Art and Design Foundation Preparation for creative degrees at UK universities

Art Foundation teacher and student

Bellerbys Oxford is our specialist centre for art, providing the ideal setting and facilities to encourage creativity. 

Renowned as a seat of academic excellence, Oxford has a long history of inspiring great creative thinkers and innovators. 

The city of Oxford is home to an impressive collection of historic architecture and scenic green spaces, offering plenty of places for quiet reflection. 

The Bellerbys Art and Design Foundation is also taught at our centre in Brighton, a seaside city that continues to attract creative types with its vibrant arts scene, bohemian Lanes and charming English seafront.

If you want to work in the creative industries then the Art & Design Foundation course at Bellerbys provides you with the perfect basis to start your studies and prepare for university degrees in art, design and arts-related subjects. Combined with English and study skills, this course provides all the experience required for further study in the UK.

Art and Design Foundation Course

Once you have successfully passed the Art & Design Foundation course to the required standard, you will be able to progress to one of our destination universities to study an arts degree. See the progression tab for more information about where previous students have gone on to study.

Please note: university entrance requirements can change and successful completion of the programme is no guarantee of admission to that university.

Key facts…

  • Age: Students are normally 16.5 or over
    Please note: Brighton – students joining the Foundation Programme must be under 19 years of age
  • Course length: 3 terms & a 3.5 term starting week commencing 31 October 2016
  • Start dates: September, October and January– see term dates
  • Entry requirements: 
    • Satisfactory completion of secondary or high school 
    • IELTS 4.5 or equivalent (for the September start) or IELTS 5 or equivalent (for the October and January start).
  • Fees: Please visit our Fees page to calculate your fees.
  • Note: Students starting Foundation Preparation Programme in October have the opportunity to become accustomed to their environment and British teaching styles. In the first term, October – December, students benefit from extra preparation in English and critical thinking skills and additional university guidance, as well as being given a supervised self-study enrichment project and taster lessons. Foundation study will begin in January.

Art & Design Foundation students spend 18-25 hours per week in class. The course is modular in structure and consists of core modules studied by all foundation students and modules tailored for Art & Design students.

Core modules

Foundation English Skills 1

Develop the ability to read academic texts, write short academic texts, take notes from written and oral sources and use spoken English to discuss a variety of topics. 

Foundation English Skills 2

Improve all the abilities in FES1, developing greater accuracy, speed, cohesion, organisation and presentation. 

Foundation English Skills 3

Develop academic English skills for university. This continually assessed course module includes an extended research essay based on an aspect of British culture, debates and discussions, listening, note- taking and summarising as well as oral presentation. 

Computer Information Technology

Improving IT literacy and creativity using MS Office, Business and Media applications; develop internet research skills.

Art & Design modules

Art Skills

Introduces the art discipline: studio practice, drawing, painting and media handling- skills, portfolio production, fulfilling assessment objectives, health and safety, working processes, beginning of a portfolio of work. 

Design Skills

Increases the variety of materials, media and processes used in Art Skills to develop larger projects that take longer to complete; focus on the creative process and create alternative designs. 

Experimentation & Development

Combines further study of the creative processes via more independent, subject-specific starting points; develop your sense of responsibility to manage your own work; research and incorporate meaningful analysis and
creatively explore media and problem-solve inventively to realise project outcomes.

Group & Independent Design

Work from project briefs both independently and in a team; be responsible for completing all aspects of the project’s requirements, have greater freedom to interpret and develop individual work.


Develop an understanding of both film and digital photography as an essential part of studio practice, for the documentation of work and also as a foundation for the further study of the subject as a medium in its own right.

Contextual Studies

Introduce the language skills required for visual analysis; contextualise practical studio work; establish the skills and process of systematic physical documentation and digital recording of project work, together with its critical evaluation; communicate the processes, outcomes, successes and difficulties encountered in practical work.

Bellerbys has been helping international students progress to top UK universities for more than 50 years, and 2016 is no different.

Below are a selection of degrees and universities where our Art & Design students have gone on to study.

Degree subject University
2D Animation and Character for Digital Media University of Hertfordshire
Architecture University of Brighton
Architecture De Montfort University
Architecture Kingston University
Architecture University of Kent
Architecture University of the West of England
Architecture University of Westminster
Computer Animation University of Portsmouth
Creative Direction for Fashion UAL: London College of Fashion
Design Management and Cultures UAL: London College of Communication
Fashion Arts University Bournemouth
Fashion Design Birmingham City University
Fashion Istituto Marangoni
Fashion Communication and Styling Middlesex University
Fashion Management Nottingham Trent University
Fashion University for the Creative Arts
Fashion and Textile Design University of Southampton
Fine Art Newcastle University
Fine Art (Painting) UAL: Wimbledon College of Arts
Games Design Brunel University London
Graphic Communication Bath Spa University
Graphic Design Falmouth University
Graphic Design Kingston University
Graphic Design (Illustration) De Montfort University
Illustration Leeds College of Art
Illustration UAL: Camberwell College of Arts
Industrial Design and Technology Brunel University London
Interior and Spatial Design UAL: Chelsea College of Arts
Interior Architecture and Design University for the Creative Arts
Interior Design De Montfort University
Interior Design Kingston University
Jewellery Design and Related Products Birmingham City University
Painting UAL: Camberwell College of Arts
Photography University of South Wales
Product Design De Montfort University
Textiles Cardiff Metropolitan University
Textiles in Practice Manchester Metropolitan University
Theatre and Screen: Set Design for Screen UAL: Wimbledon College of Arts

The added value of our Art & Design Foundation

Our enrichment programmes are built into the daily timetable to allow Bellerbys you not to just study a topic, but to experience and understand what it means in a more practical environment.

Term 1 Enrichment Programme Overview

Example for Bellerbys College Oxford our specialist college for Art and Design students:

All enrichment activities will fall within the following 3 areas; Project work, specialist course skills, core personal development skills.

These activities include:

  • University and corporate guest speakers
  • Student-led, practical, task based workshops
  • Diverse presentations and workshops
  • Trips to universities, local businesses and international businesses
  • Clubs and societies
  • Student projects and committees
  • Forums and webinars
  • Gallery and museum trips
  • Art hub – project based workshops run by professional creative artists

Term 1 Activity includes:

  • Project work: Warner Brothers studio tour, The Knowledge Emporium (theatre), V&A Design Festival, Brighton photographic exhibition
  • Specialist course skills: Falmouth University Creative Arts Workshop, Bodleian Hand Printing Workshop, Ashmolean conservator (guest speaker)
  • Personal development skills: University led Skills Workshop day, Design your future UCAS workshops and career fairs, Oxford High Ropes (team building confidence and communication skill building)

Enrichment fully integrated with academic learning

Our enrichment activities will be timetabled to coincide with academic module learning outcomes. The enrichment programme is weaved in to the weekly timetable and is an integral part of the overall enjoyable and confidence building learning experience Bellerbys offers.


Timetable Sample Term 1 from September 2015 Oxford Campus

Business Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
 1    Art 1
 FES 1
 Art 1
 CIT  Enrichment
 2  Tutorial  Art 1
 FES 1
 Art 1
 3  Art 2
 Art 2
 Art 2
 Art 2
 Art 2
 Art 2
 FES 1
 Art 1
 FES 1
 Art 1
 6  Study Period
 Enrichment  Lunch
 7  FES 1
 IELTS  Study Period
 8  FES 1
 Study Period
 IELTS  Study Period
 9  Enrichment

FES1 – Develop the ability to read academic texts, write extended texts, take notes, listen actively and participate in discussions.

Period  9 example of enrichment options in term 1:

Weekly Art Hub, Weekly Critical Thinking, Weekly Photography Club, Weekly-Fortnightly Life drawing, 3x termly Debating Club, Fortnightly College Magazine/Yearbook

Academic entry requirements

To study the Art & Design Foundation you will need to have completed secondary or high school to a satisfactory level.

You may also be required to show your art portfolio to support your application.

Contact our team of expert Student Enrolment Advisers to find out if your qualifications meet the entry requirements.

English language requirements

To study the Foundation programme you will need to take a UKVI IELTS English language test and achieve a minimum level of 4.5 overall (for the September start) or level of 5 overall (for the October and January start).

English Language Preparation Programme (ELPP)

If you do not meet the English language requirements for entry to the Foundation you can study one, two or three terms of English Language Preparation prior to the start of your academic programme. The length of your English Language Preparation Programme will depend on your current English language level.

Contact a Student Enrolment Adviser to take our English Assessment Test and find out how much preparation you require.

The Bellerbys English Language Preparation Programme is a fast, personalised and highly effective programme that will fully equip you to succeed in your studies. The programme comprises 25 hours per week of general English, examination preparation and skills classes. Throughout the programme you will be closely monitored by a personal tutor and tested regularly to ensure you reach the English language level required for your academic programme.

Please note that the English Language Preparation Programme (ELPP) incurs additional fees on top of your academic tuition fees. Visit our Fees page for details and to calculate your fees.

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Study this course in:

Study the Extended Foundation in:

Not quite ready for the Foundation?

Study the key GCSEs you need to progress to the Bellerbys Foundation with the Bellerbys Pre-Foundation programmes