FINE ART

FOUNDATION

Full Time: 1 year, 3 days per week

Part Time: 2 years, 2 days per week

WHY STUDY A FINE ART FOUNDATION AT THE ART ACADEMY?

The Academy’s Fine Art Foundation course is an internally awarded, proven route to the University or art school of your choice. Because we are not beholden to the syllabus of an exam board, we are able to focus on delivering a thoroughly useful programme suited to our students needs. This means our Foundation Course is completely different to others; we offer a highly individual, bespoke programme of study, where students learn skills and are given the freedom to explore a wide range of disciplines and approaches to fine art practice. However just like all other Foundation courses, our Foundation course is subject to external moderation to ensure that our standards are comparable to national benchmarks.

We believe the basics of a contemporary art practice come from learning technical, analytical and creative skills from a diverse range of professional artists. We have three 10-week terms a year and our students usually attend for full days (10am-5pm) rather than short lectures or seminars. We’ll offer you an unrivalled amount of teaching hours (3 days/ 18 hours per week, full time and 2 days/12 hours per week, part time), providing you with essential skills and techniques to enable you to fulfil your potential and embark on a future in the creative industries.

At the Academy you will choose a programme to best suit your interests and advance your artistic skills. From there you will be encouraged to develop your creativity as well as your conceptual and critical understanding. The Academy doesn’t place emphasis on a house style, or support one particular approach or discipline; you will be free to explore the genre as you choose, challenging its boundaries or working more strictly within them.

Central to our philosophy is that teaching and learning should be in small, supportive groups: our tutors get to know students individually, and students learn from both the tutor and from each other with tutor to student ratios not exceeding 1 to 15. Our teaching body is second to none. All our tutors are practising artists in their own right. They include prize-winning artists, artists with work in national collections and members of leading arts organisations. You will work in a dynamic, supportive and interdisciplinary environment and will finish the year with a comprehensive portfolio, honed art skills and a clear sense of artistic self, increasing your chances of securing a place at a sought after art school or University. The Academy’s Fine Art Foundation course is a well-recognised programme and our students are regularly accepted onto further study courses at top universities and art schools.

You also have the opportunity to apply for our Diploma programmes before general applications are accepted.

Students are also able to take advantage of free places on the Academy’s public courses (evening, weekend and short courses). These are available at the discretion of the Academy and subject to availability.*

Please see the Fine Art Foundation Student Handbook and Programme Handbook for more information.

*Free places are only available on those courses which have not achieved full enrolment. Places are allocated on a first come first serve basis and the Academy cannot guarantee any place.

Course Outline

The Fine Art Foundation is led by Lynn Dennison, Foundation Programme Leader. The course takes place at both Mermaid Court (165A Borough High Street, London, SE1 1HR) and our Newington site (155 Walworth Road, SE17 1RS).

Students have access to their personal dedicated studio space in the Foundation studio space at our Newington site (9am-9pm Monday to Thursday). This space is used for project work and self-directed study.

The programme comprises 3 main components:

  • Personal Project modules
  • Art Theory module
  • Elective Skills Workshop courses

Course Dates 2018/19

Autumn term – Monday 17th September to Friday 30th November (Half term – 22nd to 28th October)

Spring term – Monday 14th January to Friday 29th March (Half term – 18th to 24th February)

Summer term – Tuesday 23rd April to Monday 1st July

Course Dates 2019/20

Autumn term – Monday 9th September to Friday 29th November (Half term – 21st to 26th October)

Spring term – Monday 13th January to Friday 27th March (Half term – 17th to 22nd February)

Summer term – Tuesday 14th April to Monday 22nd June

Personal Project Modules

The Personal Project modules form the core of the course. You will develop work and critical skills in response to a series of practical briefs that encourage increasingly independent learning. These modules run throughout the entire programme with 1 each term.  Personal Project modules are 1 day a week, taught through a mixture of 1-2-1 tutorials, group critiques, workshops and lectures, with students undertaking mostly practical work in a studio.

Your tutors and visiting tutors ensures you gain knowledge and understanding of the wider contexts and critical discourses relating to your own emerging fine art practice. For each Personal Project module throughout the programme you will be expected to collate a portfolio of evidence for assessment, which includes preparatory work, research work and final pieces (where relevant). Students present their work to tutors and peers for assessment at the end of each term. You will be additionally set mini holiday briefs over the christmas and Easter breaks, to enable you to continue to develop your portfolio for university application and interview. Each of the Personal Project modules equates to 30% of your final Foundation Diploma grade.

Elective Skills Workshop Courses

These 1 day per week, term-long courses underpin the Personal Project modules and are where you will receive intensive training in the technical skills necessary for your chosen discipline(s). These courses cover a wide range of disciplines with technical progress developed in whatever discipline you choose to pursue. You can work across multiple disciplines or follow a path focusing on a single discipline, such as painting, sculpture, digital media, installation or printmaking, allowing you to tailor your learning to your specific interests.

The Elective Skills Workshop Courses are not subject to summative assessment. They are intended to give you the freedom and space to experiment with skills and approaches which will in from the development of your personal projects.

The days you attend the Academy will vary from term to term, depending on which Elective Skills Workshop Course you choose (please note, however, the day you attend the personal project will remain fixed throughout the year).

Art Theory Module

This module comprises of 6 sessions in terms 1 and 2 introducing a series of fundamental questions about what art is and how we can study it. What is ‘an artist’? What does it mean to view an artwork ‘in context’? How can we compare the work of artists from different cultures? Does art communicate? It is assessed through a visual annotation exercise, which requires you to use both descriptive and analytical skills. You will also be required to do a presentation in working with another student, comparing and contrasting two works of art. The Art Theory module contributes 10% of your final Foundation Diploma grade.

Course Termly Structure

Full time

As a full time student you will spend 3 tutored days a week studying at the Academy; 2 days per week on Elective Skills Workshops and 1 day a week working with tutors on your personal project, developing your portfolio and studying Art Theory. At least 1 further day per week should be spent developing your project work independently in your own dedicated studio space.

Autumn (September to December)

You will explore a range of mediums and ways of working. We want you to become confident in your expressive abilities and to discover the joy of experimentation. In this term you will cover 4 disciplines to give you an introductory awareness to different mediums; Installation and Sculpture, Drawing, Painting and Digital Media. These 4 disciplines are covered in a series of compulsory courses. Each course runs for 1 full day per week for 5 weeks. The 4 compulsory courses are:

  • Photo, Video and Digital
  • 3D
  • Painting
  • Drawing
Spring  (January to March)

You will be given the opportunity to select courses that reflect your interests and abilities and give you a greater understanding of different medias and techniques. You can gain skills in a range of specialist areas across 5 disciplines; painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking and digital media. You will receive targeted sessions on portfolio development with an expert tutor, preparing you for interviews.

Summer (April to July)

In the Summer term you will work towards your final exhibition as well as completing 2 final courses to complement and support the development of your work. Individual tutors and the Foundation Programme Leader will constantly monitor your progress and each module will be followed by a thorough critique and roundup session.

Part time

Year 1 – Autumn (September to December)

In this term you will cover 2 of the 4 compulsory disciplines. Each course runs for 1 full day per week for 5 weeks. The 2 compulsory courses are:

  • Painting
  • Drawing

1 day per week will be spent working on your personal project answering a open brief based on a visit to the Tate. This personal project will stretch into the first half of the second term.

Year 1 – Spring  (January to March)

In this term you will be given the opportunity to select a 1 day per week, 10 week course, that reflects your interests and abilities. You can gain skills in a range of specialist areas across 5 disciplines; painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking and digital media. 1 day per week will be spent working on your personal project, answering an open brief with emphasis on experimentation and continuous development. This personal project will begin half way through this term and span the third term.

Year 1 – Summer (April to July)

In this term you will be given the opportunity to select a 1 day a week, 10 week course, that reflects your interests and abilities. 1 day per week will be spent continuing the personal project begun in term 2.

Year 2 – Autumn (September to December)

If this term you will cover 2 of the 4 compulsory disciplines. Each course runs for 1 full day per week for 5 weeks. The 2 compulsory courses are:

  • Photo, Video and Digital
  • 3D

1 day per week will be spent working on portfolio building based on the first year’s personal projects, degree course applications and Art Theory. This will stretch into the first half of the second term.

Year 2 – Spring  (January to March)

In this term you will be given the opportunity to select a 1 day a week, 10 week course, that reflects your interests and abilities. 1 day per week will be spent working on preparing for your Graduate Show. Preparation will begin half way through this term and span the third term.

Year 2 – Summer (April to July)

In this term you will be given the opportunity to select a 1 day a week, 10 week course, that reflects your interests and abilities. 1 day per week will be spent continuing with preparations for your Graduate Show.

Tutor Contact Time

At the Academy, we believe a contemporary art practice is best developed by learning skills from professional artists so we invest unrivalled teaching time in evolving your practice.

The Academy will provide you with personal tutorial support and teach you practical techniques. This approach is unlike any other Fine Art Foundation course in the UK. The course, if studied full time, consists of 3 days a week tutored by a professional, practising artist and at least 1 self-led day spent developing your project work.

We aim to give you exposure to a wealth of disciplines to help you to discover which areas of art & design best suit your personality and abilities. As well as gaining technical skills, we’ll help you develop independent thought and confidence in your practice.

Course Tutors

The lead tutors on the Fine Art Foundation are:

Lynn Dennison is our Foundation Programme Leader. David Hodge is Art History & Theory Programme Leader, Alex Virji is our Foundation core tutor and, along with Lynn, helps students develop their personal projects while CJ Mahony helps students with their portfolio preparation.

The tutors you are taught by within the Elective Skills Workshop courses will depend upon the modules you undertake. You can view all our tutors here.

Student Story

“Having access to multiple studios and lecturers helped me strive as an artist and I was able to find the niche of work that I liked to create.”

“The Art Academy has provided me with a layer of confidence across all mediums. After finding out what I wanted to pursue the staff and team helped me to fulfill my personal goals and targets. You build a close relationship with your tutors as well as your peers, which helped me meet so many new people and pushed me to where I am today.

During my Elective Skills Workshop courses I learnt basic skills as well as complex techniques that I could later use in my own practice. Having access to multiple studios and lecturers helped me strive as an artist and I was able to find the niche of work that I liked to create. Plus I was creating in a… READ MORE

Thomas Hall-Thompson, Fine Art Foundation Student

Student Progression

The Fine Art Foundation is designed to help students prepare for their application and interview for their chosen path of study. You leave with a comprehensive portfolio, honed art skills and a clear sense of your artistic self.

The Foundation Programme leader and tutors will make sure that you have a clear understanding of your chosen subject area and which institutions you are best suited to. You will have mock interviews and receive help with the organisation and presentation of your portfolio.

Many students enjoy the unique approach of the Academy, choosing to stay on and continue their development on our BA Fine Art, but our students have also progressed to many top universities and art schools including:

Camberwell College of Arts, UAL, BA Fine Art

Chelsea College of Arts, UAL, BA Fine Art

Central St Martins, UAL, BA Fine Art, BA Architecture

Goldsmiths, BA Fine Art & History of Art

Glasgow School of Art, BA Fine Art

London College of Communication, UAL, BA Photography

Manchester Metropolitan University, BA Fine Art

The Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, BA Fine Art

The Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University, BA Fine Art

The University of Brighton, BA Fine Art Painting

The University of Edinburgh, BA Fine Art

The University of Westminster, BA Architecture, BA Graphic Design

Wimbledon College of Art, UAL, BA Fine Art

Fees & Funding

Fees 2019/2020

Fees must be paid in advance and can be paid yearly or termly (the latter incurring a 5% surcharge). We will consider payment options to help you split the cost, so please get in touch to discuss this with us.

Course  Per Year Per Term (incl 5% surcharge)
COURSE Full-time Foundation (UK/EU) PER YEAR £5,215 PER TERM £1,826
COURSE Part-time Foundation (UK/EU) PER YEAR £3,350 PER TERM £1,173

Please note, these are our 2019-2020 fees. Fees are subject to annual review and are likely to increase by due to inflation in the following academic years. (such increases will not exceed 5% annually).

Materials

Studying Fine Art at this level will incur costs in addition to fees, accommodation, travel and usual living expenses. Whilst some basic materials are provided for certain Elective Skills Workshop courses, you will be required to cover other costs such as those associated with the Graduate Show and materials required to successfully complete the course. We estimate that these costs will be between £300 and £700*, depending on materials and chosen disciplines.

The Academy has a small shop onsite, where you will be able to purchase some materials. Some guidance on where to purchase other specialist materials is in the student handbook and tutors can also advise you.

* Please be aware that this is an estimate for guidance only (based on survey results from previous students) and actual expenditure will vary from student to student, depending on the nature of the practical work they choose to make.

Trips and Visits 

It is expected that students studying at this level will visit galleries and exhibitions independently, as part of the development of the contextual knowledge and practice. Some components of the programme will suggest students visit relevant exhibitions. These are quite often free as they are in commercial galleries. Where there is an entry fee, whilst we encourage you to take these trips, we understand it is not always possible, so they are not compulsory nor essential. If you are not able to participate, the tutor will prepare an alternative itinerary of free museum and gallery visits that you can follow.

Deposit

As a small independent art school we are unable to hold places offered indefinitely. If your application is successful you will need to pay the deposit of £400 and return your signed contract to secure your place. The Deposit is in addition to the fees. Your deposit is returned after successful completion of the programme and removal of your Graduate Show installation.  Should you withdraw from the programme without successfully completing it we will retain your deposit. Should you fail to satisfactorily remove your Graduate Show installation, and the Academy incur costs to do so, we will retain your deposit.

Bursaries

We have a limited number of bursaries (typically 25%) available for students starting their Fine Art Diploma in September 2019. Applicants must have been offered a place before submitting a bursary application. The bursary application form can be found here. Please complete this form and email it to admissions@artacademy.org.uk. Bursaries are awarded based on need and merit. Bursary applicants will be informed of the decision after the application process is complete.

Funding 

As an independent institution our courses are not subject to public funding and as a result there is no exemption from fees for under 19 year olds or access to student loans.

Refunds 

Once you have returned the signed contract and deposit to secure your place you have a 14 day cooling off period to change your mind and cancel, at which point your full deposit will be refunded. Fees are due prior to the start of the programme. If you decide to cancel after the 14 day period and before the fees are due, you will not be eligible for a refund of your deposit. If you begin the course and decide to withdraw you will be liable for the tuition fees for the first term and will not be eligible for a refund of your deposit. If you decide to cancel your contract or withdraw at any point, you should do so in writing using the form provided.

Once enrolled or re-enrolled as a student, should you decide to withdraw from your programme, you are required to give the Academy a full term’s notice, informing us by the last teaching day of the previous term: the notice period cannot commence part way through a term. If it does, you will be liable to pay full fees for the term’s notice period.  Should you need to, you are able to suspend study for up to 12 months (please see our withdrawal and interruption of study policy).

Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information on Fees.

Entry Requirements

Ideally, you will have an A-Level in Fine Art (or equivalent) and have developed a portfolio that you can bring to your interview, but there are no pre-requisite qualifications to making an application to the Foundation.

On receiving an application, we will offer candidates who meet the entry requirements an interview.

Applicants will be evaluated against the following criteria:

●  The ability to demonstrate a range of fine art experience including an awareness of the cultural, historical and professional contexts of fine art and key artistic skills through an interview and portfolio review.

●  Satisfactory academic reference, if applicable.

●  Personal statement

Portfolio

You will be asked to bring to the interview a portfolio containing the following:

  • 10 pieces of original finished work, which show your technical ability in a range of media. Please bring photographs of 3D installation work or if some of your work is digital bring this on a device to show it.
  • 1 sketch book showing your own areas of interest, individual thought process or development process of finished work.
  • 1 example of your writing, critical study work or exploration of other artists.

If you do not have all of the above, please do not worry; contact the office and we can speak to you about alternatives.

English Language Requirements

All applicants are required to demonstrate an appropriate level of English Language competence to gain entry to the Academy. This can be through previous study in English (evidencing an approved English language qualification at Level 2, GCSE or equivalent). Where an applicant is unable to provide evidence of a relevant, formal English qualification, the Academy will require specific performance in written English tests at interview. Appropriate level of spoken English is assessed at interview.

Admissions Policy

The Academy operates a fair and transparent admissions process to ensure that the widest range of people (with the motivation and ability to study at the correct level) have an opportunity to benefit from the Fine Art education we provide. To find out more information please see the Academy’s Admissions policy and Criminal Convictions Policy and Procedure.

Academic Regulations and Policies

As a student of the Academy it is very important you are aware of our Academic Regulations and Policies. These apply to any of our students studying on any of our Degree and Pre-Degree programmes and outline the agreed procedures and protocols to ensure all students understand both expectations and support available to them. To find out more information please see our Academic Regulations and Policies page.

Open Days

If you are interested in studying at the Academy and would like to attend one of our Open Days, please fill in our Open Day form on our Open Day page.

Our Open Days offer an invaluable opportunity to gain in-depth information on our courses, learn about our dedicated and talented tutors and experience our vibrant and welcoming community.

Apply

We welcome applications from all enthusiastic candidates. Please email academiccourses@artacademy.org.uk or call +44 (0) 20 7407 6969 to discuss courses further or arrange a visit.

Application Process

Applicants who apply by 25th January will be interviewed by 15th February and will be informed of the outcome by 8th March. If successful, the offer must be accepted by 5th April.

After 25th January applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. This is subject to availability; we will not be receiving applications if the programme has reached capacity.

More information on the admissions process can be found on the Academy’s Admissions Policy.

Apply

You can apply for the Fine Art Foundation starting September 2019 online or by post. To apply online you must fill in our online application form. If you are applying via post you can download an application form here. This must be posted, along with at least 5 images of your work, to:

Admissions Team, The Art Academy, Mermaid Court, 165A Borough High Street, London SE1 1HR

FAQ

If you don’t find the answer to your question here please contact the Academic team on +44 (0) 20 7407 6969 or email academiccourses@artacademy.org.uk:

What qualifications do I need to apply for the Foundation?

We don’t ask for any particular qualifications. The course is carefully structured in such a way that even students who have pursued no formal art studies can both take part in and benefit. The application and interview process will help determine whether the course is right for you.

Is the Foundation course only for students immediately planning to go on to Higher Education?

No, although certain aspects of the course are aimed at preparing students for further study, the course would benefit anyone who wants to explore a wide range of fine art disciplines and learn about life as an artist.

Can I specialise in just one discipline?

The course is designed to cover a whole range of fine art disciplines, but you will have the possibility to steer your studies and projects in a particular direction and towards specific media, especially towards the end of the course when you may be developing a specialism.

How old must I be to apply for the Foundation course?

There is no upper age limit for applicants to the Academy, and all applications are considered on their merits. Students under the age of 18 are generally not admitted due to lack of experience and levels of ability, however, in exceptional circumstances the Academy will accept students under 18 (though not below the age of 16) for the Foundation Course, which is designed to enable progression onto undergraduate degrees.

All applicants, regardless of age will need to demonstrate they meet the specific entry criteria for the programme of study.

Are student loans available for the Foundation course?


Our Fine Art Foundation is internally accredited and awarded and is not subject to funding from the EFA or SFA. It is therefore a full cost course. Neither is it eligible for student support under the Student Loans Company scheme. The Academy can offer advice on possible sources of funding. Please contact us to discuss your options.

Do you take mature students for the Foundation course?

Yes, applications from mature students are welcomed.

What is the structure for paying fees for the Foundation course?

Fees can be paid yearly or termly – full details can be found on the ‘Fees & Funding’ section of the Fine Art Foundation webpage. The first term of year 1 must be paid for prior to the start the course. Furthermore there is a deposit required from all students enrolling on the course.

Is the Foundation course accredited?

Upon successful completion you will receive an in-house Foundation Diploma (instead of a conventional Btec or UAL qualification), which attests to your individual achievements. Our in house Foundation Diploma is not part of QCF (Qualifications and Credit Framework). This allows the course to focus on delivering a thoroughly useful programme suited to its students needs. The Academy’s Foundation course is a well-recognised programme and our students are regularly accepted onto further study courses at top universities. However just like all other Foundation courses, our Foundation course is subject to external moderation to ensure that our standards are comparable to national benchmarks.

© 2017 The Art Academy – London / Mermaid Court, 165A Borough High Street, London, SE1 1HR / Tel 020 7407 6969 / Reg. Charity No. 1078804 / Ltd. Company No. 3801729