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Course - Art foundation stage 1

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  • Course description
    What is the course about?

    The course leads to a nationally recognised qualification called the BTEC Foundation (level 3 / 4) Diploma in Art and Design. This award is considered the ideal preparation for study in Higher Education at either undergraduate or masters level*. It will also give you the core skills and creative techniques for employment as a practising artist or designer.

    You will evolve a deep understanding of art and design and will be helped to make decisions about your future within education or the workplace.

    Over the four terms of the course you will be taught a wide range of subject specialist disciplines including: painting, sculpture, printmaking, digital art and video, graphic design, ceramics, fashion and textiles. These will be combined with core skills in drawing, basic photography, colour work, personal/critical research that will steadily develop your individual creative direction.

    In the final term you will choose two specialist areas and work towards an exhibition that is open to the public.

    What topics will we cover?


    Stage 1 is designed to develop your skills and the fundamentals of visual research. There will be workshops in drawing, painting, 3D and Sculpture, for two days per week and life drawing classes in the evenings on Wednesday for half the term. There is one critical studies project looking at movements in art and design including a short written report.

    You will work in a range of media techniques and environments including structured gallery/ museum visits basic photography and thematic projects.

    By the end of this course you should be able to:

    Make observational and expressive drawings, sculpt and design in resistant and soft materials, create photographs and respond to works by other artists and designers.

    Build a sketch book with records of gallery visits and some independent research and development of ideas.

    Your portfolio will show that you are motivated in your studies and that you are ready to move on to Stage 2.

    What level is the course?


    You do not have to have any formal qualifications but you will be able to talk about your ideas, read assignment tasks, and write about your experiences and goals in art and design.

    If you get in touch with us, we will invite you to an informal interview, where we will ask you to bring a portfolio showing examples of your creative work. We especially like to see drawing, but we consider all types of work, in any media, and the more recent the better. We will discuss your interests and talk about the course, and how it may be suitable for you.

    To book an interview please send name and contact details to visualarts@citylit.ac.uk and request an interview time for the Foundation course.

    How will I be taught?


    You will be taught by a team of staff comprised of practising artists, designers and experienced teachers using a wide range of teaching methods. This will include demonstrations and expert tuition from leading practitioners. A mixture of tutor-led discussions, group work and practical exercises, individual research projects and studio based assignments. There are also formal critical studies lectures and museum and gallery visits. All students will be expected to work approximately a day a week on independent study and there is individual learning support available for literacy skills.

    Are there any other costs (e.g. certification, materials, equipment or books I need to buy)?

    All the materials used in the studios at City Lit are provided without additional charge. We ask students to purchase basic materials for their independent study, such as an A4 sketch book and drawing and painting materials at the beginning of Stage 1. As the course develops you will need an A1 size portfolio case to carry work.

    Many students are eligible for financial support. To find out more please email advice@citylit.ac.uk.

    What feedback will I get?


    You will be given informal feed back throughout the course in teaching groups and individual discussion with your tutor. Much of this will be documented in your 'self reflective journals' that will record your own comments and written feed back from staff.

    Individual assignments will be assessed by tutors and through group critiques. Toward the end of Stage 1 you will have a short tutorial where your portfolio will be checked and you will be given advice for development.

    Will I have a chance to give my views on the course?

    Feedback is welcomed as it encourages learning and helps us to continually improve our courses. Your comments and opinions will be informally gathered throughout the course through discussion and in the self reflective journals. There is a formal board of study meeting once a term where student representatives will put forward views to the teaching and managerial staff. Student evaluations are collected through a questionnaire on Stage 2 at the end of terms 2 and 4.

    When I've finished, what course can I do next?

    On completion of Stage 1 in December or March, you will progress to Stage 2, starting in April. Entry on to Stage 2 is dependant on successful completion of Stage 1.

    Individual stages of the courses cannot normally be studied independently but we are happy to discuss individual cases at the interview.

    Compulsory interview before enrolment


    Before you can enrol on this course, you need to have an advisory interview with the relevant department. Without this the enrolment team will be unable to process your enrolment. Please contact the department to arrange your interview, or to find out about drop-in sessions.

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