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Art and Design (UAL) Foundation Diploma at Blackburn College

Course description

The Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, awarded by UAL (University of the Arts London) offers experience of art, design and media subjects, preparing you for work or higher education. The course is specifically designed to challenge higher-level learners, particularly students with a vocational Level 3 or A-Level profile. Blackburn College now have a UAL progression agreement in place, and are one of only 10 in the country to achieve this status. This means that all of our students will benefit from:

  • Industry specialised lecturers
  • Advice & guidance from a UAL representative
  • Help with mock interviews, specific to UAL criteria
  • UAL set assignments

All students who apply from to UAL courses from Blackburn College are guaranteed to be considered during the first stage of the application process for UAL courses. For some HE courses the first stage may take the form of a formal interview, portfolio review or online portfolio review for example

As part of the UAL agreement, Blackburn College tutors will also meet and share good practice with the other 9 UAL approved colleges around the country, to make sure our students are receiving the best learning experience possible. This Foundation Diploma is extremely well regarded across design education in the United Kingdom and abroad.

We have a first class record in placing talented students on the best degree course at institutions such as Ravensbourne, Chelsea School of Art & Design, Ruskin School at Cambridge, Leeds College of Art, Goldsmiths, London College of Communication, The Slade, Wimbledon, Camberwell College of Art, Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion. Many students on the programme also progress on to University Centre at Blackburn College.

Course content

The course consists of 7 units, where learners are encouraged to explore materials, media and ideas. Learners then build on techniques they have learnt to initiate their own research and final projects. Pathways include moving image and audio production, photography, graphics and visual communication, fashion and textiles, fine art and three dimensional design.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have one A-Level at Pass Grade or a BTEC National Certificate, and 4 GCSEs Grade C and above. Normal entry requirements may be waived for mature applicants.


Assessment is developmental and continuous. Feedback is given to learners so they know exactly how they are progressing. In the final stages of the course learners initiate a final project, working with the staff team to do so, which is internally assessed and externally moderated. It is against this final project that the learners are assessed for their final grade, either pass, merit or distinction.

Future opportunities

All students of this programme are guaranteed an interview with one of the University of the Arts London (UAL) courses. This course provides an excellent springboard to some of the best creative arts and media degree courses in the world.

In 2013, 43% of our students achieved distinction against the national average of 19%, and our success rate in placing learners on top degree courses is one of the highest in the country. The Foundation Diploma is also mapped to a range of art, design and media related degree courses at the University Centre at Blackburn College. Some learners also progress directly to employment within the creative industries.

Many students choose to progress on to programmes at University Centre at Blackburn College which allow you to follow a range of specialisms. These include:

  • studying Graphic Communication - Graphic Communication BA (Hons)
  • studying Illustration & Animation - Illustration and Animation BA (Hons)
  • studying Photography - Photographic Media Foundation Degree FdA
  • studying Textiles - Contemporary Textiles Foundation Degree FdA
  • studying Interior Design - Contemporary Design for Interiors Foundation Degree FdA
  • studying Fashion - Contemporary Fashion Foundation Degree FdA
  • studying Fine Art (Integrated Media) - Fine Art (Integrated Media) BA (Hons)

These courses are all validated by UK Top 10 Lancaster University. 

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 11 February 2016
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