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Fine art and Art foundation

I am in year 12 currently looking at university to study Fine Art.
I am doing A levels in Philosophy, Art and Fashion & Textiles being predicted A and A*.
I am confused on whether it is essential for me to do an art foundation before applying for a degree. I would prefer to go straight to degree but unsure if it is better to do an art foundation first. I don’t if doing fashion & textiles and art means I already have wider range of experimentation.
Please could you offer any advise for me. I would really appreciate it x
Some universities run a 4 year with foundation or 3 year without course. You might be better getting advice from someone involved with a University Art Dept? They will know what’s best. The foundation tends to introduce different techniques that you won’t have experienced at a school and allow more experimentation.
Obviously another year adds cost.
Original post by Laramay360
I am in year 12 currently looking at university to study Fine Art.
I am doing A levels in Philosophy, Art and Fashion & Textiles being predicted A and A*.
I am confused on whether it is essential for me to do an art foundation before applying for a degree. I would prefer to go straight to degree but unsure if it is better to do an art foundation first. I don’t if doing fashion & textiles and art means I already have wider range of experimentation.
Please could you offer any advise for me. I would really appreciate it x

A foundation can certainly be helpful as it lets you develop your portfolio a great deal more and gives you a year of doing art "full time" so you can get more of a feel for what it will be like at that point. That said I gather that fine art tends to be better represented in A-level Art and so it's more amenable to going in without foundation (whereas a lot of design fields benefit a great deal from experiencing those areas more before starting the degree, as I understand).

Bear in mind that foundation applications are normally done directly to the provider and not through UCAS, so you can apply to both degree programmes and foundation programmes usually - as FAD courses are FE courses, not HE courses, so the entire application (and funding) model is separate. I would recommend doing that, as then you keep your options open in case e.g. you don't get offers from the degree courses you applied to, or change your mind. Better than having to scramble at the last minute to figure it out!
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 3
Original post by artful_lounger
A foundation can certainly be helpful as it lets you develop your portfolio a great deal more and gives you a year of doing art "full time" so you can get more of a feel for what it will be like at that point. That said I gather that fine art tends to be better represented in A-level Art and so it's more amenable to going in without foundation (whereas a lot of design fields benefit a great deal from experiencing those areas more before starting the degree, as I understand).

Bear in mind that foundation applications are normally done directly to the provider and not through UCAS, so you can apply to both degree programmes and foundation programmes usually - as FAD courses are FE courses, not HE courses, so the entire application (and funding) model is separate. I would recommend doing that, as then you keep your options open in case e.g. you don't get offers from the degree courses you applied to, or change your mind. Better than having to scramble at the last minute to figure it out!


Thank you that is really hot know that I can apply for both x
Original post by Laramay360
I am in year 12 currently looking at university to study Fine Art.
I am doing A levels in Philosophy, Art and Fashion & Textiles being predicted A and A*.
I am confused on whether it is essential for me to do an art foundation before applying for a degree. I would prefer to go straight to degree but unsure if it is better to do an art foundation first. I don’t if doing fashion & textiles and art means I already have wider range of experimentation.
Please could you offer any advise for me. I would really appreciate it x


Hi @Laramay360
Not all courses require a foundation - you would need to look carefully at the entry requirements. At UAL we only require Foundation (or equivalent) for our BA (Hons) Fine Art course or Fashion Design courses at Central Saint Martins. For other courses it may be recommended though and could help strengthen your application.

As others have already said, you can apply for foundation courses while also applying to some degree courses directly.

Best wishes,
Sian
UK Student Recruitment Team
Original post by Laramay360
I am in year 12 currently looking at university to study Fine Art.
I am doing A levels in Philosophy, Art and Fashion & Textiles being predicted A and A*.
I am confused on whether it is essential for me to do an art foundation before applying for a degree. I would prefer to go straight to degree but unsure if it is better to do an art foundation first. I don’t if doing fashion & textiles and art means I already have wider range of experimentation.
Please could you offer any advise for me. I would really appreciate it x


Hi @Laramay360

This is a tricky decision for most students looking at studying fine art at uni (I know it certainly was for me!). I'm in my final year of Fine Art at Lancaster uni having gone straight into it from A Level, however I do know a few people on my course who did decide to do a foundation year first. Generally those I know who did do a foundation course are really grateful for the extra time it allowed them and the opportunity for them to experiment before committing to a three year degree, however for me I am really glad that I didn't!

Personally when I was looking at foundation courses, I felt they were more geared towards people who were undecided on which area of creative arts to follow. If you were unsure whether you wanted to study Fine Art or Animation for example, a foundation course could allow you some extra time to try new practices and see what interests you the most. By the sound of things though, you seem pretty set on Fine Art so this probably isn't necessary!

It differs university to university (so worth checking with the places you want to apply to!) but most BA courses now don't require a foundation year (although some recommend). At Lancaster for example, we have a mix of students who've come straight from college/ sixth form, those who've done foundation years, and mature students. Although having that extra year to build a portfolio may be beneficial, I have never felt behind or out of place for having come straight from A Levels.

Something that has been mentioned here that is worth mentioning, is the bridging of the gap between college and university. It can seem quite daunting to go from studying 3 subjects to just art, especially due to the level of self direction and independence required. For some people, having a foundation year (which tend to be more structured) can be a good stepping stone to doing art full time. This was actually one of the things that made Lancaster appeal to me as they have a major and minor system for first year. This means you retain or pick up another subject alongside your major without doing a joint honours. I actually took a minor in philosophy in my first year which made this transition easier for me.

It is quite a personal decision so there's no real black and white answer, but I hope me sharing my experience can help you make the right decision for you! Do let me know if you have any questions about studying Fine Art at uni :smile:

Yasmin (Lancaster University student ambassador)
(edited 1 year ago)

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