Art and Design

Study options


BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time, with a foundation year
4 Years
Start date:

Top 5

Guardian University League Tables 2022 (Design and Crafts)

Learn from active professionals

Our team includes professional practitioners with industry experience

Work placements

Get practical career experience in relevant business sectors

This course offers a foundation year in art and design. It is perfect for anyone keen to explore various disciplines and develop their own practice in a studio environment.

We provide students with their own dedicated workspace within a designated art or design studio. Our staff are active professionals in their field and equip our students with the essential skills needed to gain a degree with the School of Digital, Technologies and Arts. 

On successful completion of study, you will continue onto one of these courses: 3D Designer Maker, Animation, Architecture, Cartoon and Comic Arts, Fashion, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Product Design, Surface Pattern and Textile Design, or Transport Design.

Course content

Throughout the foundation year, you’ll share modules across the different art and design disciplines. The breadth and diversity of our projects will allow you to discover, explore and identify your particular direction within the art spectrum. In doing so, our teaching staff can then help you to identify the right pathway for you.

This is the pathway you will follow for the next three years, specialising in a particular discipline and developing your creative practice within it.

You’ll have access to a variety of workshop facilities, including wood, metal, plastics, ceramics, printing, digital imaging and the technology hub. You’ll also experience a wide range of learning styles, including lectures, individual tutorials, group tutorials, seminars, workshops, problem-based learning, practical work and independent study.

Your primary modes of study will be studio and workshop-based practice, with scheduled times for independent study. You’ll combine theory with practice to gain a solid understanding of the contexts and issues of art and design. This will provide you with the appropriate research and study skills to complete higher-level study with confidence.

Academic year

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Typically the majority of modules are 30 academic credits with a smaller number of 15 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6.  The full-time course has one start point in September.

Foundation Art and Design - Jioni Warner

Foundation Art and Design - Jioni Warner


Our Foundation Art and Design lets you sample lots of different practices, work in our studios and get familiar with campus life at Staffs before moving onto your main degree.


The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Major Project 30 credits
Team Project 15 credits
Theory And Practice In Art And Design 30 credits
Show 4 optional modules

Entry requirements

  • Typical UCAS Offer: 48 points
  • A levels: A, DD, EEE

We understand that you might have experienced a challenging run up to higher education and may have not met the entry requirements as listed. If this is the case don’t worry, contact us and our team of expert advisors can guide you through the next stages of application, or help you find the perfect course for your needs.

Polly Bates - Art and Design Foundation

Polly Bates - Art and Design Foundation


Fine Artist, Polly talks about her experience of Foundation study and how the skills and experience she gained helped her in her future practice.

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.



Studio Environment

You'll learn in a relaxed, supportive and professional workshop and studio environment, with plenty of practical, hands-on project work.

Hands On

Our workshop facilities include 3D (wood, metal and plastics), digital imaging, surface decoration, and ceramics.

Dedicated studio space

A number of our courses offer dedicated work space, conveniently located in an open-plan studio. You’ll also get the chance to be trained to use workshops from photography to Fine Metal.


The foundation year of this course prepares students to gain their full BA (Hons) degree in any one of a range of art and design disciplines. After completing the foundation year which is shared across all of these disciplines, you will specialise for the following three years on one of these courses: 3D Designer Maker, Animation, Cartoon and Comic Arts, Fashion Design, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Product Design, Stop Motion Animation and Puppet Making, Surface Pattern Design, Textile Surfaces or Transport Design.

Daby Obiechefu - Why I loved Foundation

Daby Obiechefu - Why I loved Foundation


Fine Artist Daby on the creative freedoms and welcoming environment that ensured the Foundation year got her ready for degree study.

Teaching and assessment


The teaching on this course is firmly rooted in studio practice. You develop your skills across a wide range of project-based activities, which take place within a studio setting appropriate to the subject. Sometimes you will work in whole groups, sometimes you will working in teams, with presentations of your work to your peer group and the academic staff. At other times during your study, you will be working on individual self-initiated projects. During projects, there will be tutorial sessions with academic staff where you explore your practice in more detail.

In addition, you take part in lecture and seminar activities which allow you to explore the contextual and professional background to the projects you are undertaking. These are led by your lecturers and also guest tutors from industry who bring their specialist insight into the sessions. You also participate in technical skills instruction sessions with Technician Instructors enabling you to enhance your making and digital skills across a wide range of techniques and approaches.


You are assessed in this course by a range of different types of coursework and practical activities. The assessment task for each module will vary dependent upon its content but may include:

  • A portfolio of completed artwork, professionally presented in the format required by the assignment, project or brief.
  • Workbooks, sketchbooks etc., documenting the process of generating, developing and resolving thoughts/ideas, and demonstrating the influence of research on practical work.
  • Research books, folders, dossiers, etc. documenting the gathering, sorting and presentation of research material.
  • Technical Exercises demonstrating your skills and competencies using particular equipment and/or techniques
  • Written essays or reports, in which you are exploring the contextual or professional background to a specific project
  • An individual or group seminar presentation and/or the accompanying material which you have used to create the presentation.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Additional support

Our Student Inclusion Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.


Throughout the modules you take on your course you are provided with formative, developmental assessment opportunities, which are carried out in tutorial and critique situations. Feedback is usually provided to you orally, with a written record kept either by the tutor or by you. This is sometimes produced as the result of peer or self-assessment exercises.

All modules also included formal or “summative” assessment tasks and the grades from the formal assessments count towards your module mark. You will normally receive feedback on coursework assessments within 20 working days following the date of submission.

Ross Mountford - Art and Design Foundation

Ross Mountford - Art and Design Foundation


3D Designer Maker Ross talks about the benefits of the broad range of art and design topics taught on our Foundation Year.

Your study time will consist of class contact hours, self-directed learning, assessment and placements where appropriate. Your actual contact hours will depend on the subject area, on the option modules you select and professional body requirements.

Year 0

13% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
87% of time in independent study
0% of time in placements

Year 1

16% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
84% of time in independent study
0% of time in placements

Year 2

19% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
81% of time in independent study
0% of time in placements

Year 3

10% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
90% of time in independent study
0% of time in placements

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, practical or other timetabled sessions, you will be expected to learn independently through self-study, continuing to make and develop your project work. Typically, this will involve a range of resources both practical and digital including: developing your practical work in our 3D workshops, the Tech Hub and our virtual learning environment; reading journals, articles and books; working on individual and group projects; undertaking research in the library; and preparing coursework assignments and presentations.

Year 0

0% practical exams
100% coursework
0% written exams

Year 1

13% practical exams
88% coursework
0% written exams

Year 2

26% practical exams
74% coursework
0% written exams

Year 3

0% practical exams
100% coursework
0% written exams


You will be taught by an expert teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teaching training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is research-informed and 100% of our full-time staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. 

Jessica Longmore


Jessica is a Manchester-based artist. Her practice involves sculptural interventions that often occupy uneasy spaces. She's currently curating GLINT; an online project that documents the circumstance of inspiration of 12 artists.

Jessica's profile


UK and Channel Island students: This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX**. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any change as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

**RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:

Travel, and accommodation costs incurred by compulsory trips and visits away from the University that are directly linked to the learning requirements of a specific module.

The use of all workshops, studios and specialist technical facilities and hire of equipment relating to the course of study.

Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:

The estimated cost of text books over the duration of the course. All essential text books are available from the library, but some students chose to purchase their own copies.

Travel, subsistence, entrance fees etc. incurred by optional trips and visits away from the University related to the course.

The cost of materials for the development of a student’s individual practice and work. Additional costs vary dependent upon student’s own choice of materials and approach to their practice.

Optional personal insurance when borrowing equipment such as cameras, lighting equipment etc. for extended period of use off campus [Approx £50-£100]. It may be possible to add some items to home contents insurance.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits. Details can be obtained by visiting:

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Staffordshire, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding page to find out more and check your eligibility.

Our students

The interesting variety during the year, the projects, new skills, workshops and field trip, along with the encouragement and support from tutors, technicians and peers, has given me the confidence I needed to believe in myself, and put me in good stead for the next three years on the 3D Designer Maker Degree Course.

Caroline Bryan

Art and Design Foundation

I had the opportunity to try out all the workshops which helped me develop new skills, also they offered taster sessions in every degree course, which allowed us to understand what they are about and see if it's the right path for us. With all this opportunity I gained confidence, experience, new skills and I am ready to start my first year of degree course.

Emilia Kovacs

Art and Design Foundation

As a mature student from Staffs, this was the perfect pathway into the Art career I'd always wanted. I didn't know what that career was yet - but expected this to introduce me back to study and open up options. It was so much more.

Foundation Art is packed with taster modules, a fantastic field trip, visiting professional artists and it's led by two brilliant lecturers. I've gained insight and discovered skills that I can't wait to develop further.

Lorna Lakin

Art and Design Foundation

The Field trip we took to Leeds was great! This was my first art gallery experience and it was better than I had imagined. I think that the guest speakers were also a bonus, as you are able to listen to actual artists who you can get ideas, in relation to materials and use them in your own way within your work.

Tamzin Brereton

Art and Design Foundation

The course allows you to explore every avenue as an artist and really work out what it is that you enjoy. It also provides you with skills that will stay with you as you continue your artistic journey: how to document your design processes, how to visualise and present your ideas. It provides you with an essential base to build on as a creative practitioner. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Rachel Clay

BA (Hons) 3D Designer Maker


Applications are currently unavailable.

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

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