On the Visual Arts Foundation Year at Middlesex, you will be taught by friendly and enthusiastic tutors; each with their own subject specialism and networks in the creative industries. You will enjoy working using some of the country’s leading facilities for visual arts and being part of an exciting academic community.
You will gain a broad creative experience and be guided and encouraged across all disciplines to help you to progress and succeed, and to unlock your creative potential. You will explore creative London with our expert contextual team and you will be supported throughout the course by a team of highly skilled technicians in the well equipped workshop areas.
Bev Speight, Programme Leader
This specially designed course enables you to make an informed choice about which visual arts subject you wish to study at degree level, giving successful students the opportunity for guaranteed progression onto a named BA programme at Middlesex University
Why study the Foundation Year in Visual Arts at Middlesex University*?
The Foundation Year in Visual Arts is a creative and inspiring multidisciplinary course encouraging students to explore different aspects of art and design. It builds confidence, helps students identify their strengths and develops skills and techniques. The course offers an experimental diagnostic approach exploring different creative pathways and clarifies an industry specialism to help students choose possible career paths in the creative industries.
These carefully compiled modules act as a foundation year for a number of BA programmes within the Department of Visual Arts: Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Animation, 3D Animation and Games and Photography to form a complete 4 year course in each specialism.The foundation year has been specially designed to enable students to make an informed choice about which art and design subject they wish to study at degree level; giving successful students the opportunity for guaranteed progression onto a named BA programme at Middlesex University.
Following a multidisciplinary induction, you will explore the core visual arts subject areas in the first part of the programme, then choose to specialize to work towards your final portfolio of creative work and exhibition. Alongside this you will explore London as a creative centre of visual arts through, gallery, studio and event visits, and reflect on your experiences.
A key feature of the curriculum is that students benefit from regular formative feedback and assessment. This process is designed to allow you the freedom to experiment, explore and investigate new, different and challenging ways of working.
An experienced and supportive team of tutors and technicians who also work in the creative industries
A specialist observational and life drawing team offering traditional, digital, experimental and technical approaches to drawing
A contextual studies team with a diverse background of knowledge covering different art, design and cultural areas
State-of-the-art workshops in our £80 million centre, the Grove, so almost everything can be made in-house and you have access to a wide range of art and design facilities to help realise your ideas
The opportunity to build an exciting and varied portfolio of artwork for progression
A final exhibition at Middlesex University, teaching the process of preparing and displaying artworks for exhibition.
*Please note that this course is subject to validation
What will you study on the Foundation Year in Visual Arts?
The foundation year is an intensive and diagnostic experience which will enhance your creative skills and will introduce you to the broad and diverse world of visual arts and creative industries.
Your learning will focus on making and learning specialist techniques, developing a creative portfolio, and developing your knowledge and skills in research and writing. You will be encouraged to trial your own processes and make your own decisions, to enable you to practice your craft and develop your own independent thinking and aesthetic style. You will also interpret briefs as part of group work and individual research study, allowing you to develop your creative identity for your portfolio.
At the end of your foundation year, you will have developed a strong portfolio that will showcase your work and reflect your future professional direction.
You will be taught by experienced artists and designers who work in studios, creative and advertising agencies across London – allowing them to offer a current, fresh knowledge and insight. Our large team of technicians and studio demonstrators will be supporting you and guide you through each process as you explore your creativity.
This module aims to encourage you to explore and experiment with new techniques and media through practical workshop inductions. You will develop and expand your research skills and realise it’s importance and how it informs and enriches your visual arts practice by making full use of the resource facilities available to you at Middlesex. You will acquire a breadth of practical and research skills and abilities in the development of ideas.
Stage 2: Creative Specialism (30 credits)
The module will develop experimentation and encourage exploration to widen and inspire your creative practice and conceptual thinking. You will gain valuable knowledge from master class sessions and gain an insight into the creative industries, to clarify and develop a greater understanding of the different visual art specialisms and begin to identify future career opportunities and directions after study.This module aims to build your subject knowledge through experimentation and increasing awareness to a level to be able to make a visual art subject choice.
Stage 3: Major Project Portfolio and Exhibition (30 credits)
This module aims to offer you the opportunity to develop a major project and to build a substantial portfolio of work in a specific design subject area. You will gain confidence in independent working. The module will include formative assessment as a key part of the learning process in the critical evaluation of your own work and that of your peers. You will develop self-reflection, research and study skills and promote self-learning to build confidence that enables you to communicate and professionally present your ideas. You will also learn how to present artwork in the best ways by making, selecting and displaying work successfully for exhibition.
Creative London (30 credits)
An introduction to a broad and exciting selection of London’s finest art galleries and museums covering all the specialist areas. The contextual studies team will share their expert knowledge as part of informative field trips and talks. These experiences will provide basic knowledge of contexts and issues that will inform and inspire your developing practice. There is a focus on developing confidence in using academic English language skills in the specific context of the creative industries. You will be asked to produce a reflective visual diary including 1500 words.
This module runs parallel with the above modules finishing in Week 19.
How will the Foundation Year in Visual Arts be taught?
During your foundation year you will be taught through regular workshops and instructor-led projects that will quickly help develop the skills and techniques required to progress through your studies. You will take part in group seminars, sharing ideas and collaborating with other students as well as receiving weekly one-to-one tutorials from our specialist staff, allowing you to benefit from their expertise and receive mentorship and guidance.
What are the entry requirements for the Foundation Year in Visual Arts?
We welcome applicants who can demonstrate appropriate academic achievement through the quality of their portfolio
Students should, normally, hold Level 3 qualifications or have the potential of achieving in the top grade of their current course. It is helpful if students have studied in the area of relevant Art and Design subjects
We consider all applications on their individual merit; successful applicants should demonstrate suitability, dedication and fitness for their chosen programme of study. All candidates are asked to submit evidence of previous production and creative practice, normally presented as a portfolio. As far as possible, students are invited to attend for an interview and will be offered the opportunity to view our specialist facilities and meet appropriate staff and students.
Portfolio of drawings, visual research, design thinking and independent creative projects, which demonstrate evidence of previous production and creative practice
Applications from mature candidates without formal qualifications are welcomed provided they can demonstrate appropriate levels of relevant ability and experience
Please check our general entry requirements page for other qualifications accepted by Middlesex University
UK/EU and International students are eligible to apply for this course.
International Entry Requirements
We accept the equivalent of the above from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the requirements from your country, visit your country support page. If you're unsure about the suitability of your qualifications, please contact your nearest regional office for support.
English language requirements for international students
All applicants should normally hold a level C GCSE pass or equivalent in English as a minimum expectation. Overseas candidates will need to have achieved IELTS 5.5 or above demonstrating achievements in written and spoken English and comprehension. to see the full list of accepted English tests and qualifications. If you don't meet our minimum English language requirements, we offer an intensive Pre-Sessional English course.
Portfolio and Interview
The application is the just the first step in our selection process. We also invite you to an interview and review your portfolio of art and design work.
The interview itself usually lasts about 15 minutes, but please allow an hour as this usually includes a tour of our facilities. We use the interview to allow us to find out more about you, to better understand your aspirations and interests and for you to learn more about us. The interview will explore why you want to study the subject with us; there will be no trick questions, so don't be too nervous.