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Foundation Art and Design

Course length
Start date
Tuition fees
GBP 5600 / year

About the course 

One of the most exciting things about the art and design of tomorrow is that we don’t know what it will look like. However, we can be fairly certain that it won’t look like the art and design of today. So, if there is a job description which is common to all artists and designers it is that they have to be able to create things that people have never seen before; new images, new objects, new environments and new situations. In order to do this, students need to be able to move beyond their preconceptions. To surprise other people students first need to be able to surprise themselves. The Foundation programme at BHSAD establishes the conditions in which this can happen.

The emphasis early in the course is on arriving at ideas rather than beginning with ideas. Arriving at intention through exploring formal and material possibilities. Various constraints are employed which serve to deliberately limit the students possibilities in order to focus their inventive potential.


The course develops the student’s understanding of the world of art and design. Students examine where their strengths and interests lie through an engagement with practical projects, problem solving and critical thinking. The course is studied in three stages. It gradually moves from being predominately staff led during Stage 1, to a situation where students are able to develop projects wholly independently by Stage 3. This emphasis on developing independence is a vitally important preparation for degree level study.

The course is taught in English. English language tuition is an important part of the programme with a particular emphasis on the use of a specialist art and design vocabulary. Students attend twice-weekly English classes.

Stage 1
Introduces students to a series of strategies and attitudes through which they begin to engage with a broad range of ideas, media and workshops. Students are asked to suspend their judgement and to challenge their preconceptions through a series of intensive challenging projects.

These projects require students to work outside their comfort zone, encouraging them to arrive at ideas through mindful play and experimentation. Students attend relevant practical workshops, developing key skills such as drawing, idea generation, research and problem solving. Structured projects allow students to experience a broad range of creative activities in order that they make an informed decision of which specialist pathway to enter.

Stage 2
In Stage 2 students study within a specialist pathway. The specialist pathways are: Fine Art; Fashion and Textiles; Communication Design and Three Dimensional and Spatial Design. An understanding of contemporary practice is emphasised so that students can make informed decisions regarding their future careers and their progression to the range of the School’s art and design BA courses.

Through a series of creative projects students develop a greater understanding of their chosen field and its related disciplines. As Stage 2 progresses the projects become increasingly focussed towards specific degree applications. Within the Communication Design Pathway this would mean students identifying as Illustration or Graphic Design specialists; within the Fashion and Textiles pathway students identify as Fashion or Textile specialists and within the Three Dimensional and Spatial Design Pathway students identify as Product Design, Jewellery or Interior Architecture Design specialists.

Stage 3
In Stage 3, every student proposes and executes an independent project culminating in a body of work for a public exhibition in a professional context. Students receive intensive critical feedback during this period, thus allowing them to refine and realise their ideas to a high standard. Stage 3 is delivered and examined at the same level as the first year as a BA (Hons) programme.

By the end of the stage and the course, students have developed a sophisticated understanding of their chosen subject, refined their research, problem solving, planning, organisation, analytical and practical skills to degree level. They are perfectly placed to successfully progress onto the BA degree programme of their choice.

Period of study

Full-time — 1 year

Tuition fees

Full-time: GBP 5600 / year*

Students as a rule pay their tuition fees once a semester, that is, twice a year, but at their request can choose to pay on a monthly basis.

You will be expected to meet additional costs which may arise as a result of materials, art supplies and consumables you may need for your projects, as well as printing and copying services and other types of services and consumables. Their list and the amount of costs depends upon the requirements of your course and the nature of your projects. Additionally during your time at BHSAD you may be recommended to visit museums, art galleries and other venues as part of your learning and there may be a cost for such visits which you should also budget for.

BHSAD Foundation students are sent an equipment list

* This proposal does not constitute an offer, the prices are subject to change. Cost of services and conditions of their provision will be specified in the contract.

Required documents

- Online application form
- Copy of previous education certificates and academic qualifications.The following documents can be submitted: high school diploma, college degree diploma, higher education or BA diploma
- 2 photos 3х4 cm
- Copy of your passport
- Personal statement

Students applying for Foundation Art and Design (FAD) and Year 1 of British higher education (BA (Hons) programmes) need to complete the following: 

- English exam (in the absence of an IELTS certificate) — See section on English
Entry Requirements)
- Portfolio review (See section on Required Portfolio)
- Interview (See section on Interview Procedure)

Required level of English
The minimum entry requirement for prospective students during the preliminary examination is pre-intermediate to intermediate English. As part of Foundation Art & Design course the students undergo intensive training in groups of respective levels (from Pre-Intermediate to Advanced). After the training the students take the IELTS test which is a prerequisite for moving to the Year 1 of BA degree.

The test is carried out in several stages or modules:

Listening (listening to recording played once) – 10 questions, 15 minutes. Examples: audio, task, answers;

Grammar test – 55 questions, 40 minutes, based on Murphy English grammar in use Intermediate;

Reading apprehension2 parts, 20 questions, 30 minutes, no electronic version, usually printed and adapted;

Essay writing – 45 minutes, 200-250 words on a topic proposede.g. Some people prefer to live in a small town. Others prefer to live in a big city. Which place would you prefer to live in?

The total test duration is 2 hours. A 10-break is given before the essay writing.
Required portfolio
A1 portfolio

* 15 – 20 pieces of design / art work
** Sketchbooks any size (maximum of 3)

*The range of design / art work in your portfolio should cover a broad spectrum of media, materials and approaches. When building your portfolio include a range of drawing, painting and photography, also other forms of art and design work you have created, such as 3D design, sculpture, collage, decorative art, design, web-design, film or animation. 

**Sketchbooks are an important part of the interview, tutors would like to understand your experience of art and design project work, how you generate and develop your ideas, your use of research and your visual language. 

Present examples of the best and most recent projects, reflective of your creative abilities. Include original artwork such as drawings and paintings as well as large format digital prints of digital design and photographs. Animation and video work should be presented on a portable hard drive, files should be compatible with Apple operating systems.

Please ensure you clearly label your A1 portfolio and sketchbooks with your full name, in Latin text. Digital files should also be organized into a separate folder on your portable hard drive, be clearly labeled with your name and the title of any specific project.

The student should present their portfolio, which should feature samples of work from the past several years.

Your portfolio should contain a range of visual material, including sketchbooks, research, developmental work, finished two-dimensional works and photographs of three dimensional pieces or two dimensional pieces which are too large to include in the portfolio.

We will look for:
  • Drawing
  • Making and crafting skills
  • Use of a range of media, materials and approaches
  • Experimental approach to media and materials
  • Development and process
  • See the guide Preparing For Interview 
  • Try to show us your best and latest works, which fully showcase your creative abilities. There are higher expectations as regards conceptual and technical abilities of students applying for BA Year 1, compared to Foundation applicants.
Interview procedure
During the interview, the student will be asked a number of questions to assess their knowledge and understanding contemporary art and design about their education and professional experience to inform the ultimate decision about their admission to the programme. Be ready to tell us about yourself, about your engagement with art and design and the projects you are presenting.

Prospective students will be asked questions regarding their educational and professional backgrounds in order to make final decision about admission onto the course.
Application deadline
1 round (20.05.2019 - 26.05.2019)
2 round (24.06.2019 - 30.06.2019)
3 round (15.07.2019 - 21.07.2019)
4 round (12.08.2019 - 18.08.2019)

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