International Foundation Art and Design

Foundation course

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Key facts

Start dates

September 2024 / September 2025



Course length

Full time: 1 Year


School of Arts


The International Art and Design Foundation Diploma is designed for international students who require additional language support while preparing for undergraduate study. English language skills are fully embedded into the programme to ensure maximum opportunity to prepare for a sustainable career in the creative industries.

We cover a wide range of creative approaches and processes to enable students to experience and understand the different disciplines in art and design available at the undergraduate level. Students are encouraged to take multidisciplinary approaches, exploring diverse practises in semester one, before specialising in semester two.

The course is closely connected to our well-established UAL Foundation Diploma in art and design. You should opt to take this course if you need to take a foundation course before starting undergraduate study in a creative course and have an English level of IELTS 5.0 or equivalent. See our Art and Design Foundation course if you have IELTS 6.0 or higher.


Students working on a art and design project on campus in a studio

How to apply

Entry requirements

Academic entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • Qualifications from your country
  • British A-Levels - EE
  • ​British AS Levels - CCC
  • International Baccalaureate - 20 points
  • IGCSE - 5 grade Cs/4s
  • 32 UCAS tariff points from 2 or more A levels or equivalent
  • Mature applicants will be considered on an individual basis

Selection process

Selection for this course also requires a portfolio of artwork that demonstrates the students’ interest in the subject.

English language requirements

UKVI-approved SELT IELTS 5.0 with 5.0 in all skills (test must be taken at an approved test centre).

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

This course is classed as a B1 level for visa purposes. To apply for a student visa you will need to meet the minimum B1 English language requirements.

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.

Application process

Apply directly to the university.

Apply now

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

International full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time

International full time

2024 / 25
International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Art Materials and Printing Costs: It is recommended that a budget of £5 per week for printing costs and about £5 a week to cover consumable art materials in addition to what is provided in order to extend your projects.

Portfolio Mounting: In order to prepare your portfolio for UCAS interviews you can expect to spend £45-100 on photography and mounting materials.

Learning and assessment

​​The School of Arts has a student-centred approach to teaching which is reflected in our studio teaching. This approach uses a variety of teaching and learning methods to suit the varying needs of both students and course content. Students will learn alongside the well-established UAL Art and Design Foundation situated within the school, but also have separate more bespoke lessons to maximise learning opportunities throughout the programme. English language is taught across the programme, supporting and intersecting with the practical modules, enabling students to contextualise their learning within the discipline of art and design. The teaching of the English language is half of a student’s curriculum in Semester 1, and a third of their time in Semester 2.

Each student’s learning is further supported by an assigned Academic Advisor who helps to ensure they reach their full potential on the course. In collaboration with the student and other lecturers, they ensure that students are suitably challenged according to their ability, and also that any additional needs are met.

Student carrying out a linocut on campus in a studio

Study modules

You will study

Compulsory modules

  • Communicating Practice

    This module provides students with an opportunity to synthesise learning from both semester one and concurrent semester two modules. Students identify personal interests and foster the development of their individual creative ‘voice’. Students continue to develop and practice their skills in English (listening, reading, writing and speaking) so that they can engage with a range of sources, and both articulate and apply their learning in practical modules. This facilitates progression to undergraduate study. The module is structured to encourage personal, creative and intellectual challenges to maximise potential as an independent learner.

  • Communication and Study Skills for Creative Careers

    This module will equip students with core skills to support their studies in other modules. Through developing academic literacy, digital literacy, communication, organisation and research skills students will become confident and independent learners. These skills will be developed through a programme of activities that supports a growing sense of self and the ability to articulate this using spoken and written English as students navigate new territories in art and design both across the course and the university.

  • Context in Practice

    This module allows students to develop their personal critical self-awareness and their ability to work in groups. Through working with a specific audience and/or community together, students integrate different approaches and methods in order to respond to a brief. This raises students’ awareness of their own personal qualities and capabilities and increases an understanding of the participatory practice.

  • Exploratory Practice

    The module introduces students to a broad range of practical studies, primarily aimed at developing their understanding of a range of processes and strategies within art and design. It includes the opportunity to experiment and play with different techniques and subject areas and ways of working. The module works in tandem with the Culture and Context and Communication and Study Skills for Creative Careers modules, offering the opportunity to combine and integrate learning within the first semester.

  • Specialist Practice

    This module allows students to specialise in an area of practice through a choice of specialist projects in order to build a portfolio of work from exploratory practice. The opportunity to work on a project/s through the lens of a particular discipline will support and inform the self-initiated project and support further progression.

  • Understanding Culture and Context

    The module aims to generate a greater understanding of cultural and contextual perspectives from around the world. Through a series of thematic lectures, it explores interdisciplinary knowledge, actively seeking a range of perspectives and questioning received ideas, important to the 21st-century learner.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

Lectures are designed to introduce students to concepts and issues in contemporary art and design. They build academic literacy by introducing information and key concepts, which underpin students’ subsequent theoretical understanding.

Group Tutorials/Critiques focus on a student’s work in a group setting. Reflective learning is encouraged and independent learning is supported through group tutorials scheduled into each module.

Individual Tutorials focus on the student's progress and support further independent learning.

Practical Classes and Workshops support all areas of teaching and learning with the emphasis being on the student to apply the knowledge and skills learnt during practical sessions to their independent projects. This includes a full range of workshops including 2D, 3D and digital media.

Independent Research and Development accounts for a significant amount of time that students will spend on research, development and production activities within their modules.

Field trips

Field trips to local and regional galleries and museums are scheduled into modules. Trips are contextualised by talks prior to the trip, which highlight issues to be considered by the student during the trip. Field trips help to familiarise students with modern and contemporary art and design and to consider the relevance of this to their own developing practice. The trips also enable students to relate their own practice to current and emerging practises, technologies and global trends with an aim to extend students’ awareness of the Active citizenship graduate attribute and to see original works in professional environments.


Assessment methods used on this course

Students are assessed through a combination of the following, which includes the fully integrated assessment of English language:

  • Practical portfolio of work
  • Writing a review or essay
  • Reflective and evaluative writing
  • Presentations, reading, listening and speaking assignments

All assessments are intended to determine the skills, abilities, understanding and knowledge of each of the individual students undertaking the assessment. Students actively participate in all practical assessments, learning through discussion with tutors.

Our Staff

Dr Alexandra Trott

Alexandra teaches topics on art theory and practice, covering Modern, Postmodern, and Contemporary art.

Read more about Alexandra


The international Foundation year is a progression year for undergraduate study at Oxford Brookes University. Students who complete the year will receive an International Foundation Diploma which is 120 credits at level 3. Students will be awarded a % grade where 40% or above is a Pass.

It is hoped that students will continue into one of the following programmes at undergraduate level 4 and students will be guaranteed an interview for these programmes:

  • BA Hons Fine Art
  • BA Hons Graphic Design
  • BA Hons Photography
  • BA Hons Media, Journalism and Publishing
  • BA Hons Urban Design
  • Following the interview, if the student is successful and an offer is made they will receive an offer based on achieving 55% overall on the programme.

Other subjects that students could progress to include BA Hons Architecture or BA Hons Interior Architecture and students will be offered a guaranteed interview for these programmes in line with those above. However, the % pass requirement following a successful interview will be 60% or higher.

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.