Students interested in entering Design-related disciplines at University (including Fine Arts) need to develop visual literacy: that is an understanding of visual language common to all art and design disciplines. They also need the opportunity to explore historical and theoretical issues in a Design context. Foundation Design is composed of three inter-related elements: Design Studio, Design Studies and Design Computing.


  • In Design Studio students develop technical and critical skills, and work towards managing an effective working process. Students learn to ‘read’ visual work and gain an awareness of the elements and principles of form and space. Ongoing teacher and peer feedback and critique are essential, as students engage in critical analysis of their own and others’ work and process. There is also a strong emphasis on fostering independent learning and creative risk-taking, and experimentation with materials and methods.
  • In Design Studies students study the history and theory of Western design.
  • In Design Computing students are given the opportunity to develop their digital skills culminating in a project that brings all aspects of the course together.

Assumed knowledge: In addition to attendance at lectures and tutorials, students are required to follow project briefs, manage their time effectively and prepare oral presentations to introduce their work and work in groups. Students visit galleries and exhibitions to expand their understanding of design and visual culture in a broader context.