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Art and Design Foundation Level 3

Course Overview

Art and Design Foundation Level 3 is aimed at post A-Level students and is designed to offer a foundation in a broad range of art and design disciplines as preparation for progression on to higher education. It allows you to explore different aspects of art and design to discover your strengths and interests. The course includes digital image making, exploring 2D and 3D visual ideas and contextual history of art and design. The course is taught through studio and workshop activities supported by a formal lecture programme. Assessment is continuous throughout the year.

What topics are covered?

As a full-time student at Bath College, you will follow a study programme consisting of a vocational diploma, maths and English, employability skills, volunteering and tutorial. Please visit our Study Programmes page for details.


The course is divided into three parts and covers the following topics…


Part One: Learning Skills and Context

During the first phase of the course you develop an understanding of the skills and context related to working within the broad field of Art and Design. The units covered include Research Methods, Developing Ideas, Materials & Processes and Evaluation & Reflection. These are taught within the context of drawing blocks, project blocks and contextual studies. Part One ends with a Diagnostic Tutorial during which you make your choice to specialise in one of four curriculum areas; Fine Art, 2D Design, Fashion and Textiles and 3D.


Part Two: Development and Progression

The second part of the course has two main agendas. The Research, Ideas & Methods unit is designed to act as an introduction to your chosen specialist area where you will begin to deal more specifically with the materials, processes and working methodologies associated with the discipline. In addition to this, the Preparation for Progression unit looks at how to achieve your ambitions beyond studying on this course. For the vast majority of students this focuses on the UCAS application process, but we also support students who are looking to find employment.


Part Three: Proposal and Realisation

By this stage of the course students will be managing their own personal learning development. In this unit all students will be developing and writing their own individual briefs (in negotiation with their personal tutor) – extending their research, experience and technical skills within their chosen area of specialism.

Who is the course aimed at?

Primarily the course is designed for post A-level students who are preparing to study an art & design subject at university but the course also attracts a wide range of mature students who are considering a career change or looking to develop their own creative practice to a higher level.

What are the entry requirements?

  • 5 GCSE’s including English Language at C/4 or above
  • A portfolio of work, developed to A’ Level or equivalent standard demonstrating a level of competence and commitment that will allow you to engage successfully with the course.
  • The successful completion of the Interview process: Before the interview you must submit a written statement of not more than 250 words, indicating your reasons for pursuing a career in art & design. You are also asked to complete two drawing following a brief which is included in the letter inviting you to the interview. During your interview we will then discuss your statement, the two drawings and your portfolio of work.
  • Mature students over the age of 21 who may not have the necessary qualifications could be offered a place on the strength of their interview performance and accompanying portfolio of work.

What qualifications will I gain?

UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design can be achieve at either L3 or L4. The level will be determined by the grades you achieve whilst studying on the course.

Who is the awarding body?

UAL (University of Arts London)

How will I learn?

The course is designed to be dramatically different from any of your previous experiences in Art and Design.

You will be starting the process of taking full responsibility for your work and development. The course requires an extremely high level of commitment that will allow you to question and reconfigure your understanding of, and relationship with, art and design.


You will learn by;


  • Challenging your preconceptions both inside and outside of Art & Design
  • Thinking and working outside of your comfort zone
  • Taking responsibility for the development of your work and working process
  • Taking risks and learning as much from your failures as you learn from your successes
  • Discussing your work (within a wider context) and develop a critical stance – talking about it is just as important as doing it!
  • Developing a knowledge and understanding your ‘subject’ (critical studies)
  • Managing your time and establishing a self-disciplined relationship with attendance, punctuality, reliability and the ability to meet deadlines


Your thought process and involvement will be assessed equally with the work physically produced and your journey is unlikely to be a smooth progression because you will be learning from your failures as well as from your successes. Paradoxically however, in spite of all the rules and regulations the course is an incredibly empowering and liberating experience which should allow you to grow personally as well as within an art and design context.

What hours will I be in college?

The full-time Foundation Diploma course starts in September and runs 5 days per week 9:00am – 4:30pm over 36 taught weeks.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is continuous with a major external assessment at the close of the summer term. The awarding body is UAL (University of Arts London).

What can I do after this course?

The majority of students progress directly onto degree courses within the broad field of art or design, while others use the qualification as an experience in its own right.

Are there any additional costs?


There is a resources fee that covers the cost of basic materials, but you will also need to get some essential equipment (a list is provided at the time of your enrolment). While we provide a lot of the basic materials you will also need to purchase some materials yourself and as your work develops you will also be expected to provide any specialist materials or equipment you require.


An Art Starter Kit containing some of the basic equipment you will need is available to purchase through the College Shop.


Study Trips

In addition to this there are two compulsory study trips to locations in the UK and one optional European study trip. The combined cost of the two compulsory study trips is approximately £50 and the cost of the European trip varies but is usually £300 – £400.


What funding is available?

If you are aged 19 or over you may be eligible to apply for a 19+ Advanced Learning Loan to cover your tuition fees.

For other funding information, please refer to our Funding page.

What are the leisure and cultural activities?

Study Trips

In addition to this there are two compulsory study trips to locations in the UK and one optional European study trip. The combined cost of the two compulsory study trips is approximately £50 and the cost of the European trip varies but is usually £300 – £400.

Which department is this course in?

Art & Design

Where will I need to go on my first day?

On your first day, please report to the Reception in the Roper Building at City Centre Campus.

What do I need to bring?

Details will be given at enrolment.

What else do I need to know?

You will be given a ‘holiday project’ to complete before the start of the course.

Where can I find out more information?

For advice or more details please telephone 01225 312191 or email info@bathcollege.ac.uk. You may also visit our Student Advice Centre.

If you have a learning difficulty or disability, please contact Additional Learning Support to arrange additional help.

How do I apply?

Online: Click the "Apply" button and fill out an online application form.

By post: download the Full-Time Application Form and send to Student Advice Centre, Bath College, Avon Street, Bath BA1 1UP.

In person: Visit the Student Advice Centre in either of our campuses

To find out more about the application process, please go to the How to Apply page.

2 reviews for Art and Design Foundation Level 3

  1. 5 out of 5

    Challenging and inspiring course that leaves you confident to persue the next step in your specialised area with a clear understanding of your working process and a willingness to learn from thorough exploration.
    Essential life skills even if you go on to study a different subject.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Transformational. Like being shown into a room that you didn’t know existed before. I don’t know what I expected but whatever it was was exceeded.

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