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Foundation Welcome Guide

Preparing for your course

We're delighted that you've chosen to join our creative community at Arts University Bournemouth. We can't wait to see what you'll create.

Welcome to Foundation

This welcome pack is designed to give you an idea of what to expect during the first weeks of your course. This information applies to all aspects of the Foundation course, so please take the time to read it carefully and take particular note of the pre-course preparation.

A message from your Course Team

Congratulations and welcome to the Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design course at Arts University Bournemouth – probably the most intense, yet exciting, experience in your education.

There is hard work ahead, but the work is enjoyable, fulfilling and rewarding. You'll be pursuing your love of art, design and media practice every day; developing your work to a very high standard. The course will require a very responsible and individual approach to working practice; high levels of attendance and commitment are crucial. The recommended working hours for the course, including independent study, are 30 hours per week, and your timetabled sessions will run throughout the week. We strongly recommend that you don't undertake more than 16 hours of part-time work per week, which you'd need to fit around your studies.

Most artists, designers and media practitioners regard their Foundation year as one of their most important, and former students often come back to see us with very fond memories of their time here. Having such a beautiful campus, enthusiastic staff, great facilities, and of course living in Bournemouth, all have enormous advantages; we're sure that you'll really enjoy it.

– The Foundation Diploma Course Team

Before you join us

This will be an exhibition showing mini works by all incoming Foundation students

We're going to create an exhibition called MICROVERSE. This will include a piece of work by all students.

Step 1) Make a piece of work responding to the theme of “MICROVERSE”

Step 2) Submit your finished work in the first week to your tutor.

The MICROVERSE Guidelines:

  • You can interpret the theme how you want.
  • 2D works can't be bigger than 7 cm x 7 cm.
  • 3D works can't be bigger than 7 cm x 7 cm x 7 cm.
  • Due to the nature of the exhibition space, we can't display films/animations/time-based work on screens.
  • Due to the nature of the exhibition, the work must fit on a shelf that protrudes 7 cm from a wall.

It's recommended that you record your work using a recent camera or camera phone. If you struggle to take good photographs, we can assist you in updating these skills and will review the work through tutorials and UCAS discussions if required.

We also encourage you to consider conducting early research into degree courses that are available using the UCAS website, particularly those here at AUB. Our internal progression route provides an excellent opportunity to continue on to our undergraduate degree courses.

If you just can't wait to get started and want to do some preparation over the summer, we recommend reading any (or all) of the below.

  • Bull, S. Photography. Routledge.
  • Editors of Phaidon Press. 20th Century Art Book. Phaidon Press.
  • Fiell C. & P. Design of the 20th Century. Taschen.
  • Gombrich, E. H. The Story of Art. Phaidon Press.
  • Micklewright, K. Drawing. Laurence King.
  • Millard, R. The Taste Makers. Thames and Hudson.
  • Perry, G. Playing to the Gallery. Penguin.
  • Pipes, A. Foundations of Art and Design. Laurence King.
  • Stallabrass, J. Contemporary Art: A Very Short Introduction. OUP Oxford.
  • Sutherland, R. Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas that Don’t Make Sense. WH Allen.

Current student work

Have a look through some of the work our current students are producing to get an idea of the type of work you may be doing on our course.

What to bring on your first day

On your first day bring along something to write with and a smile.

Below is a recommended list of what you'll need for a normal studio session.

Other more specialist sessions may need you to bring other materials or equipment. You'll be advised of these requirements on your project briefs.

We'll supply you with a starter pack which will include your first A3 A4 and/or A5 sketchbooks look after these.

To get you started, you'll be given a number of printer credits. Once these are used, you'll need to replenish these throughout the year to cover the cost of your printing and photocopying.

Midway through your studies, you may wish to purchase a portfolio. These portfolios usually cost around £40, depending on the size and type that you order – your tutor will guide you on this.

Course equipment we'll provide you with…

We'll provide you with course equipment as you work through the course and most materials are available for you to take home.

In stage 2, you'll receive a Specialism pack which will have more specialist kit and equipment related directly to your choices.

You'll need to provide:

  • Photographic equipment that you may have, however, we can provide this (on loan) for all students.
  • Leads and chargers you require for phone/laptop/camera etc... (we can't provide these).

Please see the Foundation fees webpage for information on these fees and how to pay them after enrolling:

This course uses Apple computers, but students can work effectively with the PC equivalent.


As you're on a full-time course and are expected to be available all week, our timetable for stage 1 will rotate over a three-week programme so you may not be in on the same days each week. After this rotation then you'll choose a specialism and work to a set timetable across the week, which will continue into the final Stage. Additionally, there'll be a number of sessions online – including our Bigger Picture talks and your theory seminars.

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We’re delighted for you to join us at AUB – we can’t wait to see what you’ll create.

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Next Steps

Find out the useful dates and contact before you start here

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