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International Foundation Diploma (IFD)

Find your creative voice, boost your existing skills and gain a diploma qualification at the same time as producing a portfolio of work, ready to progress to one of our degree courses.

February 2021 start

To be considered for a practice-based undergraduate course, you usually need to have a strong portfolio, awareness of contemporary practice and the ability to think critically. Our preparatory course provides an opportunity for you to develop the skills, experience, body of work and qualification needed for further study at undergraduate level. It is ideal for students who are unable to start a one-year Foundation course in September, or those who would like to expand and develop their portfolio and academic skills before progressing onto an undergraduate BA programme.

After successful completion of this course, students are awarded the widely recognised UAL Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3).

Introduction to IFD – 6 week online programme

Created for students who are planning to join AUB in February 2021 to study our International Foundational Diploma (IFD), we have developed an online programme that gives you the opportunity to continue your creative work, prepare for the start of the course and become part of the AUB community, before you arrive.

This 6-week introductory IFD programme is free and available to all students who have paid their deposit and secured a place on IFD.

Find out more

Course information

Your week will include creative workshop sessions, tutorials, lectures as well as preparation for academic study sessions. Preparation for academic study will help you to understand critical practice, how to structure and write academic essays and present and evaluate work, as well as incorporate any additional English language tuition where appropriate.

Course Info

This course is ideal for students who are unable to commence a one-year Foundation course in September, or those who would like to expand and tailor their portfolio for HE progression whilst gaining valuable academic study skills and improving their English communication and language skills.

2021 Dates:

Monday 01 February – Friday 16 July 2021

Course highlights include:

  • Specialist technical workshops
  • Small group tuition
  • Preparation for Academic Study
  • An intensive and compact course spanning 24 weeks
  • Regular 1-1 tutor review sessions
  • Online feedback sessions
  • Online group discussions
  • A chance to curate and exhibit in a virtual exhibition

Progression Support

  • A guaranteed place on one of our undergraduate degrees
  • HE application and progression advice, including talks and tours from our BA staff
  • AUB Direct Application – providing a simplified process for you to make your BA application
  • International fee-paying students who successfully complete this course will obtain a 10% fee reduction each year they are enrolled in one of our BA courses.

English Language Requirements

  • Academic IELTS with an overall score of 5.0 and a minimum score of 4.5 in each band
  • LanguageCert B2 Communicator (both written and speaking tests) with a pass in all four components (speaking, writing, listening and reading)
  • GCSE English, Language or English Literature with a grade C or grade 4
  • IGCSE First or Second Language English with a grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or C1 Advanced with a grade of C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) or C2 Proficiency with a grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) overall score of 45 with a minimum of 43 in each component (reading, writing, speaking, listening)
  • International Baccalaureate Higher Level English Language A, English Language and Literature, or English Language B with a grade of 4
  • International Baccalaureate Standard Level English Language A, English Language and Literature, or English Language B with a grade of 5

Tuition Fee and Discounts

Students who need a visa to enter the UK can take advantage of the Short-Term Study visa; this visa allows you to study for up to six months and covers the length of the International Foundation Diploma. The cost of the visa is £97.00. To check if you need to apply for this visa in advance or request entry clearance as a student on arrival, please use this calculator.

Full-fee for paying in instalments – £13,250.

Early payment discount 1 December 2020 (10% discount) – £11,925

Remember, if you pay your deposit by 26 November you will be entitled to join our 6-week online Introduction to IFD programme for free

The course is divided into three stages. The first stage covers Diagnostic Investigation into Creative Practice to help you identify your areas of interest, strengths and weaknesses. Tutors will help you with this diagnosis as well as help support you in refining your decisions and choice of specialism for stage two: Developing Specialist Practice. The course culminates in Stage three: Consolidating Practice - your final project and an exhibition.

View the full specification from awarding body UAL.

Diagnostic investigation into creative practice (7 weeks)

This includes orientation and inductions – introducing students to a range of approaches, principles and processes.

You’ll attend specialist workshops either on campus or using our virtual campus to learn analogue and digital techniques:

  • Understanding the Creative Process
  • Sketchbook Development
  • Experimental Drawing
  • Painting
  • Print and mixed media
  • 3D Workshops
  • Sound, Lens and Digital Media workshops including: Creating a blog
  • Adobe Creative Suite workshops

You will be introduced to different projects and approaches: Art, Media and Design. As well as the creative aspects of the course you will also learn academic skills including researching, thinking critically and presenting your work. During Stage one you’ll start developing your portfolio and will attend workshop and tutorial sessions to help with this

At the end of Stage one, you’ll be assessed and receive a detailed review of your work to date, to help you decide which specialism you’d like to focus on.

At the end of Stage one, there will also be two reading weeks.

Developing specialist practice (8 weeks)

In Stage two you’ll confirm your specialist area of practice, carrying out two projects linked to your specialism. You will be supported by tutorials and reviews and encouraged to expand your specialist knowledge and awareness of practitioners as well as relevant skills and techniques.

You’ll continue developing your portfolio within Stage 2 and will attend workshop and tutorial sessions, either virtual or on campus to help with this.

You will also complete your direct application to AUB or UCAS application within this Stage. You will be given advice on personal statement writing and Interview technique.

At the end of Stage 2 you will be assessed and receive a detailed review of your work to help you to form your plan for Stage 3. You must pass this stage before you can progress onto Stage 3.

The specialist areas are:

  • Fine Art
  • Graphics and Communication
  • Illustration
  • Fashion, Costume and Textiles
  • 3D
  • Photography
  • Film and Animation

Consolidating practice/final project (6 weeks)

For Stage Three you’ll focus on a longer project within the specialist area of your choice. You’ll work in a more independent way, developing your individual interests and working on portfolio material for your progression into Higher Education. Stage Three will culminate in your final assessment which is graded Pass, Merit or Distinction as well as your final exhibition.

Subjects covered:

  • Research practices
  • Project development methods
  • Specialist workshops
  • Ideas development
  • Evaluation/Reflection strategies
  • Presentation strategies
  • Portfolio building

Prep for Academic Study

All students will attend Preparation for Academic Study sessions across Stage 1 and 2.

This module will give you the opportunity to practise and build your confidence in a range of academic skills required to succeed in your studies at AUB (e.g. working with academic sources, writing effective essays and evaluations, listening and note-taking, presenting and evaluating your work), while also improving your ability to express yourself in an academic way. All content is tailored to studying at an arts institution and will involve interactive, student-centred learning

The three stages of the course contain regular assessments that test the skills and language studied during the course. Successful completion of both the Preparation for Academic Study and the Foundation part of the course will ensure progression onto your chosen BA pathway.

Completing the course

You’ll receive a UAL Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3) certificate on completion of your Foundation course.

As successfully completing the Foundation course guarantees you a place on one of our BA Honours degree courses, you will discuss your creative aspirations with your tutor and agree the course that you’d like to progress on to. Students who are keen to join one of our degree courses after completing this course are also able to make a Direct Application – proving a simplified and streamlined application route, with support from your course tutors.

All students will attend 11 days of Preparation for Academic Study across Stage 1 and 2.

This integrated module will give you the opportunity to practise and build your confidence in a range of academic skills required to succeed in your studies at AUB (e.g. working with academic sources, writing effective essays and evaluations, listening and note-taking, presenting and evaluating your work), while also improving your ability to express yourself in an academic way.

All content is tailored to studying at an arts institution and will involve interactive, student-centred learning. Tutorials will also be available for students who would like more focussed academic support.

The three stages of the course contain regular assessments that test the skills and language studied during the course. Successful completion of both the Preparation for Academic Study and the Foundation part of the course will ensure progression onto your chosen BA pathway.

Completing the course

You’ll receive a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3) certificate on completion of your Foundation course.

Successfully completing the Foundation course guarantees you a place on one of our BA Honours degree courses at AUB.* You’ll agree the course that you’d like to study for with your tutor.

Testimonial

‘My favourite thing about the course was exploring the materials and resources that the university has. I was unsure what I wanted to study, but I was able to explore my options and could have chosen to go down the 2D or 3D or graphic design route. In the end, I’ve chosen to study BA (Hons) Modelmaking at AUB.’

Nikhil Shrestha, Nepalese

*Except BA (Hons) Acting and (BA Hons) Dance as these are audition-based.

All students who successfully complete this IFD course are guaranteed progression onto one of undergraduate courses.*

This is a fast-track 24-week preparatory qualification in Art, Design and Media; you will explore different creative approaches before choosing the specialism you wish to pursue at degree level. Delivered through a blended learning approach, the course includes practical workshop and studio sessions as well as online lectures, creative tutorials, self-guided study projects and group discussions. The courses aims to develop your ability to learn independently - an essential skill for further study – so you will be encouraged to experiment, take risks and be ambitious in your thinking and ideas. Your tutor will support you with regular feedback and mentoring sessions to develop your confidence and help you decide upon your artistic direction.

The course also includes a supportive programme of preparation for academic study sessions alongside the creative aspects of the course, giving you the opportunity to develop your academic English language skills in the context of art and design.

*With the exception of BA (Hons) Acting and (BA Hons) Dance which are audition-based.

The IFD course gives students the space and opportunity to explore their artistic expression through a collaborative, intercultural approach. One of the advantages of this course, for both tutors and students, is the varied and rich cultural heritage of each year’s cohort that not only influences their responses to projects, but gives context to their work, reflecting current creative practices and global influences.

Rachael Williams, Course Leader

See what our students are doing

Want to know what it’s like to study on this course? Take a look at the posts below to find out more from our students.

Staff on this course

Our lecturers and technicians are experts in their fields. You can find out more about the teaching staff on this course by exploring their profiles below.

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Rachel Williams

Course Leader - International Foundation Diploma (IFD) – Preparation for HE...

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Emma Lay

Lecturer - English for Academic Purposes – Student Services...

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Trevor Herndon

Lecturer - English for Academic Purposes – Student Services...

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Caroline Johnson

Visiting Lecturer...

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Denise Poote

Visiting Tutor...

See more of our student work