Work for us

Join Abingdon & Witney College, an award-winning employer

Work for Us

Art and Design Level 3/4 (Foundation Diploma)

Course code: PFAM200P

Subject area: Art & Design

Study level: School Leaver

Course level: 3

Course details

Course time:

09:00 - 17:00

Days of week:

Monday to Friday

Course date:

9th Sept 2024 - 4th Jul 2025

Course location:

Abingdon Campus

Contact details


01235 555 585

The primary purpose of this unique course is to enable you to identify your strengths and aptitudes so that you can select and gain acceptance on to a specialist degree course suited to your needs and career plans. You will explore a whole range of approaches to Art and Design with specialist tutors in the large purpose-built arts building.

The course starts broadly and becomes more specialised as the year progresses. In the first term you will explore specialist areas including printmaking, 2D fine art, 3D design, graphics, illustration, sculpture, fashion, textiles, spatial design and photography. In the second term you will begin to consolidate your growing sense of direction through the selection of three specialist options. In the third term, you will devote your time entirely to an in-depth six-week project which will become a public exhibition.

The course also includes a series of lectures which seek to challenge and inform you about contemporary and historical issues and help you locate your own practical work within a broad cultural context. The Foundation year provides a crucial link between A Level and specialist degree courses. At the same time, it is a year of exciting challenges and new pathways which we believe you will find both refreshing and rewarding.

This course runs across four days with an additional independent study day to make up a five-day week. Most students have part-time jobs alongside this course, but we recommend no more than nine hours per week to be able to cope with the intensity of the programme.

There will be regular trips to galleries and museums around the country and visits by artists, designer and former students. Students will also visit the UCAS Design Your Future Excel Centre, London, as well as London Art Galleries. Two residential trips are usually integrated into the year: an initial four-day visit in September followed by a week-long stay in February (dependent on government guidelines). Recent destinations have included Berlin, Venice and Lisbon.

As we are affiliated with the University of the Arts London, our students have the opportunity to be selected to exhibit their final project at a prestigious venue in London during the summer. This provides a fantastic platform for them to meet industry professionals and grow their confidence.

You will also undertake 35 hours of work experience in relation to your creative interests to support your progression plans.

Course units
The long-established tradition of the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design is given a new lease of life by UAL Awarding Body to provide a fresh, flexible and challenging approach to this pivotal qualification. The units have been designed with open assessment criteria to encourage exploration, experimentation and risk taking. Learning through projects, practical investigation, presentations and group critiques will enable students to develop strong communication skills and support the transition from general to specialist art and design education

There are three key parts to this qualification which is awarded by University of the Arts London Awarding Body (UALab). These phases roughly equate to each term and as you move through each phase, you will continue to specialise.

• Unit 1 Diagnostic Investigation into Creative Practice (Level 3)

• Unit 2 Developing Specialist Practice (Level 3)

• Unit 4 Consolidating Practice (Level 4)

Delivering the qualification through University of the Arts London provides prestige, excellent connections and professional development for our staff and students. Most importantly, we deliver this programme holistically so that students develop strong critical awareness and transferable skills.

What next?
Students will usually go on to study an Art and Design based subject at undergraduate level. Past students have gone on to study at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins and Edinburgh College of Art, and many more.

This course is preparation for entry to BA and Foundation Degrees in Art, Design and Media. Most degree courses require students to have completed a Foundation Course.

This course provides UCAS points and coupled with your previous UCAS points and an exciting portfolio of work, will help you get into your first choice University.

Entry criteria
5 GCSEs at Grade 4 including a creative subject and English & Maths, and 2 A-Levels at a grade C or above.
Fee information
Materials - Kit: £0, Studio materials: £80, Colour print credits: £20

(Total £100 payable at enrolment. You may be eligible for a bursary for up to 75% of this amount)

Day trips - approx. £50 (paid separately on request)

Students may find they want to purchase their own specific materials when working on individual projects.

Tuition fee is free for eligible students aged 18.

19+ tuition is £5,421 and you may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan. Please enquire for more information.

As part of your course we may organise trips to assist you with your learning. Trips are optional, and you will not be penalised if you choose not to participate.

There are bursaries available to help you with other course costs. Call 01235 216 212 for more information.

The rules on fee reduction are complicated and we would encourage you to talk to our Admissions staff on 01235 555 585 to discuss your options. You can find more information on our Fees and Bursaries page - search "Fees and Bursaries" at the top of the page.

Course fees

16-18 Fee:

Tuition Fee: £0.00

Exam Fee: £0.00

Total Cost: £0.00

19+ Fee:

Tuition Fee: £5,712.00

Exam Fee: £0.00

Total Cost: £5,712.00

Qualifications received
UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art & Design

UCAS Points:

Pass = 80

Merit = 96

Distinction = 112

Learning & method assessment
There are no formal exams on this course; however, a project proposal for the final project realisation is submitted to the exam board and assessed alongside the final exhibited project. The end of year show is externally moderated by UAL Awarding Body. The final grade is based on Unit 4 alone where you will achieve a Pass, Merit or Distinction. You need to pass both prior units before you can embark on the final project, although these are not graded to give you space to to take risks, experiment and explore specialisms new to you.

Feedback is given regularly and supports your learning and there are formal assessments where you evaluate all of your work at the end of each half-term. This feedback will support you in making a decision about your next steps and you will focus on producing a portfolio for University interviews.

Coursework is assessed in relation to seven key areas:

• Context

• Research

• Development of Creative Practice

• Problem Solving

• Planning, Progress & Production

• Evaluation & Reflection

• Communicating and Presenting a Creative Practice

There is an extended essay that forms the basis of your research in Unit 4 and this will prepare you for the academic rigour expected in Higher Education.

User skills
You will develop a broad range of techniques and processes and be encouraged to transfer those skills across specialisms in order to be experimental. You will develop your critical thinking skills and self-awareness in order to make informed decisions about your specialist area. Academic and research skills will also be emphasised alongside the practical work, in order to prepare you for Higher Education.