International Foundation in Art and Design

Academic preparation for the first year of an undergraduate degree in subjects including architecture, art, fashion and many more.

Why apply?

There are two course options available:

  • International Foundation (3 terms) - this is the standard option
  • Extended International Foundation (4 terms) - this option features an additional term of English at the beginning for extra language support

What is special about the programme?

The International Foundation in Art and Design combines academic study, intensive English language preparation, study skills and cultural orientation.

Successful completion of the Foundation programme leads to an award which is recognised by 60 universities.

As well as a conditional university placement for successful students, you'll benefit from:

  • wide university recognition offering a choice of progression options
  • professional support and guidance with university applications
  • the highest levels of personal care and support

Teaching methods

You are encouraged to see your own work within the context of a large range of contemporary and historical art practice. Work produced in practical sessions will be shown to your class to encourage debate and to share good practice. Typically, part of a practical session will be given to updating your sketchbook (and/or blog) to encourage you to reflect upon your work.

Teaching sessions usually set up an open-ended idea, encouraging you to explore different thoughts. You will develop your skills with our art portfolio and interview skills workshops. One-to-one sessions are a vital part of the programme, allowing you to develop your own unique ideas.

Who should apply for the International Foundation programme?

If you have completed secondary school education in your home country, the International Foundation programme provides academic preparation for first year entry and ensures that you meet the minimum English language requirement for entry to your chosen undergraduate degree programme.

What will I study?

You will study the following core modules:

English Language for Foundation Study (0 - 45 credits)

The number of credits taken will depend upon your English language level at the start of the programme. You will develop your overall English language level, including your grammar and vocabulary, as well as your specific skills in reading, listening, writing and speaking, which will prepare you for further academic study.

Art and Design Practice

The first part of this practical module will develop the skills you need to observe and visually record information utilising a range of media and presentation methods. Building on these skills will require you to apply a creative and conceptual thinking style to deliver a typical industry based brief through visual media.

Concepts in Art and Design

This module will develop your understanding and knowledge of some of the main concepts used in art and designn. Emphasis will be placed upon developing an understanding of how such concepts have been applied in practical contexts. The module will include looking at an introduction to Art History and key figures in Art and Design. The delivery of the module will be supported by guest speakers on topics such as graphic design, games design, mass communications, and film theory.

Final Major Project for Art and Design

This module provides you with the opportunity to create a practical portfolio to demonstrate your ability using a range of art and design skills, which will form part of your assessment for entry to your chosen degree. You will take part in a series of lectures, workshops and seminars to prepare for the assignment, which brings together the theoretical, technical and production skills developed throughout the course.

Critical thinking and communication skills

The module aims to focus on providing you with a range of study, transferable and digital literacy skills, preparing you for undergraduate study. You will develop the skills needed for identifying an appropriate range of academic sources and using these competently and in accordance with academic conventions. The module also focuses on developing your self-reflection and time-management skills.


You will also study modules from the following list, the number depending on your English language skills on entry:

Applications of Photoshop and Illustrator

The module introduces the use of design software to support art and design practice. You will engage in a set of tasks to work on and test your technical and practical capabilities. The tasks will incorporate the focus of working towards a brief whilst allowing and encouraging you to be imaginative and develop your own artistic expression.

Global Issues

The module aims to help develop your overall critical abilities when operating in the English language, preparing you for academic study at undergraduate level. Its purpose is to develop research, communication, thinking and reasoning skills in the context of global issues, for students with near-native or native language skills, who have no need to study a compulsory EAP module.


The module will introduce you to the foundations of marketing and focus on different aspects of marketing that are relevant for businesses in domestic and international contexts. It will also introduce you to fundamental principles of marketing and cover areas including marketing research, the role of culture, marketing mix, marketing campaigns and the rise of social media and technology.



This module aims to provide you with a structured understanding of the world around you and to reflect on social issues within a sociological framework. You will be prompted to think about how humans are shaped by the social world in which we live and in turn contribute to it. You will be encouraged to identify and question social structures and the impact these have on both groups and individuals in micro and macro contexts. You will also be required to apply your understanding of sociological perspectives to your own life.


How will I be assessed?

Assessment is both formal and informal. Informally you will receive advice and feedback throughout your programme from your teachers. You will also be assessed through a combination of examinations at the end of each term, and coursework, which may include written assignments, reports, practical exercises, a design portfolio, group and individual research projects, presentations and problem-solving exercises.

How is the programme validated?

The International Foundation is quality assured and validated by the University of Gloucestershire. Successful completion leads to the award of Certificate in Foundation Studies, which is equivalent to Level 3 on the National Qualification Framework (NQF), and is recognised as suitable for undergraduate level entry at a wide range of UK universities.

How do I qualify?

Academic requirements:

You need to have completed 12 years of schooling (or the local equivalent to meet the same standard) with good grades. To find out more about country specific entry requirements contact us.

English requirements:

4 term programme: IELTS 4.0 (no less than 4.0 in any subskill) or equivalent

3 term programme: IELTS 4.5 (no less than 4.0 in any subskill) or equivalent

The Centre can only accept a UKVI approved IELTS test for this course. Read more about UKVI IELTS or contact us for more details.

If you do not meet the minimum English language level you can apply for our Academic English course.


16 years and above*

* Students starting courses in September/October must be 16 years old by 1 September of that calendar year. For the June intake for Extended Foundation, students must be 16 before registering at the Centre. For all other start dates, students must be 16 years old by 1 September of the preceding calendar year. Therefore have turned 17 before 1 September of the year they progress to university.

When can I start?

Start date Term dates Fees

June 2017 start
(4 term)

Term 1: Mon 19 Jun 2017 to Fri 25 Aug 2017

Term 2: Mon 25 Sep 2017 to Fri 15 Dec 2017

Term 3: Mon 15 Jan 2018 to Thu 29 Mar 2018

Term 4: Mon 09 Apr 2018 to Fri 22 Jun 2018


September 2017 start
(4 term)

Term 1: Mon 25 Sep 2017 to Fri 08 Dec 2017

Term 2: Mon 08 Jan 2018 to Thu 29 Mar 2018

Term 3: Mon 09 Apr 2018 to Fri 15 Jun 2018

Term 4: Mon 25 Jun 2018 to Fri 31 Aug 2018


September 2017 start
(3 term)

Term 1: Mon 25 Sep 2017 to Fri 15 Dec 2017

Term 2: Mon 15 Jan 2018 to Thu 29 Mar 2018

Term 3: Mon 09 Apr 2018 to Fri 22 Jun 2018


January 2018 start
(3 term)

Term 1: Mon 08 Jan 2018 to Thu 29 Mar 2018

Term 2: Mon 09 Apr 2018 to Fri 15 Jun 2018

Term 3: Mon 25 Jun 2018 to Fri 31 Aug 2018



Tuition fees do not include:

  • enrolment fee: an additional charge of £150 per academic programme (to be charged upon confirmation)
  • textbooks and other learning materials: an additional charge in the region of £220 per academic course (3 terms), £290 per academic course (4 terms)

Is accommodation included in the fees?

Accommodation is not included in the fees. View our accommodation options.

How do I pay?

You can pay by bank transfer or by credit card. Please contact us for bank transfer details.

What's the difference between the 3 and 4 term course?

Lasting four terms, the Extended International Foundation course has an additional term of intensive English at the beginning and will typically have a lower English language entry requirement.

How do I apply?

You can apply online or by post.

Where will it take me?

Our progression guarantee

We guarantee to find you a place to study on an appropriate degree and university if you successfully complete your International Foundation programme, follow professional advice offered by INTO staff and meet minimum attendance requirements.

As a successful pathway student, you’ll have access to a number of university progression options. Each progression option will follow a specific pathway and specific requirements for both English/study skills and overall grade. You’ll also find some courses have specific requirements, such as:

  • successfully completing an interview;
  • having previously studied a relevant discipline;
  • having previously completed a degree; or
  • having IELTS 6.0 or equivalent in English language.

What can I study?

This course will take you to the first year of an undergraduate degree in:

  • Advertising
  • Animation
  • Architecture
  • Art and Design
  • Digital Media
  • Fashion*
  • Fashion Management/Marketing
  • Fine Art
  • Graphic Communications
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Interior Design
  • Multimedia Design
  • Photography
  • Product Design
  • Textile Studies*
  • Visual Arts

*For progression to these subject areas, you may need to demonstrate evidence of previous experience in these specialisms. 

Successful completion of the Foundation programme leads to an award which is recognised by 60 universities.

View your university choices
General, UK and China enquiries: +44 (0)1273 876 040 [email protected]
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