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Section 1: Overview

The UAL Foundation Diploma is a highly intensive and stimulating course designed to give students a fulfilling and rewarding learning experience, and to prepare for university undergraduate studies.

Students benefit from regular one-to-one teaching with a variety of specialist teachers who maintain their creative professions alongside their teaching commitments at Kings.

Our high teacher-to-student ratio enables individually tailored experiences for our students.We organise regular opportunities for students to work in larger groups and with other art specialists, such as the Art Residential currently taking place in Bristol at the University of the West of England Bristol (UWE).

Regular events are planned throughout the year with the aim of providing opportunities for students from the different Kings colleges to work collaboratively and to share good practice such as the joint Art/CSS, and Mid-FMP presentations and group gallery visits.

Spread over three terms, the course is 80% Art and Design, supported by 20% Communication Study Skills (CSS) including IELTS.

This course is for:

  • Students who want to prepare for a top UK degree related to art and design
  • Students who can demonstrate artistic ability and the commitment to develop their chosen discipline

Key Facts


  • Brighton
  • London
  • Oxford

Start dates

  • September

Entry requirements

  • Academic: Completed 11 – 12 years of schooling
  • English: IELTS 5.0
  • Minimum age: 16.5


  • 1 Academic Year (3 terms)

Portfolio requirements

  • A presentation of your work in a pdf or powerpoint format – clearly organised and laid out with self-directed and/or most recent work at the top
  • Work can include good quality photographs of: drawings, paintings, sculptures, short films/animation, photography and or any other 2D and 3D processes
  • Show evidence of research and idea development
  • Organise your portfolio so that progression is evident for each project – from the beginning of the idea to the development of final artwork
  • A maximum of three different projects and/or a maximum of 10 different pages/slides


  • Average 21 hours per week (plus homework and private study)

Course aims

  • Developing awareness of different creative practices, approaches and perspectives;
  • Researching, analysing and evaluating relevant information as part of the creative practice;
  • Instilling the value of research as an investigative and creative practice;
  • Exploring solutions to complex problems through the application of practical, theoretical and technical understanding;
  • Enabling students to explore media and processes within a safe environment;
  • Encouraging independent creative practices and self-led initiatives;
  • Developing ideas through investigative practices;
  • Identifying opportunities for progression;
  • Using critical visual, verbal and written language to communicate ideas and entire bodies of work effectively to both peers and the wider audience.

Section 2: Art and Design at Kings

Exceptionally small classes

  • There are only 8 to 12 students per class at Kings.
  • This means plenty of one-to-one contact with your teacher.

Wide range of subject specialisms to broaden your skills and experience

  • Architecture
  • Animation
  • Fashion
  • Film
  • Fine Art
  • Illustration
  • Interior Design
  • Product Design

Section 3: Course structure

Term 1 – Learning skills and context

The first part in the creative journey, this is where students will start to raise questions about Art & Design that they will spend the year answering: inspiration will come from personal experiences, reading around topics, use of different materials and primary research through off-site and gallery visits.

Unit 1: Art & Design Research Methods

Objective: To enable students to develop a research method which demonstrates contextual awareness, ability to interpret and evaluate information and that can be applied effectively.

Unit 2: Ideas and Development

Objective: To enable students to develop ideas within the context of Art & Design using a broad range of approaches appropriately and effectively.

Unit 3: Materials and Methods

Objective: To enable students to develop the application of materials and methods to explore and solve creative solutions, safely and effectively

Unit 4: Evaluation and Reflection

Objective: To enable students to develop planning, recording, analytical, reflective and to evaluate skills which support their own learning. CSS IELTS and presentation input, interviews and how to present work

Term 2 – Development and Progression

At this stage, students have built a wide understanding of the areas of Art & Design, and the elements they are more interested in developing: from here, students begin to decide the area they will focus on in their degree level studies. Students will work with a dedicated tutor, depending on the area of art they chose to specialise in. Students’ portfolios and research will take many different forms depending on their chosen specialty: this can be in sketch books, written word, 3D and 2D designs.

Unit 5: Integrated Art & Design

Objective: To enable students to fully integrate research, ideas and methods within the context of a chosen art or design subject effectively.

Unit 6: Preparation for Progression in Art & Design

Objective: To enable students to develop skills with which they can make best use of appropriate progression opportunities. CSS IELTS and Assignment input.

Term 3 – Proposal and Realisation

The final term is the culmination of students’ research, initial ideas, design and development. This is showcased through the cross-college public fashion show that students design and run.

Unit 7: Project Proposal and Realisation of Final Major Project culminating in a public exhibition.

Objective: To enable students to take responsibility for their own learning by demonstrating their achievement in proposing and realising a project which integrates contextual perspective, research, problem solving, planning and organisation, evaluation and reflection, and practical, technical and presentation skills.

Working to briefs, students will produce both two-dimensional and three-dimensional work part of which will reflect their specialist subject area. CSS IELTS and Listening, note-taking skills and reading and vocabulary.

Regular presentations All students on the Art & Design Foundation take part in weekly presentations and peer evaluation. These presentations ensure students are fully prepared for interviews that the more competitive universities and courses will require students to complete for admission.

Section 4: Course content

Term 1

Units 1/2 – Core skills

All students are introduced to the core skills vital to the successful pursuit of any specialist pathway The approach, techniques and skills introduced at the start of the course enable students to make informed choices about what to focus on both for the rest of the course, and potentially for their intended degree.

These units cover:

  • Different ways of recording and developing ideas to improve critical thinking and research skills.
  • Introduction to 2D skills to develop a variety of drawing approaches, print making, collage,photography, painting, Photoshop, In Design.
  • Introduction to 3D skills, casting, mixed media structures, and an experimental approach to different materials.
  • The design process.
  • Working to a brief, managing their time.
  • Regular presentations to reflect on work as it develops and a joint formal presentation with CSS which is focused on analytical and evaluative skills.

Once a specialism (elective pathway) is chosen students receive UCAS support from an art specialist to research and prepare personal statements for university courses in their chosen area.

Units 3/4 – Working in elective pathway

Students focus on one of the following chosen specialisms (elective pathways):

  • Fine art
  • Fashion design
  • Architecture
  • Textile design
  • Interior design
  • Animation
  • Games design
  • Product design

Term 2

Units 5/6 – Projects in the student’s elective pathway and portfolio work

All students continue to develop their projects in their elective pathway refining skills and work for hard and E portfolios ahead of UCAS applications.

Term 3

Unit 7 – Final Major Project

All students design their own final major project in their elective pathway, which culminates in a public exhibition of their work.

Sample enrichment activities

  • 2-day art residential at UWE Bristol
  • Fashion Club
  • Textiles Club
  • Visits to local galleries (such as the Ashmolean in Oxford)
  • Portfolio guidance and other input sessions from visiting Kingston and UWE faculty
  • Life drawing
  • Visits to London galleries such as the Tate Modern, the National Portrait Gallery and the Design Museum

Sample Timetable

Sample academic calendar

September starters






  • Unit 1
  • Unit 2
  • Personal statements/UCAS applications
  • Unit 3
  • Personal statements/UCAS applications
  • Unit 4
  • Personal statements/UCAS applications
  • Art/CSS Joint presentation in London
  • Units 5/6
  • E-portfolios
  • Personal statements/UCAS applications
  • CSS Research essay






  • Unit 5/6
  • University applications/interviews
  • CSS Research essay
  • CSS Reflective essay
  • Unit 6/7
  • University applications/interviews
  • CSS Reflective essay
  • Unit 7
  • Develop initial major project proposal
  • Unit 7
  • Agree final major projects
  • Hang exhibition
  • Mid-project presentations
  • Unit 7
  • Exhibition week
  • CSS mock and final exams

January starters






  • Unit 1/2
  • Unit 2/3
  • Unit 3/4
  • Personal statements/UCAS applications
  • Unit 5/ 6
  • Art/CSS Joint presentations
  • E-portfolios
  • Unit 7
  • Develop initial major project proposal
  • CSS Research essay



  • Unit 7
  • Agree final major projects
  • Mid-project presentations
  • Unit 7
  • Hang exhibition
  • Exhibition week
  • CSS mock and final exams


Recent alumni

Yurie Abe

  • University of the Arts London 
  • Graphic and Media Design 

Julie Dekimpe

  • Leeds Arts University
  • Visual Communication

Hazal Ozkeles

  • Leeds Arts University
  • Illustration

Pak Fai Chui

  • University of Leeds
  • Illustration

Dong Han

  • University of the Arts London 
  • Product Design

Ya Lu Huang (Elise)

  • UAL (The London College of Fashion)
  • Fashion Management

JeeSoo Jung

  • Kingston University
  • Graphics

Bo Yun Kim (Katie)

  • UAL (Camberwell College of Arts)
  • Graphic Design

Da Young Park

  • Kingston University
  • Interior Design

Sung Hee Kim

  • UAL (Chelsea College of Art)
  • Fine Art

Zifeng Ou

  • University of Brighton
  • Interior Architecture

Rosie Anderson

  • Leeds Arts University
  • Fine Art 

Siu Cheung Alice Lau

  • UAL (Chelsea College of Art)
  • Interior and Spatial Design

Philippe De Posch

  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • Interior Design

Thank you for your enquiry.
We'll be in touch soon.
The Kings Admissions Team