Arts Foundation Year

Introduction

The Arts Foundation Year at Lincoln is the first interdisciplinary year of a four-year degree programme for a wide range of degree courses, including Animation and Visual Effects; Architecture; Creative Advertising; Fine Art; Graphic Design; Illustration; Interior Architecture and Design; Photography; and Product Design.

All students follow the same dynamic curriculum, expanding their knowledge of the creative industries through practice, workshops, research, and theory. Whilst students need to apply for a named degree they have the opportunity to explore alternative disciplines before they progress onto their degree. It is ideal for students who are not completely sure of their degree specialism, haven’t had the opportunity to study art and design at school, are returning to education, would benefit from time to gain confidence and adjust to degree level studies, or have achieved lower than expected grades.

Students become part of a thriving community, work with tutors from different disciplinary backgrounds, and be encouraged to experiment and develop their practical skills and critical thinking before transitioning into the first year of their specialist degree.

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Arts Foundation Year: Explained

Programme Leader, Heather Connelly, explains what an Arts Foundation Year is, how you learn, and what you can get excited for!

YouTube video for Arts Foundation Year: Explained

Programmes and Entry Requirements

The Arts Foundation Year is designed as a pathway to undergraduate study for those who are not sure which subject to study at degree level, may have had a break in education, or perhaps do not have the standard entry requirements for a degree. Our standard entry requirements for each degree programme can be found on the relevant course pages. Foundation Year requirements for these programmes are shown below:

Portfolios and Interviews

Applicants who may not meet the typical entry requirements for the Arts Foundation Year will be asked to submit a sample of their work as a portfolio to demonstrate their interests and direction. They will also need to undertake an informal interview to assess their suitability for the programme.

Course Title UCAS Code A Level Requirements
GCSE Requirements T Level Requirements BTEC Extended Diploma

Animation and Visual Effects with Arts Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

W271 64 points from 2 A Levels at grade C or above or equivalent qualification 3 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above including English Pass (D or E on the Core) MPP

Architecture with Arts Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

K103 64 points from 2 A Levels at grade C or above or equivalent qualification 3 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) above including English and Mathematics Pass (D or E on the Core) MPP

Creative Advertising with Arts Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

W215 64 points from 2 A Levels at grade C or above or equivalent qualification 3 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above including English Pass (D or E on the Core) MPP

Photography with Arts Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

W232 64 points from 2 A Levels at grade C or above or equivalent qualification 3 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above including English Pass (D or E on the Core) MPP

Fine Art with Arts Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

W103 64 points from 2 A Levels at grade C or above or equivalent qualification 3 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above including English Pass (D or E on the Core) MPP

Graphic Design with Arts Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

W292 64 points from 2 A Levels at grade C or above or equivalent qualification 3 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above including English Pass (D or E on the Core) MPP

Illustration with Arts Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

W224 64 points from 2 A Levels at grade C or above or equivalent qualification 3 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above including English Pass (D or E on the Core) MPP

Interior Architecture and Design with Arts Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

W252 64 points from 2 A Levels at grade C or above or equivalent qualification 3 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above including English Pass (D or E on the Core) MPP

Photography with Arts Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

W602 64 points from 2 A Levels at grade C or above or equivalent qualification 3 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above including English Pass (D or E on the Core) MPP

Product Design with Arts Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

W202 64 points from 2 A Levels at grade C or above or equivalent qualification 3 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above including English Pass (D or E on the Core) MPP

Our Students' Experience

What do our students think about their Arts Foundation Year? Kala shares their journey and experience on the course.

YouTube video for Our Students' Experience

How You Study

The Arts Foundation Year is taught in studios by highly qualified academics, creative practitioners, and professional support staff at the University. Students will be taught through a combination of studio-based projects, workshops, lectures, seminars, group and individual tutorials, and have access to specialist teaching facilities, equipment, and purpose-built workshops. The foundation year also provides an introduction to university student life and the opportunity to engage with an exciting range of extracurricular activities.

All students study the same four modules (three practical modules: Studio Practice 1, Studio Practice 2, and Advanced Studio Practice, alongside a Contextual Studies module that runs throughout the year with topics that intersect with studio projects). As students progress throughout the year, they can begin to work more independently and become more knowledgeable about their specialist subject to enable a smooth transition to their chosen degree programme. The Advanced Studio Practice module enables students to respond to a project with the aim of developing their personal creative direction.

Throughout this integrated programme, students will be working with and alongside specialist staff and students and be invited to participate in activities, talks, trips, and events run by the degree programmes wherever possible.

Modules

Studio Practice 1

This module is comprised of lots of short projects to introduce students to alternative processes, materials, techniques and approaches such as mark-making, colour, and photography. The emphasis is on material exploration and experimentation and the value of taking risks. Students are also introduced to the variety of specialist workshops available to them such as printmaking, casting, ceramics, and Photoshop. Towards the end of the module students are encouraged to develop more individual responses to briefs, creating work that reflects their specialist area.

Studio Practice 2

This module consists of a number of longer projects (one-two weeks) with a more conceptual focus. Students are expected to build upon ideas, skills, and processes used in each project and their Studio 1 module, building up a body of work that reflects their interest and emerging knowledge of their specialist area. Students begin to work with their specialist mentors during this phase which together with their Contextual Studies lectures and assignments provides an insight into the discipline that they will progress into.

Advanced Studio Practice

The Advanced Studio Practice module provides an opportunity to undertake a six-week extended project in response to a ‘typical specialist’ brief. It has been designed to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning, build upon previous work produced, and apply knowledge and skills learned during Arts Foundation Year. Each student is required to produce a body of work, clearly documenting their progress and decision making. Producing sketchbooks, worksheets, and blogs that demonstrate self-reflection, analysis, evaluation, and references to other artists, architects, and designers. Process and experimentation is valued above all else.

Contextual Studies Module

This year-long module will introduce students to some of the key ideas, theoretical concepts, practices, creative approaches, and a variety of historical and cultural contexts relevant to art, design, and architecture. Lectures, seminars, and workshops assist students in developing critical and reflective thinking skills and provide a grounding in academic and research skills. The lectures are linked directly to the topics and concepts being explore in the studio sessions and are designed to enhance studio work.

Students will be encouraged to research and expand their knowledge in relation to their specialist areas as they progress through this module. There are two assignments which build upon one another. Students have the opportunity to develop their research and academic skills in Semester A before undertaking a presentation and essay in Semester B. We understand that arts students can be unconfident in their academic and writing skills, but there is plenty of support available at the University and the module has been designed to scaffold you through the process. Students who connect their contextual studies research to their studio practice enjoy looking at work that interests them in depth and are able to develop and push their own ideas further in the studio. Staff delivering this module also teach in the studio and encourage this dialogic approach.

Special Features

As part of the course, students may have the opportunity to take part in activities and creative projects. Additionally, all students can access to talks from visiting speakers from a broad range of disciplines throughout the year, and students are advised to take advantage of hearing from practitioners from outside their chosen discipline.

Where possible, students can also take part in trips and events that are being held by the degree programmes that they have selected to progress onto upon completion of the Arts Foundation Year. 

Student Work Showcase

How You Are Assessed

As this course aims to develop a wide range of practical and intellectual skills, assessment is varied and includes individual and group practical work and portfolios, presentations, and academic essays. There are no formal end-of-year examinations. Throughout the degree, students are assessed through their production of practical and written work.

Students are required to pass all modules, attaining at least 50 per cent in their Advanced Studio Project module in order to progress onto their chosen degree programme.

Information for Architecture Students

Please note that all students studying Architecture on the Arts Foundation Year will, providing they fulfil progression requirements, be enrolled onto the BA (Hons) Architecture degree which follows the same curriculum as the professionally accredited BArch (Hons) Architecture degree.

Arts Foundation Year students who achieve an average of 55% or more during the first year of their degree programme will have the opportunity to transfer onto the BArch (Hons) Architecture. The BArch (Hons) Architecture curriculum differs from the BA (Hons) as it carries with it exemption from the part 1 professional examinations which are required to pursue a career as a registered architect. It is still possible to pursue a career as an architect after gaining a BA (Hons) Architecture in the UK by undertaking the RIBA part 1 examination. Further information about this can be found via the RIBA website: https://www.architecture.com/education-cpd-and-careers/studying-architecture/riba-studio

Students may also transfer onto BSc (Hons) Architectural Science and Technology with Arts Foundation Year, with agreement from degree staff, if this provides a more suitable choice.

The Arts Foundation Year provided an opportunity for me to return to formal education after a long break. The programme allowed me to build skills and knowledge in preparation for my degree, as well as discovering which onward course would suit me best. It was a challenging but worthwhile year!

Student Showcase | Virtual Tour

The end of year Arts Foundation Year Showcase allows the students to present their work alongside third year graduating degree students, which provides them with first-hand experience of curating and exhibiting their work to the public. Explore the fantastic work our Arts Foundation Year students have created by taking a 360 virtual tour of our 2023 showcase.

I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to do as a degree but this year has helped me to figure that out. Experimenting with a range of creative materials has helped me to explore a variety of challenging topics. The Arts Foundation Year has really helped me to get creative in ways I never have before.

Course Fees

2024/25 UK International
Full-time £9,250 per level* £TBC
Part-time £77.00 per credit point†  N/A
Placement (optional) Exempt Exempt
2023/24 UK International
Full-time £9,250 per level* £16,200 per level**
Part-time £77.00 per credit point†  N/A
Placement (optional) Exempt Exempt

You can find out more about fees and funding, including tuition fees and loans, scholarships, and cost of living support on our dedicated fees and funding pages.

Additional Costs

Students on the Arts Foundation programme will incur some additional costs for specialist art materials throughout the duration of their study, trips, exhibition fees entry fees, and printing. Students will need to provide their own drawing materials, paper, pencils, and sketchbooks. A materials list is provided at the beginning of the academic year. Students are not expected to buy everything immediately but build up an individual reserve of the sort of materials they will increasingly tend to use. Students can purchase art materials from the art shop located in the Nicola de la Haye building. Equipment and some specialist materials and printer credits are supplied by the University. Adobe Creative Suite access (which enables the production of digital material) is also provided.

Whilst our students are not expected to purchase a computer, as computer facilities are available on site, a laptop is beneficial to support independent practice and work away from the studio. Students are advised to purchase computers that fulfil the requirements of the degree programmes that they will progress onto – specifications can be provided on request.

Contact Us

University of Lincoln
Brayford Pool Campus
Lincoln
LN6 7TS

enquiries@lincoln.ac.uk

01522886644