Diploma in Art & Design - Foundation Studies

Pre-degree - UCA Epsom - 2019

The Diploma in Art & Design – Foundation Studies at UCA Epsom is designed for post A-Level students, and prepares you for the progression from diploma to degree.

The first part of your year will be spent investigating different areas of art and design, identifying your strengths and personal interests to help you grow as an artist or designer. As the year progresses, you’ll have more freedom to specialise and direct your route through the course, resulting in an exhibition of your work at the end of the year and a unique and varied portfolio, ready for your undergraduate degree.

While studying the Foundation Diploma you’ll spend the year exploring a range of creative subjects, giving you the time and creative inspiration to decide which area of art and design you’d like to specialise in when you come to choose your undergraduate degree. 

You’ll have access to the facilities at UCA Epsom and will be supported by teams of subject specialist lecturers – most lecturers are active within their own fields as professional designers, artists and researchers.

Working in and amongst our undergraduate and postgraduate students as part of our uniquely creative community, you’ll be able to observe first-hand the range of degree options available to you.

As a foundation student at UCA, you’ll be on campus for at least three days a week with your own dedicated studio space. If you’re expected to be studying English and/or Maths as part of your programme, you’ll attend for longer.

On completion of this course, you will be awarded the UAL Level 3 Diploma in Art & Design - Foundation Studies.

Length of study:

One year full-time


UCA Epsom

Also available at UCA Canterbury, UCA Farnham, UCA Rochester

Start month:


View term dates

Entry year(s):


Entry requirements:

5 GCSE A*-C and/or grade 9-4 plus 32 UCAS points

click here for full details

Next event

20 Feb 2019

Open Day - all campuses

Course details

  • Stage 1

    The first part of your year will be spent delving into different areas of art and design, identifying your strengths and interests.

    Learning Skills and Context

    Through a structured programme of drawing and visual studies, you’ll identify your skills, strengths and interests. You’ll also develop practical abilities in 2D and 3D, helping you to make an informed choice for specialist study.

  • Stage 2

    As the year progresses, you'll have more freedom to specialise. This helps you to grow as an artist and determines in which creative direction your academic path and future career may lie.

    Development and Progression

    You'll choose to specialise in one pathway from graphic design, illustration, photography, film, 3D design, fashion, textiles and fine art.

  • Stage 3
    Proposal and Realisation

    You’ll bring together all your newly developed skills, knowledge and understanding in art, craft, design and communications to plan and fulfil a major project, resulting in an exhibition.

  • Fees

    Find out all about the fees for studying with us, as well the financial support you may be entitled to:


At our Epsom campus there are studio spaces for all pathways of the pre-degree and foundation courses; a 3D workshop with machines for working a in range of materials with dedicated technical support; digital media suites with both Macs and PCs loaded with design software; photography studios; and open access print studios.

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On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

  • Further study

    After completing this course, most of our students progress to a degree course at UCA.

    View all of our undergraduate degree courses

  • Diploma 2 Degree scheme

    This course is part of our Diploma 2 Degree scheme which guarantees you a place on one of our undergraduate degrees after you have completed this course.

    The process is simple and stress-free, letting you bypass lengthy application processes and avoid UCAS fees. There’s also no need for you to attend an interview.

    More details about the scheme can be found on the Diploma 2 Degree pages.

  • Careers

    Instead of further study you may choose to progress directly into employment or do an apprenticeship in the industry.

How to apply - 2019 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

When to apply:

Our equal consideration application deadline is 31 March. We guarantee that we'll consider all applications received by this date. If places are still available after this date, we'll consider late applications.

More information:

Go to our how to apply pages

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

Minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 9-4 plus one A level or 80/32 UCAS points preferably including: art, design, media, or related creative subject at A level or Level 3 equivalent, English and mathematics at GCSE level.

OR Progression Diploma (Level 3) in a related subject area.

OR Advanced Diploma (Level 3) in a related subject area.

OR 24 points from the International Baccalaureate.

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

Pick Your Country

Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

Your portfolio

For this course we will require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. Include creative work in a variety of media that shows your interest in art and design - this could include paintings, drawings, photography, ceramics or design work. You can include film or video work but make sure it's no more than three minutes in duration. Also you could bring sketchbooks, notebooks, worksheets and ideas sheets as well as finished work. We also like to see examples of written work, such as an essay, case study, evaluation or exhibition review. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you apply.

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