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Art & Design Foundation Diploma (Pre-Degree) Advanced (Level 3)

This course will enable you to explore and experiment with a wide range of concepts, ideas and materials, in addition to giving you the opportunity to focus on your chosen specialist area and build up your portfolio of work. The long-established reputation of this course has given the College an enviable reputation for developing individuality and creativity, helping students to gain places at prestigious art and design schools, colleges and universities across the country. This course will enable you to demonstrate a full understanding of the application of art and design in a way that is relevant to both academic progression opportunities and future career choices.



One of the things that attracted to me to this course at Bedford College was the students’ work, which I saw when I came to an Open Day.  Also, when I spoke to the tutors on the course they explained that I would be able to experience each different Art & Design pathway for a short period of time before choosing what to specialise in.

I enjoyed exploring all the different areas including Fine Art, 3D Design, Graphics and Illustration, but in the end I chose to specialise in Fine Art. 

I’ve worked on lots of really interesting projects and, as well as experimenting with and exploring a whole range of techniques and applications, I’ve been able to develop key skills such as time management and working to a brief. 

We would be set a project to work on over a distinct period of time, but it was up to each individual to decide how they approached it.  You had to set your own deadlines and manage your time effectively, which is something you need to learn if you’re going to work as a professional artist.  The tutors were great and were always there to help me if I needed it.  Overall I think my time at College was very positive. 

Edmund - Art & Design Foundation Diploma (Pre-Degree) Level 3

Entry requirements

This course is highly recommended if you have completed A-Levels (or a Level 3 equivalent) and want to progress onto a degree-level course in an art and design subject at university or college.

To start the course you will need:

  • 4 GCSEs grade A*-C or 9-4 ideally including English and maths OR
  • Equivalent Level 3 qualification. 

Entry is subject to a successful interview where you will be asked to display a portfolio of your existing work.

Course content

During the course you will cover seven units in a staged structure. You will have the opportunity to organise work experience, in agreement with your course manager.

You will have the opportunity to study a range of pathway specialisms, including:

  • Fashion & textiles
  • Graphic design
  • Fine art
  • Photography
  • Applied design
  • Animation.

Assessment methods

A range of teaching methods are used, including lectures, visits, field courses and studio-based teaching. You will be assessed throughout the course, with assessment feedback at each stage of the programme and at the final stage grade.


Art & Design Pearson BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma


  • English and maths skills
  • Work experience
  • Personal development skills
  • Study skills
  • Employability skills

You can also gain up to 84 UCAS points. 

Further study and career options

On successful completion you could progress on to one of our higher education courses in a range of art and design disciplines or go on to an art and design related degree at university.

Additional information

You will be able to participate in field trips and visits to museums and exhibitions in this country and abroad (for an additional cost), and you will have the opportunity to showcase your work to the public at the College's end of year Art Exhibition. We are also fortunate enough to have renowned artists coming into the College to give talks. See who has visited us recently. On completion of the course you should also gain a University of the Arts London Drawing Award. If you are aged 16-18, tuition fees, exam fees and College membership are free. However, there are additional costs associated with some courses. For example, you may be required to purchase specialist uniforms, equipment or books. There is also an additional cost of £130 to cover course materials.

Recent trips include visits to Berlin and Amsterdam

Foundation Diploma Art & Design (Pre-degree)  cultural visit to Berlin 9th to 12th February 2015

Art & Design FAD trip to Amsterdam

Funding information

If you are aged 19 or over you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. Alternatively, you can pay by instalments to help make the cost of this course more affordable. Find out more about your payment options and how your loan could be written off at

Course information & how to book

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

LengthStart DateFeesLocationCourse Code
1 year 29/08/2018 Launch our fee calculatorFree if 16-18yrs. Are you 19+?
Launch our fee calculator
Cauldwell Street L500

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Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.
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