Best Art Foundation Courses in the UK

Best Art Foundation Courses in the UK

With the huge number of schools, colleges, and universities offering so many different Art Foundation Programmes in the UK, it is hard to decide which is best for you and how to choose the right Arts degree. If you are an international student who is thinking about studying an Art foundation course in the UK, this article may help you reach the best decision.

Before I start, I want you to know that there is a massive misconception of studying foundation courses in the UK. You may have had some people say to you foundation is obviously just a waste of time trying to buy yourself a year, but one year of your life means nothing in the grand scheme of life and what you achieve at the end of the course. The courses offered are often within 8 months and minus holidays it is not even that much long. Considering its benefits, it definitely worth studying a foundation course before you go to university or start working.

Speaking of benefits, who is this programme for? What does this course include and after you finished, how this degree could help you build your future?

A foundation course is a one-year full-time programme which provides an opportunity for students to challenge the preconceptions as to what Art Foundation can be. Art studies include the culture, history, and practice of a range of different art forms. Examples of subject areas include fine art, sculpture, painting, media, animation, graphics, musical instruments, theater, and photography. Course providers often combine classroom learning with a hands-on tasks in the Art Foundation Programme.

This course benefits every student and all different age groups as they can:

  1. Improve their skills and study lessons that they did not learn at school.
  2. Explore every branch of art and see if it is a good fit for them or figure out their own interests.
  3. Develop not only as a person but as a university student.
  4. Make the transition from secondary education (Like, A-Levels and higher) to the university study and etc.
  5. Prepare a portfolio during their studies to help their university application.

Therefore, studying an Art Foundation, in general, can be a good idea. Art foundation Programmes are offered by Further Education (FE) Colleges and universities in the UK for international students. UK universities offer art foundation diplomas either as stand-alone courses or as a part of an undergraduate degree course. Some universities offer both course options.

Although FE colleges are the more popular and traditional choice when it comes to studying for an art foundation programme in the UK, both paths have their pros and cons. In order to decide which option is best for you, it is good to take a look at these advantages and disadvantages of studying an Art Foundation course at a college or university.


Studying at an FE college advantages

  1. UK students are more likely to live near a further education (FE) college, which means they can save on living costs by living at home.
  2. As you can explore more branches in Art and Design, you have a better idea of the art area that most interests you as a result of taking the diploma.
  3. It’s not important for universities where you studied the course, therefore, art foundation diplomas from all FE colleges and universities have equal value on an application form.


Disadvantages of studying at an FE colleges

  1. There isn’t the option to apply for a combined course at a FE college and if you want to study for an undergraduate degree afterward, you have to start the application process through the UCAS while studying for the diploma.
  2. You begin the university experience one year later, potentially missing out on going through it at the same time as many of your friends.


Advantages of studying at a university

  1. You will fit in the university lifestyle before you start your degree programme by living away from home and you get a great university experience.
  2. If you are under 19 years of age, you may benefit from most universities’ fee-waiver offers for the diploma year.
  3. You can apply for a course with a combined foundation year, this almost guarantees progression to a full undergraduate course after successfully completing the foundation year and you only need to go through the UCAS application process once as well.


Disadvantages of studying at a university

  1. Living costs may increase for UK students if they have to move away from home.
  2. You probably have to pay the full tuition fee if you’re over 19 years old.
  3. If you apply for a course with a combined foundation year, you may find it more difficult to change degree course to your choice of specialty or interests (such as fine art, fashion or textiles), though you can maybe switch it during the foundation year.


After all, if you are still uncertain about the best option that matches your requirements, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our professional advisors for free.