The foundation course is always an intensive year; there is a lot to fit in. Each student brings their previous experience of creativity (from school or as a mature student) to be developed towards making an informed choice about the BA ahead and the professional practice following on from that. The preparatory and diagnostic purpose of foundation courses is well understood, specifically in helping to build a body of work; identify areas of advanced study; develop the knowledge and skills related to choosing one of 18 undergraduate degree courses ahead at the Art, Architecture and Design School.
Some Foundation students start the course knowing what they want to do and they do that; others are unsure about what to do with their creativity and find a direction on the course, and finally there are those who start not knowing and still do not know by the end of the course but they are confident about progressing further into either an art, or design or spatial practice at our School.
In the latter examples, there is also, by definition, a radical element to the Foundation course that is less straightforward, less procedural and less predictable; it can be open-ended, edgy, exciting, unexpected and new. In relation to this we also prepare students for changing contexts; confirming the value of interpreting things in new ways; critiquing the status quo; equipping and empowering students’ authentic voice and agency. And from all our experiences through last year and this year, as we are affected by and respond to the pandemic emergency this has had even greater relevance.
This year the Foundation students and tutors have supported and encouraged one another; the tutors have worked especially hard in new ways to deliver elements of the course that needed to be maintained and those that needed to evolve rapidly to work in remote, digital, distanced and recorded ways. The students’ critical and creative engagement has helped to develop the course rapidly and with integrity. The students’ creative work has continued to achieve high standards; to broaden the scope of creative work at this level as well as being surprising, delightful and challenging in its curiosity, energy, inventiveness, ambition and refinement. Thank you to students and tutors who have worked together to present the exceptional year of work you see here.
Head of Foundation
Explore our courses including a foundation year at the School of Art, Architecture and Design.