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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
  • Start dates: September, November and January– see term dates
  • Entry requirements: Satisfactory completion of secondary or high school and IELTS 4.5 or equivalent.
  • Fees: Please visit our Fees page to calculate your fees.

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

The ability to read academic texts, write extended texts, write subjective notes, listen interactively in class and participate in classroom discourse. 

Foundation English Skills 2

Improving all the abilities in Foundation English Skills 1 with greater accuracy, speed, cohesion, organisation and presentation and are prepared for an IELTS qualification at the end of the module. 

Study Skills in the British Environment

Using your study time more effectively, improve your use of and range of information sources and prepare comprehensive essays in your own time to given deadlines. 

Computer Information Technology

Improving IT literacy and creativity using Office, Business and Media applications; using the internet as a research tool.

Art & Design modules

Art Skills

Learn practical art skills and create art pieces to start a portfolio of work. 

Design Skills

Study the fundamentals of design, and use a variety of materials, media and processes to develop more substantial projects.

Experimentation & Development

Create and manage the research, analysis and exploration of an independent project relevant to undergraduate degree entry.

Group & Independent Design

Produce work from project briefs both independently and as collaborative teams, with freedom to interpret and develop individual works.


Get a basic and continuing understanding of both film and digital photography as a foundation for the further study of the subject.

Contextual Studies

Establish a general process of visual, oral and written skills of research, analysis and presentation.

You can then choose from a range of specialist Art and Design modules. These options may vary between campuses.

On successful completion of the Art & Design Foundation you can graduate to an undergraduate degree at one of our destination universities.

The table below shows just some of the universities and degrees that our students graduated to in 2014:

Degree subject University
Architectural Studies Newcastle University
Architectural Studies Cardiff University
Architecture Oxford Brookes University
Architecture University of Sheffield
Architecture Oxford Brookes University
Architecture Oxford Brookes University
Architecture University of Nottingham
Architecture University of Brighton
Design- Visual Communication Glasgow School of Art
Fashion Design & Development University of the Arts London
Graphic Arts Southampton University
Graphic Design University of the Arts London
Illustration Middlesex University
Interior Design University of the Arts London
Interior & Spatial Design University of the Arts London
Interior Architecture & Design Kingston University
Photography University of the Arts London
Photography The Arts University College at Bournemouth
Product & Furniture Design De Montfort University
Product Design Glasgow School of Art

These degrees and grades are subject to change.

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 2014 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 exciting enrichment options in term 1 include:

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 demonstrate an English language level equivalent to the following:

  • IELTS 4.5 TOEFL 450  (133 computer based test)
  • Pearson Test of English Academic 40-43

Depending on the type of visa you are entering the UK on you may take the Study Group English Test to determine your English language level.

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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