Foundation Diploma in Art and Design 2019/20 entry

Clearing 2019

Clearing places available on this course

We have limited places available on this course through Clearing.

Rise above


As some of my lecturers still work in industry, they understand how the sector is constantly improving and evolving which I find very inspirational.

Unjali, Media Production BA (Hons)

Course code:


Study options:

1 year full-time



Coventry University


September 2019



Skills Funding Agency or Education Funding Agency

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Get in touch

Recruitment and Admissions Office

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222


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. 80% of our students progressed onto study within our own undergraduate programmes or courses at other institutions.




The Foundation Diploma is designed as a one-year full-time preparatory experience prior to undertaking studio-based undergraduate study. We encourage you to generate fresh and exciting work, building personal independence and confidence in developing ideas, and gaining new skills with different materials, techniques and processes, building a substantial portfolio of work.

It is split in to 3 stages;

The Exploratory Stage allows you to spend time exploring different disciplines through a series of project themes, by being introduced to materials and new methods of working; we explore research methods and develop critical skills encouraging evaluation and reflection. You will work on short, week-long projects deigned to extend your thinking whilst exploring different aspects of art and design. You will explore drawing and mark making as a means to record, generate ideas and express yourself whether through fine art, illustration or design. You will explore all the different workshops available to you at the university, from digital software to print, ceramics and sculpture, widening your skills set, no matter what specialism you opt to follow. This stage will set you up for the pathway stage.

The Pathway stage is where you explore your future directions and make a choice in regard to specialism. You’ll begin to work more independently on longer specialist projects and build a portfolio ready for progression to BA. During this stage you have a choice of 3 project themes to follow and you can use any of the skills explored from the pathway stage to respond. You will be working in a vibrant studio environment so you will be working alongside students following different specialist areas, for example from fashion or automotive design to experimental film or painting, contemporary craft to animation or illustration. We want you to be unique and build a portfolio that shows you have a breadth of 2D and 3D skills no matter what your specialist area of practice. To complement your practical projects, you will also attend a series of weekly lectures to help you contextualise your practice. During this stage you will be fully supported with all aspects of your UCAS application.

The Confirmatory stage sees you working on an independent, self-initiated 10 week final major project. The work is exhibited at the end of the year. This final project is at level 4 (which is the same as first year degree level) to help to prepare you for the transition. At this stage, you will be working as a professional artist or designer, managing your own workload, time and outcomes. You will discuss your work weekly with peers and tutors so that you continue to develop and produce the best possible work.


  • 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


We are ranked as the 15th best University in the United Kingdom in The Guardian University Guide 2020

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
  • In 2016/17 100% students progressed on to undergraduate programmes both at Coventry University and beyond.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Strong track record of student success with former foundation students going on to win wide ranging competitions and commissions.
  • 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.

On the Foundation diploma you will have the opportunity to explore broad themes and ideas, encouraging you to think more widely and discover personal directions. You will spend time exploring materials, developing understanding of specialist practice and towards the end of the course, you will write your own self-initiated project.  You are free to make work that explores the use of colour, surface, mark making, process, space and site, time-based media including video and sound, performance, structure and design. We focus on ideas and how to push them beyond the obvious, allowing you to learn through discovery, becoming more independent and curious about the world around you.

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 1-7 are achieved at pass only. Unit 10 is graded Pass/Merit/Distinction. The grade for Unit 10 constitutes the final qualification grade.

When you’ve completed your foundation diploma, you should have a broad portfolio demonstrating a range of skills. You will have carefully explored your progression options, allowing you to make an informed decision about undergraduate study. You should be more confident and able to work independently in a professional manner in your chosen pathway.

Last year, 100% of our students progressed on to higher level study both at Coventry University and beyond.

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 2016/17, we were able to provide a total of 3,482 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days.

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 2016/17)


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2016/17


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

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 2019

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 2019

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 2019

2019/20 fees TBC
2018/19 fees - £12,600

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

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will contain the obligations that the University will owe to you. We encourage you to read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University. A copy of the 18/19 Contract can be found here.

Coventry University ranked 15 in the UK
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year for student experience
QS Five Star Rating 2019
Coventry City of Culture 2021