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This is a BTEC vocational course that has three outcomes. It is a stand-alone qualification. Or it could suit school leavers who wish to test the water and see if they like might like to continue on to study Art at university. Alternatively, this course is for those who are certain that they want to complete a BA in Fine Art.  In this last case, a Foundation course is compulsory as the first step towards a full degree.

BTEC vocational courseAll students who apply for a Fine Art degree must have completed an Art Foundation Diploma first. 37 universities in the UK offer 41 different visual arts courses as foundation courses.

How to apply

To apply students need 5 GCSE, one must be English language with a grade C or above. Also required are an A Level or AS in Art Design or a BTEC National Diploma in Fine Art plus a portfolio to show off their work.

Assessment or examinations are held internally by the course provider. Each unit needs to be passed to qualify for the final diploma which will be graded Pass, Merit or Distinction.

This course runs for a full year, just like an academic year, starting in September.


For British school leaver under 19 years tuition is free. Over 19 years the fee is around £1,300 p.a

Gap year option

Many young artists use their Gap year as the time to complete an Art Foundation Diploma. Some then go onto study Visual Arts at university, others change course and see the Art Foundation as a valuable experience and interesting qualification other than as a stepping stone to the next level.


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