Art and Design Foundation Year - University of Sunderland

Course overview

This one-year course helps to develop your core skills and critical thinking and gives students experience of the possible routes within Art and Design. Midway through students specialise in an area they would like to pursue at degree level. Students are helped to access the best course for them, whether that is here or elsewhere.

This course has been rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted.

This course is free for school-leavers aged 18 at the start  of the course. If you will be 19 or above, please apply for Art and Design Extended Level 0. This is exactly the same course in terms of content and timetable; the difference is in the funding arrangements.

The course is split into three stages. First, you will try exciting short projects in different pathways including: fine art, animation, visual communication, glass and ceramics, 3D design, fashion and textiles, and lens-based media. The focus will be on developing practical studio skills and a broad understanding of the creative process.

Secondly, you will choose one of these pathways and undertake longer and more developed project work. You are given opportunities to exhibit your work as well as support in constructing portfolios and blogs to showcase your own work and research.

Finally, you will pick a theme for your Final Major Project and develop it over nine weeks. This allows you to build on everything you have learned as well as establishing personal interests and processes within the specialism that you will continue to study at degree level.

Successful completion of the course leads to an automatic place on an honours degree at Sunderland.

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Course content

Modules on this course include:

Stage 1 - Exploratory Stage (Rotations)

You will explore different ways of working and a range of pathways including:

  • Fine Art
  • Animation
  • Visual Communication
  • Glass and Ceramics
  • 3D Design
  • Fashion and Textiles
  • Lens Based Media

Stage 2 - Pathway Stage

You will choose an area you would like to pursue at degree level in response to the pathways you have experienced. You will develop your knowledge of the creative process, skills in critical thinking and experience of interpreting set projects. At the same time you will develop a portfolio and blog to help present your work and research in a professional manner.

If students choose to apply outside the university, help is given with the UCAS process. Students often gain experience with live projects or work experience in exhibitions and art events. Every year there are several study visits, including one overseas trip to help inspire your own studies.

Stage 3 - Confirmatory Stage

Based on your experiences so far, you will develop your own project within your chosen pathway. The academic team will encourage you further to develop the independent study skills that are necessary for degree level study.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include practical studio-based work, supported by lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. Experienced tutors will give regular feedback and support as your work progresses.

The Final Major Project is assessed to give your final grade, encouraging experimentation at all of the earlier stages of the course.

To find out more about modules, credits and how you will be assessed, please see the page how courses are taught. Information about course regulations and documentation can be found on the Academic Services website

Facilities & location

The University of Sunderland provides excellent facilities and we are no.1 in the North East for spend per student in Arts and Design, according to The Guardian University Guide 2012.

Our facilities include:

  • Workshops for wood, metal and printmaking
  • Large studio spaces
  • Project spaces
  • Digital studios with video, sound editing and screening facilities
  • Several suites of Apple Macs
  • Large format digital printing
  • Arts & Design Library
  • Digital sewing and embroidery facilities
  • Cameras and darkrooms
  • Photography studios
  • Mould-making and glaze workshops
  • Glass and ceramic kilns
  • Hot glass workshop
  • Two cold working studios for glass (sand blasting, cutting, grinding and polishing)
  • Architectural glass studio

Journals and research

We subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date articles.

Students are helped to develop their research skills working with lecturers and library staff to develop their awareness of art history as well as contemporary art and design and the wider contexts of the subjects.

Course location

The course is based within the National Glass Centre, which is on the banks of the River Wear and less than a mile from the seaside. It is a key driver of Sunderland’s reputation as a world-class centre of excellence in the teaching of glass. It offers excellent, newly developed studio space for students and it is close to the University’s Design Centre and our other facilities linked to Arts and Design.

Entry requirements

A typical offer will be in the region of 80 points from a minimum of one A Level or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award).

We accept a maximum of 20 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

There is usually a requirement for three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If necessary, these qualifications can be achieved during the foundation course.

To find out more about modules, credits, and how you will be assessed, please see the page how courses are taught. Information about course regulations and documentation can be found on the Academic Services website.

Other acceptable qualifications

BTEC National: 80 points from a BTEC Certificate or Diploma.

Access Courses: We would require successful completion of a Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education Access programme and that you would have a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics and English Language or have obtained the equivalent as part of your course.

Scottish Highers: Our typical offer is for 80 points.

Irish Leaving Certificate: Our typical offer is for 80 points.

International qualifications: Please call the Student Helpline for advice on other acceptable qualifications. The number from outside the UK is +44 191 515 3000.

If you are a mature applicant (aged 21+) please call the Student Helpline for advice on entry requirements and qualifications: 0191 515 3000. We will offer an interview to all non-standard mature applicants.

If you wish to be considered for direct entry to a different year of a course please contact the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

Portfolio requirements

We ask applicants to prepare a portfolio of work, which should be organised and accompanied by preparatory work. Sketchbooks are an important feature of your preparatory work and should be included. Where possible, 3D and large 2D work should be photographed. Digital and screen-based work should be printed if at all possible or saved on a CD or memory stick.

If you are an international applicant, please supply your portfolio on a CD.

Suitable items for a portfolio include:

  • Drawing: examples of observed drawing and exploratory drawing
  • Projects: evidence of project work including sketchbooks and development work
  • Self-initiated work: that you have done out of personal interest
  • Research: examples of various forms of investigation undertaken for projects

Fees & finance

This course is free for school-leavers aged 18 at the start of the course. If you will be 19 or above, please apply for the Level 0 in Art and Design. This is exactly the same course in terms of content and timetable; the difference is in the funding arrangements.

Employment & careers

Most students progress from our foundation course to an honours degree. If you wish to continue to study at the University of Sunderland, you can choose from our range of courses in:

  • Fine Art
  • Fashion
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Multimedia
  • Animation
  • Glass and Ceramics
  • Photography, Video and Digital Imaging

Although you are guaranteed a place at Sunderland if you complete the course successfully, you may also choose to apply to other universities. Results at Sunderland are way above the national average, students from foundation at Sunderland regularly gain offers from the most competitive art and design courses in the country.

Support

Support for your learning

You can expect stimulating contact time with our experienced tutors, many of whom are well-regarded artists and designers in their own right.  If you have queries or difficulties, you can book an appointment with a tutor to gain more in-depth support and guidance.

Further support for Arts and Design students is provided by our technicians. They offer support help you make the most of the University’s excellent facilities.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support & guidance.

Apply for this course

Want to know more about this course or the University of Sunderland? Order a prospectus or come to our next Open Day to see the facilities and talk to academic staff:
  • Next open day:
  • Date: Saturday 8th November 2014
  • Time: 9:30am-4:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's

Contact Sunderland

Contact the Course Leader for specific questions about the course: Joe Woodhouse: joe.woodhouse@sunderland.ac.uk / 0191 515 3189.

Find out more information about the staff who teach on this course and the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media.

Social media:
 To see what events we run and to ask a question about this course, contact the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media on Facebook: Facebook.com/sunderlanduniversityFADM and Twitter: @UniOfSunADM.

Contact the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media for general questions about studying at the University of Sunderland: admenquiry@sunderland.ac.uk / 0191 515 3593

The details

Course Name Art and Design
UCAS Code
CID10
Classification Foundation Year
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Undergraduate
Duration 1 year
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 3 September 2014
UK/EU Fee £Contact Study Centre
Intl Fee £Contact Study Centre

Entry Requirements

Typical accepting offer: 80 points

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