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Course starts: 19 September 2022Apply now
The Foundation Diploma is an exciting, one-year course that prepares you for degree level study in the creative arts. You'll experience the full range of art and design disciplines alongside supportive staff, many of whom work within the creative industries.
You will be encouraged to learn through experimentation and risk taking, developing new ways of working and confidence to establish your own ideas. Sunderland has a well-established reputation for innovative art and design projects, with many of these involving social learning and encouraging peer support.
The Foundation Diploma is delivered in two stages: The Exploratory Stage and the Confirmatory Stage.
Throughout the year you will be taught in studio-based sessions, supported by a programme of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials.
Visiting artists and designers often complement this exciting course. Recent workshops have been delivered in collaboration with the designer Jimmy Turrell as well as fashion illustrator Sue Dray, and Dave Cooper, former Head of Menswear at Alexander McQueen. Guest lectures have included Lewis Jones from the Turner Prize winning Assemble and the Granby Workshop.
Innovative projects also include those run by our own staff and students as part of Foundation Press.
Through a wide range of creative activities, you will develop your practical and conceptual skills. Alongside this, individual guidance is given from an experienced range of staff on the options best suited to your work and future ambitions. The Exploratory Stage ‘rotation’ projects include:
You'll choose an area you'd like to pursue at degree level. Through a number of exciting and challenging projects, you'll develop confidence in the creative process.
Alongside this, you'll receive support in the skills needed to extend and present your work professionally, including digital skills and portfolio presentation.
There are many opportunities to broaden your practice further in live projects, events and exhibitions. Study visits also often help to inspire your own studies.
Working with your tutors, you'll develop a self-directed project in your chosen pathway. They will encourage you to develop a distinctive, individual practice in readiness for degree level study and careers in the creative industries.
You'll build on all of the experimentation and experiences throughout the year. We are particularly proud of the individual and distinctive nature of the work produced by our Foundation students. The Final Major Project usually culminates in a public exhibition alongside the degree shows. Using skills developed throughout the year, students also produce a publication of their work.
This final project of the year is assessed to give your grade, encouraging experimentation at all of the earlier stages of the course. The outcomes from last year's students can be seen online at Sunderland Creatives.
We don’t currently display entry requirements for United States. Please contact the Student Admin team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0191 515 3154.
If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.
If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age on 31st December on year of entry.
We are interested in your creative potential – please prepare a portfolio of the work you have created so far. We would like to see:
If you can document this work and create a .pdf of up to 15 pages (you can use Powerpoint or similar packages to create this – Instagram art accounts could also work), we'll use this at interview or in a portfolio review, both of which are offered to all of our applicants.
This course is free for school-leavers aged 18 at the start of the course and is the ideal preparation for the full range of creative degrees.
If you will be 19 or above at the start of the year, you may want to consider our Integrated Foundation Degrees. These courses help prepare students for higher-level study on our creative degrees here at Sunderland.
You may be eligible for a government bursary. Please see more information about the 16-19 bursary on the gov.uk website.
Please note that this course is not available to international students.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
This Foundation Diploma gives you a full year to explore different creative areas and you are guaranteed a place at Sunderland if you complete the course successfully. Students from the Foundation Diploma at Sunderland have gained offers from the most competitive art and design courses in the country.
The large majority of our students progress from our foundation year to an honours degree. Having successfully passed the course, you can progress directly onto any of the following courses at Sunderland:
We recently won a national award for teaching excellence (the Advance HE Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence 2018). This acknowledged the Foundation Press project where students work on innovative, live projects alongside practising artists and designers.
Through these enjoyable, social experiences, you will gain confidence in applying your skills in real-world contexts.
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