This course is validated by: University of the Arts London

Art and Design Foundation Diploma (UAL)

Course Information

  • Course Code: AD002
  • Duration: 1 academic year
  • Approved by: University of the Arts London
  • Study mode: Full Time

The Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, awarded by UAL (University of the Arts London) offers experience of art, design and media subjects, preparing you for work or higher education. The course is specifically designed to challenge higher-level learners, particularly students with a vocational Level 3 or A-Level profile. Blackburn College now have a UAL progression agreement in place, and are one of only 10 in the country to achieve this status. This means that all of our students will benefit from:

  • Industry specialised lecturers
  • Advice & guidance from a UAL representative
  • Help with mock interviews, specific to UAL criteria
  • UAL set assignments

All students who apply from to UAL courses from Blackburn College are guaranteed to be considered during the first stage of the application process for UAL courses. For some HE courses the first stage may take the form of a formal interview, portfolio review or online portfolio review for example

As part of the UAL agreement, Blackburn College tutors will also meet and share good practice with the other 9 UAL approved colleges around the country, to make sure our students are receiving the best learning experience possible. This Foundation Diploma is extremely well regarded across design education in the United Kingdom and abroad.

We have a first class record in placing talented students on the best degree course at institutions such as Ravensbourne, Chelsea School of Art & Design, Ruskin School at Cambridge, Leeds College of Art, Goldsmiths, London College of Communication, The Slade, Wimbledon, Camberwell College of Art, Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion. Many students on the programme also progress on to University Centre at Blackburn College.

What will I study?

The course consists of 7 units, where learners are encouraged to explore materials, media and ideas. Learners then build on techniques they have learnt to initiate their own research and final projects. Pathways include moving image and audio production, photography, graphics and visual communication, fashion and textiles, fine art and three dimensional design.

Entry Requirements

1 A-Level or a BTEC qualification and 4 GCSEs at Grade C/4 or completion of a Level 3 course

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is developmental and continuous. Feedback is given to learners so they know exactly how they are progressing. In the final stages of the course learners initiate a final project, working with the staff team to do so, which is internally assessed and externally moderated. It is against this final project that the learners are assessed for their final grade, either pass, merit or distinction.

What can I do next?

All students of this programme are guaranteed an interview with one of the University of the Arts London (UAL) courses. This course provides an excellent springboard to some of the best creative arts and media degree courses in the world.

In 2013, 43% of our students achieved distinction against the national average of 19%, and our success rate in placing learners on top degree courses is one of the highest in the country. The Foundation Diploma is also mapped to a range of art, design and media related degree courses at the University Centre at Blackburn College. Some learners also progress directly to employment within the creative industries.

Many students choose to progress on to programmes at University Centre at Blackburn College which allow you to follow a range of specialisms. These include:

  • studying Graphic Communication -
  • studying Illustration & Animation -
  • studying Photography -
  • studying Textiles -
  • studying Interior Design -
  • studying Fashion -
  • studying Fine Art (Integrated Media) -

These courses are all validated by UK Top 10 Lancaster University. 

Your Study Programme

View Study Programme Information

Career Options

Advertising Art Director

Art directors or 'creatives' design the visuals for eye-catching advertising campaigns. If you have imagination and a flair for art and design there could be opportunities for you in this career.

You’ll need to be a good communicator and work well in a team. Resilience will help you deal with the feedback you get on your work and give you the ability to work to tight deadlines.

Your creativity and ability in art and design are the most important things to many employers. However, most new art directors have studied design and have an HND or degree in graphic design, advertising design, illustration or fine art.?

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Fashion Designer

Fashion designers design clothing and fashion ranges. As a fashion designer, you could work in high fashion or designer ready-to-wear fashion. You could also work in high street fashion. You would often specialise in particular types of clothing - for example in men’s, children’s or sportswear. If you love being creative and you are passionate about fashion, this job could be perfect for you.

To be a fashion designer, you will need to have a good eye for colour and shape. You’ll need skills like pattern cutting and sewing. You’ll also need to able to spot trends.

You will usually need a relevant degree to do this job. A course that teaches both design and technical skills will give you the knowledge you need to work in the industry.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire


If you are artistic and love taking photographs, this could be a perfect career for you. As a photographer you would use cameras to take still photographs. You would use your technical skills and artistic ideas to take images of people and products. You will also take pictures of places or events.

A photographer is usually a creative person. You’ll also need to be able to make people feel relaxed.

Most professional photographers take a college or university course to develop their technical skills.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Textiles Production Manager

Textiles production managers are in charge of all stages of the textiles manufacturing process. They make sure that the process runs smoothly, is profitable, and delivers products to the right standard and on time.

If you’re interested in fabrics, and improving quality while reducing waste, this job could be ideal for you.

In this job you’ll need to be a strong leader with a good understanding of modern manufacturing methods.

To get into this job you’ll usually need to have a foundation degree or degree, although you may be able to work your way up while taking further qualifications or an Apprenticeship.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Ceramics Designer-maker

As a ceramics designer-maker you will design and create a range of products made from clay. These can include tableware, kitchenware, gifts and decorative items. If you have a creative side and enjoy working with clay in a practical way then this could be a job you would enjoy.

You will need to be able to explain ideas through sketches or computer images and turn these into items. Good communication skills will help you explain your ideas to customers and clients.

Many new ceramics designer-makers have a diploma or a degree in a relevant subject such as 3D design, ceramics or ceramic design.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

TV Or Film Camera Operator

Camera operators record images for film, television, commercials and music videos. They set up equipment, plan shots and sort out technical and lighting issues.

If you have good practical skills, can visualise shots and have a keen interest in the moving image and photography, this could be a great job for you.

You would usually get into this type of work by becoming an assistant and learning your craft on the job. College courses can also be a good way to get some of the technical skills you'll need.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

TV Or Film Assistant Director

Assistant directors, known as ADs, support the director by organising and planning everything on set, leaving them free to concentrate on the creative angle.

You will need to be well organised, a good motivator and able to think on your feet.

Practical experience on set is essential to become an AD. You can gain this by starting out as a ‘runner’, for example, or by doing a film course that includes work placements.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Fine Artist

Fine artists create original works of art using a variety of methods such as painting, drawing, sculpture, engraving, printmaking or media like computer graphics. If you are a very creative person with original ideas, and you have talent in one or more artistic areas, this job could be for you.

You’ll need a good appreciation of colour and shape. You will also need self-motivation to work alone and the business skills to promote your own work.

Most fine artists have training in art and design, and qualifications like an HND, degree or a postgraduate award. If you are exceptionally talented and can produce work that there is a demand for, you may be able to sell your work without any formal qualifications.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Art Valuer

Art valuers give advice on how much a piece of art or a collection of art is worth. This might be for people who want to sell, buy or insure artworks. As a valuer, you might value paintings, sculptures, jewellery, china, books and furniture.

To be an art valuer, you'll need excellent communication skills. You'll need to have an eye for detail and good research skills. If you have a passion for history and enjoy working with people, this role could be for you.

You can become an art valuer by starting as an assistant and learning through experience and part-time study. You can also complete a degree in a related subject or join a graduate training scheme with a large auction house.?

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Art Gallery Curator

Art gallery curators manage collections of paintings and objects. These are usually of artistic and historical interest.

To work in an art gallery you should have a keen interest in art. You should have good organisational skills. You’ll also need strong communication and people skills.

To do this job you would usually need a degree in a relevant subject such as art or art history.?

Job Opportunites in Lancashire


You will be based in the new £18.3 million Beacon Centre. In order for you to flourish in the creative field we have invested in brand new facilities such as Apple Mac design suites, spacious studios, industrial sewing machines, screen printing and weaving equipment and our very own in house photography studio and infinity curve.

Enrichment & Employability

We are proud to be one of only 10 colleges in the country to have UAL accredited courses and a progression agreement in place.

We offer students the opportunity to experience a diverse and exciting visiting lecturer programme that includes Lecturers from Chelsea School of Art and the Saatchi Gallery.

We also help many students find relevant part time work to enhance your chance of employment and give you a taste of working in a creative career. 

Our students continually engage with real live projects from local initiatives for Child Action Northwest through to working with national bodies such as The Tate, The Saatchi Gallery and having work published in magazines or shown on TV and at Film Festivals.

You will also have the opportunity to go on residentials to gain inspiration, visit universities and take part in critical artist’s discussions.