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Art & Design (Foundation Year for Specialist Degrees) - BA (Hons) - Video

Foundation Studies is an exciting and intensive practice-based programme through which you can explore a range of art and design disciplines

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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Duncairn Arts Centre
  • Millennium Court Arts
  • New and Blue (Seacourt print workshop)
  • Seacourt Print Workshop
  • Surface Arts
  • Belfast Print Workshop

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Artist
  • Artist in Residence
  • Printmaking Technician
  • Gallery Assistant
  • Assistant Technican
  • Self-employed trainer for charities


In this section

Foundation Studies is an exciting and intensive practice-based programme through which you can explore a range of art and design disciplines


This course will enable you to explore a wide range of disciplines through a practical and diagnostic experience in art and design. This course is full-time for one academic year from September to June and is delivered through a combination of lectures, practical demonstrations, workshop practice, studio critiques, seminars and individual tutorials. These are further supported with guest lectures and workshops, 'live' briefs with outside organisations, field trips and online materials to enhance your learning experience.

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Belfast campus

A globally recognised hub of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship

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About this course

In this section


In Semester 1 you will have a diagnostic experience of a range of two-dimensional and three-dimensional disciplines, which address some of the fundamentals of theory and practice. An experimental drawing programme will develop your observational skills, your ability to draw, to explore alternative means of drawing and to record visual information from a variety of sources. In addition a series of workshops will introduce you to the context of art & design in the world around you.

In Semester 2 students select from the array of specialisms in art, craft, design and media which are representative of undergraduate degree courses in art and design. At this point in time specialist members of staff tutor your interests and ability; independent learning, critical thinking, and resolutions are encouraged. Experimentation and development in your chosen discipline area and theoretical and contextual studies content is extended with particular emphasis on your chosen discipline area.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Find out more about placement awards


The course is full-time and students are expected to attend campus five days a week, 9:30am-4:30pm each day, except Wednesday which is 9:30am-1:15pm. Students will be advised of days when they are not expected on campus e.g. public holidays, assessment etc. These will be highlighted in the semester timetables issued at the start of the academic year, with any changes and additional information sent to students through Blackboard notification and/or email.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The requirement for this course is 2 'A' levels at grades CC.

Applied General Qualifications

Overall BTEC award profile with M, M profile.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Irish Leaving Certificate H4, H4, H5, H5, H5, to include English at Grade H6 or above or grade 04 or above (Ordinary Level) if not sitting at Higher Level.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is DDDDD.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CD.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile with minimum of 24 points to include 12 at higher level.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Access course (120 credits) with an overall mark of 55%.


GCSE Profile to include English Language at minimum grade C.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Submission of a satisfactory portfolio.

Teaching and learning assessment

Lectures will introduce the historical and contemporary practices and discourses in drawing across art and design disciplines. Discussing the origins, purpose, roles and effects of such practices to build students knowledge and understanding.

Seminars will provide opportunities for students to explore issues emerging from the lecture programme, to listen to contributions from peer group members, to articulate ideas and to reflect on emerging discussions.

Tutorials will give students advice and monitor student’s individual progress. During tutorials, key areas for enhancement will be identified and work strategies will be discussed.

Practical exercises will normally be embedded within workshop sessions and are conducted by module staff. These sessions provide students with clear guidelines on the usage of specific techniques, materials and processes.

Critiques will provide opportunities for students to reflect on their work, articulate carefully considered constructive criticism, and realise the potential of peer learning. Students will have the opportunity to present their work in progress, to reflect on and evaluate their work and to listen to peer views. There are three key elements of critiques: self-reflection, constructive criticism and peer learning.

Students will be directed to view all lecture notes, resources, workshop hand-outs and key tasks on Blackboard Learn.

Students will be expected to engage fully in all aspects of the programme.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Duncairn Arts Centre
  • Millennium Court Arts
  • New and Blue (Seacourt print workshop)
  • Seacourt Print Workshop
  • Surface Arts
  • Belfast Print Workshop

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Artist
  • Artist in Residence
  • Printmaking Technician
  • Gallery Assistant
  • Assistant Technican
  • Self-employed trainer for charities

Career options

The course maintains an excellent record of student progression onto degree courses. Since 2012, consistently over 95% of our students entered undergraduate programmes in Art and Design at Ulster University or at other tertiary institutions in the UK and Ireland.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to BA Hons Art and Design (Foundation) at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:

England, Scotland, Wales
and the Islands:

£9,250.00  Discounts available

£14,060.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Discounts for student from England, Scotland and Wales:

You have three discount options to choose from:

£2,000 discount on tuition fees. £1,000 discount on tuition fees

  • Plus £1,000 towards accommodation
  • Plus £500 towards travel

£1,000 discount on tuition fees

International Undergraduate Scholarship

  • Open to all new international (non-EU) entrants on the first year of a full-time undergraduate course delivered on one of our Northern Ireland campuses, commencing September 2018.


£2,000 scholarship applied as discount to your annual tuition fee.

  • Information on other scholarships available to international students

Other awards and prizes:

Information provided is for guidance only as scholarship details are subject to change - please refer to the source website for up-to-date and accurate information.

Additional mandatory costs

Students purchase materials for their own coursework.

Consumable workshop contribution of up to £100 is optional and contributes to materials used by students.

Field trips may incur additional costs.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Course Director: Howard Wright

T: +44 28 9536 7292


Student Services Centre

T: +44 (0)28 9536 7202


For more information visit

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Belfast School of Art


  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
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