FdA Visual Arts

Start date(s):
7 Sep 2020
2 years
Level 5
Credit Value:
Course Code:
Study Mode:
Full Time
Attendance Type:
Attendance Pattern:
Framwellgate Moor Campus
Course costs:
£9000 per year
(previous year's fees)
This programme is validated by New College Durham


This programme aims to equip you with the knowledge and creative skills required to successfully develop a career within visual arts.

You will focus on your preferred specialist discipline within art and design such as fine art, digital photography, textile design, multimedia, interior design, illustration, or take a broad and inventive approach to develop a diverse portfolio. The course will nurture creativity and support concept development to a level where you can seek employment, engage in self-employment or undertake further study.

Opportunities for external work placements generally arise during your second year of study due to the level of skill required by employers.

Experience Higher Education

We offer a wide range of degrees, higher apprenticeships and professional qualifications.  Find out how our flexible higher education programmes have progressed the career of our ex-students!

Art room

Take a tour around our Art & Design facilities

Our students have access to spacious Art rooms, studio spaces, print rooms, Mac suites, and specialist equipment. 

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Aims are as followed:
  • Advance the development of professional, innovative and creative outcomes in a supportive learning environment
  • Evidence academic activity that underpins learning within the creative industries
  • Enhance creative skills within a work-related context that supports the acquisition of transferable and professional skills relevant to employment or further study in the creative industries.


Level 4 Core Modules:
  • Personal & Professional Development 1
  • Work Related Learning 1
  • Contextual Influences
  • Professional Studio Practice 1.

Level 5 Core Modules:
  • Personal & Professional Development 2
  • Work Related Learning 2
  • Critical Study
  • Professional Studio Practice 2.

Time commitment

Average number of hours per week

Independent Learning


Level 4 1pm-5pm
Level 4 9am-4pm
Level 5 9am-1pm
Level 5 9am-4pm
*Days and times of study are subject to change. Timetables are confirmed at the start of term.

Teaching & assessment

You will have direct personal contact with an individual member of the course team to discuss academic and personal matters relevant to your learning. At induction you may discuss any learning or support needs – your progress will be monitored and you will be encouraged to arrange regular one-to-one sessions with your tutor to discuss any issues arising.

You will also receive academic support from your module tutors. Support is given to students via tutorials at set intervals during the academic year.

A range of assessment methods are used across both Level 4 and Level 5, including:
  • Time constrained briefs
  • Reflective journal
  • Presentations
  • Work related projects
  • Assessment of practical skills
  • Preparation of portfolios of evidence.

Maths and English

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Maths & English

Maths and English skills are essential for the workplace and university.

Industry links:

This programme places focus upon the opportunity for students to engage in, and gain credit for, the development of industry based work. You will be given the opportunity to contribute to live client briefs with local and national organisations.


You will be encouraged to engage in work experience activities to enhance your portfolio and develop work based skills needed for progression.

You could progress to BA (Hons) Design at New College Durham to top-up your foundation degree to a degree.

Progress onto further study


BA (Hons) top-up Visual Arts

Explore visual art forms such as drawing, painting, sculpture, crafts, printmaking, and photography, and gain the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career in this exciting industry.

Meet our students

Rebecca Goldsworthy

Rebecca Goldsworthy

Rebecca has experienced fantastic and exciting opportunities in life since gaining skills at New College Durham, her current position is Junior Fashion Assistant at global online fashion retailer ASOS.

What else?


Please note these prices are for the current academic year and may be subject to change for our courses starting in future years.

Campus Image 1

Fees and funding

Find out more about course fees and financial support for UK, EU and non-EU students, plus how to pay your fees.

Refund policy square 2018/19

Refund Policy 19-20

View our refund policy for further and higher education programmes (page 2) and full cost courses.


Additional Costs

Additional costs include general art and design materials, external hard drive, access to a digital camera and personal computer (Mac or PC) with design software. There will also be expenses for a yearly national trip and optional international visit.

Interview Instructions

All applicants will be invited to attend an interview to present a portfolio of art and design work. International applicants may arrange a telephone interview and send their portfolio via email.
Further Education

Getting ready for your college interview

Find out more information about your college interview.

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System Credits:


Entry Criteria

UCAS tariff points:
Standard Entry Criteria:
  • A Level 3 qualification in an art and design related discipline
  • An impressive art and design based portfolio (international applicants can present this via the internet or email)
  • Evidence of digital literacy within portfolio to meet the needs of Level 4
  • To have, or be working towards, Level 2 or equivalent in English Language and Maths - if evidence of literacy skills are lacking within the application process, applicants will be required to successfully complete of a 500 word essay.

Non-standard Entry Criteria:
  • Evidence of ongoing creative experience or employment within the creative industries
  • An impressive art and design based portfolio (international applicants can present this via the internet or email)
  • Evidence of digital literacy within portfolio to meet the needs of Level 4
  • To have or be working towards Level 2 or equivalent in English Language - if evidence of literacy skills are lacking within the application process, applicants will be required to successfully complete of a 500 word essay.