The Course

The FdA Design programme prepares students for entry into the creative design industry through a multi-disciplinary approach.

Creative skills are developed through the exploration and application of a variety of employable, technical and academic skills within each module, with a focus on interior and spatial design environments. Students will utilise historical and contemporary design research along with current design thinking and sustainable influences being at the forefront of their design responses. 

Participation in competition and live project briefs reflect employable and entrepreneurial skills in preparation for entry in to the design workplace. The production of a portfolio of work allows students to explore and develop a personal design style demonstrating a diverse approach to visual and graphic communication, enabling students to work towards a defined career or higher education pathway by the end of the programme.

This programme is currently undergoing revalidation with the University of Hull to ensure you get the best experience and opportunity to achieve as an employment-ready graduate.


Whilst the title and award of the programme will likely remain unchanged or will be similar, other details such as the modules, teaching and learning strategy, contact hours and assessment strategies may change. Full details of the newly validated programme will be available from late January 2023.

Awarded by University of Hull

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View the policies and procedures that students registering on this programme would be agreeing to comply with.

Financial Information

Find the full details on the fees associated with this programme and the financial support available here.

  • What You Study

    Programme Aims:

    • Enable students to develop design ability that displays creativity and intellectual capabilities applicable to problem-solving, utilising a range of visual, written and verbal techniques to communicate designs and ideas. 
    • Provide the underpinning knowledge, intellectual rigour and entrepreneurial skills required for designing for competitions, and working on live projects with clients.
    • Extend wider participation throughout all levels to increase access for under-represented groups in the local community and within the specific sector. 
    • Employ a range of materials, media, techniques, methods and technologies with skill and creative imagination whilst observing good working practices and professional/legal responsibilities relating to the subject.

    Year 1 (Level 4) Modules:

    • Academic Skills Development
    • Visual Studies
    • Design Principles
    • Contextual Studies
    • Studio Practice
    • Design project

    Year 2 (Level 5) Modules:

    • Large Scale Design
    • Context and Environment
    • Design Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
    • Critical Study
    • Final Design Project
  • Entry Requirements

    • Applicants will have a minimum of 80 UCAS points, which may be from qualifications such as A Levels, BTEC Level 3 Extended Diplomas, Access to Higher Education Diplomas and City and Guilds Advanced Technical Diplomas, amongst others. Please use the UCAS Tariff points calculator to determine the UCAS points value of your qualification.
    • Applicants need GCSE English Language at grade C / 4 or above, or an equivalent qualification. 
    • Applicants need an appropriate academic reference.
    • Life and / or experience of non-traditional students will be taken into account when considering applications. The successful completion of an entry task may be required when considering applications without the required formal entry qualifications.
    • If your first language is not English, or a Tier 4 student visa to study is required and GCSE grade C / 4 English or equivalent is not held, English language proficiency level such as International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6.0 overall (with a minimum 5.5 in each skill) will need evidencing.
    • Students with an appropriate HNC can apply for direct entry to Year 2.
    • Applicants will require a portfolio (unless you are asked to complete an entry task) prior to being offered a place on this programme.
  • Contact Time

    For each 20 credit module you will receive approximately 54 hours of class/contact time with your tutor. Students are also expected to carry out a significant amount of private study in addition to contact time (146 hours per module). Students can expect to receive their timetables during induction week.

  • Work Experience

    Studio Practice at Level 4 enables students to participate in competitions and live projects initiated by the design industry; level 5 sees students progress within the Design Enterprise and Entrepreneurship module by independently sourcing and carrying out an external placement of 75 hours.

  • Learning and Teaching Approach

    Emphasis is placed on design and the design process introducing initial research, drawing development, the client brief, site survey and analysis, concept development through to final design presentation. Students progress from observational hand-drawn elements to experimentation with 2D and 3D visualisation techniques utilising computer software, and are encouraged to consider the implications of sustainability and the impact the design could have on the environment, along with the generation of detail design and technical elements.

    Academic research and professional skills are embedded throughout ensuring that the transferable skills acquired aid students in their academic and professional development. There is an emphasis on the development of employment skills and entrepreneurship throughout both Level 4 and Level 5 within the Studio Practice and Design Enterprise and Entrepreneurship modules, enhancing students’ employable skills and building a portfolio of evidence to take into the workplace.

    Students also have opportunities to engage with industry and work on ‘live’ projects and Design Industry-led competitions to gain first-hand experience of design process and delivery within a collaborative working environment.

    Teaching will take place at the Bishop Burton campus in East Yorkshire, UK.

  • How You're Assessed

    Students are assessed through a variety of methods including sketchbook development, research, case studies, essays, presentations and portfolios of work. Students also participate in critiques enabling them to explain their design thinking along with reasons and factors which shaped it, this useful formative assessment strategy informs the development of work in progress.

    Opportunities for feedback on assessments are available prior to the final submission to support student development and achievement. Staff aim to return assessed work within a 15 working day timeframe (not including holidays) in order that students can most benefit from their feedback

  • Progression

    There are opportunities to continue your studies and progress on to the BA Design (Top Up) programme.

  • Careers

    The design and nature of a Foundation Degree allows essential employability skills to be gained. The projects are contemporary, creative, and well-constructed and offer the students the opportunity to explore subject-specific and transferable skills that will be relevant to their future employment.

    This programme will enable you to take up opportunities in interior, exhibition and graphic design industries. These options include self-employment and fee-earning opportunities.

  • Equipment Required / Additional Costs

    Students are required to have a range of drawing equipment such as adjustable set-square and scale ruler, drawing pens and pencils, paints, marker pens, crayons, masking tape, glue, scissors etc. 

    You will also require portfolio / presentation folders, sketchbooks and a range of papers.

    A suitable electronic device, e.g. a laptop or tablet, with internet connectivity is required for accessing online learning.

    If you wish to utilise your own laptop for design work, investment in current design software will be essential. 

    Design students also invest in good quality printing and publishing of their work – prices for this vary according to size.

    There may also be additional costs for educational visits / trips.

    On successful completion of the programme, students have the opportunity to graduate at a ceremony wearing formal dress. The hire of the formal dress is an additional cost.

  • How To Apply

    Application for the full-time course is through UCAS using code W201 and application to the part-time programme is through our online application form.

    Applications for the year you wish to study open in September the year before. Whilst UCAS advertise a January deadline, we continue to accept applications through to the September you wish to start with us, provided we have spaces available and the programme remains open.

  • Download Course Guide

    Download our guide to find out more about the FdA Design programme.

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