King James' School

Art & Design - BTEC Foundation Diploma

What’s it all about? 

If you want the Art school experience in one of the strongest Art departments in the country, then this course is for you.  For committed Art students this course is an attractive alternative to A levels and provides an exciting opportunity for you to immerse yourself in the Arts. 

This course is a dynamic, hands-on and energetic introduction to the breadth of study available in Art & Design.  You will need to be excited about art and design and have a thirst for knowledge as well as being keen to broaden your horizons. 

This course provides the vital bridge between school, college and university, helping you to become an independent thinker and practitioner. 

You will develop your visual recording and communication skills through exploration and experimentation with materials and methods, gaining confidence in your ability to create work and express and communicate ideas.  Through the four mandatory units, learners develop their skills in the materials, techniques and processes to create contemporary art and design work, they explore the creative process through vocational art and design projects and investigate and deconstruct the work of artists and designers. These units allow learners to develop their ‘creative voice’ and increase their independence in the field of art and design. 

Learners further develop their skills and knowledge through two optional units in specific areas, such as fashion, textiles, graphic, photography, 3D studies and fine art. The qualification is designed to enable learners to increase their knowledge of the sector and allow them to make informed decisions about further opportunities of study and specialism.

Exam and Assessment Information: 


Art teachers examine all your work and you are also externally moderated.  There are 6 units of which 4 are mandatory and 2 are external. 

Units are assessed using a grading scale of Distinction, Merit, Pass and Unclassified.  All mandatory and optional units contribute proportionately to the overall qualification grade.               

This qualification is equivalent 1.5 A Levels. 

To get started: 

This course can be accessed with a C in an arts GCSE and a D/3 in other subjects.  You will need to study this alongside other accessible courses that will have entry requirements.  These may include: 

Performing Arts -

where you will require a C in a performance subject. 

Applied Business Studies -

where you will require a level 4 in English and Maths.

Media Studies -

where you will require a level 4 in English. 

Art -

where you will require a level 4 in English. 

Digital Photography -

where you will require a level 4 in English. 

Mathematical Studies -

where you will require a level 4 in Mathematics

What next? 

The BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Art and Design provides a route for progression to the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design.  The qualification is intended to carry UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as meeting or contributing to admission requirements to many relevant art and design courses.  On its own, it can provide progression to foundation degrees and HNDs. 

It is the beginning of an extraordinary journey within the creative sector and could lead to further study in areas such as Architecture, Fashion Design, Advertising, Fine Art, Stage Design or Illustration amongst many others

Art & Design - BTEC Foundation Diploma