Foundation Diploma in Art and Design Level 3

The Art and Design Foundation UAL Diploma offers a transition from general education to specialist art and design education, enabling you to make an informed decision when applying to art and design higher education. You will be introduced to a range of art and design disciplines, contexts and processes and supported to build a strong specialist portfolio for application to degree level study.

The foundation year was an excellent way to determine what subject specialism I wanted to study further. The tutors were always supportive of my ideas and decisions, enabling me in my creative approach.


***Applications for full-time courses to start in September 2022 are open now!***

We want to make sure you have the best chance of securing a place with us. All full-time applications received by 31st of January 2022 will be guaranteed a place at Colchester Institute, subject to you satisfying the published entry requirements. We still accept applications after this date but may not be able to guarantee you a place on your chosen programme.

Application for this course are made by the ‘Apply Online’ buttons located in the menu further down the page.

If you are looking to start, or are a parent/guardian of a learner looking to start in September 2022, then bookings for our popular January Open Events are also open.

January Open Events

About The Course

Projects are characterised by experiential, experimental and multidisciplinary learning and challenge you to broaden both your technical and conceptual understanding. We introduce the programme by exploring the core skills of drawing, media experimentation, research and critical reflection. You will be supported to identify personal strengths and affinities and to develop specialist skills and knowledge in a particular discipline such as fine art, textiles, fashion design, 3D design, craft or lens media. During stage one and two a series of talks, visits and workshops provide learners with detailed information about progression opportunities in higher education and beyond. Through organised presentation and critique activities the programme enables you to develop strong communication skills so that you feel fully prepared for Higher Education interviews.

Stage three takes the form of a self-initiated project. It is the culmination of the knowledge, technical and creative skills that you will have developed during the programme, and results in a final End of year Exhibition – a fantastic opportunity to showcase your work to fellow students, industry professionals, and the general public.

What Will I Learn?

This course is delivered through a combination of studio and workshop practice, guided assignments, tutorials, seminars and lectures. A considerable amount of personal study and research will be required. By taking responsibility for independent learning and managing time effectively, this course will provide an excellent springboard to future study and progress towards careers objectives or further study.

The course begins with a visit to a museum/art gallery that provides artwork for the first two units. There is also an educational visit abroad that provides students with the inspiration to enhance their portfolio material.

Course Content

The Art and Design Foundation Diploma UAL Level 3 – Course Content

  • Ideas Development
  • Materials and Methods
  • Evaluation and Reflection
  • Preparation for Progression in Art and Design
  • Project Proposal and Realisation in Art and Design

In addition to this course and depending on your current qualifications, you will also engage in GEM and GAP activities to develop your English, maths and employability skills.

Entry Requirements
  • 1 A Level, (A* – C), in an Art and Design subject or satisfactory results (Merit/Distinction) in a relevant Level 3 qualification
  • 5 GCSEs (9-4) including English and Maths
  • An interview with a portfolio of artwork.

All equivalent international qualifications are welcome, as are applications from mature students with alternative qualifications and/or work experience.

All applicants will be invited to attend an interview and asked to present a portfolio of their art and design work which should demonstrate their aptitude and enthusiasm for the subject.

What Our Graduates Do

After completing the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design in 2006, James Allen and Elliott Hammer went on to study Typography at degree level at the London College of Communication. Since graduating they have set up their own London-based design studio Birch, working with clients such as Salvatore Ferragamo and Black Box Press. They both share their experience with current Foundation students as visiting lecturers.

Career Opportunities

On successful completion of the Art and Design Foundation Diploma you will have the opportunity to progress on to various art and design related fields at junior or technician level.

If you decide to pursue a degree course, you will have the opportunity to enter employment in fields such as; graphic design, fashion/textiles, fine art practices, photography/moving image, digital design, film, interior design, furniture design, product design or teaching.

Course Progression

On successful completion of this course you will have the opportunity to progress onto a wide range of art and design related degree courses, some of which are taught at University Centre Colchester.

How to make an Application – Watch our video guide!

We have also prepared a step-by-step video guide – please view this video which will guide you through the application process.

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design Level 3
Qualification: UAL Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design - Foundation Studies
LevelLevel 3
DurationOne year
Study ModeFull-Time
CampusColchester Campus
Start DateSeptember 2022 - Applications open on 1st October 2021
Fee(s)16-18 year olds: Free
19+: £5,421


All Fees and prices shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2021-22 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.