Support for International Students

With a maximum intake of 50 students on the course the School is able to offer students a high level of both academic and pastoral support throughout the year, fostering a tight knit community of peers, staff and teaching faculty. 

International Pastoral Liaison Officer

For all non-academic needs, the first point of contact for international students will be the International Pastoral Liaison Officer. They will be in touch with students before they arrive in the UK, helping them find accommodation, providing information about language courses, living in London, travelling to the UK and arranging airport picks ups. Once students are enrolled on the course the Officer will be available throughout the week to speak to about any personal matters and to help them settle in.

What is life on the course like for an international student?

Academic support

During the first term of The Foundation Year, the majority of students apply to undergraduate courses at universities in the UK and abroad. Our experienced staff will guide students through the university application process from start to finish; from researching the right course, to portfolio 

preparation and mock interviews. Since the inception of the course in 2012, all students have been awarded places at top-ranking universities such as The Slade School of Fine Art (UCL); University of the Arts London: Central Saint Martin’s, Chelsea College of Arts, Camberwell College of Arts, Wimbledon College of Arts, London College of Communication;  Goldsmiths, University of London; University of Oxford; and Glasgow School of Art. 

Personal Tutors are key to the development of student practice throughout the year. Students will be partnered with their Personal Tutors in Week 5, allowing time to match the specialisms and the needs of each student. They will guide students in the progression of their personal projects through regular one-to-one tutorials throughout each term. Course Leaders will also meet with students on a regular basis making sure they are on track, offering their collective advice and experience.

In addition, tutorials with various other faculty members are arranged for students on a rotational basis. These tutors, who are also practicing artists, will share their expertise, listen to ideas and provide a new perspective on student practice.

Further Pastoral support

Students have access to pastoral support throughout their time on The Foundation Year enabling them to speak in confidence with Foundation Year staff or their International Pastoral Liaison Officer. At the start of the each term individual meetings will be scheduled with the Foundation Programme Manager to identify the support required by each student. The School operates an ‘open door’ policy at all times allowing students to speak to staff at any point throughout the week. In addition, we have strong ties with organisations within the local community including an external counselling service, ensuring student needs are met if they fall outside our expertise. Students receive a Student Handbook on the induction day at the start of the year which provides information on publicly available student support in the form of local GP services, drop-in centres and specialist support organisations.

Safety and Security

The safety and security of our students is very important to us throughout their time on the Foundation Year. During term time, from Monday to Friday (9am – 5pm) students are at the studios in Trinity Buoy Wharf. The course is overseen by Foundation Year staff, faculty and technicians. Students are provided with codes to access the Foundation Year buildings and must sign in and out as they come and go. CCTV continually monitors the premises. On Friday afternoons, students are off-site visiting London’s galleries and museums with Antje Southern (Contextual Studies programme Curator).

Unite Students accommodation is managed by a team of staff and access is controlled by either a secure fob or card system and each bedroom has a door lock. There is CCTV at every property and a 24 hour safety and security team ready to respond to any incident. In case of emergency during holidays and at weekends, students can contact the Unite Students welfare team who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. They will be in touch with the International Pastoral Liaison Officer should they need to.

Subject to UKVI approval

One of the most important things that I got from the course was the support that tutors offered going through the university application process. There was help in choosing portfolio pieces and even one-to-one interview practice. The School supported me by building my confidence so I could gain the skills and experience to do well on my BA course once I started.’ Laura Goodman The Foundation Year 2016-17