Foundation: Art and Design Level 3 Diploma

Prepare for a specialist art and design course in higher education with this intensive, one-year course.

The Foundation Diploma in Art and Design acts as a stepping-stone. It helps you to find a pathway that reflects your interests and then gain relevant experience of professional arts practice. The programme is exciting, practical, and industry focused.

You’ll be taught by industry trained, expert practitioners in specialist buildings housing a variety of professional facilities, including:

  • an HD TV studio
  • a cinema room
  • multiple Mac suites
  • expansive dark room
  • dedicated art workshops

The qualification is accredited by the highly regarded University of the Arts London (UAL). Among the benefits, students have the opportunity to have their work shortlisted to appear at the annual UAL awarding body exhibition at Chelsea College of Art.


We provide a transition from general education to specialist art and design training.

This qualification has been designed to encourage exploration, experimentation and risk taking and extend critical independence to prepare you for higher education.

Whilst students may take this qualification in a specialist subject, it is also ideal for those who have not decided which discipline or subject area within art and design they wish to specialise in.

The creative industries need people with a mix of technical and creative skills. It relies on people that know how to work as part of a team, but still have that independent mindset, which you’ll grow through setting your own challenges.

If you’re ready to specialise in an area, we’ve got you covered too! Our specialist subjects include:

  • Fine Art
  • Fashion
  • Photography
  • Graphic Design
  • Visual Communication
  • Textiles
  • Illustration
  • Advertising
  • Printmaking
  • 3D Design
  • Ceramics

Whatever your area of interest, you’ll be taught by industry-experienced practitioners in professional-level facilities.

The majority of students progress to higher education and succeed in securing places at universities and art colleges throughout the country. There is a vast range of art and design subjects available in higher education.

Art and Design at Banbury and Bicester College provides an opportunity to explore, develop and test creativity through stimulating and demanding practical exploration.

It focuses on developing understanding and application of the creative process to enable the development of creative ideas and outcomes.

You’ll be assessed through a mix of internal and external practical assessments.

It is recommended that students be 17 years old or above, have 2 A Levels or equivalent (e.g., an Extended Diploma in one of the Arts).

Considerations as to qualifications against experience will be considered for mature learners.

You will need to share a portfolio of work, including sketchbooks and any other creative artwork you have. All students will have their literacy and numeracy needs supported within the programme.

Explore your career progression options

If you are considering applying for this programme, why not explore your potential career progression routes using our handy tool.

You can explore live job vacancies, next level qualifications and apprenticeship standards in your local area. Not only this but you can also watch videos of real people talking about their experiences of working in your specific industry or occupation of interest.

Why not visit us at an Open Event and find out more about this pathway.

Why Banbury and Bicester College?

  • Clear routes of progression with qualifications ranging from foundation level to degree level!
  • Industry experienced teaching staff give you the responsibility and independence you need to take charge of your own future.
  • 150+

    Courses available

  • 2018

    Rated "good with outstanding areas" by Ofsted in 2018

  • 79+

    years of teaching experience

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