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Foundation Diploma in Art and Design | Curriculum Area: Fine Art

College
CSM
Start date
September 2019
Course length
1 year - full time

Course summary

In the Fine Art curriculum area, you are free to make work that explores the use of colour, the image and representation (Painting), materials, process, space and the site (Sculpture), through to the use of time-based media including video and sound, or work that deliberately incorporates or confronts an audience (Fine Art: 4D).

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. View the 'Guaranteed undergraduate offer' section for more details.

UAL offers two foundation courses, you can apply to only one of them. Find out more on the UAL foundation page.

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 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.

Open days

The Foundation open days are now fully booked. The next round of open days will take place from November 2019, please check back here mid September 2019 to book.

Scholarships, awards and funding

Missed the open day? Find out more about studying on our Foundation courses.

Central Saint Martins Foundation x The Big Draw

Student work

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design news

Fashion Profile: Paolina Russo

In celebration of the diverse range of skills within our Fashion programme, we have commissioned a series of designer profiles from our second-year BA Fashion Journalism students. Showcasing the art […]

Foundation: In Pictures

The Foundation Show 2018 featured final projects from over 500 students who have spent the last academic year studying the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Central Saint Martins. […]

Foundation: Paolina Stefani

Our Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is divided into four curriculum areas: 3-Dimensional Design and Architecture; Fashion and Textiles; Fine Art and Graphic Communication Design. Each of these areas […]

Foundation: Hannah Billett

Our Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is divided into four curriculum areas: 3-Dimensional Design and Architecture; Fashion and Textiles; Fine Art and Graphic Communication Design. Each of these areas […]

Foundation: Nusra Nijimbere

Our Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is divided into four curriculum areas: 3-Dimensional Design and Architecture; Fashion and Textiles; Fine Art and Graphic Communication Design. Each of these areas […]

Facilities

Digital access print workshop

Digital Access Print

Find out more about our digital access print workshop.

Digital media work stations

Digital Media

Find out more about our digital media facility at King's Cross.

Student painting

Foundation at Archway

Find out more about our Archway campus.

Course details

The Diploma in Art and Design - Foundation Studies course at Central Saint Martins is based at the Archway campus, which is where all studio teaching sessions, technical workshop access and additional study support sessions are delivered.

Foundation students have access to and are expected to use the library, learning zones, loan store, student centre, lecture theatres, digital print facilities and the Lethaby Gallery via the King’s Cross campus.

This course is part of the Access and Progression to Higher Education Programme.

There are two modes of study:

  • The diagnostic mode allows you to spend time within each of the four 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 four curriculum areas.

The four 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 One 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.

Fine Art Curriculum Area

There have been countless attempts to define Fine Art and the role of the artist in society. The statements above are good examples that show the scope of this constantly developing debate. All of the statements are thought provoking and allow you to make up your own mind — Art itself does the same thing.

You will discover by engaging in the projects that Art is fundamentally related to representation, and more specifically related to representing the Abstract — that is anything indefinable, intangible, invisible and hard to locate in the world you experience.

The area will seek to support you in finding your own visual language or ‘voice’. It will further help you place this voice in relation to the work of other artists, through a consideration of the History of Art and regular critique and discussion.

The intellectual nature of the subject is the reason why next year you might study BA Fine Art alongside English, Philosophy, Science or other Humanities subjects. All Fine Art BA courses promote in you a level of independence, adaptability and resourcefulness that will stand you in great stead well beyond graduation.

Pathways

Painting

The Painting pathway is strongly determined by the medium of paint itself. You’ll learn and develop ways in which paint can be used and manipulated physically in relation to itself, to the surface on which it is applied and in relation to colour. In addition there is a thorough investigation of the language of the image and of other modes of representation.

Within UAL, Painting students typically gain entry to CSM 2D or 4D, Chelsea BA Fine Art and Camberwell and Wimbledon Painting.

Sculpture

Sculpture investigates both the physical and temporal nature of the world — objects and materials (the stuff of the world), what happens when humans do something to these things (process and action) and physical space (site specificity, installation). Centre stage in Sculpture is that work develops by the act of you yourself doing/making the work. For this reason, if you are someone that has to make, and wants to use the workshops, you should choose this pathway.

Within UAL, Sculpture students typically gain entry to CSM 3D or XD, Chelsea BA Fine Art and Camberwell and Wimbledon Sculpture

Fine Art: 4D

The 4D pathway’s focus is on the interplay between artistic experiment, media and technology, and explores the use of time-based media, lens-based production, durational performance and digital media. Projects and debates develop skills to critique and engage with pressing cultural and social issues as 'Big Data', 'Post-truth', identity, social well-being, creative economy, future cities, mediation and the commons.

Within UAL, 4D students typically gain entry to CSM 4D and XD, Chelsea BA Fine Art, Drawing at Camberwell and Photography at LCC.

Within UAL, Fine Art Practice students typically gain entry to CSM 4D and XD, Chelsea BA Fine Art, Drawing at Camberwell, Print & Time Based Media at Wimbledon and Photography at LCC. Some students also go on to study at the CSM Communication, Criticism and Curation course (CCC).

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 One consists of 40 Level Three credits and Parts Two and Three consist of 40 Level Four credits each.

To progress to Part Two you're expected to complete the units of Part One successfully.

To progress to Part Three (i.e. Unit Seven) 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 One - 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 Two - 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 One 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 Three - Project Proposal and Realisation

The focus of Part Three 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.

Guaranteed 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 six colleges, the following year.

Which undergraduate course will I be offered a place on?

The offer will depend on your work and the 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.

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

One or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

*          1 A Level or equivalent

*          Or equivalent Level 3/EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma

And three GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C).

Entry to this course will also be determined by assessment of your portfolio.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

*          Related academic or work experience

*          The quality of the personal statement

*          A strong academic or other professional reference

*          OR a combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language Requirements

IELTS level 5.0 or above, with at least 4.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English Language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

We select applicants according to their potential and current ability in the following criteria:

  • Visualisation skills (e.g. drawing, photography, 3D works)
  • Research and investigative skills
  • Creative thinking and problem solving abilities
  • The use of a range of materials and processes
  • An 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 school course work.

Making your application

For EU applicants concerned about Brexit, please see our dedicated page: Brexit Information for Students.

You should apply by clicking on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

You may choose either the Diagnostic option or ONE of the Specialist pathways on the online application. Please note, in some cases we may offer you a place on the course but on a different pathway to the one you originally applied for.

Start your application now

You can only apply to the Central Saint Martins (CSM) Foundation Diploma OR the Camberwell Chelsea Wimbledon (CCW) Foundation Diploma.  Any duplicate application will be withdrawn.

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry.  You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Application deadline

The deadline for submitting your application is 13.00 (UK time) on 31 January 2019.

There are two ways international students can apply:

  • One of our official representatives in your country
  • A direct application.

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

You may choose either the Diagnostic option or ONE of the Specialist pathways on the online application. Please note, in some cases we may offer you a place on the course but on a different pathway to the one you originally applied for.

Start your application now

You can only apply to the Central Saint Martins (CSM) Foundation Diploma OR the Camberwell Chelsea Wimbledon (CCW) Foundation Diploma.  Any duplicate application will be withdrawn.

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry.  You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Application deadline

The deadline for submitting your application is 13.00 (UK time) on 31 January 2019.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  If you meet the entry requirements you will be invited to submit a digital mini portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system.  You should complete the mini portfolio within 7 days of receiving the instructions on how to upload your digital portfolio.

Mini Portfolio Guidance

Prior to being selected for interview for a place on the Foundation Diploma course we ask that you submit 20 pages of your work for consideration against our entry criteria. Please note that these can include photographs of worksheets or sketchbook pages and that you might lay out multiple works in one page as long as they are clearly visible (for example: presentation boards). Please read the following advice carefully:

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, photographs, details of materials you have used.

Successful applicants demonstrate this through their sketchbook pages, worksheets, drawing, photography, textural or 3D work etc. and there is no prescribed way to submit the evidence.

Research and investigative skills
  • Include evidence of the primary and secondary research sources which have informed the projects in your portfolio.  Your research should be annotated with critical analysis which demonstrates your engagement with the sources you have identified.
  • This can be in the form of scanned pages or photographs from a sketchbook, notebook or blog. It is important for us to see how research informs your practice as an artist or designer.
  • It is also important for us to see where you gather your research from; site visits, gallery visits, books, magazines, websites etc.

Successful applicants demonstrate this in a variety of ways and there is no prescribed way to submit the evidence.

Creative thinking and problem solving abilities
  • Show us that you have considered a wide range of ideas for your projects. This could be shown in sketchbooks where initial ideas are recorded, selected and developed.
  • We are particularly interested in the development of ideas and the process you have gone through, the problem you have identified and solved in order to arrive at a final outcome.
  • Organise your work so that all stages of the development and decision making processes are evident, including your reflections and evaluations.

Successful applicants demonstrate this through sketchbook pages, worksheets, drawing, photography, model making etc. and there is no prescribed way to submit the evidence.

The use of a range of materials and processes
  • Show us that you have explored a range of methods. These could include drawing and collage techniques, model making, photography, printing techniques, fabric manipulation or any others.
  • We do not expect your portfolio to contain all the above items. Your range of materials and method investigation will largely be determined by your current course of study.

Successful applicants demonstrate this through sketchbook pages, worksheets, drawing, photography, textural or 3D work etc. and there is no prescribed way to submit the evidence.

An interest in art, design or related subjects
  • This will largely be covered by your personal statement but also 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.

Successful applicants can demonstrate this through their personal statement, in sketchbook pages and notebooks and there is no prescribed way to submit the evidence.

Following the review of the mini portfolio we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to a full portfolio review.

Full portfolio review and interview

If you are successfully selected for interview you should read the portfolio advice carefully.  At interview we will ask you to talk about one project so please be prepared for that.

If you are unable to attend in person, you can submit a full portfolio online and we may interview you by Skype.  Please note that we do not accept portfolios by post.

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio should contain a range of visual material, including sketchbooks, research and photographs of three dimensional pieces or work of scale.

  • 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 can be organised chronologically or thematically, with sketchbooks linked to final outcomes. Arrange your work so that the admissions tutor can easily follow the way you've developed an idea from initial research to the finished piece (thematic).
  • Mount work on plain white cartridge paper. Avoid using black paper for mounting and don't use card as it is heavy and expensive. This may mean remounting schoolwork.
  • Labelling of work should be unobtrusive. You could add small titles or captions to bottom of images if you feel it helps explain your work or is providing dimensions.
  • Take clear photographs of your large, heavy and/or 3D work, include close up images of details, and label with information about scale, materials and technical processes
  • Time restraints mean we can't view films, videos or DVDs. Please present this work in the form of storyboards and/or stills.
  • Make sure you've removed everything from the portfolio that isn't intended for review.
  • The quality of the work is more important than the quantity.
  • Include your sketchbooks and reflective journals. We are particularly interested in seeing work or research that you have carried out in your own time, this could be documented in a small sketchbook or notebook.
  • If you've studied design and technology subjects, 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.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Portal.

Fees & Funding

Home/EU fee

2018/19:

Under 19
£0

Age 19+
£5,280 tuition fees plus registration fee £140.

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

2018/19: £15,460 plus registration fee £140.

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.

Accommodation

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

Equal and lower qualification information (PDF 58KB)

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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.

For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit our Careers support page.

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