Foundation Diploma in Art and Design | Coventry Un...

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Foundation Diploma in Art and Design 2018/19 entry

Course code:


Study options:

1 year full-time



Coventry University


September 2018



2018/19 Fees - TBC* (2017/18 Fees - £11,927)

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International Office

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2152


This Art and Design Foundation Diploma course aims to enable you to explore and experiment across a wide range of creative disciplines.

You will have the opportunity to generate fresh and exciting work, building your personal independence and confidence in developing ideas, and gaining new skills with different materials, techniques and processes and building a substantial portfolio of work.

The Foundation Diploma is designed as a one-year full-time preparatory experience prior to undertaking studio-based undergraduate Higher Education programmes. In an inspiring, support and enriching environment, our aim is to provide broad, balanced and structured learning to stimulate your interest and motivation in art and design, but also enable you to make informed career choices, fully aware of your creative strengths and passions.

One of the best universities in the country for art and design, Coventry University has a reputation as a leading centre for product design, having been awarded both the Queen’s Anniversary Prize and the Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities


Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

What our students say...

The Foundation course at Coventry University has been the most enriching and surprising year of my life; coming out of school I was flung into a completely new, exciting and challenging way of learning - not only about the subject I was about to study - but in growing and thinking in new ways. Without a doubt, I have come out the end as a more confident and prepared person; ready to tackle my course next year, thanks to this course and its inspiring leaders.

Imogen Fancourt, Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, graduated in 2016 progressing onto a BA Illustration course.

Course information

The Foundation Diploma is specifically designed to foster a creative, critical and experiential approach to art and design practice. You will be encouraged to experiment with different artistic methods, test your ideas and reflect on your work through rational artistic approaches.



of our students progressed onto study within our own undergraduate programmes or courses at other institutions

Foundation Diploma Annual Report 2014/15



The curriculum, structured in line with the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design qualification, is structured and is split into three stages: exploratory, pathway and confirmatory.

Within individual, group and co-operative working, you will have the chance to be exposed to a wide range of issues concerned with visual understanding, media, material handling, careers, art and design history, skill acquisition, knowledge and independent learning.

A core part of your learning centres on the creation of a well-presented, professional portfolio, which will support your subsequent application to an undergraduate course within University and your career beyond. You will have the opportunity to participate in a mandatory session on how to mount your portfolio.

The size of your portfolio will depend largely upon your chosen specialism and the type of work that you produce. The bulk of your portfolio will be built from outcomes or documentary images of outcomes, concept sheets and design sheets which relate to your chosen specialism. It will be important to show any potential degree course your drawing ability and something of your broader range of skills, experiences and thinking that you have acquired on the course.


  • Researching, Recording and Responding in Art and Design

  • Media Experimentation in Art and Design

  • Preparation and Progression in Art and Design

  • Information and Interpretation in Art and Design

  • Personal Experimental Studies in Art and Design

  • Extended Media Development in Art and Design

  • Final Major Project in Art and Design


Coventry University has climbed the rankings again to 12th in the UK Guardian University Guide 2018

In more detail...

  • The School of Art and Design is an ‘Adobe Partner by Design’, as well as being an Adobe Outstanding Centre of Excellence
  • Ranked 17th in the UK for ‘Art and Design’ in the Complete University Guide 2019 and 12th for ‘Design and Crafts’ in the Guardian University Guide 2018.
  • Award winning students including an In and Design Sustainability Award for a chair made from light bulbs, and a nationwide business card competition hosted by 123Print.
  • In 2014/15, 80% of our students successfully progressed onto study within our own undergraduate programmes or courses at other institutions both nationally and internationally.
  • Our undergraduate programmes in the broad subject of ‘Design Studies’ enjoy high levels of student satisfaction – 90% for the quality of teaching in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2016.
  • Strong track record of student success with former Foundation Diploma students going on to win The Severn Trent 2014 Art Commission, Pod Residency Prize and the Broadweavers’ Student Award.
  • Opportunity to take part in overseas study visits. In the past, students have visited major art and design centres in Europe, recently visiting traditional and contemporary art exhibitions from Birmingham to Amsterdam (application and additional costs may apply).
  • Access to dedicated design studios, the best software packages for page layout, image manipulation and multimedia design, such as the full Adobe Creative Suite including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects, Premier, Dreamweaver and Animate, on both Macs and PCs.
  • Extensive print facilities include a printmaking workroom, screen printing studio and a digital print bureau. You will have the chance to receive an induction into printmaking processes, including drypoint, etching and silkscreen, using the full range of facilities to produce anything from postage stamps to large poster designs.

Opportunity to take part in an end-of-year show which coincides with the prestigious School of Art and Design annual Degree Show.

Your main study themes are:

  • The Exploratory Stage: You will be introduced to a wide range of art and design specialisms and the formal qualities of different media as essential elements in visual communication. You will be encouraged to research contemporary, historical and cultural contexts and precedents, so that you can begin to relate your own emerging practices to others’ work.  You will develop work related to a broad spectrum of art and design practice through a range of short individual and group projects, further developing your technical and practical skills.

  • The Pathway Stage: This stage of the course allows time for you to evaluate your skills and consider your interests and ambitions. You will identify your personal direction within the breadth of current creative practice, choosing a specialist area of work. You will then work on a range of projects to develop your understanding of the contemporary visual world and an awareness of historical developments within your specialist field to inspire and inform your work. Tackling issues within art, design, craft and communication media, you will produce work that challenges your preconceptions and visual awareness.  You should gain a greater understanding of the nature of media and people’s appreciation of the form, nature and function of images and objects. The specialisms are: Fine Art, Graphic Design, Fashion, Illustration, 3Dimesnional, Automotive and Product Design, Interior Design and Architecture.

  • The Confirmatory Stage: The final stage of the course uses and develops the skills you have gained throughout the foundation year. Within a period of sustained study, you will be expected to focus on developing your final major project, devising your own self-initiated project brief. This will bring together your art, craft, design and communication skills, knowledge and understanding. You will have the opportunity to showcase the outcomes from this project in the end-of-year public exhibition.

The course team works collaboratively across the School’s extensive art and design resources to create a dynamic, fast-paced, creative learning environment designed to help develop your intellectual curiosity and expand your creative ability.

Your course will be primarily based on the development of your studio practice, but you will also have lectures, seminars and workshops. In exploring a wide range of disciplines, media and techniques, you will develop a personal visual language and a strong sense of your own creative practice and identity.

Individual diagnostic projects and tutorials will help you to distil and identify your main areas of interest. Recent project briefs have included short animations, book illustrations and sound installations.

In recognition of the fact that drawing is such a crucial transferrable skill within all art and design practice, we endeavour to organise a special drawing week covering key techniques and developing your idea generation. We encourage you to use the drawing week as a springboard for the development of the way you think visually and the way that you practice drawing.

You will have the opportunity to engage with staff from our Undergraduate courses including lectures from designers, artists and practitioners who will talk to you about their work and how it can inform your work. We offer the opportunity to be part of guided visits to Compton Verney, Birmingham’s IKON Gallery, the London galleries as well as a European field trip (subject to application and additional costs).

Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve the various learning outcomes, which will be clearly set out on all project briefs. Coursework is assessed using a variety of methods including: presentations, portfolio reviews, essays, reports, reflective logs, e-journals, blogs, displays and exhibitions. 

An estimated percentage breakdown of your final grade assessment is as follows:

  • Project work: 80%
  • Essays/reports: 20%

To achieve the Foundation Diploma a student must achieve a pass for all 120 credits taken. Units 1-9 are achieved at pass only. Unit 10 is graded Pass/Merit/Distinction. The grade for Unit 10 constitutes the final qualification grade.

80% assessed by project work

On successful completion, you should have knowledge of:

  • The key features of and relevance of different forms of media.
  • Historical, cultural and contemporary practice.
  • How to solve creative problems by applying knowledge and experience. 

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Identify progression aims and opportunities and produce a mature portfolio of work to support progression.
  • Reference historical, cultural and contemporary practice when developing personal ideas and solutions.
  • Initiate and undertake experimentation, reflect on creative intentions.
  • Research materials, techniques and processes and select media to suit creative intentions.
  • Manipulate media, techniques and processes safely.
  • Understand the broader creative context in which your own discipline sits.
  • Engage creatively and intelligently with briefs or self-initiated assignments, recognising their potential, clarifying their content and using intellectual dexterity, applicable research, analysis, criticism and sustainable arguments.
  • Produce a body of work that evidences sustained creative, intellectual and technical development.
  • Identify and address the variety, extent and occasional unpredictability of audience needs.
  • Present your work effectively and competently, demonstrating visual, oral and interpersonal skills.
  • Use a range of specialist media productively and manage digital files competently.
  • Present and/or exhibit your work expertly and professionally.
  • Apply workshop and health and safety instruction intelligently.
  • Demonstrate the inclination and ability to work independently or capably as part of a collegiate team or group.
  • Demonstrate professional awareness of ICT conventions and trends.

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 17 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 2 hours of smaller tutorial/seminar with focused tutor contact each week.
  • Medium group teaching: 5 hours of workshops and technical demonstrations.
  • Large group teaching: 6-8 hours of seminars with 2-3 hours of lectures

In addition, you will have 8 hours of self-directed studio practice each week and be expected to undertake a further 20 hours of self-directed studying each week.

We attract staff and students from all over the world, which provides a multicultural environment in which you can experience different cultures, approaches, perspectives and opinions. You will have the opportunity to take part in overseas study visits. In the past, students have visited major art and design centres in Europe and North America. 

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2015/16, we were able to provide a total of 2101 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 76% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 23% from postgraduate travel.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA)


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2015/16


and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

What our students say...

The course took me on a journey through all aspects of art and design, undertaking numerous projects that tested and pushed me into finding myself as an artist/designer.

Aiden Richardson

Entry Requirements

University Course Code: ADF009
A Level Access IB Diploma GCSE requirement
Grade C from at least one A2 Level Art & Design related subject or equivalent qualification. A pass in the Access Diploma, plus GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade A*-C, or specified equivalents. 27 points to include Visual Arts or Design Technology at Higher level. Minimum 5 GCSEs at A*-C including English, Art and Design and Maths.


You may be required to submit a portfolio/showreel/written work (as appropriate for the particular course) and you may be asked to attend an interview if it is practical to arrange.


A-Level applicants are required to have three
 A2 Levels. Coventry University may include AS grades within an offer for certain courses, but we are not able to accept two AS Levels in place of one A2 Level. In some courses it may be necessary for entrants to have passed specific A2 Levels in nominated subjects. Please see the course pages for more information.

Access Diplomas

Coventry University welcomes applicants who have completed, or who are studying, the Access to HE Diploma developed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Successful completion of the course will require you to gain 60 credits with at least 45 to be achieved at Level 3 (with the remainder at Level 2). In some cases we will require you to have gained Merit or Distinction grades in a number of units or in nominated subjects. For more information on the entry requirements for your chosen course please see the relevant course pages.

BTEC Level 3 Diplomas

The University will accept the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma for entry to most courses. In some cases we will require applicants to have studied either certain named modules or a specific named Diploma. The appropriate course page will have full information on the entry requirements. The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry to degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that provide a total volume of study that is equivalent to three A2 Levels. For example, you could be studying a BTEC Level 3 Diploma plus an A2 Level, or a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma plus two A2 Levels. Where a specific A2 or BTEC subject is required for entry then you must be offering this as part of your combination of qualifications.

Please visit our page on European entry requirements for more information about specific country information.

English as a Foreign Language This course requires an IELTS of 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each component. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

English as a Foreign Language This course requires an IELTS of 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each component. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Unconditional offers

We want to recruit the best students to Coventry and having assessed applicants' past, current and predicted performance and commitment to the course we feel that it is appropriate to reward consistently high-achieving students with an unconditional offer from a top university. It is a commitment from us with regard to an applicants’ potential as an excellent undergraduate and we hope that this will encourage such applicants to join the Coventry community.

Personal statements and references will also be taken into account and, for some degree courses, an interview will form part of the assessment. The criteria for unconditional offers will vary across the University as entry requirements for specific courses differ and not all degree courses will be taking part in the Scheme. The unconditional offer will be confirmed once a selected applicant has made Coventry their firm choice.

Coventry University has assessed that you are capable of achieving excellent grades and we have demonstrated this belief by making you an unconditional offer. This is our commitment to you so then we ask that you reciprocate this commitment by selecting us as your ‘firm’ choice and activating your unconditional offer.

We will consider other qualifications for a pre-result unconditional offer providing that you have an appropriate proven performance at GCSE (or equivalent) level and predicted grades in line with grades that we expect to see at A-level. Other qualifications that we may consider for a pre-result unconditional offer include: the International Baccalaureate Diploma, BTEC Level 3 qualifications, Cambridge Pre-U and combinations of qualifications (e.g. BTECS plus A-levels).

An unconditional offer is what it says it is. So if you don’t meet your predictions then your place at Coventry is still guaranteed. However we would hope and expect that you continue to work hard to make the most of your potential and be best prepared to study at university level.

We can’t but our experience over the years has shown us that students like you with a track record of high grades and excellent predictions are very likely to achieve those grades. Our assessment takes into account all elements of your application to allow us to take a holistic view of your potential. There is still the opportunity to gain one of the Coventry University Scholarships if you achieve the required grades so there is a financial incentive to aim high. Unconditional offers are only made to individuals who have demonstrated their commitment so we believe their focus and determination is unlikely to waver in the final stages of their qualifications.

No, the unconditional offer is only available to those who will take up their place in 2017.

What our students say...

The course took me on a journey through all aspects of art and design, undertaking numerous projects that tested and pushed me into finding myself as an artist/designer.

Aiden Richardson

Tuition Fees

The fee for this course is currently funded by the Skills Funding Agency or Education Funding Agency. Applicants should check their website for the latest information regarding fees.

  • UK and EU based students do not have to pay tuition fees but £120 must be paid at enrolment for access to specialist workshops;
  • Students are currently not eligible for any form of loan.


Additional costs not included in the fees:

  • You will need to provide all your own materials throughout the academic year which will typically cost £300: Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.



September 2018

Skills Funding Agency or Education Funding Agency


If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship.

Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.



September 2018

Skills Funding Agency or Education Funding Agency


For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!



September 2018

2018/19 Fees - TBC* (2017/18 Fees - £11,927)

Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments. 

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

What our students say...

The course took me on a journey through all aspects of art and design, undertaking numerous projects that tested and pushed me into finding myself as an artist/designer.

Aiden Richardson

Career prospects

Students who meet our benchmark requirements should be able to progress on to studio-based courses in the School of Art and Design and the School of Media and Performing Arts, as well as institutions throughout the UK and internationally.

Typically, our students progress to degree level courses in the following subjects: Fashion; Fine Art; Fine Art and Illustration; Illustration and Animation; Interior Design; Product Design; Automotive Design and Transport Design.

Our Employability team is on hand to offer tailored career and enterprise support if you wish to gain employment or take advantage of professional practice opportunities within course specific industries. It provides specialist careers information, advice and guidance to all our students from their first year through to final year and beyond graduation, helping them achieve their desired career outcome. Our dedicated enterprise officers can also offer valuable assistance on how to begin as a freelancer/entrepreneur.

What our students say...

The course took me on a journey through all aspects of art and design, undertaking numerous projects that tested and pushed me into finding myself as an artist/designer.

Aiden Richardson

By accepting your offer of a place with us, a Student Contract (“the Contract”) will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail all of your rights and also the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will also contain all of the obligations that the University owes to you.  We would encourage you to read the Student Contract before you accept any offer of a place at the University. A copy of the Contract can be found here.

The tuition fees stated on the course webpage, prospectus and your offer letter will apply for the duration of your course, subject only to changes to the law or government requirement.

*Due to a delay in the UK Government's announcement of the Retail Price Index, the University is unable to set its fees for entrants in 2018 at this stage. Please note that we set fees for individual courses, and fees from previous years are no indication of fees for future years.