Art & Design

BTEC Level 3-4 Foundation Diploma (Pre-Degree)

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This Art and Design foundation degree diploma is the ideal pre-degree course for those with artistic flair, ability and the drive to succeed as an artist.


The Pre-Degree Foundation course is a one year full time course primarily aimed at sixth form or college students who have achieved A Level or BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design related subjects.

All candidates must present a portfolio of work at interview.

The course provides a bridge between A Level and Level 3 art and design based subjects and higher education. The students will be prepared and equipped to progress onto university having gained a range of skills and an exciting portfolio of work in a range of disciplines.

The course offers an exciting range of art and design practice, including options in fine art (painting, sculpture, installation), 3D design, textiles, (fashion, surface pattern), and design for communication, (graphic design, illustration, animation and photography).

One of the many strengths of the course lies in encouraging individual development towards preparation for further study at degree level. A wide range of two and three dimensional materials, technologies and processes will be studied.

The course is divided into three stages: Exploratory, Pathway and Confirmatory. Historical and contextual studies are fully integrated into the course. You will be guided in the preparation for higher education and the production of a personal portfolio of work.

You will work with experienced artists, designers and crafts persons, and will be encouraged to develop your creative and practical skills to the highest standard.

You will follow a varied and stimulating programme of practical assignments, lectures and visits.

Assessment takes place throughout the course. You must pass each stage of the course in order to progress and subsequently obtain your qualification.

The course concludes with an end of year exhibition of work, in which you are required to mount an individual show of selected work. This is assessed both internally and externally and is also open to the public.

A BTEC Foundation Diploma is then awarded accordingly, at either Pass, Merit or Distinction, confirming the satisfactory completion of the BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art & Design.

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I overcame a couple of barriers by working really hard to get the top grades. My experience was really good, with the course and the lecturers, the residentials and activities, together it was all really good. I had really great teaching support, I could always go to the lecturers and speak to them if I needed to.

David Stenning, Public Services student

There are great teachers here. South Downs College has felt more like a University than a school, and it’s definitely lived up to that more grown-up feel.

Vicky Lipscombe, A Level student

Everyone at the College was really helpful, and there’s lots of facilities, meaning it’s very easy to get your work done on time, and get good grades. The teaching and support was excellent, they were always on top of it, and made sure you got work done on time and you were challenged. Everyone is friendly and its really diverse, meaning you can get involved in lots of different things.

Conor Ward, BTEC student


On completion of this course you should be prepared for further study at degree level, in a range of art and design related areas. Some students may progress to employment.

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