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Art Foundation

Rigorous 3-term programme providing the best preparation for degrees in Art & Design in the UK.

Sample pathways for the Art Foundation at Kings

The course

This course is for students who have an artistic and creative ability and want the fastest, most direct path to an Art and Design-related degree course at a UK university.

All students, including UK nationals, must complete an Art Foundation course before starting an Art and Design degree.

Usually, international students must also study a general Foundation before they are accepted on to an Art Foundation.
The Kings Art Foundation combines the two so that international students with artistic and creative ability can get to university in just one year.

The course is underpinned by historical and contemporary World Art studies. There are also regular visits to the many museums and galleries of Oxford, London, and beyond. 

Expert teaching

Teaching is based on the Edexcel Diploma of Art Foundation. You will benefit from small tutorial groups and close individual attention. 

Helping you build your portfolio

You will need to submit a portfolio as part of your application to university or art college. We will give you comprehensive advice and support to help you build a portfolio which will show off your skills and abilities in the best possible way.

Accreditation and quality assurance

The Art Foundation is overseen by an independent Advisory Board of Higher Education, and moderated by an art specialist.

Learning outcomes

Successful completion will enable you to:

  • identify and attain future education or career goals
  • acquire a broad skill-set through experimentation, risk-taking and creativity
  • be self-reliant in your learning and take responsibility for your own work
  • analyse and evaluate modern and past visual worlds, and your own work
  • make connections between your work and that of artists from various periods
  • focus your response on the main argument in a lecture, seminar or debate
  • hold a particular view while analysing all sides of an argument objectively. 

Course structure and content

The first 8 weeks of the course introduce you to all the main areas in Art and Design. You will then move on to Pathway 1, followed by Pathway 2, and in the final 8 weeks of the whole course you will work on your Final Major Project, which leads to a public exhibition. The course comprises three core modules:

  • 2D skills
  • 3D skills
  • Communication and Study Skills and two elective modules from a choice of options. 

These modules can be combined to create a wide variety of degree course pathways

Core modules

2D skills

  • Experimentation with a broad range of 2D media and techniques
  • Drawing (observational; analytical; expression; imagination
  • Painting
  • Mixed media
  • Printmaking techniques

3D skills

  • Experimentation with a broad range of 3D materials and processes
  • The design process
  • Working to a brief
  • Communication and Study Skills
  • Provision of general academic skills necessary for success in UK higher education
  • General English language development
  • Reading and writing for academic purposes
  • Research skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Listening, note-taking and summarising

Specialist elective modules

Pathway 1

Choose one of the following:

Fine Art 1

3D Design 1

Examples include:

  • Interior Architecture
  • Environmental and Architectural Design
  • Jewellery/body ornament
  • Design for stage
  • Sculpture

Graphic Communication 1

Examples include:

  • Illustration
  • Advertising
  • Packaging design
  • Communication
  • Computer graphics
  • Multimedia
  • Web design

Textile Design 1

Examples included

  • Printed and dyed materials
  • Constructed textiles
  • Historical and contemporary studies

Fashion Design 1

  • Life drawing (clothed/nude model)
  • Fashion drawing and illustration
  • Fabrics and haberdashery
  • Sewing skills, garment construction, pattern cutting

Interior Design 1

  • Drawing interiors and contents, plan and elevation
  • Mood boards, design boards
  • Samples and 3D models
  • Lighting
  • Materials
  • Domestic and public interiors

Pathway 2

Choose one of the following:

  • Fine Art 2
  • 3D Design 2
  • Graphic Communication 2
  • Textile Design 2
  • Fashion Design 2
  • Interior Design 2


  • Assessment is continuous, formative and externally moderated
  • Coursework assignment and exam project for each module per semester
  • Final award based equally on marks for all these. 20 pieces of assessed work in total. 


There is a huge range of possible degree subjects, and combinations of subjects, in Art and Design at UK universities. At Kings, we guide you to the best Pathway subject choices according to your interests and abilities, and to enable you to make the best possible choice of University course for each individual.
The table below shows typical degree course outcomes, depending on the choice of Art Foundation elective modules.