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Illustrating in a sketchbook
Illustrating in a sketchbook
Sydney Carty, 2023 Level 3 International: Introduction to the Study of Fashion, London College of Fashion, UAL | Photograph: Alys Tomlinson

Pre-degree and foundation courses help you develop the skills, experience and portfolio needed for further study.

What are pre-degree and foundation courses?

These preparatory courses help bridge the gap between secondary school and degree-level study. They give you the chance to:

  • expand your knowledge and skills
  • develop a strong portfolio of work
  • explore lots of subjects to help you decide what you'd like to specialise in.

Who are they designed for?

If you plan to study a practical undergraduate degree in areas such as fashion, art or design, we recommend completing a pre-degree or foundation course first.

We offer a range of options depending on your needs and background:

  • UAL Foundation Diploma in Art and Design for UK and International students.
  • Certificate of Higher Education: Preparation for Design, Media and Screen for UK and International students.
  • Pre-degree courses for International students.

Find out about our students' pre-degree experiences.

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

The year-long Foundation Diploma in Art and Design course is designed to prepare students for specialist undergraduate degrees in art and design subjects.

It’s a year of exciting projects, new faces and experiences that will inform your future study, career and creative life. You'll try different disciplines from across art and design while being supported to fulfil your creative potential and ambitions.

All students who successfully complete the Foundation Diploma course will be guaranteed an offer of a place on an undergraduate course at UAL. This means that as long as you pass, you’ll have the opportunity to continue your studies at one of our 6 Colleges or our Creative Computing Institute the following year.

  • Screen showing animation of a figure
    Yusif Uddin, 2023 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, UAL | Photograph: Kristy Noble

    UAL Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

    This year-long course gives you the chance to explore your creative practice in different art and design disciplines.

More pre-degree courses at UAL

Our pre-degree courses for International students are designed to help you adjust to living and studying in a new country. As well as workshop and studio-based learning, each course provides English language support and academic writing guidance.

Our  Certificate of Higher Education: Preparation for Design, Media and Screen at London College of Communication is open to both UK and international students.  It gives you the chance to develop your creative, academic and professional potential in design, media and screen.

  • Illustration of a tropical garden scene.
    Illustration by Paola Ascanio, Pre-degree Illustration, Camberwell College of Arts, 2020 © Oaika Ascanio

    Pre-degree: Online

    Taught entirely online, this 6 month pre-degree course will prepare you for an undergraduate degree in Art, Design or Communication.

  • Fashion photography by Rob Phillips

    International Preparation for Fashion (Certificate in Higher Education)

    Develop the skills, knowledge and portfolio needed to progress to a specialist undergraduate degree in fashion.

Student stories

  • A woman poses in a red outfit on a red outdoor structure with her leg kicked out straight. The sky is clear and blue.
    Photograph by Petrina Kiti, UAL Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

    How the diagnostic mode helped Petrina find her dream undergraduate course

    Petrina Kiti studied the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at UAL. Now, she’s an undergraduate student at Central Saint Martins. We spoke to Petrina about how choosing the diagnostic mode helped her to discover her dream course – BA Fashion Communication: Journalism.

  • Jazmine in a classroom smiling and speaking
    Jazmine Roldan, 2024 BA Graphic and Media Design, London College of Communication, UAL | Photograph: Alexandra Kytka-Sharpe

    How Jazmine’s pre-degree course prepared her for undergraduate study

    Jazmine Roldan studied Level 3: International Introduction to the Study of Design, Media and Screen last year before getting an offer to study BA Graphic and Media Design at London College of Communication. She speaks to us about how her pre-degree study helped her prepare for undergraduate study.

  • UAL student Tanikha Allen
    Tanikha Allen, BA Theatre Design, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Alys Tomlinson

    Chat to a student

    Got questions about studying with us? Our student ambassadors are here to help.

  • Student work - colourfully painted ceramic cups and bowls
    Experimental Glazing, Student Work and Textures

    Short courses  

    Build your portfolio and confidence ahead of your pre-degree or foundation course.

  • Ceramic cell by Leonora Richardson

    International students

    Find guidance on the application process, immigration and visas, and everything else you need to get your creative journey started.

  • Common room at The Costume Store
    Common room at The Costume Store


    Find information and advice on living in halls of residence or in a privately-rented property.