Passionate about art and design but not sure which path to follow? This specially designed flexible course, taught by industry-based academics, will help you choose a visual arts pathway, paving the way to a BA degree at Middlesex. You will have the opportunity to experience different career directions from Animation, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration and Photography. After successfully completing the course, you are guaranteed entry on to one of our visual art BA courses.
With the support of teachers who are experts in their fields, by the end of this course you will have had the chance to explore and develop your visual arts skills, create an extensive portfolio, before exhibiting your work at the end of year show.
After successfully completing the course, you'll be ready to progress on to a full-time bachelor's degree such as BA Animation, BA Fine Art, BA Graphic Design, BA Illustration or BA Photography.
The Foundation Year in Visual Arts is a creative and inspiring multidisciplinary course designed to encourage you to explore different aspects of art and design.
It will build your confidence and help you identify your strengths and develops skills and techniques. The course explores different creative pathways and clarifies industry specialisms to help you choose a career path in the creative industries.
In the first part of the course, you'll experiment and explore techniques and develop skills within 3D Design, tackle specialist projects, then specialise and work towards your final portfolio of creative work and exhibition. Alongside this, you'll have the opportunity to explore London as an inspirational creative centre of design and visual arts through galleries and museums visits, and reflect on your experiences.
By joining us on this course, you'll have the opportunity to:
If you are interested in studying the Foundation Year in Visual Arts you must apply to one of our four-year degree courses. Please have a look at the How to apply tab for further information. Successful completion of the foundation year guarantees entry onto your chosen visual arts degree.
We offer the following courses:
|BA 3D for Games and Film with Foundation Year
|BA Animation with Foundation Year
|BA Fine Art with Foundation Year
|BA Graphic Design with Foundation Year
|BA Illustration with Foundation Year
|BA Photography with Foundation Year
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The foundation year is an intensive experience which will enhance your creative skills and introduce you to the broad and diverse world of visual arts and creative industries.
Your learning will focus on learning specialist techniques, developing a creative portfolio, and developing your knowledge and skills in research and writing.
We'll encourage you 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'll also interpret briefs with 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 and exhibition that will showcase your work and reflect your future professional direction.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
To find out more about the is course, please download the Foundation Year in Visual Arts specification (PDF)
We offer lots of support to help you while you're studying including financial advice, wellbeing, mental health, and disability support.
We'll support you if you have additional needs such as sensory impairment or dyslexia. And if you want to find out whether Middlesex is the right place for you before you apply, get in touch with our Disability and Dyslexia team.
Our specialist teams will support your mental health. We have free individual counselling sessions, workshops, support groups and useful guides.
We'll help you find work that fits around uni and your other commitments. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above.
You can apply for scholarships and bursaries and our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.
We have also reduced the costs of studying with free laptop loans, free learning resources and discounts to save money on everyday things. Check out our guide to student life on a budget.
Our careers and employability service, MDXworks will launch you into the world of work from the beginning of your course, with placements, projects and networking opportunities through our 1000+ links with industry and big-name employers in London and globally.
Our dedicated lifetime career support, like our business start-up support programme and funding for entrepreneurs, has been recognized with the following awards:
You’ll study with students from 122 countries who’ll hopefully become part of your global network. And after you graduate, we'll still support you through our alumni network to help you progress in your chosen career.
The fees below are for the 2024/25 academic year:
Part-time: £77 per taught credit
Full-time students: £16,600
Part-time students: £138 per taught credit
The following study tools are included in your fees:
To help make uni affordable, we do everything we can to support you including our:
1. UK fees: The university reserves the right to increase undergraduate tuition fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions. The tuition fees for part-time UK study are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.
2. International fees. Tuition fees are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.
Any annual increase in tuition fees as provided for above will be notified to students at the earliest opportunity in advance of the academic year to which any applicable inflationary rise may apply.
Visual Arts Foundation Year BA
I’m definitely glad I’ve done it - it was the right choice for me. I loved trying new equipment, learning printing techniques and using all the resources
here. They were what drew me here in the first place. I liked going on all the trips and seeing new things and it was good to have more than one teacher, with different specialisms and opinions. It helps you improve, view things differently and analyse art in new ways.
Lucy completed the foundation year and is now studying BA Graphic Design at Middlesex.
Visual Arts Foundation Year BA
I didn’t like writing, but doing the creative diary has opened my mind and helped me think outside of the box. Forcing myself to plan ahead has helped
me understand how to approach things. I’m really happy I’ve done this course as I started a new education in the UK, working in a foreign language. I’ve learned how to do different things, especially how you can fuse fine art and graphic art. The foundation course is a good start, a place to build your portfolio, experiment and explore.
Evaldas completed the foundation year and is now studying BA Graphic Design at Middlesex.
Visual Arts Foundation Year BA
I loved meeting new friends from different parts of the world. I also loved having the opportunity to experiment in different workshops, especially ones I’d never been to before, like the metal workshop. Going into the unknown has given me confidence in myself. I’m so glad I chose this course on all levels. It was my first time in London, the UK even and so I was really nervous about communication and language. It really prepares you for the first year though and now I’m all ready to study animation. I’ve seen and worked in the animation space I’ll be in next year and even tried ‘stop motion’.
Flavia completed the foundation year and is now studying BA Animation at Middlesex.
Visual Arts Foundation Year BA
I wish I had more time. My biggest regret about going back to America is leaving all these amazing facilities behind. I’d advise future students to make
the most of it, even if you think you’ve only got another three years. I’m a completely different person since doing this course and after being in London. In terms of development, I’ve developed hugely in working independently and thinking creatively. Before, when I tried to do something, I’d be stuck for inspiration and give up, reaching a standstill. In this artistic environment though, I’ve learned how self-exploration using techniques such as mind-mapping helps me explore more and open my mind to new ideas independently. I look at the world differently now. I have a new way of seeing. It’s cool working with students from other disciplines, seeing things from a new perspective, but also then helping other students to see things from my perspective.
Anya completed the foundation year and is continuing her studies in Florence, Italy.
We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.
Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.
Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.
At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.