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Creative Arts and Design Practice (FdA)

Foundation Degree Fd(A)

School of Arts

On this two-year course you will learn a broad range of creative, communicative, theoretical and technical processes that will allow you to operate and sustain a career within the creative arts sector. You will be able to develop your own practice whilst responding to live commissions and collaborative projects.

Our aim is to create a professional working environment, to boost your confidence and ensure that as one of our graduates you are ‘industry ready’ and prepared for the world of work.

The foundation degree in Creative Arts and Design Practice is available at Banbury and Bicester College and Swindon College, both of which are associate partner colleges of Oxford Brookes.

Available start dates

September 2017 / September 2018

Teaching location

Swindon College / Activate Learning - Banbury and Bicester College (Banbury Campus)

Course length

  • Full time: 2 years (equivalent to 3 days a week)

UCAS code

WW12 - Banbury and Bicester College
17C3 - Swindon College

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • The course is flexible, allowing you to explore a broad range of creative disciplines while supporting individual creative pathways.
  • Your tutors will deliver excellent, university-level teaching in a college environment - ensuring that you get the help and support you need to get the most from your studies.
  • You will have access to many of the learning, social and support facilities at Oxford Brookes University, as well as those of either Banbury and Bicester College or Swindon College.
  • You can develop your practice within the context of your existing workplace and gain practical skills which will enhance your career prospects within the creative industry.
  • You will have the opportunity to progress from this course onto a top-up year, enabling you to gain an honours degree.
To find out more about what it is like to study at an Oxford Brookes partner college, visit our partnership course pages.

The course is delivered in a series of modules, which are taught using a variety of techniques to suit all learning styles. They include:

  • practical sessions
  • workshop programmes
  • presentations
  • student-led seminars
  • peer feedback.

There is a range of work-related tasks and activities related specifically to aspects of Creative Arts and Design Practice within the workplace.

For example, you will be provided with opportunities to respond to external client briefs, including competition briefs such as Young Creative Network (YCN), both individually and as part of a team. This will enable you to appreciate the links between theory and practice, and develop your understanding of key creative arts-related issues within a vocational context. 

You will also be required to undertake a placement as part of the Work Related Practice module. 

Study modules

Please note as our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules available may vary from those listed here. All modules listed are compulsory.

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • Cultural and Contextual Studies
  • Mixed Media Practice
  • Processing Ideas
  • Professional Practice
  • Live Group Project

Year 2 (Level 5)

  • Critical Studies
  • Work Related Practice
  • Creative Competitions
  • Final Major Project

Work placements

This course will enable you to develop your practice within the context of your existing workplace, and/or generate and identify new contexts for yourself and your chosen area of study. You will be encouraged to gain work experience through modules such as Work Related Practice and Live Group Project. Work experience will normally be local or commutable and negotiated between yourself and the module leader, to best suit your individual needs and practice. It may take place as a series of short work related experiences or a longer block of work experience. You will be expected to cover any costs associated with work experience.

Field trips

Many artists and designers say that observing artefacts and exhibits first-hand is a seminal experience for them.

The course teams regard visiting museums and galleries and seeing current exhibitions as key to your contextual understanding of practical work. Both organised and self-initiated visits will be directly relevant in the Critical and Contextual Studies, Professional Practice and Work Related Practice modules. During the course we would expect to take at least one study trip usually to London per term. 

Your course tuition fee covers the cost of all mandatory field trips. The cost of an optional European field trip is not included in your course tuition fee, and a separate fee will apply. Please contact our Enquiry Centre (see right for details) if you would like more information about the field trip(s) on this course.

Attendance pattern

Full-time: 3 days a week

Additional costs

Art materials are not included in the course tuition fees. You need to provide your own art materials to allow you to complete your projects successfully.

Costs for projects can vary significantly dependent on your project and the materials used. If you are primarily working small scale with paint and brushes this is obviously less expensive than working with porcelain and copper.

The exact amount that you will need to budget for will depend upon the tools and projects that you choose; however, the following is a guide:

Year one

Prior to starting the programme:

Drawing materials - £50

Stationery/sketchbooks - £50

During the programme:

Study visits, travel & gallery entrance fees - £100

Additional materials & end of year show - £100

European Study visit may be in the region of - £400-500 

Year two

Study visits, travel & gallery entrance fees - £100

Printing is chargeable per A4 copy for black and white and colour. For specific charges please contact the relevant college.

Teaching and learning

Throughout the course, you will:

  • participate in lectures, seminars and workshops which will develop your knowledge and understanding of issues related to your role in the creative arts environment
  • work in groups to examine and discuss issues
  • compile portfolios
  • work with a wide range of practical resources, including appropriate computer hardware and software
  • undertake projects to benefit your employers and your own professional development.

Approach to assessment

We will give you two types of assessment: formative and summative.

Formative assessment

This is designed to provide you with feedback on your progress and inform you of your ongoing development. 

Formative assessments, such as in-class discussions, presentations and activities, do not form part of your grade. You will receive verbal and/or written feedback after the formative assessment, and it is very important that you reflect on both the feedback and your performance at formative stage.

Summative assessment

We will also give you summative feedback, designed to provide a measure of your achievement against the intended learning outcomes of the course. 

Summative marks help to indicate your performance for the whole module and will determine your progression on the course.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time off-campus fee: 2017/18: £7,000

International - full time off-campus fee : 2017/18: £8,000 2018/19: £8,200

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU & International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Undergraduate fee levels for 2018/19 have not yet been announced by the government and are therefore yet to be confirmed. Oxford Brookes University intends to continue to set fees at the maximum level permitted for new and returning Home/EU students.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Specific entry requirements

Students interested in applying for this course should normally have the following:


  • a minimum of two years’ relevant work experience and a current role in an appropriate workplace setting, along with a line manager’s letter of support and recommendation.


  • a minimum of one pass at A-level or 6-unit vocational A-level, plus three passes at GCSE (grades A–C), or O-level (grades A–C) normally including Mathematics and English Language
  • a National Certificate or Diploma or other equivalent qualifications, such as GNVQ/NVQ or other Level 3 vocational qualifications
  • Access to Art and Design, Foundation Art and Design.

Admission with credit
Applicants with prior certificated or experiential learning may be admitted with credit for up to a maximum of 120 credits at level 4.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

Selection process

All candidates must present a satisfactory portfolio of practical work at interview.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, you must also demonstrate that your level of English is acceptable, by achieving a score in a recognised test such as:

  • British Council IELTS, normally minimum level 6.0 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in the reading and writing components.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements

International and EU applications

Preparation courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help students meet the academic and English language entry requirements for their courses and also familiarise them with university life.

Find out more about the international foundation pathways we offer and our pre-sessional English language courses.

Country specific entry requirements

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information and local representatives who can help you to apply, please have a look at our country specific information pages.

How to apply

Full-time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

International applications

International students requiring a Tier 4 visa cannot study this course at Swindon College, but can apply to study it at our other partners.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Support for students studying Creative Arts and Design Practice (FdA)

Although this course is not taught at Oxford Brookes, you will have access to many of the university’s facilities and support services. This includes access to Brookes' libraries, Centre for Sport, Students' Union, and professional advice and information from Brookes’ Career and Employment Centre. For more information, visit our pages for students at partner colleges.

You may be eligible to access support in one or more of the following areas. Your eligibility will be  reviewed with your course tutors and a member of the study support team on your campus.

  • assistive software training
  • IT upskilling
  • essay planning and structure
  • proofreading and editing written work
  • bibliographies and referencing
  • time management and personal organisation
  • revision and exam tips
  • presentation techniques.

Specialist facilities

All campuses are equipped with a range of specialist teaching spaces including library, art studios, digital media suites and multidisciplinary workshop areas. The facilities and specialist equipment will provide you with a comprehensive and high quality learning experience.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

Upon successful completion of the course, you will have a number of opportunities for progression:

  • employment within creative industries
  • self-employment
  • further study by progressing onto the final year of an honours degree programme (see below).

Further study

If you successfully complete the foundation degree, you will have the opportunity to progress onto a one-year top-up course, enabling you to gain an honours degree.