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Mature student applying for fine art?

I’m about to turn 30 and really want to study fine art. I did my gcse but had to bow out due to family issues. I’ve worked for the last 6 years in vehicle rental but my true love is art. I’ve always painted and drawn since I left school. Is there a way for me to study at uni without a levels?
Reply 1
I reckon a foundation degree in art and design, or a foundation year that continues on to a degree course (takes it from 3 years to 4 years of study) is the way to go! Also going back to college to complete an art course could be an option!

If you've painted and drawn since school, you can probably build an amazing portfolio of work, and then the foundation degree/year will give you the not sure what to call them, but like doing things like working to an assignment, doing artist research and analysing work and whatnot. (This is going off of stuff I did at college for a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design, also I'm a bit tired due to a cold atm so I can't confidently say I'm making sense😆).

Personally I'm looking at a local university that offers a four year course that starts with a foundation year in art and design and then leads you to start the 3 year degree in a specific course such as fine art, or animation or photography. But someone has suggested a foundation degree in art and design, which could be studied at a college or university (i think, depends on if its offered or not?).

But yeah, overall I say just go for it! Try contacting a local uni or a uni you like the idea of going to (doesn't have to be a firm choice) and see if they have any advice to offer as well! Hopefully some uni reps will reply to you on here as I've seen them do on other posts cause they're super helpful and can give you some more info too😊
Original post by Foxpondlane
I’m about to turn 30 and really want to study fine art. I did my gcse but had to bow out due to family issues. I’ve worked for the last 6 years in vehicle rental but my true love is art. I’ve always painted and drawn since I left school. Is there a way for me to study at uni without a levels?

I'd suggest looking into art foundation/FAD courses - these are not the same thing as a foundation degree or a foundation year that is part of an existing degree. You can read more about FAD courses here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=5017684 . You may need to pay for the course though as you're over 19, but you might be able to get an advanced learner loan (ALL) for it from Student Finance (this would only cover tuition costs though, not any of your living costs, so you probably want to look at local options).

FAD courses are pretty common options for people looking to go into a creative arts/design degree (school leavers or otherwise), as it provides a year of working purely on creative subjects and increasingly specialising in a particular area of interest. This both allows students to experience art "full time" as an academic subject (whereas many students may have only done art alongside other subjects at GCSE or A-level or similar), and to develop a much stronger portfolio. It also gives an opportunity to explore areas of art and design less well represented in GCSE and A-level curricula (e.g. lens based art, time based media, 3D/spatial design and architecture, fashion and textiles, graphic design, etc).

You may need to undertake some study before you can go directly into one of those courses but you can always reach out and discuss with the provider what their requirements are for mature students.

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