This four-year degree course includes an intensive foundation year (Year 0), which will enable you to progress onto one of our art or design undergraduate degree courses at The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass). It is both preparatory and diagnostic, allowing you to explore a number of different directions prior to choosing a specialism at the end of the year. It will also provide you with the skills required for your subsequent three years of study.
As a start you’ll undertake a broad range of short studio and workshop projects in visual imagery and practical making. These will help you to develop techniques that are common across all of our foundation year courses and introduce you to a work ethic of experimentation and open-mindedness. Following this you will approach open-ended, interpretive projects that will help you to establish a personal perspective and sense of direction.
All of our foundation year programmes allow you to develop techniques in:
During your subject-specific projects you’ll also have the opportunity to explore:
Your lectures and seminars will frame the creative practice within historical, contemporary, conceptual and cultural contexts.
Throughout the course you’ll present work-in-progress and finished projects to peers and tutors on a regular basis, which will prepare you for the public exhibition at the end of year. This will be a chance for 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 onto one of The Cass’s art or design undergraduate degree courses. This introductory year will also see you develop into a confident, creative and socially-engaged practitioner, and you’ll continue into your chosen field of study equipped with the skills to make more informed decisions about your own work within its specific context.
Once you have progressed onto the three-year course after the foundation year, you’ll study the same course content as those who take the three-year course. On completion of your chosen degree course you’ll graduate with the same title and award as those who undertook the same traditional three-year degree without the foundation year.
You will be assessed via project work, essays and an individual portfolio.
In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:
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.
To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.
If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.
The modules listed below are for the academic year 2019/20 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.
Year 0 modules include:
The Critical and Contextual Studies module introduces a range of cultural and contextual practices and is diagnostic in helping students to identify areas of reading, writing, information gathering and research in relation to their abilities, needs and aspirations. The intention is to prepare students for critical and theoretical work in Higher Education.
The focus of the Critical and Contextual Studies module is on the ability to ask questions and find answers; specifically, those bearing on architecture, art, design and media in the broad sense and to the conventional means to present these. The experience of the module is structured by a sequence of three submissions: an initial patchwork assignment that includes a Learning Reflection element, an analysis of the works of a particular creative practitioner and a final submission is a self-directed essay.
The contents include answers to questions that range from practical or theoretical ‘how to’ or ‘what is’ exercises; to simple ‘what do you think?’ form of analysis or reflection; to complex structured responses in the form of the essay.
The module is constructed around three core blocks of intensive study. Each block has a thematic structure to allow the exploration of different topics and approaches, for example: ‘Contexts’, ‘Connections’, ‘Themes in creative practice’. The first assessment includes the Learning Reflection element.
The module aims to motivate and aid the student to find out about and engage in the practice and culture of architecture, art, design and media. The module should help inform the student about their future direction of study as well as providing useful insights into their potential and abilities. Students learn how to ask and begin to answer questions about the discipline they are interested in and its broader context. They should acquire a portfolio of methodological and critical writing and communication skills that enable them and know how to apply themselves to the various forms of study and assessment ahead following progression to the next level in Higher Education.
The Formats module is in a relatively objective position in relation to the Project and Techniques modules; whereas their focus is on aspects of an individual’s creative practice Formats addresses what is shared or common across creative practices, such as colour, composition, having and using ideas, collecting and categorising, curating, presenting and exhibiting. It is used to integrate the individual project-related work with knowledge, methods and formats from creative practice more widely.
Relations are explored between individual creative practice and other creative practices through producing work in different digital and analogue formats – including document, journal, process diary, book, album, brochure, instruction manual, worksheet, competition entry, exhibition, pop-up event, etc.
The different formats relate to ways of working and ways of thinking presented in different contexts; acting as multifunctional/responsive spaces that uses a range or combination of materials, methods and presentation environments, eg drawing, painting, photography, collage, transcribing, recording, notation, animation, film, commentary, diagram, on-line algorithm, collection and categorising, mind-maps, and ‘Thinking Hats’, etc.
There is an emphasis on the process of learning from self-evaluation and critical reflection towards propositions using both prescribed tasks and imaginative/conceptual interpretation eg colour theory – wheels/ swatches/ assemblage; reflection/ illustrated journal; composition/ narrative; exhibition/ publication; teamwork/ peer review; collecting/ curating, etc.
The module develops evidence of independent and discriminating thought and action in the research, approach and development of creative work using existing knowledge alongside diverse experience, self-reflection and critical reflection to learn about, understand and develop creative practice.
It introduces practical strategies for the formation and growth of nascent creative work and ideas; and seeks to introduce methods of thinking, recording, collecting, documenting, reading, mapping, reworking, reflecting and evaluating to evolve creative habits. It aims to evidence increasing subject-area knowledge and to develop understanding of the relationship between practical, conceptual and intellectual methods associated with different creative practices.
It encourages self-assessment of skills and knowledge to contribute to and participate in team-work and collaborative outcomes. It guides navigation between the rigorous/professional (criteria, formats and deadlines) and the imaginative/innovative (novelty, diversity and questioning).
A project develops ideas through conceptual and material processes towards outcomes that can be evaluated in relation to the initial idea; and other related contexts that may arise during the time-frame of the project. The Project module is an introduction to the project as a key feature of creative practice.
The projects in the Project module vary considerably in aim, structure and duration to reflect their application in a wide range of creative practices. The definition, implementation, development and outcome of the projects is transferred from tutor to student as the course proceeds. The projects are inherently student-centred with course demands satisfied by developing the student’s independent inquiry, discovery and production.
Each project requires direct engagement, participation and responsibility in relation to ideas, productivity and the reflection on and evaluation of creative work.
Practical elements of project-work are built-up by a close relation with the Techniques module. Critical reflection and self-evaluation encourage the development of self-organisation and effective time-management.
The Project module provides a broad, varied, stimulating and diagnostic experience of a range of creative practices that allows for self- assessment of individual interests and aptitudes towards developing a creative practice in relation to making an informed choice of a progression pathway ahead.
It enables the development of a productive, disciplined and critical approach to visual and practical enquiry; and to individual independent thinking, making and communicating. It develops the individual’s portfolio of work in a distinctive and ambitious way as evidence of a personal creative practice in the context of a specific subject area. Assignments and study trips will open up London as a source of limitless research potential and creativity.
The Techniques module delivers the skills-based, technical aspects of creative practices in relation having, developing and resolving ideas through processes towards media/material outcomes. It concerns the quality of making, considerations of care, appropriateness and endeavour. It encourages recognition of the intrinsic formal and structural qualities of different media as essential elements in visual/aural communication. The module involves a series of learning experiences that introduce and develop many of the key skills and techniques needed for a range of making practices across various subject areas; the outcomes are in the context of and further developed in close relation with the Project module.
The Techniques module introduces a wide range of materials, methods, techniques and processes to make work in a broad sense. It is closely aligned with the Project module to develop understanding of the limitations and potential of selected media, materials and techniques in the development project work. Responsible attitudes aligned to ethical and professional contexts are applied and considered in relation to imaginative experimentation and exploitation for innovation.
The Techniques module links the analysis and evaluation of technical quantitative properties with qualitative aesthetic discernment and judgment and introduces a common vocabulary, technical/professional language, core skills and reference models. It introduces safe and appropriate studio/workshop/site practice.
"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."
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 wanted 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."
"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 workshop facilities."
The course is suitable for anyone planning a career in art and design and the cultural and creative industries. Please see the career opportunities under the various relevant undergraduate degree courses on to which you can progress.
The opportunities for careers are extensive - one out of every 12 jobs in the UK is in the creative sectors, with employment growing faster here than in the rest of the economy.
This is a four-year degree course with a built-in foundation year (Year 0). It's the perfect route into a university degree if you want to explore your options in a general field, but need more time to discover which particular degree path will best suit you. It is also an ideal option if you don't meet the necessary entry requirements for the standard undergraduate degree. You'll graduate with a full undergraduate degree with the same title and award as those who studied the three-year course.
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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 looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 (General) student visa, please be aware that you will not be able to study as a part-time student at undergraduate level.
All applicants applying to begin a course starting in January must apply direct to the University.
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.
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Dr Anne Karpf talks about the launch, which took place at the Writing Black Lives event.
Students on Cass Diploma Unit 7 shortlisted for prestigious national prize, with three practices led by Cass alumni also in the running.
Artist and Cass Professor Bob and Roberta Smith is setting a creative project a day for his students – and the world.
London Met staff have sewn and donated hundreds of face masks primarily to maternity wards in London, where staff are lacking protective gear as a result of the pandemic.
Furniture students design and build a new pop-up bar working in collaboration with industry ready for school social events in our post-social distancing future.
Cass student wins national bursary for project responding to her grandmother’s relocation to a nursing home.
26 and 30 March 2020, 6.30pm to 8pm
Cass Research present two online seminars led by Dr Frances Holliss, Emeritus Reader in Architecture.
Architecture students explore materials and technology at Mudchute Farm workshop sponsored by BSW Timber in association with Grown in Britain.
11 to 29 March 2020
Exhibition at Aldgate library as part of Women’s History Month 2020 features photography by students, alumni and staff of The Cass.
3 to 8 March 2020
Photography alumna raising funds for Islington Mind as part of new exhibition.
A series of pop-up exhibitions curated by first year Fine Art students.
Monday 9 March 2020, 6pm to 8pm
Cass Research are delighted to announce the first in the Cass Research Book Events.
Thursday 27 February 2020 at 6.30pm
Talk by leading photographer as part of series in collaboration with London Independent Photographers.