Contemporary creative practice embraces a huge variety of different disciplines. We encourage you to use a broad range of techniques, becoming more analytical and inquisitive in art, design and media.
During the year, you will work on practical studio-based projects, which will be developed with critiques, lectures, workshop activities, and a gallery visit. You will be able to identify your particular creative strengths and produce increasingly personal, informed and sophisticated outcomes within your chosen discipline.
Developed to help you transition into university learning
The Foundation course is divided into three main sections: the Exploratory, Pathway and Confirmatory Stages.
The Exploratory stage considers the inquisitive, open-minded and experimental use of media and materials, and explores different approaches to researching and gathering information. During this stage you are ‘inducted’ into many of the workshops available at the University.
The Pathway stage explores a series of more focussed projects across five options – Fine Art, Lens Based & Digital Media, Visual Communications, 3D Design, and Fashion &Textiles. During this stage you can. begin to build a specialised, well-presented and thoughtful portfolio of work.
During the Confirmatory Stage you would work within one of the specialist option areas, working on a long project. The final project will highlight your creative abilities, harnessing your interests and give you experience of working on a large project.
We make sure our students get good contact time with our staff, creating a more intimate and friendly work environment. We have a wide range of well-equipped workshops where you can use a variety of 3D fabrication processes using wood, metals, plastics, as well as a diverse range of printmaking techniques to support studio activity. You’ll also be able to study in our computer suites, photography studios and library.
Make the most of our expert lecturers
Foundation Course staff are also practicing artists and designers. They know all about contemporary creative practice and are always keen to provide the best and most current advice to students. As our undergraduate staff work alongside our foundation staff, we give you the chance to join in with guest lectures, giving you an insight into university learning.
Form a lasting network with your fellow students
So you make the most of your studies, we give you one-to-one teaching. We organise the course into close-knit groups so you always work alongside the same people, making friendships that continue long after you graduate. At Bucks, even after you leave you’re still part of our community. Our graduates form a network throughout the creative industry in London and beyond.
What are the course entry requirements?
One A-level and three GCSEs at Grade A-C or equivalent. A portfolio of work and interview will also be necessary.
View some advice from Student Recruitment on preparing for your interview here.
Your portfolio is a collection of work that represents your creative potential and demonstrates your ability and interest in your chosen subject. The requirement to produce a portfolio of work is the linking factor between all art and design courses. The quality of your portfolio is an important factor in the offer of a place on a course.
When preparing your portfolio, think of your audience, your strengths, and what you are trying to express to the interviewer. Bear in mind that when you come in for an interview and a portfolio review, the interviewer will be new to you and your work so ensure that everything is clear and easy to view. Show your work off in the best possible way and avoid any means that complicates or obscures it.
What should be included?
Your portfolio should include the strongest examples of your creative work; follow your instincts but also seek advice from your teachers. Portfolios can vary from student to student but typically a portfolio should contain work from a variety of media. Quality is better than quantity so only include 20 or 30 pieces that you consider best shows off your diversity. If you have created 3D pieces of work, photographs of these can also be included. Try also drawing the same subject matter in a variety of ways, such as by changing scale, composition and media.
How should your portfolio be presented?
Try to make your portfolio as clear and as organised as possible. If the work does not explain itself, include a label which details the title of the piece. It could also be useful to include a date when the work was completed. It is advisable to present the work in related groups, rather than in chronological order, as this will show how your idea developed. Supporting material and sketchbooks You should bring along your sketchpads and notebooks. These will allow the interviewer to get a glimpse into how you think creatively and discover how you have developed your ideas. We don't expect these to be neat, tidy or organised. We also don't expect these to contain finished ideas. It is advantageous to support your portfolio with any written work, such as relevant essays. We also like to see documentation of journeys, visits and activities outside your main studies, which may have inspired you.
The portfolio review
It is likely that the interviewer will look at your portfolio with you so be sure that you are able to discuss each piece of work: why you chose that topic, what you were trying to achieve, and the process you went through to achieve the final product. We are happy to view a digital portfolio, but please notify us in advance.
Year 1 Modules
- Unit 01: Information and Research in Art, Design and Media
- Unit 02: Recording and Responding in Art, Design and Media
- Unit 03: Experimentation with Materials and Processes in Art, Design and Media
- Unit 04: Personal Preparation and Progression in Art, Design and Media
- Unit 05: Information and Interpretation in Art, Design and Media
- Unit 06: Combined Experimental Studies in Art, Design and Media
- Unit 07: Media Development in Art, Design and Media
- Unit 08: Personal Confirmatory Study in Art, Design and Media
How much does it cost
FTFE Home and EU: Students who are aged under 19 on 1 September 2017 and who are studying on the Full Time course will pay no tuition fees. Students who are aged 19 or over on 1 September 2017 will have to pay £5,000
FTFE International: £5,000
As this course is a Level 3 course, you will not be able to apply for funding through the Student Loans Company. If you are aged 19 on 1 September 2017, you will need to pay Tuition fees. If you need help with paying your fees, you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan. More details can be found at the Government's website.
For information on financial assistance to support your learning, visit our Further education course funding page.
How do I apply?
For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applynow