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
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.
Following a multidisciplinary induction, you will explore the core visual arts subject areas in the first part of the programme, then choose to specialise 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, galleries and museums, 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.
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:
|Course Title||UCAS Code|
|BA 3D for Games and Film with Foundation Year||W616|
|BA Animation with Foundation Year||WF16|
|BA Fine Art with Foundation Year||WF10|
|BA Graphic Design with Foundation Year||WF25|
|BA Illustration with Foundation Year||WF2Y|
|BA Photography with Foundation Year||WF64|
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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.
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.
More information about this course
See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:
Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.
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. This is a full-time course so you will need to be available for teaching 5 days a week.
The facilities, studios and workshops at our £80 million purpose-built Art and Design School on campus in North London are recognised as among the best in country. With a wide range of specialist workshops, digital media, equipment, software and library facilities on-site you'll benefit from unique levels of access to both the latest forms of technology and traditional tools with expert support to help you develop your work.
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.