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Camberwell College of Arts

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Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Start date
September 2018
Course length
1 Year

Course summary

Applications closed 2018/19

Applications for 2018/19 entry to this course have now closed.

The Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon Foundation Diploma covers art, communication and design. Our design pathway has 2 areas; 3D spatial design and theatre, screen and performance.

The course gives you the chance to try different art and design disciplines. It will help you build a portfolio for application to an undergraduate course. This could be within University of the Arts London or beyond.

All Foundation students who pass the year will gain a place on an undergraduate course at UAL.


Communication: Animation and Film Showreel 2016-17

Lucy Gatenby - Communication: Animation and Film

Issy Lester - Communication: Animation and Film

Foundation Diploma Stories

Course details

The Foundation Diploma has its own dedicated site on Wilson Road, Camberwell. The year is about creative exploration. You’ll learn which art or design specialism is right for you.

Choosing a mode of study

When applying to the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design you must choose from 2 modes of study:

Diagnostic mode

This mode is best if you are unsure which pathway to choose. It will give you a broad range of experience to help you decide your future direction.

You will be able to try the Art, Communication and Design pathways. After this you will then choose a specialist option.

Specialist mode

This mode is best if you are very confident in your future direction. It allows you to apply direct to one of the pathways.

The specialist mode pathways to choose from are:

  • Art
  • Communication
  • Design - Design for Theatre, Screen and Performance
  • Design - 3D Spatial Design

You will gain an introduction to the specialist options within your chosen pathway.

  • Art - Drawing and Conceptual Practice, Painting, Photography and Time-Based Media, Sculpture
  • Communication - Animation and Film, Graphic Design, Illustration
  • Design - Design for Theatre, Screen and Performance
  • Design - 3D, Product and Spatial Design

Please be aware:

We may offer you a place on the course, but in a different mode to the one on your application form.

The Foundation Diploma at Camberwell does not have a Fashion and Textiles pathway. You should apply to the Foundation Diploma at Central Saint Martins for this pathway.


The Foundation Diploma has its' own dedicated workshops. They include 3D, printmaking, digital media and photography.

Course units

The course is divided into 3 parts:

Part 1: Learning Skills and Content

An introduction through lectures, seminars, studio projects, gallery and museum visits.

Part 2: Development and Progression

All students then get to decide on one specialist option and are given the tools to help them:

  • Understand how to work at BA level
  • Work independently and with confidence
  • Understand, adapt and safely use practical methods and skills for creative production
  • Solve complex problems through the application of art and design
  • Take responsibility for their research, planning and time-management
  • Effectively present themselves and their work to different audiences
  • Develop a portfolio for BA application

Part 3: Project Proposal and Realisation

The diploma finishes with a personal project proposal that requires students to produce a body of work for their final assessment, which will also become part of the college's end of year exhibitions.

Pathway and specialist option information:


The art pathway has 4 specialist options:

Art: Drawing and Conceptual Practice

Drawing is not only a research activity or preparation for another medium. It is developing it’s own diverse identity within fine art. Artists who use drawing create work in a variety of different ways. These include making individual works, books, film, animation, sound, installations and objects. In this specialist option, the idea comes first and then you find a way to express it.

What you can expect:

  • A series of projects that reflect current art ideas
  • Weekly seminars based on readings. These encourage you to engage with critical theory and contemporary issues surrounding art
  • A program of lectures and exhibition visits
  • To collaborate with the sculpture group on an exhibition. This will help you begin to learn how to curate a show, hang work and write a press release

Art: Painting

This specialist option is about exploring the subject through the medium of paint. It also covers the expanded field of painting and new developments in the subject.

What you can expect:

  • Regular presentations, talks, gallery visits and studio crits
  • To gain a stronger contextual understanding of your work
  • Projects that are with historical content and allow you to use mixed media
  • Materials and methods workshops

Art: Photography and Time Based Media

This specialist option covers a broad range of approaches to making art.

These include analogue and digital photography, animation, installation, moving image, performance, projection, sound and video.

What you can expect:

  • Projects that are concept based allowing for individual interpretation and outcome
  • To explore the photographic process
  • To be able to experiment with a range of cameras and projectors
  • To work with old and new technologies
  • A program of lectures and exhibition visits
  • To learn new skills and build on existing ones. For example - cyanotype, photo polymer etching and screen-printing. How to process and develop in a darkroom. An introduction to video and editing and working in a digital darkroom

Art: Sculpture

The sculpture specialist option is practical, theoretical, diverse and conceptual. Artists making sculpture use a wide variety of materials and processes. Sculptors are involved with object making, installation, interactive art, socially engaged practice, kinetic work, sound, film, performance, exploring site and presentation.

What you can expect:

  • To learn processes such as casting, mold-making and wood construction
  • To be able to use the open access 3D workshop
  • Projects that reflect current art ideas
  • Projects that encourage you to think about the big ideas that sculpture deals with. These are the object, space, site, installation and audience
  • A program of lectures and exhibition visits
  • To develop ways of working that allow you to express your ideas as an artist
  • To collaborate with the drawing and conceptual practice group on an exhibition. This will help you begin to learn how to curate a show, hang work and write a press release


The communication pathway has 3 specialist options:

Communication: Animation and Film

This specialist option has a focus on sequential images, animation and moving image. It also engages with narrative and documentary filmmaking.

What you can expect:

  • To look at narrative structures and visual devices to help with the art of storytelling
  • Projects that encourage you to create your own stories. You will also look at the interpretation other peoples’ texts
  • To focus on all areas of the preproduction process. Including scripts and treatments, character development and casting, storyboarding, environment and set design
  • To learn about the ‘rules of cinema’ and gain an understanding of film language
  • To learn about storyboarding and how to communicate to an audience
  • An introduction to production techniques and methods. These include the animatic, stop motion and 2D animation, live action, video editing, compositing and sound design
  • Projects supported by workshops, presentations, tutorials, group discussions, technical demonstrations and contextual references

Communication: Graphic Design

A desire to communicate is central to graphic design. It is about new ideas and developing innovative and effective ways of communicating.

What you can expect:

  • Projects that look at problem solving, the use of language, organisation of information, narrative structures and understanding an audience. These are the fundamental concerns of graphic design
  • Projects that encourage exploration, research and discovery
  • An approach to working that reflects the professional design world
  • To engage with a wide variety of approaches. These include animation, drawing, film, photography, printmaking, 3D and typography
  • Studio discussions and presentations that encourage you to look beyond the design world

Communication: Illustration

Illustration is about the communication of ideas through image making and the use of text.

What you can expect:

  • To use drawing on a daily basis to research, develop and record ideas
  • Projects that reflect the range of practice in the professional world
  • Projects that allow you to work in a variety of different media, both 2D and 3D
  • To look at ways of exploring ideas, storytelling and constructing images

Design for Theatre, Screen and Performance

Covers a wide range of subjects including:

  • Costume design and making
  • Immersive theatre
  • Live performance
  • Film production design
  • Make-up and prosthetics
  • Performance art
  • Prop making
  • Puppetry
  • Technical effects
  • Theatre design

What you can expect:

  • An introduction to narrative, creating characters, spatial, lighting and sound design
  • To work both on your own and within a group
  • To be able to use our open access 3D workshop and performance spaces across the university
  • To learn making skills
  • Regular lectures and talks from industry professionals
  • Trips to galleries and theatres

3D, Product and Spatial Design

This covers the following areas:

  • Architecture
  • Design craft
  • Fashion accessories and footwear
  • Furniture
  • Industrial, interior, product and spatial design
  • Jewellery

What you can expect:

  • To be able to use our open access 3D workshop
  • To learn new skills and build on existing ones through workshops and from tutors
  • To use design sheets and model making to present ideas
  • To take part in discussion groups

Course dates

Autumn Term:

Monday 3 September - Friday 14 December 2018

Spring Term:

Monday 7 January - Friday 29 March 2019

Summer Term:

Monday 15 April - Friday 24 May 2019


  • Claire McCormack - Programme Director
  • Nicola Fitchett - Design Pathway Leader
  • Frank Owusu - Communication Pathway Leader
  • Laurence Noga - Art Pathway Leader

Specialist Option Leaders

  • David Batchelor - Painting
  • Anna Boggon - Photography and Time-Based Media
  • Noel Bramley - Illustration
  • Wendy Carlton Dewhirst - Graphic Design
  • Joseph Child - Film and Animation
  • Gary Campbell - Theatre, Screen and Performance
  • Nikki Plews - 3D Product Spatial
  • Kate Terry - Sculpture

How to apply

2018/19 entry

The deadline for home / EU applications was midday, Wednesday 31 January 2018.

What happens next?

If you meet the entry requirements you may be invited to attend a portfolio review.

Please note:

If you do not live in the United Kingdom or you can't, for exceptional reasons, attend a portfolio review, you may be able to submit your portfolio using University of the Arts London's online portfolio tool. You may also be able to arrange for a parent, guardian or friend to bring it in for you.

2018/19 entry

International applications for September 2018 entry are now closed.

Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

There are 2 ways international students can apply to the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design:

Applying through a UAL representative

You should speak to your representative to find out how to submit your application.

Applying by online application

You will need to enter the following:

  • Pathway choice
  • Personal statement

Immigration History form

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, high school diploma - if completed. Translated into English)

Please note:

If you do not send us your Immigration History form we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Interviews and your portfolio

Once your online application is complete you will be asked to submit your portfolio using University of the Arts London's online portfolio tool.

If you meet the entry requirements you will be invited to interview.

If you live in the United Kingdom you should bring your portfolio with you when invited for an interview at the college.

If you live overseas the interview and portfolio review will be done by telephone or Skype.

Where to send documents

By email to:

Please note - the email account has a 7MB attachment limit per email. Files should either be compressed or sent in more than one email.

What happens next?

We will email you to let you know the outcome of your application. This will usually be within one week of your interview.

If your application is successful we will send you an offer letter.

The letter will contain details on how to accept the offer and how to get a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • Portfolio of work
  • Personal statement
  • 1 GCE A Level / AVCE / BTEC National Diploma / GNVQ Advanced Diploma supported by 3 GCSEs grade C or above
  • International Baccalaureate; students need to achieve at least 3 certificates - 2 at Higher Level and 1 at Standard Level - with a minimum grade 4 in each certificate
  • Alternative qualifications and experience will also be taken into consideration

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

IELTS Academic Test for UKVI is approved by the UK government for your UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) application. No other test can be accepted. It is accepted as proof of your English language ability.

Maths and English GCSEs

If you are a UK or EU student who has been accepted onto the 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 and Maths, we will automatically enrol you onto a compulsory GCSE study programme. This will be closely tied to the Foundation Diploma course, so you’ll be studying things that are relevant and interesting to you.

Please note:

  • We will keep a record of your attendance in accordance with the Further Education 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 the Foundation Diploma
  • It is highly likely that a degree-level course will require you to have a C grade or higher in English and Maths

Portfolio advice

  • Your portfolio should show a clear and organised presentation of your work. Your most interesting work should be first
  • Include self-directed work
  • Your research should be included on separate sheets and next to relevant pieces of work. This is to help us understand the development of your ideas
  • Notes should be in your sketchbooks. Do not add lots of notes to images
  • Take photos of big work. Largest size - A4
  • Due to time constraints we can't view whole films, videos or DVDs. Please edit the film down to no more than 3 minutes. You can also present the work in the form of storyboards and stills.
  • You do not need to put your work in plastic sleeves
  • Label your portfolio with your name
  • International applicants should add the title, media and dimensions of each piece. You should put this in the bottom left corner of the image

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

At interview and portfolio review

We look for:

  • Visualisation skills - e.g. drawing, photography, 3D work
  • Research and investigate skills
  • Creative thinking and problem solving abilities
  • The use of a range of materials and processes
  • An interest in art, design, or related subjects

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

Under 19 years old: £0.

19+: £5,280 plus £140 registration fee (2018/19).

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.

International fee

£15,460 plus registration fee (2018/19).

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.


Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Throughout the diploma, students have a personal tutor who ensures they receive the appropriate guidance to prepare them for Higher Education. This involves preparing an application and developing a portfolio of subject specific work.

Foundation Diploma students will be encouraged to progress to undergraduate study within the University of the Arts London. Our foundation and undergraduate academic staff will be on hand to support and guide students through the application process.

Our diploma graduates typically go on to take up their first choice degree at undergraduate level, with a high number continuing their studies within the University. Our students can also progress to courses throughout the UK, Europe and beyond.

Your guaranteed UAL undergraduate offer

Starting in 2017/18, all Foundation Diploma in Art and Design students who successfully complete the year will be guaranteed a place on an undergraduate course at UAL.

This means that as long as you pass, you will have the opportunity to continue your studies at one of the 6 colleges, the following year.

Which UAL undergraduate course will you be offered a place on?

The offer will depend on your work and interests you develop during your foundation year.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that you will be made an offer for a specific course of your choosing, but if you successfully complete the diploma, you’ll be offered a place on a relevant course at UAL.

How does it work?

To be guaranteed progression onto an undergraduate course, you must:

  • Have made your application through The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)
  • Successfully pass the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
  • Be able to meet any other additional entry criteria for the undergraduate course you’re offered a place on

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