This challenging one-year foundation course will build on the skills you bring to College. It will give you the knowledge, breath, intensive preparation and quality of work necessary to compete for a place on a wide variety of specialised BA/FdA university courses in Art & Design. The diagnostic nature of the foundation course helps you to discover and develop your strengths, and choose your preferred area of specialisation. These are Fine Art, Visual Communication, Fashion Textiles and 3D Design.
What does the course lead to?
On successfully completing the course you will gain a nationally recognised BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies, which along with you portfolio, will help you gain entry to university to study Art and Design at BA or Fda level (level 4). Students from this course have progressed within a wide variety of art and design disciplines to Goldsmiths, Central St Martins, Chelsea, Camberwell, Wimbledon College of Art, University of Middlesex, University of Westminster and other prestigious colleges outside London such as Brighton and Falmouth. Guidance about applications to degree courses is given in personal tutorials. Preparation for university interviews is also included in the course.
What does the course involve?
The course, which is unit based, is in 3 stages
Stage 1: Exploratory stage - is an introduction to drawing, making, and using a wide range of materials. How to gather and develop visual research is covered and this stage introduces concepts within 2 dimensions and 3 dimensions. Contextual studies underpins studio practice.
Stage 2: Pathway stage –Through integrated and open ended projects this stage explores the main areas of specialisation we offer: graphic design, fashion and textiles, 3 dimensional design and fine art. Ideas development and media development are covered in this stage, and students are encouraged to take a more independent role in their learning. There is also a major essay to be written in stage 2.
Stage 3: Confirmatory stage - is a period of in depth study focusing on your preferred specialisation. The course culminates with a Final Major Project, which is a self-directed body of work that forms the end of course exhibition.
Contextual studies and Art History are integrated into the course and you are required to produce approximately 3 pieces of written work. The course allows you to develop individuality, experiment with new ways of creative and visual thinking, explore the breadth of possibilities within art and design in two and three dimensions and pursue a sustained investigation into your chosen specialism. The course starts in September for 34 weeks. The days in college are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10.00 am - 4.00 pm.
What are the facilities and equipment like?
Skills Centres, with plenty of visual research material, including books, slides, journals, CD ROMS and Internet access are available for your use. Trained staff are able to help you with careers and educational guidance (including help with applications to university). Additional help with English and Maths is available if you need extra tuition in these subjects and a counselling service is provided for students needing personal support. We have a day nursery on site at Wornington for 2-5 year-olds.
How much should I study outside class?
Some work at home is necessary to complete the course and work on your portfolio is important (approximately 6 hours per week). Students are recommended to use the studio for private study during the evening (studio is open till 9 p.m.).
How is the course assessed?
There will be assessments at the end of each stage. A BTEC examiner externally examines the Final Assessment for stage 3. These assessments follow BTEC guidelines and your grades and work will be discussed with you after each assessment. This gives you the chance to discuss your work and progress in an informal way. Regular attendance is essential to your success. Teaching methods include: Tutorials, Lectures, practical demonstrations, practice, seminars and visits to museums and galleries.
What books and equipment do I need?
You will need to buy your own materials and equipment, estimated cost of around £60-£80 per term. You will need to buy a portfolio: the college can order one for you at a reasonable cost.