UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design

Falmouth Campus
1 year full-time
Direct line
01326 213730

The Falmouth Foundation Diploma prepares you for a future in the creative arts. For most students it's a period of exploration and discovery where important decisions are made about their future. Through a programme of studio and workshop activities and a great lecture series we bring on your skills, your knowledge and your ways of thinking to lead you to your own creative pathway.

The Foundation Diploma is a popular course with an excellent reputation and is one of the few courses in the country based in a specialist arts institution. What's more, Cornwall's art heritage and lively contemporary culture make for a highly creative community, where you'll be surrounded by people working on exciting projects across art, design, media, performance and writing.

UAL Awarding Body is part of University of the Arts London and is the only specialist art, design and creative industries awarding organisation in England. They are selective about who they work with and seek to identify institutions who are innovative, creative and committed to arts education.


  • Develop individual initiative, and work in groups to strengthen your communication and negotiation skills
  • Learn about research methods, idea development, materials and methods, evaluation and reflection, preparation for progression, and final project proposal and realisation
  • Project work is supported by lectures, demonstrations, professional experience, seminars and tutorials

Course outline

At first we introduce you to a series of challenging sessions where you explore the different approaches to practice that define the worlds of fine art, design or media study. These include drawing, painting and printmaking, lens-based work, animation and narrative work, constructional methods in wood, metal, clay and plaster, fashion, textile and costume projects and more. We encourage you to explore all these ways of working and thinking so that you can see where your strengths lie, before deciding which particular art, design or media direction to follow.

We then start to lead you along this pathway, showing you more advanced or more specialised studio practices, and introducing you to degree students, specialist staff and visiting speakers who operate in your favoured discipline.

As the course progresses, emphasis will change from project work set by tutors, to student-negotiated projects and finally to self-devised projects.

To support and contextualise your practical work you'll take part in exhibitions and events, field visits, overseas study trips, seminars and tutorials, written assignments and engaging lectures in the histories of modern and contemporary art and design.

As well as developing your individual initiative, you'll also work in groups to strengthen your communication and negotiation skills. You'll learn about research methods, idea development, evaluation and reflection, professional practice, preparation for progression, and writing proposals.


  • Dedicated Foundation workshops and studios
  • Access to other facilities in the University when appropriate


Our experienced staff are all accomplished visual practitioners with a range of expertise. They'll introduce you to the fundamental skills required to become a successful artist, designer, maker or media practitioner.

Career destinations

  • Specialist undergraduate study in a huge range of art and design and media courses
  • Postgraduate study for people returning to education
  • Employment or Personal Practice in the creative sector


Your studio practice will be continuously assessed, along with written assignments and an end of year exhibition.

Educational opportunities

  • Undergraduate study: Many students go on to undergraduate courses at Falmouth and other universities and colleges. These include fashion, textiles, graphics, illustration, drawing, architecture, spatial and environmental design, theatre, 3D and product design, fine art and photography. If you’ve satisfactorily completed Falmouth’s Foundation course and have a supporting academic recommendation, we’ll guarantee you a place on an appropriate degree course at Falmouth the following academic year. As part of this process, you’ll be guaranteed an interview on the degree course of your choice.
  • Postgraduate study: Some students who are returners to education go on to postgraduate courses if they already hold a first degree or have relevant industry experience.
  • Personal practice in the visual arts: A number of students use this course to sharpen not only their visual awareness, but also their practical and specialist skills, in preparation for personal practice, self-employment or employment across the creative sector.

Interview and selection process

We ask all applicants to submit a project before inviting you for interview. If you submit a project, we will invite you to an interview. We will ask you to bring your completed project plus your portfolio, drawing books or sketchbooks. Your application project, portfolio and your interview conversation will form the basis of an offer.

Please note that you must bring the application project and your portfolio to the interview. Failure to bring either of these items will result in an unsuccessful application decision. The project and portfolio are worth two thirds of your overall interview assessment mark, so you must bring them with you.

Your portfolio should include examples of a range of your work - around 20 pieces should be enough. We want to see a range of your drawings including some examples of observational work and more experimental or expressive work. We also like to see the use of different media, such as 2D or 3D methods. Whether in drawing or media, we want you to show us how creative you are, so please include experimental pieces as well as more finished examples.

We invite up to 30 applicants to each interview session. The interview process itself takes about four hours. During this time, you will take part in a simple studio exercise with other applicants, have a campus tour with current Foundation students, and an informal interview.

Interviews will be held on 10, 11, 12, 18, 19 and 20 February 2016.

All applicants who complete a project successfully, by the deadline, will be invited to interview. We are only able to interview on these dates. We ask that you keep these dates free, in case you are invited to interview. We hope you will understand that we are unable to make any exceptions to this rule. If you are not ordinarily based in the UK, we will make every effort to arrange an online interview with you.

Awarding body

UAL awarding body logo

UAL Awarding Body is part of University of the Arts London and is the only specialist art, design and creative industries awarding organisation in England. They are selective about who they work with and seek to identify institutions who are innovative, creative and committed to arts education.