Palace Studios home to our Foundation Diploma at Arts University Plymouth Photo by Dom Moore

Latest News

Exploring Art & Design post A-Levels: Why a Foundation Diploma could be right for you

The Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at Arts University Plymouth is a pivotal one-year course that prepares post-A-Level students for higher education and creative careers.
<p dir="ltr">Deciding whether to embark on a creative journey after your A-levels can be a pivotal moment in your life, with big decisions to be made. For those who are unsure as to what step to take next for their higher education, a <a href="">Foundation Diploma in Art &amp; Design</a> (FAD) at Arts University Plymouth can help you carve your own specialised route into the world of art, design and media.</p> <p dir="ltr">Our Foundation Diploma prepares students for progression to one of our outstanding undergraduate degrees in Arts University Plymouth, or to study at degree level at other prestigious universities. Previous Foundation Diploma students have gone on to study at the University of Cambridge and University College London, and at specialist arts institutions such as Goldsmiths, Central St Martins, Glasgow School of Art and The Bartlett School of Architecture.</p> <p dir="ltr">The FAD course is an opportunity to develop yourself in an independent way and find your artistic voice. It’s about putting your preconceived ideas to one side and having an open mind, pushing the boundaries of what you know, being flexible and playfully experimenting with materials, themes, projects, processes, ideas, techniques and academic theories. It’s a well planned and organised course, but inside that plan is plenty of room for movement and manoeuvre, so you are able to find out what truly excites you.</p> <p dir="ltr">If that wasn’t enough to encourage you to apply, here are our top reasons to choose a Foundation Diploma after completing your A-Levels:<br /></p>
<p dir="ltr">The Foundation Diploma offers a concentrated curriculum tailored specifically to art and design. FAD alumna Sophie Tascher-Baldwin said, “I shopped around (for a course) because I wanted to move away from home, and I visited places as far apart as London and Cornwall, but when I arrived to look around (Arts University Plymouth) I just thought, ‘This is it, I’ve found what I want’. I feel completely at home here. It made the place feel quite intimate. There’s a real sense of community – everyone talks to one another and the tutors treat you as an equal. I come from a very academic background but here everyone talks art!”<br /></p>
<p dir="ltr">The course encourages experimental learning and creative freedom, allowing students to explore and develop their unique artistic styles. FAD alumni Kez Dearmer said: “The course was really interesting because it was so experimental – you try so many different things on it. I came in with experience in painting and some installation but worked on things like film and sculpture during the course too. That was one of the great things about it. We weren’t restricted at all.”<br /></p>
37617623951 1817495e5b k
<p dir="ltr">The Foundation Diploma provides targeted preparation for Higher Education in arts, equipping students with the skills and portfolio needed for specialised art, design and media courses. Focused on practical skills, the FAD course helps students build a robust portfolio, which is crucial for future applications to specialised art and design programs. FAD alumni Maciej Krzyminski said: “It was great to be surrounded by students with different interests and to see their ways of creating a body of work. I was pushed and motivated a lot, and after the Foundation Diploma, I felt more than ready for my degree course."<br /></p>
<p dir="ltr">As one of the UK’s smallest specialist arts universities, Arts University Plymouth is renowned for its high student-to-staff ratios and small class sizes in a close knit, creative community where your lecturer knows your name and can support you in pursuing your specialist interests. <br /></p>
<p dir="ltr">Arts University Plymouth offers access to experienced tutors, industry professionals, and state-of-the-art facilities, providing an immersive learning environment. The course often includes guest lectures, workshops, and networking opportunities with industry professionals, giving students a head start in their creative careers. FAD alumni Callum Charman said: “We have total access; if you want something, you can just go and find it. The Foundation Diploma course studios provide plenty of space and the tutors are very personable and encouraging. The course content is very rich, and the information is clear. Illustration is the direction I’m heading in.”<br /></p>
30499234556 9aa8bafc1b k
<p dir="ltr">Upon completing the Foundation Diploma in Art &amp; Design, alumni have successfully progressed to prestigious degree studies both in the UK and internationally. Emily Collins, an alumna of the 2009 cohort, pursued a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design at UAL post-FAD. Emily's impressive career trajectory includes roles such as Digital Manager for Crafts Council, Team Leader for Uni Connect, and Digital Content Editor at Arts University Plymouth.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another notable alumni, Rhys Coren, furthered his studies in Art &amp; Visual Culture at UWE Bristol and completed a postgraduate diploma at Royal Academy Schools London. Rhys's artistic journey has led to significant achievements, including creating a public artwork for Bond Street Crossrail Station in London and exhibiting in renowned galleries and festivals worldwide. These alumni stories highlight the FAD course's effectiveness in paving the way for diverse and successful creative careers.</p>
<ul><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">For 25 year olds and under</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">Prepares you for progression to undergraduate study</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">Unsure of what artistic discipline you want to focus on</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">Covers a range of subjects</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">One year course</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">An intensive program suited to students coming from A-levels but who haven’t chosen a degree subject</p></li></ul>
<p dir="ltr">Entry requirements: Level 3 qualification and a GCSE profile of at least 5 A*-C grades (or 9-4 in the grading scheme) including English and Maths and a combination of AS and A-Level qualifications (with one in a creative subject).</p> <p dir="ltr">Are you ready to take your next step into creative education? Get in touch with our Admissions Team via email at <a href=""></a>, via telephone on +44(0)1752 203434 or chat to us on WhatsApp on 07722 744184.</p>