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FoundationArt and Design Foundation Year

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Campus: Southampton City CentreView on Google Maps

Why study an art and design foundation year?

Explore your creativity on a design foundation year at Solent University. Develop your technical, creative and study skills before your starting design-related degree.

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    invested in a dedicated art and design school
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    in the top 20 best student cities (StudentCrowd, 2023)
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    out of 130 institutions for assessment and feedback (NSS 2023)
  • The foundation year provides all the creative, technical and study skills needed for entry onto a degree-level art, built environment, design, or fashion course.
  • Students are encouraged to work collaboratively in groups, reflecting a cross-discipline working ethos in industry.
  • The foundation year will help you establish a confident and self-directed approach to learning.
  • Many of the academic team on the foundation year also teach on the degree-level courses.

Course overview

The Art and Design Foundation Year begins with a five-week group project, enabling you to mix with like-minded peers and helping you to settle in quickly. The project also helps you decide which area you might like to follow at a later stage.

The following ten weeks are spent introducing you to the world of art, design, and fashion. This includes design history, vocabulary, methods, and academic foundation. This ten-week block also gives you the opportunity to learn and apply two-dimensional and three-dimensional visualisation techniques, giving you the tools required to conduct your final project.

The final project takes place in the last fifteen weeks of the course and is based around the specific discipline you will go on to study. The project is supported by tuition in visual presentation techniques, enabling you to communicate concepts, development processes, and final proposals. You’ll also receive instruction in verbal communication and presentation techniques, increasing your confidence in pitching design ideas.

Any questions?

Contact UK admissions

Email: 023 8201 5066

Contact international admissions

Email: +44 (0)23 8201 5066

Who this course is for

Solent’s Art and Design Foundation Year is perfectly suited to students who may not be from an art-, design- or fashion-related background, or whose qualifications do not meet the admissions requirements of their chosen undergraduate course. 

  • Foundation years are designed to help prepare you for undergraduate study and are ideal for gaining an introduction into your chosen subject area.
  • If you've been out of education for a while, a foundation year provides a supportive environment for returning to studying.
  • Foundation year students have access to the same facilities, and academic and student support as students on undergraduate degrees.

What you'll study

Find your degree

To get a complete list of modules you'll be studying in your undergraduate degree, click on the course you'll apply for in the 'Find your degree' section below.

Meet the team

The teaching team for the foundation year is made up of lecturers who also teach on the degree courses.

Entry requirements

48 UCAS tariff points

  • From A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at PPP or BTEC Diploma at MP, a T-Level Pass (D or E), or equivalent.
  • We will consider mature students who have not recently undertaken a formal course of study at A-level, or equivalent, but can demonstrate relevant work or voluntary experience, that's indicative of their ability to complete the course successfully.

For international and EU students

  • As a general guide, we look for qualifications that are equivalent to the British high school A-levels.
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
  • For further information about qualifications, please contact admissions.
Two architecture students looking at drawings in the studio

Contextual offers

Solent endeavours to offer learning opportunities to students from all backgrounds. When we receive and review an application, we take into consideration the context and personal circumstances of applicants when making a decision, which means our advertised entry tariff could be reduced.

Find out more about Solent's contextual offers

Language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component, or equivalent.


Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Find your degree

Our foundation years are designed to offer a broad range of academic skills alongside a taste of the wider industry before you start your chosen specialist undergraduate degree. Some degrees also include a year in industry, meaning you can gain valuable first-hand work experience with a year-long full-time work placement between the second and third years of your degree.

Applying is simple, just:

  • 1

    Find the undergraduate degree you’re interested in studying, and explore the course page – this is also where you’ll find the modules you will study throughout your degree.

  • 2

    Make sure you’ve selected a ‘foundation year’ (or foundation year and year in industry) variant; you’ll find this under ‘Course length’, near the top of the relevant course page.

  • 3

    Click the ‘Apply on UCAS’ button, and check the UCAS summary mentions ‘foundation year’ under ‘Study mode’.

And don’t worry if you discover a new skill or subject you love during your foundation year, it’s easy to switch to another linked degree!