstrator - Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media

Obscure angle of the Drawing Studio

Perri Scott

Technician Demonstrator - Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media

Headshot for C. Johnson.

Caroline Johnson

Visiting Lecturer

Obscure angle of the Drawing Studio

Jason Bascombe

Technician Demonstrator...

Rob Amey portrait

Rob Amey

Progression Leader (Media)...

Lucy Turner Portrait

Lucy Turner

Lucy Turner is an artist and video editor based in Bournemouth...

Headshot of T Tzelepaki

Tereza Tzelepaki

FAD and IFD Technician Demonstrator

Headshot of C Baskerville.

Clare Baskerville

Clare Baskerville studied Fine Art at Arts University Bournemouth for both her BA Hons Degree and MA...

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Dan Lobb

Visiting Tutor


Our Diploma in Art and Design – Foundation Studies Programme is delighted to have achieved the ‘Outstanding’ rating in its 2018 Ofsted inspection – in all four areas. You can read more here and see the full report here.

See more of our student work

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