The primary aim of the Foundation Diploma is to enable students to make informed decisions about eventual progression to high quality and appropriate higher education courses in art and design.

The course builds on the students’ prior experience and extends students’ critical independence, allowing a full understanding of the application of art and design, relevant to progression opportunities and career choice. If it is possible in this intensive programme we will engage students in live projects, which give students an insight into what it is like to work with external clients. The most notable recent example of this was where students worked on a musical production ‘Twinkle’ at The Lighthouse in Poole, which brought together pupils aged 8 to 16 years old from six local schools.

The work was conceived as an inclusive composition for pupils with and without special needs and was performed to the public in March 2010. This was a highly successful event with Foundation students from the Fashion / Costume / Textiles, 3D, Graphics, Photography and Film Pathways: designing and making costumes, sets and props, designing flyers, posters and tickets, working on special effects and recording the event through digital media. The production has now been nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Award.

Foundation students from the Film pathway took part in the Annual Moth Night and the data that they collated was given to the national research project. Film students have assisted on AUB graduate films – which have subsequently been shown to the wider community. Students have submitted work to exhibitions, film schools and competitions – with some work being posted on websites. They have also employed local actors to take part in some of their films.

Recent work placements include:

A Fine Art student working at Russell-Cotes Museum and Art Gallery in Bournemouth.

A Fashion student who took part in a charity Fashion show ‘East Meets West’ at the Guildhall in London in January 2010 for The Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK.

A Photography student who ran a photography workshop with a Community Support group of 30 local people in the New Forest.