Show/hide menu

University Pathways
Art and Design Preparation Programme

Key information

Start dates:
9 September 2019; 6 January, 6 April 2020
Course length:
1–3 terms
Class size range:
Average of 21 hours per week plus homework and private study

Entry requirements

Completion of 11 years of schooling with documented proof of grades

IELTS 4.0 for 3-term course
IELTS 4.5 for 1-term/ 2-term course
Minimum age:

Pathways for the Art and Design Preparation Programme at Kings

Pathways for Art and Design Preparation Programme

The course

The programme is perfect for students who need to develop their portfolio and/or their language level prior to a main art-related course, and is available to students of IELTS level 4.0 and above. 

It is highly flexible and adaptable to each student’s specific needs, and has been carefully designed to integrate with several art-related programmes at Kings.

Educational visits

As part of the Art and Design Preparation programme, students are accompanied on a range of visits to galleries and other art-related venues. They will have at least one gallery or museum visit per term. Examples of recent trips include: 

  • Ashmolean Museum
  • Pitt Rivers
  • Museum of Modern Art Oxford 
  • Tate Modern 
  • Design Museum
  • Natural History Museum

Kings Oxford also offers extracurricular life drawing classes.

Assessment and certificates

Assessment is an integral part of the course. It is continuous and formative.

At the end of each term, assessment grades will be awarded based on the AQA GCSE grade descriptors below:

  • AO1 Develop their ideas through investigations informed by contextual and other sources demonstrating analytical and cultural understanding
  • AO2 Refine their ideas through experimenting and selecting appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes
  • AO3 Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to their intentions in visual and/or other forms
  • AO4 Present a personal, informed and meaningful response demonstrating analytical and critical understanding, realising intentions and where appropriate, making connections between visual, written, oral or other elements.

Progression options

Depending on your ambition and intention, the Art and Design Preparation Programme can lead to a range of specialist art and design-related programmes at Kings:

  • Art Foundation
  • A-level Art and Design
  • Advanced Level Foundation: Architecture Pathway

Course structure

The programme comprises two main modules — the Portfolio Development module and the English Language Development module. These can be adapted to the specific needs of each student. So, for example, if students have a strong portfolio but need to improve their English, they will focus on the English Development module. If they need to improve their general art skills or develop their experience and body of work, then they will focus more on portfolio development.

Art course structure

The portfolio development module begins with a general introduction to the main art and design areas. Students will gradually become familiar with the disciplines involved in all aspects of Art and Design. Initially students will be introduced to a wide range of ways to explore art-making, both in two and three dimensions, and present this work through the use of sketchbooks. This will involve a series of projects which will focus on developing approaches to a variety of themes and topics in order to discover new areas of interest. Students will also be introduced to a range of contexts, or influences, which will enable them to broaden their knowledge of art and design practice.

Students will develop their toolkit of skills and experience across 2D and 3D disciplines. Gradually, they will build their portfolio and we will work with them to ensure they showcase their skills and abilities in the best possible light.

There are three modules which will be assessed at the end of each term:

Part 1:

  • Introduction to Key Elements to build a tool kit of skills.
  • Project 1 & 2: Context led skills based projects 
  • Project 3: Synthesis and development of context led skills and key elements project

Part 2:

  • Project 4: Extended skills based 
  • Themed project 5

Part 3:

  • Personal project 6

Portfolio development

Art modules will facilitate students working into sketchbooks and documenting the work carried out in an e-portfolio document.

English language development

Students will take a broad skills-based programme, progressing from a general English focus to a more specialist focus. They will gain the vocabulary and language skills required for further study in high-level art and design disciplines. They will also develop essential study skills so they are prepared for the demands of art-related courses at Kings and beyond.