Foundation Degree (FdA) Art and Design

Key Details

  • Available at:
    Parc Menai
  • Course type:
    Degrees (Higher Education)
  • Study Mode:
    Part-time, Full-time
  • Level:
  • Programme Area:
    Art and Design and Photography
  • Course Length:

    Full-time: 2 years (3 days per week); Part-time: 4 years OR modular

  • UCAS Codes:
  • Awarding Body:
    Bangor University
  • Bilingual:

Course Description

Do you want a career within the broad disciplines of fine art, applied art and design? Are you an aspiring artist or designer, looking to develop your creative practice?

Whether you are focused on your career or on your passion, this Foundation Degree gives you the ideal opportunity to develop your artistic knowledge, confidence and creativity. You will gain a valuable Higher Education qualification, and will have the option of progressing onto Level 6 to complete an Honours degree.

Additional information

More detailed information on Modules is to be found in the ‘Additional Campus/Course Information’ section.


Visit the Financial Support and Finance page for more information.

Additional costs may be associated with the following:

  • All interviewees are informed of the £100 studio fee per annum and are expected to participate in study visits to galleries, museums and other cultural venues and should budget approximately £250 for this.

More detailed information on other costs associated with your course and work placements/work experience (if applicable) will be outlined in the programme validation document and explained to you at your interview.

Start date


As part of the application process, you will be asked to attend an interview to give you the opportunity to discuss the course.

Please bring a sample of your portfolio to the interview. Places on the programme are subject to interview and portfolio.

Entry Criteria

Language requirements:

  • GCSE in Welsh or English as first language, grade C/4 or above
  • Any degrees, diplomas or certificates eligible should have been taught and assessed in Welsh or English or
  • For overseas applicants, for entry onto Level 4, English fluency to IELTS 5.5 or higher (with no element less than 5.0)
  • For overseas applicants, for entry onto Levels 5 or above, English fluency to IELTS 6.0 or higher (with no element less than 5.5)

Typical academic requirements:

  • A minimum of 64 UCAS tariff points in a main level 3 qualification, usually gaining a pass in one relevant subject which could include: A Levels, BTEC, Foundation Studies, International Baccalaureate, ACCESS to HE; or NVQ Level 3; many additional qualifications from Wales, England and Scotland are accepted to support the UCAS points in addition to the relevant subject, such as the Welsh Baccalaureate.
  • GCSE Mathematics/Numeracy, grade C/4 or above, or Key/Essential Skill equivalent level. For applicants without these qualifications, evidence of numeracy skills at a suitable level to meet the demands of the programme successfully, will need to be demonstrated.

Equivalent international qualifications are acceptable.

For individuals who do not meet the above academic requirements, we will consider a wide range of non-standard or professional qualifications and experience, through the submission of a portfolio for accreditation of prior learning (APL/APEL/RPEL), in accordance with GLLM regulations and policies.

All candidates will be interviewed and asked to display a portfolio of work. Overseas applicants will be able to submit an electronic portfolio.

If your qualifications do not meet the entry requirements listed above, we would still encourage you to apply for the course you're interested in, as many of our courses will consider learners based on their previous work and skills experience rather than their qualifications.


The course is delivered through a blend of the following:

  • Seminars
  • Critiques
  • Tutorials
  • Visiting speakers and lecturers

You will work in purpose-built facilities, supervised by highly qualified tutors, many of whom are practitioners. Throughout the course, your Personal Tutor will review your progress, help plan future assignment choices and discuss your portfolio development.

Students are responsible for organising their own work experience if it is a requirement on their programme, and they will be supported by the course team.


  • Full-time: 2 years, 3 days per week (typically 9.00 am - 4.00 pm)​
  • Part-time: 4 years, 1 days per week (typically 9.00 am - 4.00 pm)


For specific course enquiries, please contact:

Miranda Meilleur (Programme Leader):

Sera Williams (Administration):

For general enquiries about our degrees, please contact:


Formative Assessment takes the form of:

  • Individual/Group Tutorials
  • Self-Assessment
  • Peer Assessment
  • Group Critique

Summative assessments take the form of:

  • Portfolio
  • Reflective Journal
  • Reflective Blog
  • Presentation
  • Induction Project
  • Sketchbook
  • Final piece
  • Research sketchbook
  • Evaluation
  • Digital portfolio
  • Written proposals
  • Video
  • Self-published book


Where relevant, assessments will be marked and returned to students with constructive and developmental feedback. Effective feedback combines information which enables students to understand the strengths and limitations of their past performance, and information which enables them to recognise how future performance can be improved. Students will be provided with feedback in a timely manner and this feedback will justify how the grade has been awarded. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on the feedback given and identify their strengths, things they found challenging and areas for development that they will feed forward to their next assessment. Feedback will include linking evidence to assessment criteria to demonstrate how the student will have met the learning outcomes.


Completion of this course allows you to progress in a number of ways, academically and professionally. Many students choose to progress onto Level 6 to complete an Honours degree. This option is available at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai's Parc Menai campus, where candidates can apply for a place on the BA (Hons) Fine Art degree, which is awarded by Bangor University.

In terms of creative and professional progression, the course can lead to a variety of routes. Apart from working independently as a designer or artist, you will have employment options across the creative industries: for example, in advertising, web design, TV, film, publishing, illustration, animation or product design. Other possible career opportunities include education, gallery or museum work, theatre or festival related work, archive work or work within the print industry.

Former students have gone on to make a major contribution to the artistic and creative life of the region through exhibitions, employment and collaborative connections.

Campus Information Parc Menai

Course description

The Foundation Degree Art and Design (FdA) is a vocational two-year Higher Education course which offers learners the opportunity to explore a broad range of Art and Design principles and practice through a diverse range of learning experiences including specialist workshops, seminars, tutorials and study trips.

In the second year learners focus on a specialist area from within Graphic Communication, Applied Arts or Fine Art. Learners develop associated skills in their chosen specialist area, building a portfolio of work. The course is run with our partner Bangor University and successful learners graduate with an FdA awarded by Bangor University.

A key feature of the course is the focus on Creative Futures, entrepreneurship and industry placement. This seeks to reinforce theory and practical work within the wider context of creative industries. Industry links are an important part of the course with learners working on live briefs delivered by specialists in a bilingual, creative and supportive environment.

Unit information

Art and Design encompasses a massive range of specialisms ranging from ceramics to web design, for example.

On this course you will study a range of Art and Design applications which will give you practical skills within the broad areas of Visual Communication, Graphic Design, Applied Design and Fine Art. Working with specialist staff within subject areas, students develop a portfolio of work suitable for progression within education or industry.

Year 1 (Level 4)

For every 10 credits, students should engage with around 100 notional hours of learning. This will be approximately 30% direct learning contact 70% independent student learning.

Contextualising Art and Design 1 (20 credits, compulsory)

This module aims to introduce learners to the historical and cultural nature of Art and Design through a lecture programme encompassing Fine Art, Visual Communication and Applied Arts. Linking theory, practice and. contextual thinking is encouraged through a focus on significant issues and objects in Modern Art and Design. (Reflective Journal 15%, Reflexive Blog 15%, Presentation 30%, Essay 40%)

Visual Language (20 credits, compulsory)

In this module, students explore approaches to observational drawing materials, processes and techniques in Art and Design. (Reflexive Blog 10%, Project 10%, Sketchbook 10%, Portfolio 70%)

Applied Arts (20 credits, compulsory)

This module has been designed to start from a quite basic level in order to help learners starting without any significant applied arts experience. For example, working with, ceramics, glass and textiles studios. (Presentation 30%, Final piece(s) 70%)

Graphic Design and Illustration (20 credits, compulsory):

This module introduces learners to key elements within Graphic Design and Illustration. Including introduction to graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Students will develop skills in the main industry-standard software. (Sketchbook 10%, Final piece(s) 60%, Written task 20%, Evaluation 10%)

Major Project (20 credits, compulsory): In this module, students consolidate experiences gained so far and identify a specialist area of interest on which to focus, in either Fine Art, Applied Arts or Graphic Design. (Reflexive blog 10%, Sketchbook 30%, Final piece(s) 40%, Written proposal 20%)

The Video (10 credits, compulsory)

This module aims to introduce students to time based media and video production. Students will be introduced to core skills within video of layout, navigation and process within video editing software, video capture, editing and effects. (Reflexive Blog 30%, Video 70%)

Professional Practice 1 (10 credits, compulsory):

In this module learners will present both a traditional mounted portfolio and a digital portfolio as a means of organising, archiving and presenting their work. (Portfolio 50%, Mounted portfolio 50%)

Level 5 modules (Year 2)

Contextualising Art and Design 2 (20 credits, compulsory):

This module aims to develop and extend learners understanding of key movements in Art and Design and its impact on contemporary culture and practice. The lecture programme will explore Modernism, Postmodernism and contemporary themes within Fine Art, Visual Communication and Applied Arts. (Reflective Journal 15%, Reflexive Blog 15%, Presentation 30%, Essay 40%)

Specialist Practice (20 credits, compulsory):

In this module, students identify an area for potential development and practical research in subject areas such as Applied Arts, Graphic Design or Fine Art, producing a body of work within that specialism. (Reflexive Blog 10%, Sketchbook 40%, Portfolio 50%)

Professional Practice 2 (20 credits, compulsory):

This module will explore the range of possibilities for developing the traditional and digital portfolio as a means of organising, archiving and presenting learners’ work to a specific audience. (Portfolio 50%, Mounted Portfolio 50%)

Creative Industry (20 credits, compulsory):

In this module, students will respond to a live brief or competition pertinent to their specialism. The aim of this module is to create an awareness of career opportunities within the arts sector and to provide students with an introduction to the artist/designers’ professional life. (Sketchbook 70%, Journal 30%)

The Exhibition (40 credits, Core):

This module aims to increase the self-directed nature of students work within a subject specialism. Students site their work within a subject specialist area from within Applied Arts, Design Communication or Fine Art, and develop a body of work exhibited to professional standards. The aim is to realise personal creative intentions within a specialist area, to consolidate specialist skills and showcase these within an exhibition context confidently and with ambition. (Reflexive Blog 10%, Sketchbook 10%, Written Proposal 10%, Final exhibition 70%)

Would you like to apply for this course?

Part Time

Applications are made through the college.

Parc Menai

Full Time

Applications are made through UCAS.

Awarding Body


Full-Time course

Part-Time course