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Art and Design (Foundation) Diploma at Truro and Penwith College

Course description

The course is broad-based, starting with a series of assignments that embrace a wide range of approaches, materials and techniques. As the year progresses you will specialise in the area of your choice. The emphasis throughout will be on research experimentation and creative exploration.

Through a Contextual Studies Programme you will study the work of other artists and designers relevant to your own studio practice, which will be supported by an (optional) study trip abroad to visit museums and contemporary galleries. Life Drawing is taught on a weekly basis in order to help develop your observational skills.

You will be fully supported through the degree application process with preparation for specialist presentations and the development of portfolios of work.

Course content

The course comprises of three stages: ‘Exploratory’ ‘Pathway’ and ‘Confirmatory’

The ABC Level 3/4 Foundation Diploma Course in Art, Design and Lens based Media is structured in three stages, covering eight units.

‘Exploratory Stage’: You will be involved in projects and workshops which will provide you with many new practical skills. Initially through given briefs you will discover skills, processes and materials in these subjects to help define your strengths in a particular specialist area. You will also be introduced to a wide range of art historical and contemporary issues.

‘Pathway Stage’: This will involve you in exploring and developing skills within your chosen specialist area, referring to other artists’ and designers’ work in relation to your own, and identifying a strong personal direction. Whilst projects will be initially directed, the work will be led by you, with tutors taking on a more advisory role. During this stage of the course you will also be given guidance in producing a piece of writing, based on a particular work of art.

‘Confirmatory Project’: You will plan and execute a personal project and create and exhibit a body of work with an accompanying visual catalogue.

Entry requirements

Students will normally be 18 years when starting this course, having achieved A Level qualifications or an Extended Diploma within Art based subjects. All applicants are interviewed with a supporting portfolio of creative work.

Mature students with or without formal qualifications are welcomed and will be interviewed with a supporting portfolio of work.

This course is also offered as part time over a two year period.


Assessment will take place after each of the stages. Formal feedback will be given for both the Exploratory and Pathway stages; both of these stages must be passed before moving to the final stage. The Confirmatory Project will be assessed by the course team and confirmed with a visit from an External Examiner. This final grade will define your course grade at Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Throughout the course you will receive informal feedback through group discussions and presentations.

Future opportunities

A Foundation Diploma qualification is primarily to prepare you for entry onto degree courses within the areas of Art, Media, Photography and Design based courses.

This is an excellent standalone qualification which identifies you as a creative person, capable of problem solving, with an ability to organise, research and use your initiative and will be recognised as such by many employers.

Further information

The Art Department is supportive, ambitious and hardworking. Achievement in this subject relies heavily on your attendance, punctuality and commitment to learning, both independently and within lectures.

We encourage a creative working environment in which peer support and feedback flourish.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Truro and Penwith College directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2016

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