The Foundation Year is a one year skills-based course with five days’ teaching a week and a limit of 50 places to ensure one-to-one tuition, in an inspiring part of London’s Docklands buzzing with creatives and artists’ studios. It is free to 18 and 19 year olds with some bursaries available for over-19s.

  • High tutor to student ratio
  • Taught five days a week
  • Skills-based teaching centred around drawing
  • Supportive environment
  • Weekly life drawing classes in the first two terms
  • Weekly art history lectures and gallery visits
  • Facilities including painting and drawing studio, sculpture studio, kiln, print room, photography darkroom and Apple Mac computers
  • Guidance with UCAS applications and portfolio preparation
  • All students from last year applying to BA courses placed at top-ranking Universities
  • Unique London riverside location in thriving creative community at Trinity Buoy Wharf, Docklands

Drawing: the core of the programme

Students explore a wide range of Fine Art media including painting, sculpture, animation, printmaking and photography, with drawing emphasised as a means of informing and expressing ideas. Throughout the year drawing from observation in the studio, on the streets of the city and from art in galleries and museums, remains at the core of the programme.


Places are limited to 50 students to ensure regular one-to-one tuition along with group crits, access to studio space and individual mentoring. The programme is led by Gethin Evans and Sharon Beavan, who each have over 25 years experience in Foundation level teaching at leading London art schools. The teaching faculty also includes tutors and alumni from the Royal Drawing School.

University progression

The course is structured to enable all students to progress to BA degrees in creative subjects including Fine Art, Illustration and Graphic Design, Architecture, Photography, Sculpture, Printmaking, Painting, Animation, Theatre Design, Film, Product Design and Textiles, and full support is given with all applications and portfolio preparation. Guidance is also offered to those seeking to progress directly to apprenticeships and the workplace. Since the course's inception all students applying to BA courses were placed at top-ranking universities including Goldsmiths University, Glasgow School of Art, Slade School of Art, University of Brighton, University of Falmouth, The Ruskin School of Art and Central St Martins.

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I’m amazed at how many different materials and skills I learned about. I have acquired so many new methods and new understandings of art. Alyssa Hart Foundation Year 2013-14