International Foundation at UCA

At UCA we are dedicated to helping international students prepare for an undergraduate degree in the UK, and the International Foundation in Creative Practices is our bespoke course to achieve this.

On this course, at UCA Farnham, you will get the skills you need to get ready for a UK degree – with creative learning, English language development and cultural discovery too.

The practical element of the International Foundation involves experimentation in a range of creative practices, such as fashion, graphics, moving image and crafts, and learning about business practices within the creative industries as well.

By the end of the course you will have a strong creative portfolio and having explored a number of subjects, you will then be able to choose your degree course with confidence.

You will also have improved your English skills, as this course has fully integrated English language teaching, helping you to reach your IELTS target.

And with trips to cities such as London and Oxford, as well as trips to the south coast of England and to Amsterdam, you will discover what makes the UK such an good place to study a creative subject.

Successfully completing all parts of the course means that you are guaranteed a place on one of our undergraduate courses.


Course entry options

Select from the options below to find out more about the different study options available for this course:

Course details


The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

Semester 1 has been designed to help you explore and think about specialist areas of study and to develop key skills in investigation, recording and exploration within creative subjects.. You will complete a series of projects that have been structured to give a detailed introduction to a range of core creative concepts and practical working approaches, and then focus on a chosen specialist practice in the creative arts. English for Academic Purposes will run throughout this and the next semester along with research and study skills to support the development and understanding of these key skills.

Exploring Creativity
This unit helps you to explore and think about different forms of creative thinking and practice. You will develop key skills in exploring creatively, including observation, investigation, experimentation, interpretation, documentation and communication of your work. You will engage with specific creative techniques and strategies designed to initiate creativity.

Research, Inspiration and Speaking: English for Academic Purposes
Through lectures, workshops and seminars you will learn about what research is, how we research and how we can use research to help us explore areas we’re interested in to generate new ideas for our work. In addition, you will acquire the skills to give academic presentations and structure written reflections and evaluations.

Creative Practical Skills 1
The aim of this unit is to introduce you to a range of technical and making practices. The focus is on practical skills, to build creative confidence creating the project outcomes.

You will initiate, research, develop, complete, present and evaluate chosen specialist projects, and propose and undertake individual specialist work that relates to your chosen BA degree subject and interests. Embedded into this semester is more advanced language and study skills appropriate to your academic study.

Creative Practice
This unit builds upon and develops your knowledge, understanding and skills of the ideas and practices. You will get the opportunity to propose and undertake specialist practice work reflecting your individual interest. It culminates in a demonstration of your most refined and independent practical work on the course and all the prior and ongoing learning undertaken in order to achieve it. 

Research and Writing: English for Academic Purposes
In this unit you will focus on your specialist area of study whilst still exploring broader cultural and creative work of others This will inform your own research interests and understanding of the areas you wish to develop and communicating these ideas in written form.

Creative Practical Skills 2
The aim of the unit is to explore and enhance your practical skills, with increased focus on your subject area, in preparation for commencing your undergraduate study.

Tuition fees
The course fees for Sept 2024, Jan 2025 entry are:

  • International and EU students - £15,540

These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials. These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make.

All full cost students who successfully complete the course and progress to a UCA course will receive a £1,500 discount on the standard listed tuition fee for the course.

Read more about fee discounts


At UCA Farnham there is a dedicated studio for students on the International Pathway courses. You will also have be able to use the shared facilities at the campus including; 3D workshops with machines for working a in range of materials such as wood, plaster, clay and resin; digital media suites with both Macs and PCs loaded with design software; and open access print studios.

International Pathway studios, UCA Farnham

Print studios, UCA Farnham

International Pathway studios, UCA Farnham

3D workshop, UCA Farnham

Key facts


A student-to-staff ratio of 15:1 means a high level of tutor interaction, so you can develop at your own pace. You will learn and practice specific art and design vocabulary in preparation for your undergraduate course. The course is highly practical and you will be in the studio every day, with further tasks developing not only your English skills but also your presentation, essay writing and referencing skills.

Support for the development of academic English skills is available throughout the course. You will develop your English language and academic study skills through an integrated programme of critical studies which will prepare you for undergraduate level study.

Teaching methods include studio work, one-to-one tutorials, lectures, seminars and practical workshops. We will introduce you to a wide range of approaches in the use of materials, methods and processes. Assessment methods will range from presentations and critiques to portfolio reviews.

There are opportunities for you to informally discuss any points raised in lectures or seminars through personal tutorials. You will also receive individual support and professional advice on personal and academic issues, including your next steps in your choice of studies or career. We will also support you in applying to UCA for your BA (Hons) degree course and will offer advice and guidance on visa applications and other pastoral matters.

Successfully completing all parts of the course means that you are guaranteed progression to study one of our undergraduate courses.

A key part of this course is working with you to identify the direction of your future studies. By working on a variety of different projects in a range of disciplines, you will be guided and supported to find the most appropriate undergraduate course to study after you complete the course.

We offer a range of undergraduate courses in the following subject areas:

  • Animation
  • Architecture & interior design
  • Business
  • Crafts
  • Fashion & textiles
  • Film
  • Fine art
  • Graphics & illustration
  • Marketing, management & promotion
  • Photography
  • Three-dimensional and product design.

Dates & fees


Start date

End date

Cost (Standard fee)

Sept 2024 course

16 Sept 2024

23 May 2025


January 2025 course

20 Jan 2025

5 Sept 2025

£15, 540

For full details about the term dates please see:

Entry requirements

Course entry requirements:

You need to have completed 12 years* of schooling (with good grades) and show strong evidence of your ability to successfully complete the programme and progress onto your chosen degree.

*For countries where 11 years of schooling is comparable to this level of entry, this will be accepted.

English language requirements:

International Foundation course:
You need to take an IELTS for UKVI test and achieve an overall IELTS score of 5.0 with 4.5 in each component.

Apply now

Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you:
Course specifications


Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.