Q. Who teaches on The Foundation Year?

The course is led by Gethin Evans and Sharon Beavan, who have extensive experience in teaching and leading foundation courses in London. Much of the teaching on The Foundation Year is delivered by young contemporary artists who are graduates from the Royal Drawing School’s prestigious postgraduate programme, The Drawing Year.

Q. How much teaching will I receive on The Foundation Year? 

This in an intensive, taught, skills-based course. Students receive five days’ tuition each week during term time, as well as weekly Contextual Studies lectures and in-conversations with contemporary artists.

Q. Is there life drawing on the course? 

Yes, we draw from life in the studios, from both clothed and unclothed, male and female models. Drawing from the unclothed figure in particular familiarises us with our shape and movement and encourages an understanding of both. It allows students to see the structure of the body with the intention of developing the ability to make up figures in their artwork. We welcome students from all backgrounds, as such, students may request an alternative course of study if they are unable to work from unclothed models. 

Q. How many students are on The Foundation Year?

Our intake is limited to 50 students each year to ensure that we are able to provide high quality one-to-one teaching throughout the course.

Q. What are the fees for The Foundation Year?

The Foundation Year awards a minimum of 50% of its cohort full scholarships or a reduced fee every year. Students awarded a full Scholarship pay no course fees, receive a bursary for termly travel and materials costs and a study support allowance. For those who can afford it, the course is fee-paying. If you cannot afford the full fees and do not qualify for a full scholarship, you can apply for a reduced fee of 25% to 75% depending on circumstance. Please visit our website Scholarships and Fees page for further details as well as the most up to date fees for international students.

Q. What qualification will I receive at the end of The Foundation Year?

Students will receive a Level 3 or Level 4 Diploma in Fine Art. UK national students generally receive a Level 3 qualification which gives students UCAS Tariff Points to contribute towards university applications. UK nationals can request to study a Level 4 qualification. International students receive a Level 4 qualification which enables students to obtain a study visa for the UK. 

Q. Is The Foundation Year accredited?

Yes, The Foundation Year is a fully accredited course at Level 3 and Level 4. Accreditation is awarded by The Prince’s Trust (regulated by Ofqual). This qualification is recognised by all UK and international universities. 

Q. Do I get UCAS points on The Foundation Year?

Yes, at Level 3 students gain additional UCAS tariff points on completing the course and will be awarded a different number of points dependent on the grade they are awarded; Pass, Merit or Distinction. 

Q. What do our students go on to do?

Helpful, expert advice and guidance on progression from The Foundation Year is one of the key benefits that we offer students. Following their graduation, last year’s students progressed to a wide variety of BA courses in subjects ranging from Fine Art, Painting, Drawing, Sculpture and Photography, to Animation, Graphic Design, Architecture, Illustration and Technical Arts and Special Effects, at top-ranking universities including the Architectural Association, Camberwell College of Arts (UAL), Central St Martins (UAL), Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Glasgow School of Art, Goldsmiths University of London, Newcastle University, The Ruskin School of Art, Slade School of Art (UCL), University of Brighton, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, The University of Edinburgh, University of Falmouth, University of Leeds, University of Oxford, and Wimbledon College of Art (UAL), among others.

Q. Who can apply to The Foundation Year?

The course is tailored to recent school-leavers. To apply you must be 18 or over on 1st September in the year that you start the course i.e. if you are applying for entry in September 2019, you must be 18 or over on 1st September 2019. We do however welcome applications from over-19s, who feel that the course may help them to realise their ambition to progress to higher education or into a relevant career. The Foundation Year also welcomes international students (see below).

Q. Can I apply as an international student?

Yes, the course welcomes students from both EU and non-EU countries. You must have either a Tier 1 or Tier 4 visa to apply. These visas will allow you to study in the UK. For the latest visa eligibility and information please visit www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa.

Q. Do you run courses for students thinking about applying?

Every summer the School runs a Foundation Year Masterclass at Trinity Buoy Wharf. This is an intensive one or two week summer course for young artists aged 16–19, thinking about heading to art school. The Masterclass is a unique opportunity to hone drawing, painting, printing and animation skills, build a portfolio, and experience art school first-hand. Individual guidance is given on art school applications, personal statements and portfolio preparation, alongside discussion and group critiques. Tuition comes from the Royal Drawing School’s faculty who teach on The Foundation Year. The School also runs ten week term time courses as part of its Young Artists Programme for 10–18 year olds at venues across London and weekly drop-in life drawing sessions for 14–18 year olds in Shoreditch, East London. 

Q. How do I apply to The Foundation Year?

The first step is to complete the online application form and submit a digital portfolio. All applicants are then asked to complete a drawing exercise which is posted to The Foundation Year team. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview and should bring their physical portfolio and sketchbooks for discussion.

Q. How does a digital portfolio submission work?

Part of the application process will include uploading a digital portfolio of work (created within the past three years) via the online application form on our website. Your portfolio should include 20 high resolution images consisting of 10 drawings (dry media) and 10 additional works (in any other media). Animators may submit 2 short video files included within their additional works. 

Images should be saved as JPGs or PNG files, no larger than 200dpi and maximum 4MB per image. 

Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to attend an interview with their physical portfolio of work, including the original work submitted in the digital portfolio, and sketchbooks.  

Q. What should I submit in my portfolio?

The portfolio should display a sense of personal investigation through a range of drawing and painting media. Your work should include examples of:

  • Drawings that express a curiosity for looking at the world around you, these should be made directly from observation as well as drawings made from photography.
  • Pieces that demonstrate an ability to work across a range of materials, media and sizes. Please include photographic evidence of any 3d work, installations or larger pieces where applicable.
  • If selected for interview, as well as the work submitted in your digital portfolio, you should bring sketchbooks demonstrating your personal artistic ideas and direction as well as exhibition/gallery responses and inspiration from artists.