Foundation Diploma in Art and Design | Curriculum Area: Graphic and Communication Design

In the Graphic and Communication Curriculum Area we encourage a broad understanding of the field of Graphic and Communication Design and place a great deal of emphasis on the development and communication of ideas and creative thinking. We offer specialist pathways in: Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography and Fashion Communication.

 

Graphic and Communication Design zines

Graphic and Communication Design zines

Taylor Decamillo Phillips

Mayumi Mizuki Ill

5 great reasons to apply

  • You can apply directly to any of the four curriculum areas; Fashion and Textiles; Fine Art; Graphic Communication Design; Three Dimensional Design and Architecture
  • If you want to explore your options, there’s a diagnostic pathway option where you can explore all four curriculum areas before diagnosis into specialist curriculum areas
  • Most of our students go on to study at degree level at Central Saint Martins or other UAL colleges
  • You’ll take part in an exhibition at the end of the course, open to the public, family and friends
  • You'll be introduced to a range of materials and methods of working to research and develop your ideas and learn how to evaluate and reflect on your progress. We’ll help you to build a portfolio and prepare you for interviews to enter higher education and employment.

Facts

Programme Director

Chris Roberts

Curriculum Leaders - Lucy Alexander
Curriculum Coordinator - Tim Meara

Course Location

Archway and King's Cross, London

Study LevelFoundation
Study ModeFull time
Course Length1 year - full time
Home/EU Fee

2016/17:

Under 19
£0

Age 19+
£5290 tuition fees plus £130 registration fee.

It is expected that Home/EU students aged 19 and over on this course who satisfy the relevant criteria will be able to take out a loan to cover the cost of their fees. 

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

International Fee

2016/17 fees: £14,040. Registration fee: £130.

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Start DateSeptember 2016
Autumn Term DatesMonday 5 September 2016 – Friday 16 December 2016
Spring Term DatesMonday 3 January 2017 – Friday 24 March 2017
Summer Term DatesMonday 10 April 2017 – Friday 19 May 2017
Application Route

Direct application - see the How to Apply section below.

Content and structure

The Foundation course at Central Saint Martins is based over two sites: Archway and Kings Cross. From September 2017 all studio teaching sessions and technical workshop access will be at the Archway site. Use of library, learning zones, lecture theatres and digital print facilities will continue to be via the Kings Cross campus.

This course is part of the Access to HE and Progression programme.

There are two modes of study:

  • The diagnostic mode allows you to spend time within each of the 4 curriculum areas before specialisation.  This mode is best suited to students who are not yet certain of a particular subject.
  • The specialist mode is for students who are confident of their future direction.  This mode allows you to apply directly to one of the 4 curriculum areas.

The 4 curriculum areas are:

Each curriculum area is sub-divided into pathways.  Please see curriculum area pages for further information about the curriculum areas and their pathway options.

Whichever mode you choose, over the first 10 weeks (Part 1 of the course) you will rotate through a series of projects that will ask you to experiment with a range of materials and processes that support ideas development within art and design.  After this initial period of investigation and experimentation you will be guided, through tutorials and assessment, to the specialist pathway that best suits your interests and abilities.

Graphic & Communication Design Curriculum Area (GCD)

The field of Graphic & Communication Design encompasses a broad range of activities and disciplines including: fashion communication, advertising, photography, typography, illustration, filmmaking, animation, printmaking, interactive design, creative use of new digital platforms and cross- disciplinary work.

The context of the work is most often in the public domain and it is the role of the Graphic & Communication designer to persuade, provoke, inform and entertain their audience.

Students work on a number of live projects led by a team of dynamic practitioners in collaboration with design institutions across London. They investigate the changing role of the designer in relation to society by engaging with live audiences and by harnessing the potential of both emerging technologies and traditional processes.

The focus within the Graphic & Communication Design area is on a willingness to experiment and take risks and on cultivating an attitude of adventure and enquiry. We place a great deal of emphasis on the development and communication of ideas and creative thinking.

Graphic Design

Graphic designers are communicators and problem-solvers who work to a brief. Graphic Designers are able to communicate a message, convey an idea as well as engage with a more speculative practice investigating forms of visual, aural and written language.

Graphic Designers can create change, present an experience, persuade, explain, demonstrate, impose meaning, interpret, amuse, announce, change a mood, elicit an emotion, provide information.

In the Graphic Design Pathway, we promote a broad and ambitious interrogation and application of the subject with a strong emphasis on conceptual thinking. Projects explore all forms of visual communication, and may include books and narratives, typography and letterforms, advertising and branding, print media, moving image and digital interaction.

Students typically progress onto BA courses in Graphic Design, Advertising or Illustration.

Illustration

Illustration is the process of using your imagination and your unique visual language to interpret given content for the purpose of enriching it and communicating it.

Illustration is democratic and accessible – it exists within the public domain and is centred on the tension between self-expression and problem-solving.

Illustration has often been partnered with the publishing industry, advertising campaigns, or used politically for satire. More recently, illustrators are creating bodies of work that experiment with the notions of contemporary visual art and its hybrid forms.

Students are encouraged to develop an original and personal visual language, which they can apply to the interpretation of a brief and communicates how they see the world. Projects explore drawing, information design, lettering, print, publishing and animation.

Students typically progress onto BA courses in Illustration, Graphic Design or Animation.

Photography

Photography is for students with a strong interest in using a range of time based media to frame, record, question and communicate ideas about the world around them. We focus on developing a conceptual and inventive approach, often situating the work in the public domain.

This pathway encourages students to explore the possibilities of a wide range of media appropriate to the development of their own visual language. Outcomes can be poetic, dramatic, humorous or playful and projects explore studio photography, sound, found images, film, animation, image and text, book forms, performance and installation.

Students typically progress onto BA courses in Graphic Design, Photography, Design for interaction and moving image, Film & Television or Fine Art.

Fashion Communication

Fashion communication is for students with an interest in Art Direction, Fashion Styling, Fashion Photography, Fashion Journalism or Fashion Illustration. The course delivers a wide range of live projects where students engage with current designers, public contexts and a range of approaches to creating and communicating the context of fashion.

Fashion Communication aims to nurture you to become innovative, informed, responsible promoters, writers, communicators and observers, central to the industry's future. In the Fashion Communication pathway, we promote a broad and ambitious interrogation and application of the subject with a strong emphasis on conceptual thinking. You will engage with photography, art direction, filmmaking, casting, trend forecasting, publishing, graphic design and creative use of new digital platforms.

Students typically progress onto BA courses in Fashion Communication & Promotion, Fashion Photography, Art Direction, Fashion Journalism or Fashion Illustration.

The Foundation Diploma in Art and Design runs for 32 weeks full time over one year and is divided into three parts.

Each part is made up of units and each unit has a credit value. Units are the basic building blocks of your course and can be described as a self-contained package of learning defined in terms of learning time. This includes taught time, independent study, access to resources, and assessment.

Each part is made up of 40 credits. Part 1 consists of 40 Level 3 credits and Parts 2 and 3 consist of 40 Level 4 credits each.

To progress to Part 2 you're expected to complete the units of Part 1 successfully.

To progress to Part 3 (i.e. Unit 7) you're expected to complete all previous units successfully. To be awarded a Foundation Diploma you must accumulate 120 credits in total. This means you'll need to complete all units of the course in order to gain the Foundation Diploma.

You're expected to attend Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 10.30am - 4.30pm, and occasionally on a Wednesday or Friday for workshop inductions and additional classes.

Course outline

The Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is designed to enable you to learn through discovery and exploration by engaging with projects, lectures and study visits. The foundation course is essentially a transitional experience in art, design and communication, preparing you for a place in higher education or for employment.

The wide range of specialist options reflects the progression opportunities available at degree level within the college and the university. The foundation course's pathways allow you to build a subject-specific portfolio in readiness for degree course applications.

Part 1 - Learning Skills and Content

Through studio and workshop projects you'll be introduced to a range of materials and methods of working. You'll learn how to research and develop your ideas and how to evaluate and reflect on your progress.

Part 2 - Development and Progression

The Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is designed to help you build a portfolio and to prepare you for interview to enter higher education and subsequent employment. Building on skills from Part 1 you'll integrate your research, ideas and methods of working to produce a body of work that allows you to analyse your interests and ambitions and to investigate directions to pursue.

Part 3 - Project Proposal and Realisation

The focus of Part 3 is on further development of your individuality and independence as you propose and realise your final major project integrating planning, research, ideas, methods, evaluation and reflection. Your project is displayed in the foundation exhibition - open to the public, family and friends.

Developing your skills

Throughout The Foundation Diploma in Art and Design you'll learn new skills to enable you to progress successfully. These skills, which are also appropriate to higher education and employment, include the use of machinery and materials, presentation skills for articulating your ideas to your peers or at interview, and presenting your work in a portfolio or at an exhibition. Most importantly you'll gain study skills in order to 'learn how to learn'. This kind of independent learning builds the self-motivation, commitment and initiative that allows you to develop your projects independently, guided by a supportive tutorial structure.

Staff

Curriculum Leader:
- Lucy Alexander

Curriculum Coordinator:
- Tim Meara

Tutors by pathway:

Graphic Design:
Lucy Alexander
- Paul Finn
- Clare Skeats
- Anne Sørensen

Illustration:
- Joao Carrilho
- Rob Nicol

Photography:
- Hannah Ball
- Lia Hennig
Tim Meara

Fashion Communication:
Tim Meara
- Jo Simpson

Careers

Most students go on to study at degree level at Central Saint Martins or at other UAL colleges.

Some go on to study at colleges nationally or internationally. Others choose postgraduate study or enter the world of work directly.

How to apply - UK/EU

On application you may choose either the Diagnostic route or ONE of the Specialist routes. Please note, in some cases we may offer you a place on the course, but in a different area to that which you requested. 

When to Apply

You can apply for this course using our online application form.

Deadline for ALL Home/ EU applicants is Noon on Tuesday 31 January 2017

Please note this courses does not consider late applications. 

After you have submitted your online application you will receive an email asking for your personal statement and reference 

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should: 

  • Be a maximum of 500 words
  • Tell us why you have chosen the course and how it will help with your future plans
  • Describe aspects of your current work that support your mode of study choice
  • Talk about the type of work you want to make whilst on the course 

Reference

This course requires 1 academic reference. A system email will be sent directly to your referee requesting for a reference to be submitted digitally via the link provided in the email. 

Please ensure you provide your referee’s contact details correctly when completing the online application form. 

Full Portfolio Review

If you meet the entry requirements you will be invited to attend a full portfolio review 

  • If you currently live in the United Kingdom and applying from within the UK, you will be invited attend a full portfolio review at the college between January and April.
  • If you are unable to attend the full portfolio review in person, you may be asked to submit a FULL portfolio digitally through UAL’s online portfolio review tool.
  • Please note that we do not accept portfolios by post. 

Please remember:

  • The quality of the work is more important than the quantity.
  • Where possible, large or 3-dimensional work should be photographed and scanned
  • Please organise your work by project, with supporting work presented alongside final outcomes.
     

Receiving Results of Your Application

The result of your application will be communicated to you directly via email. 

Deferred Entry

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry.

How to apply – International

On application you may choose either the Diagnostic route or ONE of the Specialist routes. Please note, in some cases we may offer you a place on the course, but in a different area to that which you requested. 

When to Apply

Application deadline for Fashion & Textiles curriculum is Noon on Tuesday 31 January 2017

For all other curriculums (Fine Art, 3D Design and Architecture, Graphic and Communication Design), we do not have a deadline for international (non-EU) applicants, however we recommend you apply by the end of March.

International Applicants

There are two ways international students can apply to Foundation Diploma in Art & Design course at CSM: 

After you have submitted your online application you will receive an email asking for your personal statement and reference 

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should: 

  • Be a maximum of 500 words
  • Tell us why you have chosen the course and how it will help with your future plans
  • Describe aspects of your current work that support your mode of study choice
  • Talk about the type of work you want to make whilst on the course 

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page

Reference

This course requires 1 academic reference. A system email will be sent directly to your referee requesting for a reference to be submitted digitally via the link provided in the email. 

Please ensure you provide your referee’s contact details correctly when completing the online application form. 

Immigration History Form (for International Applications only)

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an Immigration History form. 

We will email you an Immigration History form when we receive your application.

You will need to send this back to us, by email, with copies of the following documents: 

  • Your passport photo page 
  • Your current visa (if you have one) and any previous UK study visas
  • Your current English language certificate (if you have this)
  • Your academic qualifications (A2, IB diplom, high school diploma etc. - if completed. Translated into English) 

Please note: If you do not complete and return us your Immigration History form we will not be able to proceed with your application. 

Full Portfolio Review

If you meet the entry requirements you will be invited to attend a full portfolio review 

  • If you currently live in the United Kingdom and applying from within the UK, you will be invited attend a full portfolio review at the college between January and March.
  • If you are unable to attend the full portfolio review in person, you will be asked to submit a FULL portfolio digitally through UAL’s online portfolio review tool.
  • Please note that we do not accept portfolios by post. 

Please remember:

  • The quality of the work is more important than the quantity.
  • Where possible, large or 3-dimensional work should be photographed and scanned
  • Please organise your work by project, with supporting work presented alongside final outcomes.  

Receiving Results of Your Application

The result of your application will be communicated to you directly via email.

If you applied through one of our overseas representatives, they will tell you the result of your application. 

Deferred Entry

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry. 

Entry requirements

The Foundation Diploma in Art and Design requires portfolio evidence

Selection to this foundation course is determined by the quality of your application, meeting the minimum entry qualifications, and satisfying the selection criteria through the quality of a portfolio of work.

Minimum entry requirements

  • Passes in 1 GCE A Levels or a twelve Unit AVCE
  • Passes at GCSE level in 3 other subjects (grade C or above).

You can demonstrate this educational level by:

  • Having the qualifications named above
  • Having equivalent qualifications
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required
  • A combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning that, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

English language requirement

You must take the IELTS Academic Test for UKVI,  no other test can be accepted.

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability in order to apply for your visa, enrol and start your course. The standard English language requirement for entry is IELTS 5.0 with a minimum of 4.0 in any one paper, or equivalent. For further information visit the UAL English Language requirements page
 
Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the Visa and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements.

Maths and English GCSEs

If you are a UK or EU student who has been accepted onto the CSM Foundation Diploma but did not achieve a grade C or above in GCSE English or Maths, you will be given the opportunity to retake the exams as part of your Foundation Diploma course.

When you enrol, you’ll need to provide evidence of your qualifications. If you have not achieved minimum C grade in English or Maths, we will automatically enrol you onto a compulsory GCSE study programme

The GCSE study programme classes will be closely tied to your CSM Foundation Diploma course, so you’ll be studying things that are relevant and interesting to you.

Here are a few key things to note:

  • We will keep a record of your attendance in accordance with the FE Attendance Policy. If you fail to turn up to your GCSE classes regularly and on time, your progress towards your Foundation Diploma could be affected.
  • You must resit your GCSE English and/or Maths exams as part of the study programme, but failure to achieve a C grade or higher will not affect your achievements on your Foundation Diploma.
  • It is highly likely that a degree-level course at UAL or any other institution will require you to have a C grade or higher in English and Maths.

International applicants

Our website includes all the information you need to successfully apply. However, if you still have unanswered questions about the admissions process, please contact us by email: international@csm.arts.ac.uk

The University has a dedicated team to help prepare you for your studies. For help on visa requirements, housing, tuition fees and language requirements visit the University's International section

The Language Centre offers international students quality language training from qualified and experienced teachers. The Pre-sessional Academic English Programme is available to all international (non-EU) students who have been offered a place on a full time course at the University of the Arts. For further information visit the Language Centre website.

We also offer a number of short courses that enable students to improve their portfolios and English skills before applying to their chosen course. For further information visit our Short Course section.

What we look for

Our admissions tutors will grade your portfolio against the five criteria listed here:

1. Visualisation skills

Include evidence in the form of drawings you've made from observation of the world around you such as landscapes, cityscapes, interiors, people and objects. (Don't rely on drawings from photographs.) Do include experimental drawings, developmental designs, storyboards, technical design drawings and sketchbooks.

2. Research and investigative skills

Include evidence of your interest in culture and society and show how your interest informs your art and design work. This could take many forms such as an interest in politics, the media, history, religion, philosophy, music, theatre, cinema, literature or new technologies. Be sure to demonstrate the way you've used your research to inform and contextualise your work.

3. Creative thinking and problem solving abilities

Include evidence of how you've identified problems and what actions you've taken to solve them. Organise your work so that all stages of the development and decision making processes are evident, including your reflections and evaluations.

4. Use of a range of materials and processes

Include evidence that demonstrates an exploratory or experimental use of a range of different media, materials and processes.

5. Interest in art, design or related subjects

Include evidence that demonstrates your commitment to, and enthusiasm for, art and design as well as your potential to achieve the Foundation Diploma. Evidence may be in the form of ideas, notes, research, photographs or sketches, including work you've made outside of your course work.

Application advice

The application form asks you to state which curriculum area you're applying to. Use your personal statement to describe aspects of your work that support this choice. You may want to refer to your problem solving skills, for example, or to the ideas and interests that underpin the work you're showing us. Please read our curriculum area descriptions in order to make your choice.

How to prepare your portfolio

Please read this advice - it's designed to help you achieve your ambitions!

Make sure you allow enough time to prepare your portfolio properly. A well-presented portfolio takes a lot of time to organise, so don't disadvantage yourself by leaving it to the last minute. Your portfolio should be organised chronologically and thematically, with sketchbooks linked to final outcomes

Mount work on plain white cartridge paper. Avoid using black paper for mounting and don't use card as it's heavy and expensive. This may mean remounting schoolwork

Labelling of work should be unobtrusive. No large labels, please

Put your most recent work at the front of the portfolio (chronological)

Arrange your work so that the admissions tutor can easily follow the way you've developed an idea from initial research to finished piece (thematic)

Large, heavy and/or three-dimensional work must be presented in photographic form. Photographs should be mounted on white paper with the media, dimensions and title written neatly underneath

Time restraints mean we can't view films, videos or DVDs. Please present this work in the form of storyboards and stills

Make sure you've removed everything from the portfolio that isn't intended for review

Bear in mind that the quality of the work is more important that the quantity

Include your sketchbooks and reflective journals. Please ensure sketchbooks are securely labelled on the front with your name

If you've studied design and technology, don't forget to include this work too

Having prepared your portfolio, check it against these recommendations. Please remember that a poorly prepared portfolio makes it difficult for the admissions tutors to judge your suitability for the course.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

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