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

The Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, awarded by UAL (University of the Arts London) offers experience of art and design subjects, preparing you for work or higher education. The course is specifically designed to challenge higher-level learners, particularly students with a vocational Level 3 or A-Level profile

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.


Entry requirements

To start the course you will need:

  • A minimum of one A-Level in a design related subject 

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

Course content

The aims of this qualification are to enable students to:

  1. Demonstrate awareness of the different perspectives, approaches and ethics within diverse creative practice.
  2. Research, analyse and evaluate relevant information as part of creative practice.
  3. Understand, adapt and safely use appropriate practical methods and skills for creative practice and production. 
  4. Explore solutions to complex problems through the application of practical, theoretical and technical understanding.
  5. Use critically evaluative and reflective skills in order to take responsibility for own learning, development and decision making. 
  6. Take responsibility for research, planning and time management, to access and action progression opportunities.
  7. Effectively communicate and present ideas and creative practice to appropriate audiences.

The qualification contains the following units:

  • Unit 1 Diagnostic Investigation into Creative Practice: In this unit, students will undertake a diagnostic investigation into visual language and creative practices. This exploratory investigation allows students to become familiar with, and experiment within, a wide range of (art, design and media) creative disciplines as part of their journey to, or reinforcement of, specialism in Unit 2 or Unit 3.
  • Unit 2 Developing Specialist Practice: This unit will provide students with the opportunity to reflect on the knowledge, skills and practices they have developed in Unit 1 of the qualification. Students should define their creative ambitions by encouraging a holistic approach to a range of activities, which will support, contextualise and position their creative endeavour within their chosen specialist practice. 
  • Unit 4 Consolidating Practice: This unit aims to provide students with an opportunity to take control of their own learning, and demonstrate their achievement by independently initiating, researching, completing and evaluating a project proposal in realisation of their chosen professional context.

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 and Design BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma

Up to 84 UCAS Points available.

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.

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 £50 to cover a minimum of 2 trips to relevant exhibitions e.g. Tate, V&A.

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 Apply

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 13/09/2021 £4170 Cauldwell Street BBL500

Apply Online

Part-time course already started?

Our upcoming 2021-22 part-time courses will be out in May. Get alerted when they're released by selecting your campus of choice below and filling out the relevant form:

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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.