Charlie Chatfield, Foundation Diploma, UCA Canterbury

Foundation Diploma in Art, Design & Media Practice UCA Canterbury

Foundation Diploma in Art, Design & Media Practice

Canterbury | 1 year full-time | Pre-degree and Foundation Studies

Course overview

Want to do a creative degree but unsure which one? Our Foundation Diploma in Art, Design & Media Practice at UCA Canterbury is the ideal way to discover your perfect specialism.

This year-long course for 18 year-olds is ideal if you've completed A-Levels, a BTEC or an equivalent course and aren’t sure which creative degree course to take, or just feel you need more time and space to build a fuller portfolio.

You will build your skills across a range of art and design areas, allowing you to discover your passions and develop a solid foundation of skills that will set you up for success at degree level.

In your first term, you’ll explore five different areas within art and design – visual communications, film and photography, 3D design, fashion and textiles and drawing and painting – using our industry-standard facilities and workshops.

After that, you’ll choose one of these pathways to take forward as you begin preparing for your undergraduate studies, bringing together all your newly-developed skills, knowledge and understanding to plan and create a major project and showcase it in an exhibition.

Throughout your course, you’ll work in your own dedicated studio space on campus and take your place in our creative community, with opportunities to work alongside undergraduate and postgraduate students along the way.

Once you finish this course, you will be awarded the Pearson BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art, Design & Media Practice.

Course details

Course details

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

The first part of your year will be spent delving into different areas of art and design, identifying your strengths and interests.

Learning Skills and Context
Through a structured programme of drawing and visual studies, you’ll identify your skills, strengths and interests. You’ll also develop practical abilities in 2D and 3D, helping you to make an informed choice for specialist study.


As the year progresses, you'll have more freedom to specialise. This helps you to grow as an artist and determines in which creative direction your academic path and future career may lie.

Development and Progression
You'll choose to specialise in one pathway from graphic design, illustration, photography, film, 3D design, fashion, textiles and fine art.

Proposal and Realisation
You’ll bring together all your newly developed skills, knowledge and understanding in art, craft, design and communications to plan and fulfil a major project, resulting in an exhibition.

UCA supports weekly 1-2-1 and small group tutorials for 16 to 19 students who are studying English, Maths and other courses where learning has been disrupted, particularly where they have experienced additional disruption to learning because of their specific needs and disabilities. Tuition is focused on ensuring students receive formative and summative assessment and clearly understand assignment briefs, grading criteria and the additional support availability to them. This is for any students who have not achieved grade 5 or above in at least one of those subjects at this level by age 16. Support is prioritised for students who have not achieved a grade 4 in English and/or Maths, however, any young people with a grade 4 that also need catch up support may be considered.

Tuition fees
Currently, if you are an UK student under 19 years old on the 31 August before your course starts, you don’t have to pay any tuition fees.

Additionally, you don't have to pay tuition fees if you are an UK student aged between 19-23 on the 31 August before your course starts, and you are studying for your first full level 3 qualification.

The fees for 2022 entry are:

  • UK students - £5,420
  • International and EU students - £13,740

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials. These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make.

Further information
Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

See our Student regulations

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.


There are studio spaces for all pathways of the pre-degree and foundation courses; 3D workshops with machines for working a in range of materials such as wood, plaster, clay and resin with dedicated technical support; digital media suites with both Macs and PCs loaded with design software; and open access print studios.

Pre-degree studios, UCA Canterbury

Digital media suites, UCA Canterbury

Print studios, UCA Canterbury

3D workshop, UCA Canterbury

Course connections

Course connections

After completing this course, most of our students progress to a degree course at UCA.

View all of our undergraduate degree courses


This course is part of our Diploma 2 Degree scheme which guarantees you a place on one of our undergraduate degrees after you have completed this course.

The process is simple and stress-free, letting you bypass lengthy application processes and avoid UCAS fees. There’s also no need for you to attend an interview.

More details about the scheme can be found on the Diploma 2 Degree pages.

Instead of further study you may also choose to progress directly into employment or do an apprenticeship in the industry.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

ONE of the following:

- One A-Level (or two AS-Levels) with a minimum of 32 UCAS tariff points preferably including an art, design, media, photography, design technology or a related creative subject.
- 32 UCAS tariff points from BTEC/UAL Extended Diplomas, Extended Certificates, Subsidiary Diplomas
- 32 UCAS tariff points from a combination of BTEC/UAL Subsidiary/ Extended Certificate and A Levels
- IB (International Baccalaureate) with a score of 24 or above


Five GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 9-4, including English language/literature and a minimum of grade 3/D in mathematics.

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

Pre-sessional English courses

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

For this course, we’ll need to see your portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. If you would prefer to upload a portfolio digitally, there is also the option to submit it online via your UCA Applicant Portal. Further information will be provided once you have applied.

Include creative work in a variety of media that shows your interest in art and design - this could include paintings, drawings, photography, ceramics or design work. You can include film or video work but make sure it's no more than three minutes in duration. We also like to see examples of written work, such as an essay, case study, evaluation or exhibition review. Further information on how to compile and upload your portfolio will be provided once you have applied.

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