Art & Design (Foundation Studies)


This course is for committed students who have already completed an A Level programme, or who wish to build up a portfolio of work in preparation for a specialist Degree or Higher National Diploma in Art and Design.

The main aim of the course is to provide a stimulating environment within which each student can discover and develop their creative potential towards an appropriate area of study.


Length of study

You will study this course over one year attending college four days each week.


Course content

The course is delivered in three distinct stages.

Exploratory Stage
You will explore the potential and limitations of a wide variety of media and materials. There is a strong emphasis on developing skills in observing and recording what you see, hear, think and feel. In particular you will learn to recognise the importance and functions of drawing. Regular life-drawing sessions are an important part of your portfolio development at this stage.

Pathway Stage
You will bring together skills in working with media and techniques, your ability to select research methods and processes, and you will apply your understanding of the creative process to a number of set assignments. You will be encouraged to develop your own critical understanding of contemporary, historical and related contexts.

Confirmatory Stage
This stage takes the form of a final major project and end of year show. You will be encouraged to move towards specialisation in one of the main areas of study. These include: Fine Art, Ceramics, Graphic Design, Textiles, Printmaking, Sculpture and Lens Based Media.



Formal assessment is carried out at regular intervals. At the end of the course you will be required to mount an exhibition of work. The awarding body is Edexcel (Pearson).



Programme Manager:
Duncan Cameron MA, BA (Hons)


Entry requirements

Applicants will normally have gained an A Level in an Art and Design related subject at grade C or higher and also have achieved a further five GCSE passes at Grade A* - C. You will need to provide evidence of quality sketchbooks or project files at your interview.

If you are a mature student, you will be considered on the basis of experience and your portfolio of work to demonstrate that you have reached a level of skill and commitment necessary to benefit from the course.

Please apply directly to Strode College.



This course has been designed to help you make an informed decision in Art and Design. Students are encouraged to continue their studies at degree level and many students go on to study for degrees in Fine Art, Graphics, Animation and Theatre Design at universities such as Falmouth, Bristol UWE and Westminster.
Previous students have gone on to secure jobs in Pinewood Studios, the Saatchi Art Gallery and top ad agencies in London.


Tuition fee

Fees may apply to students over 19 years, price on application. Students aged 24+ can apply for a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan.


Dan JuniperStudent Profile: Dan Juniper

“I have always had a passion for art and being creative and this course has allowed me to delve into the wide range of arts that are available. Without the Foundation Studies Diploma I would probably have been doing the wrong course at university. The teaching at Strode is excellent and teachers are always friendly.”

Dan, a former pupil of Sexey’s School, studied a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design. He is now studying Fine Art at Falmouth University.


Visual Arts (3D) student of the year - Liz Moseley

Studied: Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, Distinction
Home town:
Curry Rivel, Langport
Previous school:
Huish Episcopi Academy
Where now?
Falmouth University studying Contemporary Crafts

“As an Art Foundation student Lizzie’s ideas were contemporary and well informed and she worked closely with staff to ensure that she benefitted from critical debate and guidance. She demonstrated a willingness to tackle new skills and to experiment broadly. In an assignment on the theme of ‘News’ Lizzie chose to make work in response to a news story surrounding an abuse scandal in a care home. Lizzie produced a series of hand-stitched photographic stills from the covert TV film footage and produced a wonderful appliqued blanket laden with effective messages without being obvious or heavy handed. This notion of care and support was taken into her ambitious ‘Care’ themed final major project. The body of work was so innovative that it was selected for a Strode Award at the End of Year Show in 2013.”


Student Profile: Ben Hunt

Ben Hunt"The Foundation course enabled me to broaden my skills, understanding and techniques in art and design. I chose the course to practise and gain a knowledge of the art subjects. I wanted to learn new techniques and skills so that I could have a better understanding of the type of career I would hope to have in the future. There is a relaxed but hardworking atmosphere at Strode College and I found inspiration all around from students’ work to posters and pictures."

Ben, a former pupil of Stanchester Academy, studied A Levels and then pre-degree Art Foundation Studies. He is now studying Graphic Communication Design at the University of Westminster.


Useful Links

Visit the Foundation Art and Design blog


Related News Stories

Students Benefit From Creative Careers Day
Cardboard Couture Comes to College Catwalk

Creativity and Excellence at the Strode College End of Year Arts Show