If you want to study a creative subject at degree level but you want to develop your skills first, then choosing an Integrated Foundation pathway is an ideal start.

By choosing this route you’ll undertake a year of study and gain vital insight into Higher Education.

Depending on your chosen undergraduate degree pathway, you’ll gain a range of skills in art and design practices or creative industries management.

Across the year, you will be introduced to creative teaching and learning methods including project briefings, lectures, workshops, group critiques, essay writing and tutorials as a few examples. You’ll also undertake visits appropriate to your studies, such as museums or film production studios.

Armed with the skills and knowledge you need for advanced study, you’ll be able to start your undergraduate degree with confidence.


Depending on the degree you have chosen, you will study with one of the above UCA schools. Some units are specific to the school your course is in.

Term 1

Exploring Creativity
(for all schools)
You’ll explore and think about different forms of creative thinking and practice alongside peers within your School. Through a series of short projects, you’ll develop key skills in observation, investigation, experimentation, interpretation, design thinking, documentation and communication of your work. Some projects will align closely with your chosen specialist area of study and some with other subjects in the School, to help you become a multi-skilled and versatile creative thinker.

Research and Inspiration
(for all schools)
Developing the basic skills and tools for visual and written research and critical thinking, you’ll explore the work and ideas of other creative practitioners and thinkers in your subject area. You’ll also learn about cultural and historical developments in your specialist area as well as more broadly. Central to this unit will be your research file or sketchbook which will form the foundation of recording, analysing and reflecting on ideas, things you see and experience and critical reflections on your own and others creative practices.

Drawing and Making 1
(for School of Architecture & Design, School of Communication, School of Fashion & Textiles, School of Fine Art, Crafts & Photography, School of Games & Creative Technology)
The aim of this unit is to introduce you to a range of drawing and making practices.  The focus is on hand skills, to build creative confidence and to underpin your 2D and 3D expression.

Market Analysis 1
(for Business School for the Creative Industries)
In this unit you’ll be introduced to the fundamentals of market analysis, focusing on the business skills and strategies used to distinguish firms from their competition and to identify opportunities in the creative industries landscape.

Collaborative Production 1
(for School of Film, Media & Performing Arts)
You’ll be introduced to a range of production and collaborative practices, specifically production skills, so you can start to build creative confidence and to underpin your ability to collaborate.  Production skills will range from filmmaking (including animation), making pieces for television, music composition, theatre and on-screen design and acting and performance. 

Term 2

Creative Practice 
(for all schools)
Applying what you’ve learned in the first term, this unit challenges you to propose and undertake specialist practice work reflecting your individual interests. You’ll do this through specialist project briefs, followed by a self-directed final major project which ends with a final exhibition and/or presentation.

Research and Writing 
(for all schools)
Building on the first term’s exploration of the work and ideas of other creative practitioners, here you’ll delve deeper into your specialist area of study. You’ll explore subject specific concepts and ideas through a series of lectures and seminars, and introduced to different forms of formal and expressive writing, including project proposals, personal reflective writing and evaluative writing.

Drawing and Making 2
(for School of Architecture & Design, School of Communication, School of Fashion & Textiles, School of Fine Art, Crafts & Photography, School of Games & Creative Technology)
Here you’ll continue your drawing and making development, once again focusing more on your specialist subject area to ready you for undergraduate study. Hand techniques remain the focus, though some digital and/or specialist workshop techniques will also be introduced.

Market Analysis 2
(for Business School for the Creative Industries)

Continuing your studies from the first term, this second unit on market analysis is an opportunity to look more closely at the markets within your chosen subject area, to get ready for your undergraduate studies. 

Collaborative Production 2
(for School of Film, Media and Performing Arts)
Building on your first term of study, this unit is a chance to delve deeper into your specialist subject, and further explore and enhance your production and collaborative working skills. There’ll be lots of hands-on projects in which to do this, preparing you for your undergraduate studies.

The standard entry requirements for these courses is one of the following:

  • 64 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 64 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 24 points from the International Baccalaureate, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

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. 

Portfolio requirements
Depending on the course you apply for you may need to prepare a portfolio or for an audition. Please see the entry requirement details on the course pages. Further information will be provided once you have applied.

Mature students
If you are a mature student and would like to know more about applying and studying at UCA please see our guide for mature students for more information.

To apply for the Integrated Foundation option you need to select your undergraduate degree course and apply using via UCAS.

View our undergraduate courses