This accredited course prepares you for the study of art and design at degree level. You'll gain an understanding of visual communication, three-dimensional design, fashion and fine art. You'll explore a range of art forms and techniques, and begin to develop your own creative style.
You'll be taught by a broad range of tutors who all work within the creative industry. These will engage you in a critical investigation of your work, progression aims and ambitions. You'll take part in regular research and drawing trips; studio, gallery and museum visits to London also form part of the course.
Please download our guidance for applying for the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (PDF) to assist with your application.
Please note that applications for September 2020 entry are now closed. The next entry for the course will begin in September 2021 and we will begin accepting online applications from the end of October 2020.
The Foundation Diploma in Art & Design course focuses on four main areas:
Places are limited and the number of applicants is extremely high. We expect applicants to have attended one of our open days. You'll hear more about the course, meet staff, visit the ground-breaking workshops and studio spaces at our Knights Park campus, where many art and design courses are based, and receive guidelines about how to apply and what to include in your portfolio.
The course runs from September to June and is divided into three parts.
Introduces the principles, techniques and demands of the art and design industry. A six-week rotation of workshops examines each of the four areas. This helps you understand them and make an informed choice on what you want to study.
Marks the start of your specialism. You'll explore your subject choice in detail and broaden your technical and conceptual skills. You'll also prepare your portfolio for degree-level application.
You will complete an eight-week project using the knowledge, skills and confidence you have acquired. The project culminates with a public exhibition.
This Edexcel Foundation Diploma in Art & Design runs seven Units throughout the three parts of the course. All students will be provided with the Foundation Student Handbook and full details of each Unit will be provided in Unit guidelines.
Non-credit bearing unit
You'll be given an introductory brief and a Learning Resource Centre (LRC) induction (Part 1)
Non-credit bearing unit
Includes 5 day workshops in specialisms, 3D inductions and area talks (Part 1)
Non-credit bearing unit
Includes a Drawing Trip show and the beginning of your specialism (Part 2)
Non-credit bearing unit
This Unit covers personal statement writing, a work in progress show and an old students event, as well as an assessment of the Units so far (Part 2)
Non-credit bearing unit
You'll continue with your specialism, work towards your UCAS and portfolio deadlines, prepare for and attend degree course interviews (Part 2)
Non-credit bearing unit
Assessment of Units (Personal Experimental Studies and Extended Media Development), and submission of statement of intent (Part 2)
Non-credit bearing unit
You'll submit your final major project, complete and present your portfolio, and exhibit your work in the final Foundation Show, which is open to the public (Part 3)
The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and programme details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through programme specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.
The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and programme details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.
"I absolutely loved my time at Kingston – it was so exciting to be in a place where everyone enjoyed the same thing. I was shocked at how much my work changed in just a year; the tutors were the main reason for this. I found them to be passionate and always there to give advice, which I feel you just don't get at other places."
Serena is continuing her studies here at Kingston on the Graphic Design BA (Hons) course.
Serena Wise, Student of the Year
"Well what can I say about my foundation year at Kingston? It has been a hundred times better than I could ever have imagined. I have learnt so much in such a short space of time and consequently my work has improved dramatically. I have made great friends and been inspired by talented tutors as well as other students. Coming into university every day has been a great social experience, alongside working harder than I have ever done before. I have loved every minute of my course and will not be forgetting it any time soon."
Rebecca went on to study Specialist Make-up Design: Fashion and Editorial Image at the University of the Arts, London.
Rebecca Grey, Student of the Year
"My year on the Kingston foundation has been amazing. Being surrounded by people with the same interests and aspirations creates a fun and exciting atmosphere. The first term's rotation allowed experimentation in a variety of different subject areas, working with tutors who are practicing professionals giving amazing insight into their industries. The tutors are always around to give help and advice.
The foundation course encourages you to be the best that you can be by trying and testing ideas and outcomes, while learning time management skills and how to talk about your work. I'm going to really miss Kingston and I would definitely recommend it."
Ellen went on to study textiles with business studies at the University of Brighton.
Ellen Fearnley, Student of the Year
"Deciding to come to Kingston for the foundation course was the best decision of my life. I have always known art was the world for me but the first term (where you try everything from fashion to animation) really broadened my horizons and helped me to become certain about the particular art path I want to follow. The Kingston foundation experience is all about trying out new ideas and learning to carry projects through.
Added to that it's a lovely place – it's always good for artists to have a river nearby. But most of all the people are great. The tutors are inspiring and always have time for you and we students encourage and help each other. I have enjoyed every minute of this course If you want to create art, work hard and have a great time, Kingston is THE place for you!"
John Gumley-Mason, Student of the Year
"Kingston foundation has helped me gain the confidence I needed in my work and my own ability. From the way the course is run, the briefs which are set and the amazing support given by the tutors I am happy in knowing I am on the right path. I have learnt so much in such a short space of time and as a result my work has improved considerably. The amount of effort that has been put in from my personal tutors has made me naturally want to give back more; they have been what has made the course. Their delicate touches in directions have pushed my ideas further and further."
Helena continued her studies at Kingston on the Illustration Animation BA (Hons) course.
Helena Bradbury, runner-up Student of the Year
"When I came to England to study art I was a quite nervous because everything was new – language, place and friends – but now I can say that coming here was the best advice that I have ever received. The foundation course was really good because I could learn about what my skills and interests are thanks to excellent tutors.
I lived in halls of residence and I can say that it is an experience that everyone should try! Living with people that you don't know very well, and who sometimes have different habits or culture, is not always easy but it's a foundation of growth because you learn a lot."
Eleonora is continuing her studies at Kingston on the Product and Furniture Design BA (Hons) course.
"Since starting this foundation course I have been encouraged, inspired and have dramatically improved thanks to an incredible team of staff and their support.
I have found the foundation to be a fantastic opportunity to expand my abilities and experience. Throughout this short year I have made unforgettable friends and have had a lot of fun. Kingston has opened my eyes to the wonderful world of illustration, which I am excited to pursue into a degree course in September."
Stacey is continuing her studies at Anglia Ruskin University majoring in illustration.
Stacey Freeman, Drawing Prize
"I have enjoyed my year at Kingston very much, thanks to the great surroundings and inspirational tutors. I loved coming in every day, using the workshop and making some really good friends. The tutors give really fun and interesting projects, and you should take advantage of the library as a resource. I gained a lot of confidence from this course and loved it so much that I will be staying at Kingston for my degree!"
Andrew is continuing his studies at Kingston on the Product and Furniture Design BA (Hons).
"The atmosphere of Kingston University is very sociable, plus the University has extensive facilities and a solid curriculum. I benefited from this during my foundation course, which contributed to my success in achieving a place at Goldsmiths College to study fine art. My tutors and friends always gave me good advice and helped me choose my next university.In particular, my tutors taught me mixing media, which developed my art works into more abstract, powerful and metaphorical pieces. This development led me to fine art. In addition, the libraries and English course also supported the advancement in my studies."
Hideto is continuing his studies at Goldsmiths College, London majoring in fine art and critical studies.
A-level or AS Level or BTEC Diploma in an art and design subject. International Baccalaureate Diploma/Certificate at a minimum grade of 24. Five GCSEs at a minimum of grade C or 4, including English Language and Mathematics.
A-level (or equivalent) in an art and design subject. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview and need to submit a portfolio of work.
Entry onto this course does require a digital portfolio and interview as part of the application process. A short list of selected applicants are invited for an interview. UK-based applicants will be required to attend an in-person group interview with their physical portfolio. Further details about the interview will be sent with emailed interview invitations. Applicants based outside of the UK selected for interview may be scheduled for a phone/skype interview or a decision may be made based on the application and digital portfolio.
All international students requiring a visa must meet our English Language requirements. For this course it is a UKVI IELTS 5.0 overall, with no element below 4.5
Teaching includes studio-based projects, one-to-one tutorials, lectures, seminars, practical field trips, skills workshops and demonstrations. You will work in small groups of approximately 25 students, led by subject-specific tutors.
The Foundation Diploma in Art & Design award is based on passing all three parts of the course, and on completion of 120 credits.
When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.
Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.
When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.
As a rough indication, in Part 1 you'll receive 4 days a week of scheduled teaching; in Part 2 you'll receive 3 days a week of scheduled teaching and in Part 3, you'll receive 2 - 3 days a week of scheduled teaching. The week would be divided into contact hours (ie time spent with academic staff) and independent learning hours (eg time spent in the studio, library, or workshop with or without technical support).
At Kingston University there is a strong focus on the making process through experimentation with materials, processes and ideas. This enables our students to challenge norms, push boundaries and achieve excellence. It is therefore likely that much of your time will be spent working in this way.
Assessment typically comprises practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios and dissertation).
Assessment for this Foundation Diploma is 100% coursework.
We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.
Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 6pm. For undergraduate students, Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.
30 students are in each Rotation group during Part 1 of the course. There is no limitation on group sizes when students are choosing Specialism.
All members of staff are practising artists and designers, which means their teaching includes up-to-date professional experience, they can tell you what life in industry is really like and they'll give you guidance on how to balance creating inspiring, challenging work with meeting the needs of your client.
Many of our tutors are award winning artists and designers. For example, staff members have won national illustration and D&AD design awards.
Students aged under 19 on 31 August of the year of entry will not be charged a tuition fee.
Students aged 19 or over on 31 August of the year of entry will have to pay a tuition fee for the year. The fee for 2021/22 is £5,000. You must make sure you are able to support yourself through the academic year and be able to pay tuition fees of £5,000 per annum.
Home applicants should note that this course is a further education course so student loans (for tuition and living costs) are not available for this course.
You will normally be charged the appropriate international fee which for 2021/22 is £13,500 for the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.
Students under 19 on 31 August of the year of entry will not be charged a tuition fee.
Students aged 19 or over on 31 August of the year of entry will have to pay a tuition fee for the year. The fee for 2020/21 is £5,000. You must make sure you are able to support yourself through the academic year and be able to pay tuition fees of £5,000 per annum.
Home/EU applicants should note that this course is a further education course so student loans (for tuition and living costs) are not available for this course.
You will normally be charged the appropriate international fee which for 2020/21 is £13,100 for the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.
Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.
Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.
There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences.
Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses.
In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.
Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.
Upon acceptance of an offer, a materials fee of approximately £275 is required to secure a place and pay for materials whilst you are on the course.
In addition to these course-specific additional costs, it is likely that you may incur extra costs as a student at Kingston University. It is useful for you to be aware of the types of things you may have to pay for.
The Government has recently announced that new students from the European Union and Swiss Nationals starting their course after August 2021 will no longer be eligible for a student loan in England for Undergraduate or Postgraduate studies for 2021/22 academic year. This decision only applies to new EU students starting in 2021/22. If you are an existing/continuing EU student, you will continue to be funded until you graduate or withdraw from your course.
Our fees and funding section provides information and advice on money matters.
You'll use our dedicated Foundation studio spaces and facilities to experiment and explore new ways to push the boundaries of projects and open discourse across disciplines.
Collaborative and multi-disciplinary teamwork is actively encouraged between students.
Throughout the course, you'll be encouraged to explore different materials, processes and ideas through experimentation.
Although you'll be taught at Penrhyn Road, you'll also have access to the state of the art workshop facilities at Knights Park, where many of our art and design degree courses are taught.
You can view this video for examples of what the course director will look for in an applicant's portfolio
This animation sheds light on the thought process behind putting together an individual and creative foundation portfolio that would suit the ethos of the Kingston course
The Foundation Diploma in Art & Design will help you choose the degree course that best suits you. Students progress to study architecture, fine art, graphic design, illustration animation, fashion, product and furniture design and interior design.
We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, as a result of the pandemic.
In order to safeguard our students' health and safety and to minimise the risk of disruption to their studies, the University has postponed all Study Abroad programmes for outgoing students in the first teaching block of 2020/21. The University will review this decision before the second teaching block and will take into account relevant government advice at that time.
Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.
Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.
In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.
If the current pandemic situation continues into the next academic year and beyond, the University may be unable to offer suitable placements which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will provide students with appropriate alternative options and ensure that support will be available to them so that they are able to make informed choices.
We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.
We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.
Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.
Wherever possible, we will endeavour to have in place suitable alternative arrangements for students who, for various reasons such as shielding, caring responsibilities etc., may be unable to attend on-campus activities. Support will be available to those students to ensure they receive a comparable learning experience and, if this is not possible, to consider what alternative options are available to them.
The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.
In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.
In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.
Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.
Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.
Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2020) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.
Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.
Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.
As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.
As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.
The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.
There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.
Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, or to a different year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.
Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.
In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.
Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.
Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.
No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), as a result of the pandemic.
Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
During the pandemic, the University has been working closely with all its associated professional bodies to establish where flexibility/changes can be applied without undermining their professional standards. This will ensure that any changes made to courses which have professional, statutory or regulatory body (PSRB) accreditation do not negatively impact the accreditation status.
In the very exceptional circumstance that professional bodies do not agree with changes proposed, it may be necessary to defer relevant modules until those modules can be delivered as required. Students will be informed of this during the induction period and appropriately supported so that they can consider all options available to them.
International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.
The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students best interest, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.