Foundation Years

Our Foundation Years in Arts, Design and Media allow you to undertake an additional year of study to build stronger creative footings and ensure successful progression to your chosen degree. During the year you will work in a lively and energetic environment, and have the freedom to expand your knowledge of practical skills, creative exploration and creative development. You will also gain a broad critical understanding of academic writing and emerging theoretical principles.

Browse our Foundation Year courses

Fashion and Textiles

Study a Foundation Year in Fashion and Textiles and take that exciting first step on your professional journey into the creative industries.

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Our Foundation Year provides an environment for unlimited experimentation, giving you the opportunity to orientate yourself within the school and to share your thinking and ambition.

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Visual Communication

The Foundation Year provides a social and academic base for your future studies. Through the year you will be part of a culture that thinks, shares, makes, designs, discusses and experiments.

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Architecture and Design

Explore design through the scales and develop your personal style with a Foundation Year in Architecture and Design.

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Our Foundation Year at the School of Media is an opportunity to try a range of media production disciplines and build up practical, theoretical and academic skills.

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The Foundation Year explores language and literature, drama and creative writing You will learn how these different aspects of English study interact with one another.

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Games, Film and Animation

Study a Foundation Year in Video Games and take that exciting first step towards your chosen degree.

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Get hands-on experience and learn specialist skills in gemmology, horology and jewellery making with a Foundation Year in Jewellery.

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Hear from our staff and students

Louise Martin

"For many students, our Foundation Years are an exciting opportunity to experiment, develop personal design style and grow confidence before taking on their degree course."  Louise Martin, Foundation Year in Fashion and Textiles Course Leader

Rosie Buglass

"I decided to do a course with foundation year as I didn't have a lot of experience in the arts and therefore felt I needed an added confidence boost [...] I was also unsure as to which discipline I wanted to study, so the foundation year gave me the opportunity to be in a very mixed environment." Rosie Buglass, Illustration with Foundation Year student

Dr Soudabeh Ananisarab

"The philosophy of the Foundation course is to help students develop the skills and knowledge essential for succeeding in future degree level studies. [...] We consider the Foundation year as a springboard into degree level study and are fully dedicated to ensuring that our students have the best start possible." Dr Soudabeh Ananisarab, Foundation in English Course Director

Holly Layton

"I decided to join the foundation course because I knew I wanted to study fashion but I wasn’t sure which area to go into. During the foundation year I had the opportunity to try a bit of everything which has really helped me find my direction."  Holly Layton, Fashion Branding and Communication Foundation Year student

Foundation Year Experience

A Foundation Year student project

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English Foundation Year trip to Shakespeare's birthplace

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What to expect in your Foundation Year

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Why a Foundation Year was the best choice for Anna

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From Foundation Year to BA


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A day in the life of a Foundation Year student

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Join us at our next Open Day

If you've been inspired by what you've seen, find out more about studying with us at our next Open Day.

Why study at BCU

Birmingham City University is based in the heart of the UK’s second-largest city, with all the social and professional opportunities that brings. We’ve transformed our courses to help make you more employable and we've transformed our campuses to provide the best possible learning environment. Study with us and you’ll be at the heart of it all.


The UK’s second city is a vibrant, exciting place to live and study in – and we’ve got the youngest population in Europe! Join our community to discover world-class restaurants, shopping, and socialising.

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From disability and mental health support to CV and job interview training, BCU ensures you have all you need during your time here – and beyond – to succeed and flourish in your studies and career.

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Fees, funding, budgeting, money management – we can help you get to grips with it all. We're here to help you with any questions or problems you may have, both before and during your time as a student here.

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Find your home from home at BCU. We offer eight halls of residence options, ranging from on-campus to inner-city living. You can take a virtual tour of each accommodation option to find the one for you.

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