Art and Design Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

2024/25 Full-time Undergraduate course

Award:

Bachelor of Arts with Honours

Faculty:

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:

Belfast School of Art

Campus:

Belfast campus

UCAS code:

WW1F
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20

Start date:

September 2024

With this degree you could become:

  • Artist
  • Designer
  • Art Writing
  • Curating
  • Artist in Residence
  • Gallery Assistant
  • Printmaking Technician

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • The MAC
  • Arts Council of Northern Ireland
  • Arts Council of Ireland
  • Belfast Print Workshop
  • Seacourt Print Workshop
  • Breakthru Films
  • Warsaw
  • Trademark Films
  • London

Overview

Explore and engage with a wide range of art, design, and digital design areas in a creative learning environment.

Summary

Foundation Studies Art and Design is an exciting and intensive one year, practice-based programme that enables students to explore and engage with a wide range of art, design, and digital design discipline areas. The Foundation Art and Design experience builds confidence and supports students to make an informed decision about their specialism for undergraduate progression and future career pathway.

This studio-based programme is taught by core and specialist tutors. It is supported by contextual studies; so, as well as studio-based practice work across a range of discipline areas, written projects and academic tasks are also explored. The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, practical demonstrations, workshop practice, studio critiques, seminars and individual tutorials.

Final practice-based project work from Foundation Studies Art and Design is exhibited at the Belfast School of Art annual Degree Show in June.

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

About this course

About

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

SEMESTER ONE

AAD009 Drawing in Practice

This module introduces students to visual fundamentals with particular emphasis on drawing practices across art, design, and digital design. Students will be encouraged to develop their understanding and knowledge of such practices in order to develop their proficiency in communicating visually in a range of materials and approaches. It is the first module on the course and leads directly into the next module AAD010 Introducing Studio Practice.

AAD010 Introducing Studio Practice

This nine-week module provides the opportunity to explore the various workshop approaches and practices within Art, Design, and Digital Design discipline areas. This module is divided into three blocks of workshop areas where students explore each of these areas in rotation. This will allow students to make an informed choice for the second semester specialisms and future degree pathway. Students will also develop skills in contextual research and understanding and link these with studio practice areas.

SEMESTER TWO

AAD011 Creative Careers + Sustainable Futures

This module will enable students to gain an understanding of professional practice within the creative industries while importantly linking this with global citizenship and sustainable futures. It will allow students to build knowledge and awareness on how to develop into a responsible creative practitioner while building key transferrable skills in preparation for Level 04 study.

AAD012 Exploring Studio Practices

This twelve-week module offers students a choice of specialism to further their study from a range of practical projects that are representative of undergraduate degree programmes. Students enhance their practical skills with an emphasis on idea development and interpretation within their chosen specialism. Contextual research and writing is embedded into the workshop areas. In addition, students complete their final portfolio of work in preparation for progression to chosen degree pathway.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Attendance

This is a one-year full time course, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 9:30am —4:30pm and Wednesday 9:30am—12:30pm. The course is made up of four modules, two per semester and are either 20 credits or 40 credits. Each module credit equates to 10 effort hours. Attendance is studio-based with a specific timetable for each module where workshops, lectures and tutorials are scheduled. At other times, you will be expected to conduct independent studio practice and research.

Start dates

  • September 2024

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The course provides a rich learning environment to achieve the Learning Outcomes of the course. Teaching will be divided into lectures, tutorials (individual and group), critiques (reviews of work), workshop practice, demonstrations etc.

Workshops

Workshops are conducted by module staff. These sessions provide students with clear guidelines on the usage of specific techniques, materials and processes. These will provide opportunities for students to reflect on their work, articulate carefully considered criticism and realise the potential of peer-learning.

Lectures

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

Seminars

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

Tutorials (individual or group) will give students advice, feedback, and monitor progress. During tutorials key areas for enhancement will be identified and work strategies will be discussed.

Feedback and Assessment happens throughout both semesters with pass/fail in semester one and continuous assessment contributing to the overall final mark at the end of semester 2. Assessment is 100% coursework.

Core Foundation teaching staff deliver across Fine Art Painting, Design and Textiles with other tutors contributing from the undergraduate programmes across the school.

There is a showcase of student work at the end of the year as part of the Belfast School of Art, End of Year Graduate show.

Attendance and Independent Study

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

  • Attendance and Independent Study

    As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

    Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10, 20, or 40 credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate courses typically 15 or 30 credit modules.

    The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Teaching and learning activities will be in-person and/or online depending on the nature of the course. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

    Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

  • Assessment

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes.  You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

    Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification, the assessment timetable and the assessment brief. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised. The module pass mark for undergraduate courses is 40%. The module pass mark for postgraduate courses is 50%.

  • Calculation of the Final Award

    The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

    Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

    All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study.

    In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

    Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 60% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (19%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (22%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic and learning support staff (85%) are recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise.  The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff.  This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Belfast campus

Accommodation

High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.

Find out more - information about accommodation (Opens in a new window)  


Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

Find out more - information about student wellbeing (Opens in a new window)  

Standard 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.

A level

Grades CC

Applied General Qualifications

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma

Award profile of MPP

We will also accept smaller BTEC/OCR qualifications (i.e. Diploma or Extended Certificate / Introductory Diploma / Subsidiary Diploma) in combination with A Levels or other acceptable Level 3 qualifications.

To find out if the qualification you are applying with is a qualification we accept for entry, please check our Qualification Checker - https://www.ulster.ac.uk/study/entrance-requirements/equivalence

We will also continue to accept QCF versions of these qualifications although grades asked for may differ. Check what grades you will be asked for by comparing the requirements above with the information under QCF in the Applied General and Tech Level Qualifications section of our Entry Requirements - https://www.ulster.ac.uk/study/entrance-requirements/undergraduate-entry-requirements

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of five subjects (four of which must be at higher level) to include English at H6 if studied at Higher level or O4 if studied at Ordinary Level.

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency

Scottish Highers

Grades CDDD

Scottish Advanced Highers

Grades DD

International Baccalaureate

Overall profile is minimum 24 points (including 12 at higher level)

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall profile of 45% (120 credit Access Course) (NI Access Course)

Overall profile of 15 credits at Merit and 30 credits at Pass (60 credit Access Course) (GB Access Course)

GCSE

For full-time study, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass at Grade C/4 or above in English Language.

Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Communication will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE English.

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

Applicants to this course will be required to submit a portfolio.

Acceptable alternative qualifications include:

Pass HND with overall Pass to include 45 distinctions in Level 5 credits/units may be specified.

Pass HNC with overall Pass

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University (provided subject requirements as noted above are met).

Careers & opportunities

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • The MAC
  • Arts Council of Northern Ireland
  • Arts Council of Ireland
  • Belfast Print Workshop
  • Seacourt Print Workshop
  • Breakthru Films
  • Warsaw
  • Trademark Films
  • London

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • Artist
  • Designer
  • Art Writing
  • Curating
  • Artist in Residence
  • Gallery Assistant
  • Printmaking Technician

Career options

On successful completion of the course, students’ progress to Year 01 of their chosen undergraduate degree programme at Ulster University. They can also exit after this year with a Diploma in Foundation Studies Art and Design.

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2024

Fees and funding

Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and EU Settlement Status Fees

£4,750.00

England, Scotland, Wales and the Islands Fees

£9,250.00

International Fees

£16,320.00

Additional mandatory costs

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

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

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.

Contact

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.


For more information visit

Disclaimer

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.