Skip to Site Navigation Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer

Art and Design Extended Degree (with Foundation Year) - BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

This extended degree includes an intensive foundation year (Year 0), which will allow you to progress on to one of our art or design undergraduate degree courses at The Cass. It is both preparatory and diagnostic, meaning you’ll gain the skills required for your subsequent three years of study as well as giving you the opportunity to explore a number of different directions before choosing your specialism at the end of the year.

Open all

You’ll begin by undertaking a broad range of short studio and workshop projects in visual imagery and practical making. These will help you develop skills and techniques that are common across all our extended degree courses and are followed by short projects that focus more specifically on art and design. During these subject-specific projects you’ll have the opportunity to explore observational drawing, creative drawing, conceptual modeling, practical making, performance, colour, materials, process, collage, composition curating, exhibiting and more.

All our extended degree programmes allow you to develop techniques in observational, technical and creative drawing; 2D and 3D composition; framing; sequence/series and narrative, as well as studio and workshop skills. You’ll also attend lectures and seminars, which will frame creative practice within historical, contemporary, conceptual and cultural contexts.

You’ll present work-in-progress and finished projects to peers and tutors on a regular basis, preparing you for the public exhibition at the end of year. This will help you to explore your abilities and guide you towards establishing an individual focus and direction.

By the end of your foundation year you’ll have produced a substantial portfolio of work that will allow you to progress on to one of The Cass’s art or design undergraduate degree courses. You’ll also have developed as a confident, creative and socially-engaged practitioner with the ability to make more informed decisions about your own work within the context of the creative field you go on to study.

Take a look at art and design project work by our students Hannah Townrow, Florence White and Teo Rava.


You are assessed via project work, essays and an individual portfolio.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • at least one A level (or a minimum of 48 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Subsidiary/National/BTEC Extended Diploma)
  • English Language GCSE at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above or will need to take the University English test

You will need to attend an interview with your portfolio of creative work. We encourage applications from International/EU students with equivalent qualifications. We also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview.

Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a small portfolio of work via email.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Year 0 consists of one level worth 120 credits. Successful completion of this foundation year will give you the skills and portfolio required for entry onto one of our specialist undergraduate degrees.

Year 0 (Level 3) modules:

Four broad modules run throughout the year:

  • Project
  • Techniques
  • Workbook
  • Critical and Contextual Studies

These are closely related and delivered through three stages of development.

Stage one of Year 0 will involve short, diverse and intensive practical projects and workshops delivered across a range of 2D and 3D contexts. This includes, as appropriate, drawing from observation and design, painting, printmaking, typography and illustration. It also features model making and 3D crafting for sculptural and design purposes, photography and related digital media. Projects focuses on introducing work ethic, experimentation and open mindedness and allows for initial testing and confirmation of your area of interest. Workbook introduces reflective practice and personal development as well as basic research strategies, while critical and contextual studies introduces the historical and cultural context of recent subject practice and gives guidance and support to articulate yourself in spoken and written form.

Stage two of Year 0 involves open ended, interpretive and longer projects that allow for the application, reinforcement and development of effective practices from Stage 1 and the establishment of a personal perspective and sense of direction. Workshop techniques are elective and subject specific and include introductions to the department’s undergraduate provision. Workbook employs London as a resource, develops research skills and subject area knowledge and helps you develop a sense of independence and ownership of work. Critical and contextual studies introduces contemporary ideas and debates, key names and texts and includes presentations in oral as well as written form.

Stage three of Year 0 involves major, subject specific projects that reinforce independence and personal commitment and allow for the development of self-motivated, innovative, enquiry based project work within a principal area of specialisation. Techniques, workbook and critical and contextual studies form the skills, subject area knowledge and research and development background required for the project. All four modules dovetail with the organisation and preparation of the portfolio of work, the workbook and the curation of your own exhibition.

Topics include: drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, graphics, illustration, furniture, 3D design, textiles, fashion, animation, film and more.

"I chose London Met because it was one of the few universities with a good diagnostic foundation year. The course is demanding but well worth the effort. There is strong support from the teaching team and excellent technical support. Most of my year progressed into the university’s undergraduate courses."
National Student Survey

"My current project started with an assignment based around the campus. To get started, I toured the building and documented surfaces, textures and things I found visually interesting. The freedom to develop my project how I want has given me a chance to make my work original. It has been challenging, but has given me confidence and independence in my way of working."
Hannah Townrow

"Thanks to my tutors - and a bit of hard work - I can now say that the months I have spent at The Cass are the very beginning of my career as a designer. Understanding the process of design and being able to evaluate my work in a critical way helped me explore creative alternatives, and I was able to bring them to life thanks to the technicians and workshops facilities."
Ewelina Bartkowska

The course is suitable for anyone planning a career in art and design fields or the cultural and creative industries. The career opportunities available to you depend on the specialist undergraduate degree that you go on to study, however possible career options include artist, curator, art critic, art journalist, graphic designer or illustrator. Former graduates have also gone on to have successful careers as art event organisers, photographers, video producers, studio managers, art teachers, art therapists and lecturers. Former graduates include Tracey Emin, Sam Taylor-Wood and John Cecil Stephenson.

Extended degrees provide applicants with an alternative route into higher education. If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing an extended degree. Extended degrees include a Year 0, which is also known as a foundation year. Once you successfully complete your first year of study you will progress into Year 1 of an undergraduate degree.

  • outstanding vibrant and cultural London location
  • automatic progression to your choice of degree course (no need to apply again)
  • bursaries and support for eligible students studying extended degrees
  • a University environment that means working alongside degree students, excellent workshops and facilities, visiting speakers and practitioners
  • a dedicated and experienced course team offering a high level of support and guidance

We're investing in an exciting, multimillion pound transformation of the London Metropolitan University campus, between 2016 and 2020. We’re moving all of our activity to one place, our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching locations of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The widget(s) below draw data from the corresponding course on the Unistats website. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, one widget for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

All applicants applying to begin a course starting in January must apply direct to the University.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information

Please select your entry point to display the fee

Get to know our studios

News and success stories

Meet the team

Visit us

Visit us

You may also like...