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Art and Design Foundation Diploma

Develop a wide range of art and design skills through 10 different workshops exploring traditional and contemporary techniques, enabling you to progress to a variety of specialist art and design degrees.

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Overview

Watch: Take a look at this stunning showcase of our Vijay Patel Building, home to DMU's art and design courses.


This is a year-long course that will help you improve your skills and knowledge across a wide range of art and design subjects, preparing you for your chosen degree or helping you decide which course to study.  

Build a strong portfolio of work before you start your degree, so you can hit the ground running and realise your full potential. You will be inducted into at least 10 different workshops, exploring both traditional and contemporary disciplines and techniques.  

You will also benefit from dedicated studio spaces and award-winning facilities featuring specialist craft and design workshops, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, digital art, graphic design, illustration, textiles, fashion, darkroom photography, 3D design and game art.  

This course gives you the opportunity to specialise in pathways such as fine art, visual communication, 3D design, fashion and textiles and lens-based and digital media. Painting, sculpture, print, installation, multimedia, graphic design, computer graphics, game art, illustration, surface decoration, textiles, fashion, contour, footwear, furniture, product, theatre design, jewellery, spatial design, contextual studies and photography are among the many different topics you can explore.

Key features:

  • DMU is ranked number one in the UK for Art based on student satisfaction with the quality of teaching on the course (The Guardian University Guide 2020). 

  • Workshop inductions provide a full introduction to woodwork, metalwork, jewellery, plaster, ceramics, laser cutting and 3D printing, fabric manipulation, wet photography (darkroom techniques), printmaking, textiles print, digital art, video and animation. 

  • Digital arts techniques classes are offered weekly and you will work with professional models in the life drawing classes in a purpose-built studio. 

  • Take part in organised study visits to cities such as London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Oxford and Cambridge.

  • The award-winning Vijay Patel Building  provides both the space and the facilities to foster creative thinking, where ideas can develop and flourish for all of our art and design students. 

  • Once you have successfully completed the course, you will be eligible for direct entry onto all of our art and design  degrees (subject to entry requirements). These range from Art and Architecture to Design Crafts to Fashion and Textiles.

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Art and Design Foundation student gallery

More courses like this:

DMU undergraduate Art and Design degree courses

  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time .

Fees and funding: 

Under 19 on 31 August in the year of entry: FREE

19 and over on 31 August in the year of entry: £2,420 (full-time) £1,210 (part-time) per year

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

 

Key facts for international students

Duration: One year full-time

Fees and funding international: For 2020/21 tuition fees will be £8,470 per year

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

You should normally have:

  • A portfolio of work, or evidence of recent experience in art and design
  • One A Level or equivalent, in an art and design subject at a grade C or above
  • Five GCSEs grades 9-4 including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above
  • International Baccalaureate: 24+ Points
  • We also accept the BTEC First Diploma plus two GCSEs including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above

Applicants who are 18 or under must also hold a GCSE Maths and English, grade A*–C (9-4)

All equivalent qualifications are welcome as are mature students with alternative experience

International students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band, or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Interview and Portfolio

UK applicants with relevant qualifications will be invited to bring their portfolio of work to an open day and interview. Overseas applicants will be invited to send samples of their work. Please see our Foundation Diploma in Art and Design portfolio advice for full details.

Structure and assessment

 

Course units

Teaching and assessments

 European Social Fund

 

Units

Researching and Recording
You will develop research journals, sketchbooks and a portfolio of art, design and media work that reflects your personal strengths. You will manage your time and develop strategies to support your progressional aims. You will also practise presentation skills through mock interviews and scenarios. You will be able to apply the understanding and skills you develop to support your progression to further study and to your art and design practice.

Media Experimentation
A world of new possibilities, avenues for explorations and alternative approaches will become available to you. When working with different media, you will gain knowledge of how to use specialist workshops and should learn about relevant health and safety procedures. You will also learn about technical information on media, techniques and processes.

Preparation for Progression
Develop knowledge to enable you to consider the progression opportunities available from specialist pathway through research, applied critical judgement and the identification of personal goals. The understanding gained will help inform your preparation for progression.

Concepts & Idea development
Develop an understanding of the key concepts which influence the creative intentions and practices of contemporary artists and designers. It will also encourage an awareness of environmental, global, social and political references which have impact upon and can affect developments in areas of art, design and communication.

Major Personal Project
Draw upon the summation of knowledge and skills acquired during your foundation experience to produce a final project of your own choosing. You will have the opportunity to foster and promote innovative ideas and practical work whilst extending your potential contextual and technical abilities in preparation for your progression to higher education. You will be encouraged to adapt and extend personal ambition whilst understanding the professional.

Note: All units are subject to change in order to keep content current

Structure

You will study in three stages:

Stage one introduces and enables you to explore basic art and design skills. This includes working in 2D and 3D with a range of basic material, media and methods. You will learn about drawing in its broadest sense, develop visual language skills and learn how to develop ideas.

Stage two is a programme of specialist studio activities with pathways in fine art, graphic design, 2D and 3D multi-disciplinary design, providing an opportunity to identify your chosen specialist subject. This also prepares you for making applications to degree courses.

Stage three provides an opportunity to confirm your direction in art and design and maximise your potential. You will develop an individual portfolio of work along with an understanding of the contemporary context in which artists and designers work.

Contact hours

On the Art and Design Foundation you will normally attend over 20 hours of timetabled taught sessions including lectures, tutorials and workshop and studio sessions each week, and be expected to undertake at least 10 hours of independent study each week.

De Montfort University is an approved Centre for UAL Awarding Body UAL Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design.

 

EU funding

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The Foundation Programme is part-funded by the EU through the European Social Fund for our Adult learners (aged 19+) 

Facilities and features

Art and Design facilities

You will have your own studio space and there are additional rooms for classes such as life drawing. You will also have access to all the fine art and design degree facilities such as 3D workshops and printmaking areas. 

An art materials shop is conveniently located on campus where you can buy a wide variety of art materials to help you with your studies.

Library and learning zones

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Blackboard, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

 

Campus Centre

The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 

Opportunities and careers

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Progression

 

Within the first six months of attending the course you will have the opportunity to take part in our progression event, where you can learn more about the courses on offer at DMU. This event will give you the opportunity to tailor your progression plans and interests according to your art and design specialism. 

You will gain automatic progression* onto your choice of more than 30 of DMU’s art and design degrees. These range from Art and Architecture to Fashion and Textiles. 

*subject to passing the foundation diploma and meeting the degree entry requirements. 

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DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world. Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

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Graduate careers

Most graduates go on to study an art and design degree course, either at DMU or at other universities and colleges across the UK. We will provide the necessary support and guidance, whichever route you choose. 

DMU Open Days

The next DMU Open Days will take place on Saturday 19 September and Saturday 17 October

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How to apply

We welcome applications from students with a wide range of qualifications and experience.

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More about your DMU

Festival of Creativity
Art and Design facilities
Accommodation
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Art and Design Foundation Show

celebration and exhibition of outstanding student work produced on our foundation diploma course. Our students learn a broad range of skills on this creative course by exploring traditional and contemporary techniques, preparing them for their chosen degree or helping them decide which course to study. 

New Art and Design facilities in the Vijay Patel building

Vijay Patel Building

Our award-winning Vijay Patel building has been designed to provide the space and facilities where all of our art and design students can develop their ideas and flourish.  

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#IchoseDMU

Find out why our students are proud to say #IchoseDMU.

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Accommodation

Art and Design Foundation Diploma course dates run slightly earlier than standard courses, we therefore allocate students to Filbert Village and Bede Hall – both are within a short distance of the campus. Find out more.

 
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