Start date
September 2022
Full Time: 1 year
Tuition fees
Full Time: 495 000 ₽ per year
Payment by installments is possible
Foundation Art & Design
About the course
The enrollment will open in Spring 2022.

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. Being able to confidently discuss their work in English enables students to becoming internationally employable.

How to prepare for entry exams

Britanka Pre-Degree Show 2021

What makes the programme unique


Foundation Diploma students enter a creative studio environment that adheres to a British model of tuition for Art and Design education, one that favours autonomous decision making. This educational system contributes to their creative liberation, leading to confident, motivated and capable students. The system allows them to develop their creative individuality and prepares them for progression onto British undergraduate programmes. The format of Foundation Courses was established in the 1950’s by artists Richard Hamilton, Victor Pasmore and Harry Thubron and was informed by the Bauhaus. It became the essential first stage of visual and conceptual education that artists and designers undertake within the British education system.


Students work to create a subject specific, yet distinctly personal portfolio of art and design work. Foundation students are assisted by experienced tutors to develop an extensive body of work, through which they may apply to the appropriate BA (Hons) programme at BHSAD. Developing the skills required to create a professional portfolio are universally applicable, this is an absolute essential for preparing to gain employment within the professional art and design industry.


Regular museum and gallery visits within Moscow, together with talks from international artists and designers help students to develop their cultural and contextual awareness. Students further develop their understanding of both contemporary and historical art and design through a series of lectures and research projects. Additionally each year the Foundation course organises a week long cultural visit to a European city. This is a hugely rewarding and culturally rich experience for all who attend. Recent destinations have included Berlin and Madrid.


Our English tuition is based on advanced techniques, taking into account the lexicological specifics of art and design. Particular attention is paid to the development of students' spoken language and their ability to effectively express their thoughts and ideas. Our Foundation students attend twice-weekly English classes prior to taking the international IELTS exam, which is a prerequisite for transition to the British undergraduate programmes.


All students participate in the annual Foundation exhibition, in which they present their final independent project within their chosen pathway: Fine Art; Fashion and Textiles; Communication Design and Three Dimensional and Spatial Design. The exhibition is often the first time that students have shown their work publically in a professional context. This exhibition, the culmination of a very intensive year, is open to the public and is consistently well attended.


Experimentation and creative risk taking lead to originality and innovation. Foundation students develop inventive working methods and the confidence to experiment and combine creative techniques and processes. Foundation students understand how to express themselves creatively and developing a broad range of technical skills. Students are challenged to step out of their comfort zone, by doing so Foundation students begin to achieve results far beyond their expectations.


Students are allocated dedicated studio space and have full access to the range or workshops across the school including wood, metal & plastics; printmaking; ceramics; fashion; photographic lighting and the photographic darkroom. Students have access to more than 600 Apple Macintosh and PC computers plus the HP computer lab to assist them to embody their boldest ideas in the digital sphere. We also have 3D printers, a modern laboratory for work with 3D graphics and the Roland DG Academy Printing Laboratory, which gives students access to large-format printers and plotters to realise ambitious projects.


Foundation students who gain Merit or Distinction grades at Stage 3 of the programme and also have above 80% attendance are guaranteed admission to the appropriate undergraduate programme at BHSAD. Students who gain a pass at Stage 3 or who have attendance below 80% are considered for progression.


During Stage 1 a wide range of professional artists and designers are invited to visit the course to speak about their work. Through this series of lectures students begin to understand what it is like to work in the contemporary art and design industry. Students develop an understanding of the different disciplines within art and design and the different demands and requirements of each field of practice. These talks, help students make decisions about their future careers by informing their choice of specialist pathway and decision of which BA programme to apply. 
Recent speakers have included: Sergey Smirnov (director of Smirnov Design), Evgeniia Balashova and Alex Farrar, Evgenia Barinova, Redneck Ware.


Through a series of focused projects, students develop the research skills necessary to independently explore ideas, a vital skill for progression to BA study. These projects enable students to widen their understanding of contemporary art and design practices and to become skilled at presenting their work to an audience.


The Foundation course continues to develop links with a range of institutions internationally, currently this has included Manchester School of Art, UK, EBAC, St Paulo, Brazil and Beijing, China. These opportunities have seen a group of students visit Manchester to develop work for an exhibition, Manchester students will shortly visit Moscow in reciprocation. It has also allowed our students to work remotely through Skype with students in Brazil and China in order to develop joint projects.
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Programme Structure
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.
Student works
Bogdana Skorik
Now get some white paint and cover it
Bogdana Skorik
Bogdana Skorik Now get some white paint and cover it
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Ekaterina Vorobyova
It makes you move
Ekaterina Vorobyova
Ekaterina Vorobyova It makes you move
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Zaira Irbaieva
本絵と建前。I wish you told me your favorite colour!
Zaira Irbaieva
Zaira Irbaieva 本絵と建前。I wish you told me your favorite colour!
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Apollinaria Dzardanova
Apollinaria Dzardanova
Apollinaria Dzardanova Scroll
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Alina Potapova
Alina Potapova
Alina Potapova Flosteritus
See the project in detail
1 / 4
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Elizaveta Volchyok
Elizaveta Volchyok
Elizaveta Volchyok Victorian
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Course students
Stage 1. Observation, Translation and Invention
Course students
Course students Stage 1. Observation, Translation and Invention
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Course students
Stage 1. Skin&Bone Individual Structures
Course students
Course students Stage 1. Skin&Bone Individual Structures
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Course students
Stage 1. Text&Language
Course students
Course students Stage 1. Text&Language
See the project in detail
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How to apply

Entry requirements

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) — Required Level of English)
- Portfolio review (See section on Required Portfolio)
- Interview (See section on Interview Procedure)
How to prepare for entry exams

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 students undergo intensive training in groups of respective levels (from Pre-Intermediate to Advanced). After this training the students take the IELTS test which is a prerequisite for moving to the Year 1 of a BA degree programme.

The test is carried out in several stages or modules:

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

Grammar test – 55 questions, 40 minutes, based on Murphy "English Grammar in Use" Intermediate;

Reading apprehension – 2 parts, 20 questions, 30 minutes, no electronic version, usually printed and adapted;

Essay writing – 45 minutes, 200-250 words on a topic proposed; e.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)

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.

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 and photographs. Animation and video work should be presented on a portable hard drive, files should be compatible with Apple operating systems.

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

We will look for:
  • Drawing (the ability to translate observations of the three dimensional world in front of you to a two dimensional plane).
  • Making and crafting skills
  • Use of a range of media, materials and approaches
  • Experimental approach to media and materials
  • Development and process (we are more interested in how a work has been tested and developed – all the things that you experimented with and tried – than we are in the finished work itself) Evidence of this is often found in sketchbooks, design sheets and practical tests.

Try to show us your best and latest works, which fully showcase your creative abilities. Students applying to BA Year 1 (as opposed to Foundation applicants) must be able to demonstrate a significantly higher level of conceptual and technical skills.

Interview procedure

During the interview, you will be asked a number of questions to assess their knowledge and understanding contemporary art and design. You will be asked  about your education and professional experience to inform the ultimate decision about your admission to the programme. Be ready to tell us about yourself, about your engagement with art and design and the projects you are presenting.

How can I apply?

Applicants need to provide the following documents:

- online application form
- copy or the original of previous education certificates and academic qualifications.
- 2 photos 3×4
- copy of your passport

After the necessary documents are provided you need to sign the contracts. For applicants under 18 presence of one of the parents is required. More details about the application process can be found in the “How to apply” section of the website.

What is the language of delivery?

The education at BHSAD is provided by an international team of lecturers but the working language is always English for our British programmes.
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