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Please apply direct to the University for our Foundation Diploma in Art & Design using the links below.

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If you need any assistance completing the form please contact the Admissions team at

This intensive one year course is long established and nationally respected: the qualification was originally developed at the University in the 1950s.

Our Foundation Diploma foregrounds problem-solving, idea generation and critical thinking; you’ll be asked to put aside your preconceptions and take risks outside your comfort zone. You will learn through playful experimentation and will develop lateral thinking strategies in order to approach problems from new perspectives. The course gradually moves from wide ranging staff-led projects to a position of independence, culminating in a significant individual project in the final stage.

The ability to draw is one of an artist and designer’s most valuable tools - that is why drawing, in its many forms, underpins all elements of the course. Within this intensively creative and demanding environment you’ll be challenged to become more inventive and experimental. You will develop your analytical and critical faculties in relation to the work of contemporary artists and designers, and the work developed by your peers.

You will be taught by experienced staff, including practising artists and designers, who have extensive experience across a wide breadth of art and design disciplines. They will support you through the UCAS application process and help you find the most appropriate degree course.

Our students’ breadth of experience and innovative portfolios leads them to progress onto a range of prestigious, highly competitive degree courses including those at Leeds Arts University.

@laufoundationfineart Fine Art Pathway

@laufoundationft Fashion & Textiles Pathway

@laugraphiccomms Graphic Communication Pathway

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course details

Open Days

We understand that leaving school and going to University is a big step. We aim to give you all the information you need to make the right decision. 

Click here to find out more about our open days. 

What You'll Study

Stage One — You will be set a range of short projects that will develop your understanding of art and design ‘languages’ in a wide range of media. You will also develop your technical understanding across a range of processes.

Stage Two — Your work will begin to follow a specialist path focussing around the following areas: Graphic Communication (which may include graphic design, comic and concept art, illustration, animation, creative advertising, photography and filmmaking) Fine Art (may include drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, installation and performance), Fashion & Textiles (which may include fashion or costume design, fashion branding or textile design) or 3D Design (which may include product design, interior design, theatre design, design crafts and architecture). You will be encouraged to work with a wide range of media and engage in a series of one-to-one tutorials and group critiques.

Stage Three — This stage is a nine week project that is proposed, time managed and undertaken by you. The project forms the bulk of the work that you will exhibit in the End of Year Show. A programme of lectures, seminars, research and reading will introduce you to the breadth of art and design. You will develop an understanding of contemporary practice within your specialist pathway and will compile a critical journal; this will prepare you for degree-course interviews.

You’ll be based at the University’s Vernon Street site.

Specialist Resources

You’ll be based at the University’s Vernon Street site, with access to excellent facilities according to curriculum needs.

Entry Requirements

We will consider all applicants with the minimum entry requirements who apply by 26 January 2022 (the previous deadline of 15 January has been extended this year by UCAS). We look at your GCSE results and projected A level grades. You will be required to submit a maximum of six examples of work which show your interest and ability in art, design and/or technology.

For full entry requirements please visit

Please be advised that these include achievement of English and Maths GCSEs at grade 4/grade C or above.

Finance & Accommodation

Funding for the Foundation Diploma course

The Foundation Diploma course at Leeds Arts University is classed as further education and because of this students are not eligible to apply for the maintenance loan through Student Finance England. Those aged 19 and over, are eligible to apply for the Advanced Learner Loan to help pay for their tuition. For further information, see our Tuition Fees page here.

Accommodation for Foundation Diploma students

There is accommodation available for those attending the Foundation Diploma course at Leeds Arts University. If you are successful in your application and have accepted your offer, we will then send the accommodation information to you via email, which will contain an online form for completion. Upon the form's return the accommodation provider will be notified and at this point they will send out information regarding deposit payment and a contract for completion.

Where Next?

Our students go on to study art and design at degree level and then on to careers across a wide range of disciplines. The nature of the course means that many make lifelong friends who become important members of their creative network. The course has a ‘family’ ethos and former students come back and visit to share their knowledge and experience with current students.

Past Students

Prominent former students have included Danny Sangra, Sam Arthur, Georgina Starr, Damien Hirst, Thomas Houseago,  Marcus Harvey, Georgia Shaw, Jill Shaddock, Phil Proctor, Laura Carlin, Alex Farrar, Nicholas Wheatley, Lucy Clout and Si Scott. 

Key Information

Application Information

When completing your application you are required to set up an account on our Applicant Portal.

What to include in your personal statement?

Tell us little bit about yourself. What do you like making creatively? What are your hobbies? Tell us about your favourite artists/designers and how they influence you? What are your future aspirations? Why have you applied to Leeds Arts University.

What next?

Once you have set up your account and submitted your application, we will request a maximum of six examples of work that show your interest and ability in art, design and/or technology.

What images should I include with my application?

We are interested in seeing a few examples of your best work. These should represent what you have been working on at school, college or in your personal time. We love to see drawings and your ideas, but we are most interested in what you want to show us which may be photography, art, textiles, graphic design, or fashion. Each piece of work you submit may contain multiple images of your work, if you wish.

Our decision

The University will review your application and inform you of our decision as soon as possible through the Applicant Portal. Please regularly check the Portal and email account for any updates from us.

In order to guarantee that your application will be considered, it must reach the Admissions department by 26 January 2022 (the previous deadline of 15 January has been extended this year by UCAS). Applications received after 26 January 2022 will be considered according to availability.

Whilst we hope to get a decision to you within four weeks of receiving your application, please note that the current pandemic may affect our ability to meet that timeline.

1 Year
Study Mode
Full Time
Term Starts
Institution Name
Leeds Arts University
Validated By
University of the Arts, London


Foundation Diploma in Art & Design

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"We don’t know what the art and design of tomorrow will look like, but we know that it won’t look like the art and design of today.”
Andy Grayston, Course Leader
Foundation Diploma in Art & Design