Find out more about our BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, what and how students learn, how they are assessed, and their options for progression. 

Read more

Learner profile

Our BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is available at Levels 3 and 4, depending on the centre delivering the course. It is open to students aged 16 and over, but learners usually enter having studied at least one of the following:

  • one Art and Design A level supported by three GCSE grades A* to C, or equivalent
  • an A level in Applied Art or a BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Art and Design supported by appropriate previous accredited achievement
  • a portfolio of work demonstrating that the student has achieved a standard that will enable them to benefit from the course.

What you learn

The Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is designed to help learners further develop their understanding of historical, contemporary and related contexts to inform and inspire their own working practices.

The knowledge and skills students have acquired through their learning so far are linked to new challenges, extending their critical independence and self-awareness, and preparing them to make relevant choices in their progression and career.

The BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is divided into three main stages:

This consists of two mandatory units focusing on researching, recording, responding and experimenting with media as the foundations for building skills and understanding.

In the Pathway Stage, learners can work in a number of different disciplines chosen by the centre to suit local needs and learners’ interests. This stage will help students define the areas of art and design in which they will continue to work towards progression goals.

The Pathway stage can be delivered at Level 3 or Level 4, as chosen by the centre. All learners will be encouraged to analyse and review their own progress, developing ideas independently and extending their skills in using materials, techniques and processes.

The Confirmatory Stage brings the course together in a final, major project. This stage is set at Level 4.

How you learn

The BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is a project-based course that allows learners to develop their portfolios to give them the best possible chance of getting a place at art school or another HE Institution to study at degree level.

This challenging and intensive course will build on learners’ existing skills as well as introducing them to new ideas, media and ways of learning. They’ll explore a broad range of disciplines in art and design - including fine art, drawing and painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, fashion and textiles, 3D product design, graphic design, illustration and alternative or interactive media - with increasing independence and refinement towards a specialist focus within which they may complete their final project.

The course has both a practical and a critical emphasis. Students will respond to briefs and work to deadlines, preparing them for the realities of working in the creative sector.

How you are assessed

Our BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is assessed internally. Students are graded on the evidence they present for each unit to a Pass grade, with the final project being graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction to give the overall grade for the qualification. All internal assessment is quality assured through internal verification and sampled through external verification by Pearson.

Progress with the BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Our BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design gives learners a trusted route into higher education. They can go on to study for a foundation degree, an HND or a BA degree in many areas of the art and design sector and other arts-related subjects, or into employment.