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Foundation Plus

Textured cut out wooden shapes
Textured cut out wooden shapes
Yiming Lai and Anna Lojanatorn, Foundation Plus. Photo: Roger Dean

A 13-week summer course that encourages you to explore your creative practice and supports your progression onto undergraduate studies.

This Central Saint Martins course is offered to BA course applicants who would benefit from an intensive development of their skills and creative practice. The course is five days a week at Wimbledon College of Arts covering a range of specialisms, including Fashion and Textiles; Fine Art; Graphic Communication; 3-Dimensional Design and Architecture. Academic language support and study support workshops are incorporated into the course.

Course overview

The Foundation Plus Diploma in Art and Design at Central Saint Martins is an intensive 13-week pre-degree course designed to prepare you for a specialist undergraduate degree in art and design.

Fast-paced projects, specialist teaching, contextual studies and workshop access help you to build on their existing skills while gaining confidence and adapting to the pace and rigour that is expected at UAL.

The Foundation Plus course at Central Saint Martins is based at Wimbledon College of Arts. This is where all studio teaching sessions, technical workshop access and additional study support sessions are delivered. Wimbledon College of Arts includes a dedicated digital suite as well as wood, metal, plastic, plaster, stitch and printmaking workshops – each supported by specialist technicians.

Part 1: Diagnostic Investigation into Creative Practice

This is part of the Foundation Diploma course but is not part of 13-week Foundation Plus. Instead, it is assessed during the BA application process, through your interview and portfolio.

Parts 2 and 3 are taught and assessed during the 13-week course.

Part 2: Developing Specialist Practice

Through a range of activities, you will start to think about your own creative ambition. You will consider your own work in relation to your chosen specialist pathway.

Part 3: Consolidating Practice

This part of the course gives you the opportunity to take control of your own learning. You will come up with an idea for a project proposal. You will research, write, and evaluate your proposal. From this you will produce a body of work for your final assessment.

Benefits of Foundation Plus at Central Saint Martins

  • Your BA offer is secured while you develop the necessary skills to take up your place at UAL
  • Supportive teaching in small groups with a competitive staff-to-student ratios of approximately 1:15
  • An intensive course of study that runs during the summer months leading to direct entry to BA in September/October meaning savings on rent and other associated living costs that are incurred on a one-year course
  • Staff are specialist Foundation tutors, experienced with the preparation needed by students to progress to our undergraduate courses
  • Experience of the processes and systems of study at UAL (including libraries, workshops, students support services and online learning environment)
  • Accredited Level 3 UALAB qualification, with excellent above UALAB average academic results

The application and interview

Foundation Plus is unlike other courses because you cannot apply to it directly. When you apply to an undergraduate course, the interviewer or recruiter may suggest you need Foundation Plus as a condition of getting on to the course.

During this interview you will present a portfolio of art and design work, including research and development of ideas. In the interview you will be asked to discuss and reflect on your work. Successful applicants receive two offers simultaneously at interview, Foundation Plus, with a conditional undergraduate offer within UAL. Progression to the undergraduate course is conditional on successful completion of Foundation Plus.

Portfolio requirements

You must be able to demonstrate, through your portfolio and interview, that you have already achieved the equivalent of the first part of the Foundation qualification, and therefore do not need to repeat this stage.  Successful portfolios include evidence of:

  • Suitable subject choice for undergraduate degree. Successful applicants must demonstrate commitment and suitability to their chosen subject area and be prepared for study in a specialist pathway
  • Specific subject contextual awareness, for example a Foundation Plus and BA Architecture applicant must have a range of contemporary architectural references in their project development and evidence that these have been analysed and understood
  • A broad range of approaches used appropriately and effectively. There must be a range of ideas explored in the development of each project. Whilst Foundation Plus is a specialist route of application, the portfolio needs to show that you have explored art and design more broadly than their undergraduate subject
  • A range of materials and methods to explore and solve creative solutions, this can include a range of visualisation skills, for example drawing, photography, modelmaking, collage etc.
  • The planning, recording, analytical, reflective and evaluative skills which support your own learning. Where you have examples of written reflection this should be included with the portfolio. Your personal statement should also include a reflective rationale for your undergraduate subject choice.

To enroll on Foundation Plus you will need to meet the IELTS requirement of the undergraduate course, and to enroll on the undergraduate course you will also need to pass Foundation Plus and meet all other conditions of your undergraduate offer (e.g. academic results).  Foundation Plus requires that you have already met the language requirement of your undergraduate course, this is usually a minimum IELTS score of 6.0, with no paper scoring lower than 5.5, but requirements vary between undergraduate courses.

Entry requirements and assessment exemption 

The UALAB Level 3 Foundation in Art and Design comprises three parts. In Foundation Plus part 1 exemption is assessed during the application process, based on the portfolio and interview. Parts 2 and 3 are taught and assessed during the 13-week course.

Progression to UAL

Students who successfully complete the Foundation Plus Diploma will have met the terms of their undergraduate offer. We issue your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) once you have accepted your unconditional offer of a place at your UAL College, met the conditions of your offer and paid your deposit. After a short break you will be able to enroll on your undergraduate course.

Course dates, fees and location

  • Dates: 10 June 2024 - 13 September 2024
  • Fees: £12,320 (starting in summer 2024)
  • Location: Wimbledon College of Arts, Merton Hall Rd, London SW19 3QA