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Higher Foundation Studies in Art and Design – Level 3

The Advanced / Higher Level 3/4 Art and Design Foundation Studies pathway has been specifically designed for students wishing to study Art and Design as a single creative subject, along with work experience, tutorial and personal and professional development.

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Course Summary

Subject Area: Art and Design
School Leaver - Vocational/Technical
Location: Joseph Wright Centre
Full Time or Part Time: FT
Level: 3
Number Of Years: 1
Interview Required?: Y
Joseph Wright Centre

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Course Information for Students

The Advanced / Higher Level 3/4 Art and Design Foundation Studies pathway has been specifically designed for students wishing to study Art and Design as a single creative subject, along with work experience, tutorial and personal and professional development.

The pathway is aimed typically at students aged 18 years or over who have already achieved GCSE grade 4 [C] in both English and Maths, Advanced Level 3 or A-levels in a creative subject and want to progress to higher education, employment or an apprenticeship.

The Art and Design Foundation Studies pathway provides a transition from general education to specialist art and design education and encourages exploration, experimentation and risk-taking, which will extend your critical independence and enable you to demonstrate a full understanding of the relevant standards required to achieve progression to higher education.

You will expand your skills, knowledge and experience of art and design and develop your critical language skills. The pathway has specifically been designed to enable you to make better informed decisions about higher education.  It will also provide continued opportunity to develop basic skills including maths and English and enhance your understanding of the many fulfilling career opportunities in this field.

Typically, you will have one of the following:

  • Advanced GCE (A-level) or an AS GCE (AS-level) in Art and Design or the equivalent
  • Advanced Diploma in Art and Design or suitable Creative Pathway
  • A minimum score of 24 for those applicants with the International Baccalaureate Diploma or Certificate awards

You must also have five GCSEs at grade C or above (or comparable numeric scores under the newly reformed GCSE gradings), two of which must be in English Language and Maths.

Mature applicants will need to provide evidence of their ability within an art and design field.  A portfolio is required for entry to the foundation course and applicants will be interviewed.

The programme follows three key stages:

Part 1: Learning Skills and Context including Research Methods, Ideas Development, Materials and Methods, and Evaluation and Reflection.

Part 2: Development and Progression including Research, Ideas and Methods and Preparation for Progression in Art and Design.

Part 3: Proposal and Realisation including Art and Design Project Proposal and Realisation, which culminates in an end-of-year exhibition.

Candidates without GCSE Maths at C grade or above will retake this qualification.  There is also the option to access further GCSE English to improve grades and to enhance life skills and future career progression opportunities.

This course will be delivered on-site.

Tuition and exam fee registration charges apply to students aged 19+ not in receipt of Job Seeker’s Allowance or other qualifying benefits.  There is a £25 studio fee for materials.  You will also be required to bring a basic art and design toolkit, based on a list provided at enrolment.

Assessment of practical and written work occurs regularly throughout the course.  You must pass all seven units to complete the final exhibition, which is externally verified.

Further study in higher education could include working towards a BA (Hons) Degree, Higher National Diploma (HND), Foundation Degree (FdA), or similar level training. 

There are also many diverse career paths that could open up for you such as graphic communication, advertising, animation, photography, fashion design, textiles, 3D or furniture design, theatre set design, jewellery design and architecture.  You could also work as an independent artist in a variety of media.

For more information contact Derby College on 0800 0280289 or

Course Information for Employers

If you are an employer and would like to know more about the apprenticeships and professional training we deliver or how you can get involved in co-creating and co-delivering curriculum, please contact us via email on, call us on 01332 387 421 or visit our employer pages here.

Career Information

This course could lead to one of these careers...

Arts Officers, Producers and Directors


Arts Officers, Producers and Directors




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Course Information Last Updated On: October 18, 2021 1:49 pm