Foundation Art and Design
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Foundation Art and Design Course helps to prepare for undergraduate programmes in British higher education institutions, giving a general idea of future occupation and helping to choose the pathway option most suitable for the fulfilment of your educational requirements.

Introductory 1 year Foundation Art and Design course should be taken prior to enrollment for Bachelors' programmes by prospective students without the relevant professional education and/or design experience. This requirement usually applies to all graduates of Russian secondary education institutions. The course is a very important stage in the development of future practitioners, because it builds the necessary basis for further development in the chosen field of creative industries.

Key features of the course

  • Experimental
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Develops creative thinking and universal skills
  • Integrated approach towards project implementation

Programme values

  • Independent development and achievement of goals
  • Studying, based on research and understanding of the process

Key student skills

  • Independence
  • Dedication
  • Creativity
  • Self-organization
  • Discipline

The education process consists of 3 phases — research, consolidation and project work. Students learn about the whole range of activities of a modern designer, and during practical training students can choose their further education pathway.

Research and exploration

This stage includes immersion into the specific nature of creative activities, during which students attend relevant practical training classes in order to develop approaches towards design. Several structured projects, which are offered during this part of the Foundation Course, help to assess the theory and practice of modern design. At this stage students have the opportunity to develop their basic research skills, as well as skills related to work with contextual information.


Immediately after the beginning of the second semester, students choose their design pathway, to improve their abilities in terms of higher education programmes — fine art, fashion, graphic or spatial design. It is expected that at this stage students will demonstrate a more serious attitude towards learning of the specific nature of their chosen pathways. Serious attention will be paid to development of research skills, independent studies and self-assessment.

Project work

At this stage students work on their final major project. This should be an original project, and it should also demonstrate a high standard of practical and research skills. The level and quality of the annual project will determine the final grade for the Foundation Course.

In the British Higher School of Art & Design, classes are taught by English speaking tutors, thus creating a need for appropriate English language instruction at Foundation level. English classes are taught mostly by native speakers and are based on state-of-the-art methods, taking into account the specific nature of design. Special attention is paid to development of speaking skills and the ability to formulate your own thoughts correctly. The IELTS test (which is a pre-requisite condition for Year 1 of BA degree courses) should be taken during the summer session after the end of the Foundation Course.

Core modules

  • English language for designers 
  • Drawing Development and Visual Research 
  • Image Making
  • Digital Skills 
  • Fine Art 
  • Fashion Design 
  • Communication Design: Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography
  • 3D & Spatial Design 
  • Art & Design Context

Study pathways

Full-time and Part-time.

Full-time study on Foundation runs 5 days a week and includes English classes along with creative and art classes. After transfer to Year 1 of BA courses, classes take place 3-4 times a week during day hours.

Part-time study on Foundation includes classes, which take place in the evenings of weekdays and Saturdays. Starting from the first year of degree courses, the number of contact hours decreases, because the academic programme of Year 1 and Year 2 is smoothly distributed among 3 years of studying as opposed to 2 years for full-time.

Course director: Daniel Hopkinson

Student work

Admission process and requirements

Enrollment on the Foundation Program is intended for further study in the following majors:

Applications are accepted from March until August 31st 2016.

Classes begin on September 2016.

Period of study

1 year Full-time (daytime classes) or 1 year Part-time
 (evening classes and Saturdays)

Tuition fees

Full-time GBP 4,160/year*

Part-time GBP 2,860/year*

Required documents
  • Online application form 
  • Copy of previous education certificates and academic qualifications
  • 2 photos 3х4 cm
  • Copy of your passport


*This proposal does not constitute an offer, the prices are subject to change. Cost of services and conditions of their provision will be specified in the contract.  


Entry examinations

Applicants who apply for Foundation course, need to sit the following:

  • English exam
  • Portfolio assessment
  • Entry interview

During the admission exams, the admissions staff will arrange a convenient date and time for demonstration of portfolio and interview, after that, the matriculant will be allowed to pass the English test. English test is not required for students from English-speaking countries or if an IELTS or equivalent certificate is produced.


Entry rounds in 2016: 

1st round Date and time
Portfolio review and interview  Your individual appointment will be scheduled for the period of 18th - 21st May
English Language exam  21st May
2nd round Date and time
Portfolio review and interview  Your individual appointment will be scheduled for the period of 8th - 11th June
English Language exam  11th June
3rd  round Date and time
Portfolio review and interview  Your individual appointment will be scheduled for the period of 27th June - 2nd July
English Language exam  2nd July 
4th round Date and time
Portfolio review and interview  Your individual appointment will be scheduled for the period of 19th - 23rd July
English Language exam  23rd July
5th round Date and time
Portfolio review and interview  Your individual appointment will be scheduled for the period of 16th - 20th August
English Language exam  20th August


For international students we can organise the skype interviews. In such cases the portfolio can be sent via email.

Required level of English

The minimum entry requirement for prospective students during the preliminary examination is pre-intermediate to intermediate English. As part of Foundation Art & Design course the students undergo intensive training in groups of respective levels (from Pre-Intermediate to Advanced). After the training the students take the IELTS test which is a prerequisite for moving to the Year 1 of BA degree.

The test is carried out in several stages or modules:

Listening (listening to recording played once) – 10 questions, 15 minutes;
Grammar test – 55 questions, 40 minutes;
Reading apprehension – 2 parts, 20 questions, 30 minutes;
Essay writing – 45 minutes, 200-250 words on a topic proposed;
The total test duration is 2 hours. A 10-break is given before the essay writing.

Download English language test sample questions (PDF format, 127 kb)

For successful test results we highly recommend the following links:

Required portfolio 

The range of work in your portfolio should cover a broad spectrum of media, materials and approaches. Projects may be submitted in different disciplines including but not limited to graphics, drawing, painting, textile, photography, decorative art, design, web-design, animation. First of all, the admission committee would like to see how you can generate and develop your ideas; that is why, besides finished projects, the portfolio should also include notebooks with sketches, sketchbooks, written works (articles, essays, if any). Please try to present examples of the best and most recent projects which reflect your creative abilities.

Your portfolio needs to be printed (А2 format or larger). Animation and CG works should be presented on CDs or memory sticks. It advisable to show photographs of large works which otherwise would be difficult to transport.

Interview procedure

Prospective students will be asked questions regarding their educational and professional backgrounds in order to make a final decision about admission onto the course.

©  British Higher School
of Art and Design, 2003 - 2019

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