The Foundation year provides a basis for the study of art and design and is tailored to help students make an informed decision about their preferred route into specialised study within higher education. The year also provides students with an ideal opportunity to create or develop a specialist portfolio to secure a place on a higher level course.
This intensive course is intended for those who are interested in pursuing a career in art and design at a professional level. The programme is predominantly practical, and teaches a mature and sophisticated understanding of concept and contexts enabling students to explore fresh, stimulating and inventive ideas to develop an individual voice and style. Taught though a series of vibrant artist led workshops, lectures and seminars, students are also supported by regular tutorials and group critiques. Life drawing is an integral part of the programme and is embedded to develop observational and drawing skills.
This is diagnostic in nature and enables students to identify their potential and personal preference for specialist areas of study. Students are encouraged to experiment with a variety of materials and methods and are introduced to the six main areas of study : Fine Art, Visual Communication, Fashion/Textiles, 3D Studies, Photography/Video and Contextual Studies.
Students produce a portfolio of work and carry out research into their chosen specialist area. Study options may include: Animation, Ceramics, Fashion, Graphics, Illustration, Jewellry, Painting, Photography, Print-making, Sculpture, Glass, Surface Pattern, Textiles, Theatre Design and Video.
Students complete a self directed final major project, which is presented for assessment and certification in the form of a public exhibition held at the end f the course. All three stages of the programme are supported by visits to galleries and places of interest.
Updated October 2018
Entry onto the Foundation course requires one subject at A Level in addition to five passes at GCSE at C or above, or other qualifications considered to be equivalent.
Mature students are welcome to apply. Subject to interview and portfolio of work.
The Foundation course is predominantly practical and delivered through a series of artist led workshops, lectures and seminars.
Students are supported by regular tutorials and group critiques.
Staying with Gower College Swansea, you could progress on to the Foundation Degree in Fashion and Textile Design
Successful completion of the Foundation course is a vital requirement for progression to higher education and prepares students for application to a wide range of degree courses which combine practical and theoretical studies - i.e. advertising, animation, game design, graphics, fashion, film, fine art, photography, product design, sculpture, textiles, jewellery, theatre design, glass and costume.
In previous years 100% of students have gained university places including Theatre Design at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Photography at Newport, Sculpture at the University of the Arts London, Camberwell, Design at Central St. Martins, Fashion Design at Nottingham Trent and Fine Art at Leeds.
The course requires students to regularly visit exhibitions both locally and further afield. An overnight trip to London during the first term provides a valuable opportunity to visit large scale exhibitions as well as a London university. There is also the opportunity for an extended visit to a European city.
The Foundation team encourage all students to undertake work placements and in previous years students have been supported in obtaining work placements such as fashion styling on S4C, set design on Dr Who, illustration work for fashion label Jayne Pierson and shadowing a photographer for Swansea Life magazine.
Please note that there is a studio fee of £100 per year for this course (there are no tuition fees.)