This section details all that you need to know about making an application to study the UAL Awarding Body Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at the Art School. This information includes timelines and deadlines, advice on fees and funding, along with guidance on digital and interview portfolios.

The 2020/21 Course Application Form and Reference Form are now available.

To avoid any problems the forms should NOT be completed online but downloaded to a computer and opened in the latest version of Adobe Reader. If you do experience any problems, or if you have any questions about the forms, please contact us at:

We have a number of Application Deadlines throughout the year. Please check the What about the actual application’ section to find the out the next upcoming deadline.

I am thinking of studying at the Art School, what should I do?

First you should make sure you know all about our Foundation course by reading, Why Study Here and Course Details.

We strongly recommend you attend an Open Day for a tour of the Art School and discussions with tutors, who provide details and information about the course. Open Days are a great opportunity to meet students currently studying on the course and to hear about their experiences. Foundation Open Days are usually on Mondays(until Christmas) and Thursdays(after Christmas) from early October each year and can be booked here.

For those of you who cannot attend an Open Day, you can download the Course Handbook and view videos. We are, of course, happy to discuss the course with you by phone.

We welcome applications from anyone committed to study with us with the aptitude to do so. If you have a disability that you are concerned might affect your chances of study please read the section What Student Support can I get? featured below.

It is important to remember we manage our own applications, if you have any enquiries about Foundation, or any other of our courses, please contact us directly.

What fees would I pay?

Tuition Fees

As an Alternative Provider, the Art School, is not governed by the same legislation as the majority of Universities and other Further and Higher Education providers, however, the Art School endeavours to operate on a similar basis.

Fees for students joining Foundation in 2020/21 have been set at:

  • Home/EU students £ 7,850 per year of study
  • International students £13,500 per year of study

Please note, students on this course will not be eligible for a student loan or other funding from the UK government for this course.

Successful Application Processing Fee and Deposit

A non-refundable Successful Application Processing Fee of £225 (Home/EU) /£325 (International) is charged on acceptance of a place.

A Deposit of £500 is also charged on acceptance of a place but forms part-payment of your fees.

Successful Application Processing Fees and Deposits are paid on acceptance of a place but should you change your mind before the course commences, deposits may be refundable. Application Processing Fees are non-refundable.

Material expenses

Some basic materials will be supplied to you by the Art School. You will need to purchase other materials as your work develops throughout the course. The estimated average cost is £300, though this figure will vary depending on your specific requirements and ambitions.

The Art School shop stocks many of the materials. Tutors and technicians can advise you on where to purchase other specialist materials.

Refund Policy

To be eligible for a full refund you will need to provide notification of your decision to withdraw from the course (cancellation of contract) in writing within, whichever is the later date of:

a) fourteen (14) days of your original formal acceptance of a place and your payment of the deposit; or

b) up to six (6) weeks before the start date of the course.

Should you decide to cancel the contract outside of this period (less than six (6) weeks before the course commences and after fourteen (14) days have passed since your original formal acceptance of a place) you will not be eligible for a refund of the deposit.

Please note:

  • all refunds will be made to the individual or organisation that originally paid the fees; if a third party has paid the deposit on behalf of the student the refund is made to the third party;
  • refunds can only be made to the account from which the original payment was made;
  • if entitled, refunds will be processed within 21 days of receiving the request;
  • all refunds will be made in GB pound sterling;
  • any bank charges or currency conversion costs incurred in making a refund shall be borne by the student or the third party receiving the payment.
  • For international students, tuition fees and deposit will become non-refundable after a CAS number is issued.
Are there any Grants or Financial Awards?



What are the Entry Requirements and Selection Criteria?

The Foundation course is suitable for applicants who can meet the entry requirements and have an appetite to find and and begin to explore their practice within an intensive studio-based teaching environment.

Entry requirements

All applicants have to meet the minimum entry requirements for admittance to the course,including the English Language Requirements (if English is not your first language), though there are three different ways of doing so:

1) Standard educational

Applicants who have achieved, or are expected to achieve:

a) five GCSEs at grade A, B or C or the equivalent; OR

b) three GCSEs at grade C or above, plus one GCE ‘A’ Level or equivalent.

2) International educational

This educational level may also be demonstrated by possession of a combination of other qualifications, equivalent to our Standard educational requirement.

For example:

International Baccalaureate:

  • minimal of 26 IB points or above

For other equivalent qualification such as High School Diploma,  please see the UCAS International Qualification Guide for your qualification.

3) Other experiential

Applicants who can demonstrate equivalent prior practice and experience, such as work in administration; or perhaps minimal GCSE qualifications plus a few years working in an arts context.

Using a process called Recognition /Accreditation of Prior Learning (R/APL), Art School Admissions Tutors consider how various work-life and (in)formal educational experiences meet the educational level of the entry requirements.

Please see our Recognition/ Accreditation of Prior Learning Policy here.

English Language Requirements

All applicants who do not speak English as a first language are required to provide evidence of their English language skills. The Art School cannot accept any applicant who scores lower than the equivalent of Level 5.5 from the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS): a minimum of 5.5 is required for each of listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

If you do not require a Tier 4 visa and wish to take The Cambridge English Exams, your score requires to be in the range of 162–168 or higher.

Selection Criteria

To distinguish between all the applicants that meet our entry requirements we select those that we believe have the current ability and potential to:

  • demonstrate commitment to, and enthusiasm for, art and/or design;
  • employ a variety of creative skills and creative problem solving;
  • gather and research visual and textual material to inform their ideas;
  • demonstrate an awareness of contemporary and historical culture related to their work;
  • explain ideas, be critical and evaluate their work.
What about the actual Application?

Application deadlines, interviews and outcomes 2020/21

If you are applying for the UAL Awarding Body Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design please note the following:

Applications received by 17 January 2020, will be interviewed between 27 January and 07 February 2020, the outcome of which will be communicated by 14 February 2020.

Applications received by 21 February 2020, will be interviewed between 02 and 20 March 2020, the outcome of which will be communicated by 27 March 2020.

Applications received by 27 March 2020, will be interviewed between 14 and 24 April 2020, the outcome of which will be communicated by 01 May 2020.

Subject to availability, applications received by 15 May 2020, will be interviewed between 25 May and 05 June 2020, the outcome of which will be communicated by 12 June 2020.

Timeline summary Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art & Design
Applications received by: …will be interviewed between: …with the outcome communicated by: …offers to be accepted by:
17 Jan 27 Jan & 07 Feb 14 Feb 6 Mar
21 Feb 02 & 20 Mar 27 Mar 17 Apr
27 Mar 14 Apr & 24 Apr 1 May 15 May
15 May 25 May & 05 Jun 12 Jun 26 Jun

Due to the nature of our application process, please note the May deadline is subject to availability.

Please note, applications for 2020/21 will not be processed before 01 November 2019 at the earliest.

What to submit

If you would like to apply for UAL Awarding Body Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design you must submit by email:

  • a PDF application form, completed in full, which must include:
  • a personal statement of up to 500 words explaining your motivations for your application; and
  • a link to your Flickr, digital portfolio.

You must also arrange for at least one academic reference to be emailed directly to the Art School from your referee(s). Please use the reference form.

If you do not speak English as a first language, please provide proof of English Language Skills with your application form.

Application Form

Please note, the Application Form must be downloaded and cannot currently be completed online. To prevent problems when completing the form, please ensure you are using the latest version of Adobe Reader.

The application form is your first opportunity to tell us about yourself, as well as being a vital source of the information we need to make a decision. Please take your time to complete the form accurately, consulting the guidance and the website as necessary: remember that if your application is successful you will need to provide proof of your identity and entry requirements.

The application form works best with the latest version of Adobe Reader, which you may need to download.

When you have completed the application form remember to check you have provided all the information required, including the link to your digital portfolio. Ensure the accuracy of your responses and remember, if successful, you will be required to evidence your claims. We suggest you save a copy of your application form, for your own records and please don’t forget to send the Reference Form to your chosen referee(s).

Please submit your completed application form as an email attachment to

The Art School only accepts applications on the form it provides for that purpose, and reserves the right to reject incomplete or alternative applications.

Digital portfolio 

The digital portfolio should comprise 15 to 20 images, compiled on Flickr. You should choose what you consider to be your strongest work undertaken within the last two years, which also represents the range of your interests and practice.

Each image in your Flickr portfolio should include the title, media, dimensions, date and, if necessary, no more than 50 words of description.

Your Flickr portfolio must be publicly viewable without need for password or login.

What happens to my Application?

Application Processing

Once we have received your application, the Admissions Office will check your submission to:

  • ensure that you meet the minimum entry requirements;
  • and, to make an assessment of your fee status.

Assuming that your application is complete and that you meet the minimum entry requirements, you will then be invited to interview.

Interview invitation

The interview invitation details the date and time of your interview at the Art School. If you are living overseas, telephone/online-video interviews can be arranged.

If you are at all concerned that a disability might interfere or inhibit your interview, please let us know in your application: we will make any reasonable adjustment, which is within our capacity, so that you might fully participate in an interview.

What about the Interview and portfolio?

The actual Interview

Comprising a conversation between you and senior tutors from Foundation, the interview of ten minutes in total explores your application and interview portfolio. All the tutors involved are trained in the fair and equitable conduct of interviews and are fully conversant in the Art School’s Admissions Policy.

We ask you to bring a portfolio of work (of around fifteen to twenty five portfolio sheets) as well as support material such as photographs, and a minimum of two sketchbooks to the interview. Sketchbooks are especially useful because they will help us understand your working methods, how you process ideas visually, your interests and how you approach gathering information to support your ideas. If some of your work is Three Dimensional or too large to fit in your portfolio, please include good quality photographic reproductions. Please note that we are not expecting you to present your portfolio in any particular format.

We encourage you to inform us in advance if the arrangements for your interview require adjustment due to an existing condition or disability. For example if you might require more time or specific access arrangements or other support. Our aim is to ensure that all eligible applicants are given a fair opportunity to demonstrate their potential to study on the course.

Interview Questions For Applicants

The interview will be relatively informal and we want you to feel comfortable and confident. To ensure fairness and to help you prepare we have agreed upon a set of key questions that all applicants for the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design will be asked at interview and these are set out below.

Please remember that the purpose of the interview is to enable you to demonstrate, and help us to see, your potential to study on the course. You should also use your interview visit as an opportunity to get a good idea about the Art School: our values and ethos, the course, and what studying here would be like and we encourage you to ask questions and see the interview as a 2 way process.

The interview process involves two parts: Preliminary Questions and  Portfolio Interview. You will be asked to complete the preliminary question form upon arrival, this roughly takes about 15 mins before proceeding to the portfolio interview with Foundation senior tutors.

Preliminary questions

You will be requested to answer these questions below before your personal portfolio interview.

  1. What are you currently studying, or what are you currently involved in, and how has this motivated you to study Art & Design at Foundation level?
  2. Did you attend an Open Day? If yes, was this informative or do you have any suggestions for improvements?
  3. Why did you choose to apply for this course (e.g. recommended, access to resources, staff/student ratio, working space etc.)?
  4. What do you intend to do immediately after the course? (e.g. Art, Design or other Academic BA, Gap Year, Work Experience etc.)
  5. What do you hope to achieve in the longer term, do you have any specific career ambitions (or are you unsure at the moment)?

Key questions

The questions below will be asked in your portfolio interview.

  1. Tell us about your research interests (art, design, music, performance, film, etc) and how these have influenced your ideas?
  2. Please select an example of a work in your portfolio that you worked on independently: Tell us about your initial ideas and influences? Why did you choose these materials?
  3. Please select another example from your portfolio that represents what you consider to be your strongest area of work: Why have you chosen this example? Is there anything that you would do differently now?
  4. Do you have any questions for us?

Supplementary questions may be asked about your portfolio or to follow on from your answers to the key questions.

Interview portfolio 

While no two portfolios will be the same, we do expect to see:

a) both work in progress and finished items; either actual or photographic;

b) sketchbooks and or notebooks that demonstrate working methods, visual and textual research and the exploration of ideas; and

c)  you may also bring an essay or short written piece that demonstrates your interest in contemporary and or historical art (optional).

Portfolio advice

While we do NOT wish to be prescriptive, the following guidance may be of assistance in compiling your interview portfolio.

You should choose what you consider to be your strongest work undertaken within the last two years, which also represents the range of your interests and practice.

We are not only interested in seeing finished projects so include work in progress as well.

It is best to mount your work on plain, white cartridge paper, not black, and don’t use card that is both heavy and expensive.

While the focus of our Foundation course is not moving image, we are happy to view such work: if you have a showreel, do let us know before the interview. However, as time restraints usually prevents viewing, please also present the work in the form of storyboards.

Large and heavy three-dimensional work should be presented in photographic form, mounted and labelled with the title, media and dimensions.

Arrange your portfolio so that the interview panel can easily follow the way you’ve developed an idea from initial research through to finished piece.

Clearly label your portfolio with your name, inside and out.

What happens after the Interview?

Communicating interview decisions

We email the outcomes of interviews by the dates outlined in the application timelines.

Interview decisions

There are four possible interview decisions.

1) Unsuccessful indicates that the Art School will NOT be offering a place on the course; OR

2) Deferred places your application in reserve to be considered alongside the next round of interviewees; OR

3) Conditional is the offer of a place on the course, provided the demonstration of additional academic requirements; OR

4) Unconditional is the offer of a place on the course without  demonstration of any further academic requirements.

Please note that all successful applicants, even those with an unconditional offer, MUST provide documentary evidence by enrolment to support the claims made in their application, eg, proof of identity and prior academic achievement.

Offer letter

Offer letters detail:

a) any academic condition of the offer;

b) the fees liable along with how and when to pay them; and

c) the Terms & Conditions relevant to the year of study.

Accepting an offer

The offer letter includes a Registration Form that must be signed and dated and returned to the Art School to confirm acceptance of both the offer and the Terms & Conditions.

Applicants usually have three weeks to accept an offer of a place, though this time may be shorter, later in the application cycle. The exact deadline to accept offers will be detailed in the offer letter.

Failure to accept an offer

Any offer of a place that is neither accepted nor declined by the required deadline, will automatically become deferred.

Registration and after

The return of the registration form, along with any fees required, confirms Registration with the Art School and a place on the course.

An official welcome letter is sent in July, which provides important enrolment and course information.

Withdrawal following registration

To withdraw following registration but prior to enrolment, the Art School must be informed in writing, for which the Model Cancellation Form can be used.

To be eligible for a full refund  notification must be provided within, whichever is the later date of:

a) fourteen (14) days of the original formal acceptance of a place and the payment of deposit; or

b) up to six (6) weeks before the start date of the course.

Please note:

  • all refunds will be made to the individual or organisation that originally paid the fees; if a third party has paid the deposit on behalf of the student the refund is made to the third party;
  • refunds can only be made to the account from which the original payment was made;
  • if entitled, refunds will be processed within 21 days;
  • all refunds will be made in GB pound sterling;
  • any bank charges or currency conversion costs incurred in making a refund shall be borne by the student or the third party receiving the payment.
  • For international students, tuition fees and deposit will become non-refundable after a CAS number is issued.
What are the Term Dates?

Term dates 2020/21

Autumn Term: 31 August – 11 December 2020

Spring Term: 04 January – 19 March 2021

Summer Term: 12 April – 14 May 2021

What Student Support is available?

A student guide to accessing help and further advice

For students enrolled at City & Guilds of London Art School, the Access to Learning Department provides advice, help and support in the following areas:

  • Support for learning
  • Support for disability
  • Advice and support for health conditions
  • Advice and support for mental health
  • Advice and support with anxiety and depression
  • The learning Mentor
  • Counselling
  • Course based needs assessments
  • Personal Learning Plans
  • Assistance with DSA applications
  • Advocacy
  • Pastoral support
  • General advice and information

Don’t worry if you can’t immediately find what you want, there is an email address below if you need to contact us with any queries.

Any student, at any point in their program, can register with Access to Learning.

Registering your information allows us to observe our duty of care and the effective safeguarding of your rights to disclosure and confidentiality.

If you have any particular needs or support issues, early disclosure is essential to ensure the timely provision of any appropriate advice or assistance.

Access to Learning Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I inform the Art School of my situation/needs?

A: If you have enrolled, and know that you will need some help with writing, or are worried that a long-term condition means you need to make regular doctors’ appointments and you might be late, what should you do?

You should first inform the Art School of your situation or specific needs in one of the following ways:

  • disclose your situation on your Application or Enrolment Forms;
  • make an appointment with Access to Learning, Mondays 09:30-16:30, term time only:
  • talk to your Pastoral Tutor, who will, with your permission, advise you and/or refer you to Access to Learning
  • talk to your Personal Progress Tutor, or your Head of Department who will also advise and/or will, with your permission, refer you to Access to Learning.

Q: Will my information be treated as confidential?

A: The Art School respects your right to confidentiality in relation to your disclosure.

We will not give out information about your situation or your needs unless you give us permission to do so.

Q: What happens after I have disclosed/ completed registration with Access to Learning?

A: On receipt of the information you have provided, Access to Learning, will email you to arrange a meeting in the first few weeks of the term. The meeting will discuss and identify the type and level of assistance required and what the Art School may be able to provide.

There will be a formal assessment following the meeting to confirm arrangements for assistance, if it is required.

There may be another meeting with you to complete a Learning Plan or an Access Plan, (depending on your situation).

This Plan will set out any specific requirements agreed with you and will be used to ensure that you are provided with the agreed adjustment or support identified.

Q: What should I do if I am planning to apply for Government DSA funding? *

A: Please contact Access to Learning so that we can advise you on making an application. You will need to supply specific information to apply for DSA funding:

  • For a specific learning difference such as dyslexia:

Evidence in the form of a post-16 diagnostic assessment, in English, from an educational psychologist or suitably qualified specialist teacher.

  • If you have a disability:

Provide a diagnostic assessment from a relevant professional

  • If you have an ongoing situation or health condition that impacts upon your access to learning, making, your well-being or attendance:

Provide diagnostic and/or valid documentary evidence of your situation or condition,(such as a letter from your GP or specialist).

Remember not all students are able to apply for DSA funding:

Foundation Diploma students, International students and students enrolled on Diploma courses are usually not funded by Student Finance DSA.

* Student Finance England Disabled Student Allowance: We encourage and assist students with a recognised condition and valid supporting documentation, to apply for government funding wherever possible. Students with a valid diagnosis for conditions such as Dyslexia, M.E, Depressions, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and many others, are recognised as eligible for DSA. Students enrolled on BA or MA courses can apply online at:

Q: I have never been diagnosed with a learning difficulty, but feel that I need some extra advice, support or help, what should I do?

A: Email or visit Access to Learning to discuss your concerns and speak to your Pastoral Tutor for advice.

Q: I need confidential advice that isn’t listed above and I would rather discuss it before registering with Access to Learning what should I do?

A: Email or visit Access to Learning to discuss your concerns.

Q: I have a situation or condition that impacts upon my experience /learning /wellbeing what should I do?

A: We always recommend you share this information with your Pastoral Tutor Email or visit Access to Learning to discuss your concerns.

Q: Would tutors and technicians need to know about my situation?

Some staff members may need to know about your situation so that they can provide you with the appropriate assistance or support. It may be necessary to inform other tutors of any relevant information regarding your Learning or Access Plan to ensure you receive what you need to engage with the course.

Disclosure is discussed and agreed with you in advance.

Q: How will staff be told about my situation?

A: Where required staff members will be informed about your needs via the Learning or Access Plan made after your first meeting. We may also e-mail, phone or meet with them, if appropriate.

With your permission we might email your tutor and arrange a meeting to discuss your Learning or Access Plan.

Q: What if I don’t want anyone to know about my situation?

A: You may choose to keep all information about your situation, condition or Learning/Access Plans entirely confidential so that information cannot be disclosed to any other person.  It is your right to do this – but please be aware that the School will be restricted in its ability to meet your needs if you do so.

Q: Is there ever a time when disclosure may occur without my permission?

A: In the case of an emergency, or if there are concerns about the health safety and/or well-being of you, another student or student group, our Duty of Care will be observed and this may result in disclosure to an appropriate person.

For further information on Student Support here at the Art School, please read our Equality & Diversity and our Inclusive Learning & Participation policies describing our attitude to access.


Where can I find the Course Handbook?

Here you can download the UAL Awarding Body Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art & Design specification for 2019/20 together with some of the City & Guilds of London Art School’s key policies related to the student experience.


Art School Policies

Below is a selection of relevant Art School Policies



Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked Questions: 

Q: Are Tuition Fees payable for the UAL Awarding Body Level 4 Foundation Diploma Course?

A: Yes, as an alternative provider, all fees are payable regardless of the applicant’s age. Please see the ‘What fees would I pay?‘ section above.

Q: Are students eligible to apply for a student loan or any funding from the Local Funding Authority?

A: No. Foundation Diploma course students are not eligible to apply for a student loan.  Please see the ‘What fees would I pay?‘ section above.

Q: What are the application deadlines?

A: We have four different application deadlines and currently we do not receive applications through UCAS. The 2020-2021 Academic Year Entry application deadlines are detailed in the ‘What about the actual Application?‘ section above.

If you have any enquiries about admissions and if you cannot find the answer from this ‘How To Apply’ page, please do not hesitate to contact our Admissions Office:


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