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Art and Design Foundation Diploma at Carlisle College

Course description

This one-year course in Art & Design develops and encourages self-awareness, skills, inventiveness, and analysis. With so many different degree courses in Art and Design subjects and fees increasing it is more important than ever that you feel confident in your choice of direction and are equipped with the necessary skills for study at degree level. We have a long history of guiding pre-degree students to discover and develop their strengths and make an informed choice of specialism and place of study that specifically supports your individual practice. You cannot afford not to do Foundation if you want to make the most of a degree in any aspect of Art & Design, reflected in it being a pre-requisite for the best degree courses. The long established Foundation philosophy of creative exploration and self-discovery is often credited as a factor in the strength of today's creative industries. It's challenging, hard work and a lot of fun, encouraging you to think 'outside the box'. Actually, we also suggest you make your own box as well! As such it is also suitable for people who simply want to explore their creative potential in a supportive and stimulating environment.

Course content

The course provides a strong grounding in four main subject areas:

  • Fine Art (including painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, installation and video/film)
  • Communications (including illustration, graphic design, typography, photography, editorial design, animation, moving image and advertising)
  • 3D Design (including product design, interiors, furniture, applied arts, jewelry and ceramics)
  • Fashion and Textiles (including costume design, fashion, fashion promotion, fashion photography, textiles and surface pattern design).

The curriculum also includes art history, contextual studies, life drawing, experimental drawing, location-based drawing and an international cultural visit.

Entry requirements

Four GCSE passes at grade C or higher including English and Maths.

Generally, at least 1 A Level grade E or higher or Scottish Higher at B (equivalent to a UCAS tariff score of at least 80). All suitable applicants will be interviewed in a relaxed group with a tutor who will also explain the course and answer any questions. You should bring a portfolio and sketchbooks of recent work and be prepared to discuss and share it with your fellow interviewees. If you feel you fit our description but have little work to show we would still be interested in meeting you. We also interview students who may not have studied Art in sixth form but who can prove an interest in the subject.


Assessments are both formative and summative at the end of stages 1,2 and 3.

Future opportunities

We have an outstanding record in placing students on ambitious courses and equipping them with the skills and confidence to thrive. Full support and guidance is on offer throughout the UCAS process including advice on choices, personal statements, portfolio preparation and mock interviews. Graduates from Foundation give us up to date feedback on current degree programmes. This ensures that all aspects of the application process promote your potential, you have a portfolio of work that sells your particular strengths, the confidence to talk about your ideas and you can make an informed choice. Students may also feel that they are ready to embark on employment with the skills they have gained and we will support them in applications for work.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Carlisle College directly.

Last updated date: 14 September 2016
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