FAQs

Entry Requirements

Can I apply without formal qualifications?

Yes. However if you don't have formal qualifications, you will be required to provide evidence of equivalent experience and you may be asked to complete some work to demonstrate your suitability for the course you're applying to. Applicants without formal qualifications should apply using our APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning) process outlined below.

Do I need a Foundation Diploma to apply for an art or design course?

Most of our art and design courses recommend a one year Foundation Diploma in Art and Design or a two year National Diploma in Art and Design for entry. We find these courses give applicants more scope for development and best prepare them for the rigours of studying art and design in higher education. Some of our courses do accept applicants straight from A Level if their portfolio is strong enough, so please do check the course page you're interested in. If you have an international qualification, the International team can assess the suitability of your qualifications on an individual basis.

Do I need a portfolio to apply to Falmouth?

Yes, all Art and Design courses at Falmouth require a portfolio of work and sketchbooks to support it. Viewing your work is the best way for us to understand your creative thinking and to assess whether you would be able to thrive on your chosen course.

While we expect that you will have been developing your work prior to applying, you are not expected to submit a portfolio with your initial application. We will send you clear instructions once you've submitted an application. For portfolio requirements for the course you're interested in, please see the relevant course page.

Do I need to submit any work before interview?

Most of our courses require some work to be submitted once you've applied, to help us assess your creative ability, and to help us decide who to invite to interview. We will let you know you when you've applied if we require you to submit some work. We also publish this information on each course page so you know what to expect.

How do my international qualifications compare to your entry requirements?

Levels of academic study in England, Northern Ireland and Wales are officially recognised through the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). The National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) helps to compare International qualifications against these recognised standards as established as part of the Bologna Process.

Here are just some examples of equivalent international qualifications, suitable for entry to first year of our undergraduate degree courses. Remember, if English is not your first language you will need to take an English language proficiency test, in addition to any of these qualifications. Please contact our International team if you'd like more advice.

China

  • Chinese Senior High School Diploma.
  • Gao Kao (National Highers Education Entrance Examination)

India

  • Year XII CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education)
  • ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education)
  • SSC (Senior School Certificate)
  • ISC (Indian School Certificate)

Norway

  • Norwegian Vitnemål (including required subjects at grade 4 or above, including English)

USA

  • US High School Diploma

Other qualifications

  • IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma/Certificate (IB certificate students with high scores in subject areas relevant to the award applied for will be considered.)

I've already got qualifications. Do I still need to submit samples of work?

Yes you will, if yours is a course that requires pre-interview work. As a creative arts institution, we are most interested in your creative ability and this cannot always be evidenced by qualifications alone.

What are UCAS points?

Those applying to undergraduate courses will use UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) to lodge their application. Qualifications carry certain UCAS points, as a way of establishing equivalencies. For example, grade A at A Level is equal to 120 UCAS points. A typical offer for entry to first year at Falmouth is between 260 and 300 UCAS points. To see how many UCAS points your qualification is worth, please see the UCAS Tariff. However, most of our courses will not consider UCAS points in isolation, they will also seek evidence of your creative ability and consider you or your own individual merit. If you are predicted to achieve grades which fall outside of this points range, please continue with your application and contact the Admissions team if you need any advice.

What are your entry requirements?

We have minimum entry qualifications or equivalents to ensure that students are well-equipped to study at Falmouth. These recommended qualifications vary depending on the academic level of the course you are applying to.

However we also look for qualities which can't always be evidenced through qualifications alone. We seek students who are prepared to innovate, push boundaries, research and think for themselves. We require our students to be self-motivated and passionate about their chosen subject area. For this reason, most of our courses will expect to see a portfolio of your work. For the specific entry requirements for the course you're interested in, please visit the individual course pages.

Foundation Diploma: recommended entry qualifications
Level 3 equivalent qualifications such as A Levels, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureate or equivalent experience.

Undergraduate courses: recommended entry qualifications - BA(Hons)
Level 3 equivalent qualifications, such as A Levels, Foundation Diploma, Extended (National) Diploma, International Baccalaureate or equivalent experience, for entry to first year.

Postgraduate courses: recommended entry qualifications - MA
Level 6 equivalent qualifications or equivalent experience.

Research: recommended entry qualifications - MPhil/PhD
Level 7 Masters (MA), or in some cases, a 2:1 or higher first degree or equivalent qualifications or professional experience.

What do I need to do if English is not my first language?

If English isn't your first language we will require proof of your English proficiency, specifically an IELTS score of 5.5 for the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, 6.0 for an undergraduate degree and 6.5 for a postgraduate Masters. Due to the high academic level of research degrees, applicants are required to have an IELTS score of 7.0+ with a 7.0 in writing. All tests must have been taken within the last three years at the start of the course.

We offer programmes to develop your English language skills before the start of your course and during your studies. These programmes are designed for students who have already met our language requirements.

Find out more about the language tests we accept and the English language support we offer

What do you mean by a Level 3 or a Level 6 qualification?

Levels of academic study in England, Northern Ireland and Wales are officially recognised through the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). The National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) helps to compare International qualifications against these recognised standards as established as part of the Bologna Process.

For entry to first year of our BA(Hons) undergraduate courses, we recommend you have a Level 3 or equivalent qualification.

For entry to our postgraduate taught courses, we recommend a minimum Level 6 or equivalent qualification, such as a BA(Hons) degree.

Examples of UK qualifications and levels

  • Level 3: A Levels, Extended (National) Diploma, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureate
  • Level 4-5: Foundation Degree (FdA), Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • Level 4-6: Degree (BA/BA(Hons)/BSc)
  • Level 7: Masters (MA/MSc/MPhil)
  • Level 8: Doctorate (PhD - 4 years FT)

What is APCL?

Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) is the process for an applicant to seek formal recognition of prior learning from qualifications they hold that are not recognised within the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ)

It is not the qualification itself that is assessed for formal recognition for entry, instead, it is the learning gained from that qualification that will be assessed against our standard entry requirements or learning outcomes of the course you wish to study.

We may ask you to submit written evidence, or to complete assessment tasks, or undertake equivalent course work in order to assess the equivalence of your learning. Our expectation is that you undertake this independently, by yourself.

Please read more about APCL within the APL Policy and Procedure under Admissions on our Student Regulations page

What is APEL?

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) is the process for an applicant to seek formal recognition of prior learning they have achieved through experience, such as professional or voluntary work, and/or self-directed study. It is not the experience itself that is assessed for formal recognition, instead, it is the learning gained from that experience that will be assessed against our standard entry requirements or the learning outcomes of the course you are applying to study.

We may ask you to submit written evidence, or to complete assessment tasks, or undertake equivalent course work in order to assess the equivalence of your learning. Our expectation is that you undertake this independently, by yourself.

If you are seeking entry with advanced standing or with exemption from certain modules or credits, an APEL application costs £200. This fee is non-refundable and non-deductible. It is an administrative fee that is additional to any acceptance fees, tuition fees, or additional course costs that you may be required to pay if you enrol.

Please read more about APEL within the APL Policy and Procedure under Admissions on our Student Regulations page

What is APL?

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the formal recognition of prior learning and/or experience. We appreciate that not all prospective students meet the standard entry requirements for our courses but they may have achieved equivalent learning outcomes through other qualifications, self-directed study and/or professional experience. We have an APL Policy and Procedure in place to provide applicants with the opportunity to demonstrate how they may meet our entry criteria in other ways. You can find the Policy and the Procedure under Admissions on our Student Regulations page

What is CATS?

The Credit Accumulation Transfer Scheme (CATS) is a type of APL process that allows applicants who possess learning that is recognised and positioned within the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) to apply for general or specific credit transfer. It is the learning gained from that qualification that will be assessed against the learning outcomes of the course you are applying to study, rather than the qualification itself.

We may ask you to submit written evidence, or to complete assessment tasks, or undertake equivalent course work in order to assess the equivalence of your learning. Our expectation is that you undertake this independently, by yourself.

Please read more about CATS within the APL Policy and Procedure under Admissions on our Student Regulations page

What makes a strong portfolio?

Your portfolio says a lot about you. Even though there are no set rules for a successful portfolio, and each course has its own specific requirements, we can make some broad recommendations. It's our intention that you use these as a general guide to help you decide what to include, and what not to include. Make sure your portfolio is:

  • Organised - arrange your work and know the contents of your portfolio - make sure you can find things quickly in an interview
  • Relevant and current - include pieces that are relevant to the course you're applying to and select recent work - we're most interested in the work you are doing now, not work you made years ago
  • Unique - stand out - show how you experiment with materials, processes, colour and different ways of ‘seeing', show the variety and breadth of your work and your technical ability
  • Selective - go for quality rather than quantity and select your most interesting pieces, even if they're not ‘finished' - choose work that you feel strongest about, not just the work your tutor likes, to demonstrate your passion to us
  • Open - show us how you think - include sketchbooks and workbooks to reveal your thought-processes and your ability to experiment, problem-solve and develop concepts