Palace Court’s outdoor courtyard basks in the summer sun. A golden-brown staircase to the left leads to a second-floor entranceway, whilst ground-level a large white mulberry tree is surrounded by pale grey gravel and white walls with black framing.
Pre-Degree & Sixth Form

Ready to apply to one of our Extended Diplomas or the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design? Our post-16 pre-degree courses will help you build a dynamic portfolio of art, design, craft or digital media, readying you for success in Higher Education or in industry.

Our range of pre-degree study options offer something for everyone looking to further their artistic practice after leaving school or reaching the age of 16.

Applications for our pre-degree courses are made directly to us online. If you’re exploring your post-16 options in Further Education and would like to specialise in a creative subject area within a nurturing studio environment, surrounded by like-minded people and knowledgable staff, check out our Level 3 qualifications, taught at our Pre-Degree & Sixth Form Campus, just 2 minutes from Plymouth's scenic seafront and harbour.

To make an application to one of our post-GCSE study options, you can apply online through the Arts University Plymouth website by selecting your chosen Extended Diploma course within the Pre-Degree course listings. You'll then be invited to attend an Applicant Event where you will have a discussion with a tutor about the course, and we'd love to see some of your work if you have anything to show us.

The Applicant Event will also be a chance for you to experience our unique learning environment, as well as discussing your options with our tutors.

When you're ready to make an application, click the ‘Apply Now’ button near the top left of your chosen course page.

Applications can be made at any time during the year. We normally offer places to students who have a minimum of four GCSEs (minimum grade 4), including English, preferably with one in a creative subject. Other variations on this entry profile may be considered, for example students with non-traditional backgrounds, particular learning needs or exceptional circumstances that have affected their ability to achieve a minimum grade 4 (grade C) in English.

Once we receive your application, we will invite you to book an appointment at the next available Applicant Day. Applicant Days are an opportunity for us to learn about you, your creative potential and why you are interested in studying with us.

You can tell us about any learning difficulties or disabilities you may have so we can offer you the appropriate support. It is also a good moment for you to find out what we offer and gain an understanding of the studio experience.

Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, Palace Studios.

You can apply at any time during the year. However, we receive a high number of applications and have a limited number of places for this course, so we recommend that you make your application as early as possible. Our application form asks for details of your previous qualifications and any relevant work experience, as well as a short personal statement where you can tell us about yourself and your interests. At this point, we will invite you for an interview.

As part of our admissions process, you’ll have the opportunity to tell us about any learning difficulties or disabilities you may have so we can offer you appropriate support. The Foundation Diploma in Art & Design requires a full Level 3 qualification and GCSEs, including English and Maths.

All offers are subject to interview and a portfolio or showreel of creative work that reflects your commitment, enthusiasm and passion for art, design and media. Download our handy guide for help in preparing your portfolio.

Students are welcomed on campus for their first day of term.

For more information on your application please read our Admissions Policy linked below as a PDF or available as a Google Document here.

For a personal discussion or to request an alternative format please email, call +44 (0)1752 203402 or WhatsApp us on 07722744184.

  • For a place on our UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma you need to achieve 4 x GCSEs at grade 4 or above (including English Language or Literature)
  • For a place on our UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma and International Baccalaureate Careers Programme you need to achieve 4 x GCSEs at grade 4 or above (including Maths and English Language or Literature)
  • For a place on our UAL Level 2 Diploma you need to achieve 3 x GCSEs at grade 4 or above.

We are also registered with the Office for Students. That means we meet their requirements for course quality, academic standards, student support, student protection and more. For more information see

For more information and to gain personalised advice on your application, please contact our Admissions Team.