Art Foundation Programme

DLD College London

Program Description

Art Foundation Programme

DLD College London

What is the Art Foundation Programme?

The Art Foundation Programme is for advanced students who wish to build up a portfolio to progress onto Higher Education. This course is normally a requirement for entry to BA (Hons) degree programmes at prestigious art schools. It gives you the opportunity to explore your creative potential and specialist area of study.

The Foundation Diploma is a 1-year practical, creative and intensive course. The course is diagnostic in approach, enabling students to explore a wide range of specialist areas before deciding on a future direction within the subject. Students find this course exciting challenging and rewarding. If you are interested in a creative and commercial career and are interested in the art and design world, this could be the course for you!

Key Course Features:

  • Qualification: Level 4 Diploma
  • Accreditation: Pearson
  • Level: 4
  • Mode: Full-time
  • Duration: 1 year

Who is the course for?

Advanced students who wish to build up a portfolio in order to progress to higher education. You may be thinking of a career in Art and Design but unsure of what possible directions you could take. You may feel you haven’t really tried out many areas of Art and Design. You might be unclear about the contents of the portfolio required when applying for a degree course. Our foundation course is designed to answer your creative questions, help you make the right choices and reach your potential. It will give you confidence, practical skills and the theoretical understanding to take the next step towards an exciting and creative career.

How will I learn?

You will have access to state of the art facilities in our new creative arts department. Enthusiastic and experienced team of specialist teaching staff will teach you on a daily basis.

Throughout the course students will take part in group discussions and analysis of their own work and others. Exploration of historical, contemporary artists and designers practices are integrated into practical project work. Students make regular trips to visit exhibitions and fashion events throughout London.

Contextual Studies/ Written Research: Students will also be required to undertake regular exhibition research visits and write in depth about their practical work and key connected artists, as a regular and integral part of their coursework.

The year is structures into 3 stages

Stage 1 Exploratory stage: A broad introduction providing you with new processes and techniques, through projects that build on A-level experience. Intensive 1 and 2 week projects are designed to challenge your preconceptions of Art and Design, encouraging experimentation and ambition.

This stage allows you to try out many different specialisms whilst helping you to focus your attention on choosing future degree courses. Tutors provide extensive support to prepare for interviews and the presentation of your portfolio.

Stage 2 Specialist Pathways: This stage allows you to develop a portfolio of work through extended specialist projects within the following areas. Fine Art (painting sculpture, printmaking, multimedia) Lens based media (photography, animation) Graphic design, Illustration, Textiles, (interior design / architecture, product design, etc.)

Stage 3 Confirmatory (Final Major Project): This stage is an opportunity to produce self-motivated and more independent work within your chosen specialist pathway. An exhibition of the work open to the public is the culmination of the course.

How will I be assessed?

The Foundation Diploma is 100% coursework assessed. Projects are submitted for marking on a regular basis throughout the course. Work is graded and written feedback provided enabling students to gauge how well they are doing on the course. Feedback helps students to see the strengths of their work, as well as reflecting on areas, which can be developed further. Students must pass each stage of the course before they can go onto the next. Final grades are awarded on the work produced during the summer term and presented in the exhibition.


The Foundation Diploma is recognised as the best route to a degree in art and design after completing A-levels. This course is primarily a springboard to universities throughout the UK, preparing students to make the most of higher education, advising them on the most appropriate specialist course. DLD’s art department has an excellent record of students gaining places in the most competitive degree courses.

NB: The majority of Art and design degree courses specify that students should complete a Foundation diploma as an entry requirement.

Standard Entry Requirements

  • Age: 17 years +
  • One ‘A’ level (UK domestic students only) or other relevant qualification in Art and Design
  • 4 or more GCSEs at grades A*-C, or equivalent
  • Portfolio submission
  • IELTS 5.0+, or equivalent
  • Passing an interview which will assess English language ability and motivation

Mature and or under-qualified students are encouraged to apply with exceptional ability, as they may also be considered. However, it is the student’s portfolio that will be used to assess suitability for the course. Students will be asked to submit a portfolio of their own work. This should include a selection of art works (paintings, observational drawings, design work, photography) and especially work you may have carried out in your own time. Sketchbooks and design sheets are seen as vital in making this decision. You will be interviewed, and this will give you the opportunity to ask detailed questions about the course and show us a portfolio of your work, demonstrating your skills and interest. You will also be asked to complete a creative task that demonstrates your artistic dexterity, and fluent ability in English at level 5.0 IELTS or above.

After DLD

On successful completion of this BTEC L4 Foundation Diploma Course in A&D students are expected to apply for any of the following degrees.

  • BA (Hons) Fine Art
  • BA (Hons) Creative Arts
  • BA (Hons) Photography
  • BA (Hons) Graphics
  • BA (Hons) Ceramics

This high quality portfolio of work produced on this course will enable application to a wide variety of art and design degree courses throughout the UK. For example in London:

  • University of the Arts
  • University for the Creative Arts
  • London Metropolitan University
  • Ravensbourne College
  • University of East London
  • City and Guilds of London Art School

Entry Requirements

  • 1 strong A-level in Art
  • If students do not have an A level qualification on entry they can only be submitted with evidence of high equivalent ability at point of entry (this should include a substantial portfolio comprising a range of developed final pieces, and strong research & project work (including detailed written contextual research of artists and art practice) Students should be able to show strong evidence of awareness and understanding of both historic and contemporary art & design practice, and have a strong command of spoken and written English, as the written component is a key part of the coursework.
  • If students do not have an A Level Qualification on entry they will have to take an A Level while doing their Art – Foundation course, in order to fulfil Degree Application Requirements.
  • If student have IELTS level 5 on entry they will need to achieve IELTS level 6+ in order to be eligible to apply for and take up places on degree courses on completion of the Art Foundation Course.

Entry Requirements for international students

  • To study the International Foundation Programme (IFP), your current or pending exam results should be equivalent to or higher than GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) in at least 5 subjects and a minimum level of English equivalent to IELTS 5.0 (preferably 5.5).
  • Please note: In order for successful Art-Foundation Students to be able to take up any BA (honours) Arts Degree offers they will need to have achieved at least a 6.0 IELTS level qualification during their Art-Foundation study year.
  • IFP students without a pass at grade C in GCSE or IGCSE English Language or with an Academic English score below 6.5 overall must join an Academic English course for the duration of the academic year which will be timetabled alongside IFP lessons.
  • If your level of English is not sufficient to meet the entry criteria for the IFP you will normally be offered a place on the Abbey DLD Colleges One Year Pre-sessional (Pre-IFP) in order to bring your English skills up to the required level.

DLD is the college where I feel at home. Tutors at DLD are very friendly and supportive, they are always ready to work with you and always encourage you to ask questions. They also have a very good sense of humour!

Mariam Gogeliya – DLD Graduate Mariam is currently at UCL studying Biochemistry

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated May 29, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
Full time
23,000 GBP
Our prices vary depending on whether students are Domestic/EEA or International. We also have 3 campuses in the UK and prices vary depending on location. 2018-2019 International fees (Non EEA) for 1 year IFP Course in London are £23,000 (per year) fo
United Kingdom - London, England
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
United Kingdom - London, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info