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.
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 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 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 Communication 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 Communication Design, Advertising or 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 Communication Design or Animation.
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 Communication Design, Photography, Design for interaction and moving image, Film & Television or Fine Art.
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 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 to Thursday 10.30am – 4.30pm, and occasionally on a Friday for workshop inductions and additional classes.