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Diploma Year_FAQ

Diploma Year FAQs


Q. How many students are on the programme?

The Cohort is limited to 60 students each year. The high tutor-to-student ratio and small group sizes guarantee high quality one-to-one teaching in a supportive and creative environment.

Q. How much teaching will I receive on programme?

This skills-based intensive programme is taught 5 days per week including weekly Contextual Studies lectures and tutor-led gallery and museum visits. The course runs for 36 weeks and includes opportunities for residencies at Dumfries House in Scotland.

Q. What skills will I learn?

Workshops covering carving, textiles construction, painting, printing, drawing, animation, photography, sculpture, casting and ceramics will be core to what we offer. You will also learn how to apply these newly acquired skills to your own practice in a confident and successful manner.

Q. Is there life drawing on the course?

Life Drawing from models is an integral part of the programme. We consider drawing from observation as the foundation for all the Visual and Applied Arts. It is crucial to understanding structure and form whilst training the eye to observe our environment. You don’t need to have any experience of life drawing to enrol; we will teach you everything you need to know.

Q. Who teaches on the programme?

The Programme is directed by Daniel McAuliffe. The teaching is led by a team of Core Tutors with extensive experience. The curriculum is further supported by skilled tutors from The King’s Foundation and the Royal Drawing School.

Q. What are the fees for The King’s Foundation Diploma Year?

The Programme awards up to 50% of the cohort full scholarships or a reduced tuition fee each year. Students awarded a full scholarship pay no course fees and receive a bursary for termly travel and materials costs. Fees for domestic students for 2024/25 will be announce shortly. If you cannot afford the full fees and do not qualify for a full scholarship, you can apply for a reduced fee of between 25% to 75%, subject to circumstances and availability.

Q. What qualification will I receive at the end of The Foundation Year?

Students will receive a Level 3 or Level 4 Diploma.

Q. Is the programme accredited?

The programme is accredited at Level 3 and Level 4. Accreditation is awarded by The Prince’s Trust (regulated by Ofqual). This qualification is recognised by all UK and international universities.

Q. Do I get UCAS points?

Yes, Level 3 provides additional UCAS tariff points on completing the course.

Q. What do our students go on to do?

The programme provides a transitional period in students’ creative and skill development, preparing them for either a place in higher education or vocationally elsewhere. Support and guidance for progression is an integral element of the programme structure. You will be given individual tailored guidance on suitable degree-level courses and careers in the creative industries, Applied Art and Fine Art practices.

Students can progress to a wide variety of BA courses in subjects ranging from Architecture, Fine Art, Painting, Sculpture and Photography, Animation, Fashion Design, Costume and Theatre Design and Prop Making, Illustration, Technical Arts and Special Effects, Crafts and many more.

The King’s Foundation is uniquely placed to offer placements and progression from this programme into Traditional Arts, Heritage Craft Skills, Architecture and Design.

Q. Who is the programme for?

To apply you must be 18 or over on 1st September in the year that you embark on the course. We welcome applications from mature students, who feel that the course may help them to realise their ambition to progress to higher education or into a relevant career.

Q. Can I apply as an international student?

We are able to accept applications from students with Tier 1 and Tier 2 visa status. It is hoped that from Spring 2024 onwards, we will be accepting applications from students with Tier 4 (General) visa.

Q. Do you run courses for students who might be thinking about applying?

During the summer 2023, The King’s Foundation will run a selection of courses at Trinity Buoy Wharf designed to prepare students for entry on to the Diploma Year and other Foundation Courses.

Q. How do I apply to the programme?

The first step is to complete an application form and submit a digital portfolio (the form can be found here). Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to interview and should present their physical portfolio and sketchbooks for discussion. The interview is a 20-minute friendly conversation about you and your portfolio, and an opportunity for you to ask us questions.

Q. What should I submit in my portfolio?

The portfolio should display a sense of personal investigation through a range of drawing, painting and mixed media. Your work should demonstrate an interest in skill and process and include examples of:

  • Drawings that express a sustained interest in the world around you.
  • Works that demonstrate an ability to apply ideas across a range of materials and media. You should include photographic evidence of any 3D work, sculpture or larger pieces where applicable.
  • You can include sketchbook pages in your digital portfolio but try to limit this to 4 examples.
  • Evidence of an interest in developing skills.
  • Information on the materials you have used, scale and size of the work.
  • If you are invited for interview, we will ask to see the work presented in your digital portfolio along with new work, sketchbooks and evidence of inspiration and research

Q. When will applications close?

The first phase of applications for 2024/25 will close on the 20th February 2024, please contact to register your interest.

Digital Portfolio Submission

For your digital portfolio you will need to create a PDF containing 20 high resolution photographs of your work.

The works should include:

  • 10 drawings in dry media (e.g. graphite, charcoal, chalk, pastel, Conté, pencil)
  • 10 additional works in other media (e.g. painting, photography, sculpture, animation*, print,)

These works must have been created within the past three years.

Within the 20 image limit, you may include images from sketchbook pages, however if possible, please try to limit this to 4 images.

*Animators may submit 2 short video files included within their additional works Via a link (that does not require a password). Please limit each video file to 2 minutes / max 8MB per video.

Each image must be labelled in the following way:

  • Title of Work, Dimensions, Medium. (i.e. Untitled, 25x25, Pencil On Paper (dimensions should be calculated in centimetres))

Please be prepared to present these works along with further sketchbooks at the Zoom interview if you are shortlisted.

Shortlisted Applicants

Applicants will be shortlisted by our interview panel which includes the Director and Core Tutors. Selected candidates will be invited to attend an interview via zoom or in person. They will present a physical portfolio of their work including the digital submission. Applicants should present sketchbooks and 3D works if appropriate.


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For more information and all enquiries, please email or telephone +44(0)2075369688