BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

The BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design qualifications are awarded by Pearson, the UK’s largest awarding body offering academic and vocational qualifications that are globally recognized and benchmarked.

The qualification title appears the same on the students’ certificates. The students should be aware when they are recruited by different centers and registered with Edexcel. The centers are therefore able to describe the programme of the study leading to the award of the qualification in various ways to suit the medium and the target audience.

Qualification Accreditation Numbers

The qualification has been accredited to and is eligible for public funding as determined by the Department for Education (DFE) under Sections 96 and 97 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000. The qualification and unit codes will appear on the student’s final certification documentation. So, the QN for the qualification in this publication is Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design 500/7928/I.


The guidance for the BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design offers advice and recommendations that enable centers to manage and implement. The programme approved under this guidance leads to the award of a BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. As such, the guidance is specific to the knowledge, understanding, skills, and assessment requirements of the programme. It also identifies the boundaries within which centers ought to design and operate the BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

Moreover, this guidance replaces the 2007 guidance for the BTEC Level 3 BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. Centers approved under the 2007 guidance must adopt the new guidelines for courses as of September 2010.


The main aim of the BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is to educate students to make informed decisions that facilitate their progression to appropriate higher education in art and design. The qualification builds on the students’ prior experience. The skills already acquired are linked with ideas and challenges that extend students’ critical independence and enable them to demonstrate a full understanding of the application of art and design relevant to the advancement of opportunities and career choice.

Moreover, the integrated nature of this qualification is essential owing to the current complexities within the higher education sector where specialist provision sits together with modular schemes. The programme teams are expected to be innovative in delivery, identifying specific discipline expertise while ensuring that the core, interpretative function of translating learners’ abilities into realizable goals is attained.

The qualification is characterized by experiential, experimental, and integrated learning, relying upon the development of manual skills while valuing the accidental and disruptive results that can occur. Therefore, the study must ensure that the full range of teaching expertise and learning opportunities are provided. This is necessary for student awareness of the demands of art and design, and recognition of the common principles and distinctive characteristics of subject disciplines.

The Level 3 elements of the programme aim to develop the student’s ability to challenge their preconceptions, to analyze, reflect on and review their progress within the context of art and design. This way, it increases their independence in developing ideas and extending their skills in using materials, techniques, and processes.

The Level 4 elements of the qualification aimed at developing the students’ capacity for in-depth inquiry, autonomy, critical analysis, and initiative in exploring ideas and adapting media. This brings the scope of their study to an ambitious and coherent conclusion.


The BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design aims to:

  • Improve student’s capacity to learn and develop faculties and skills that lead to self-reliant learning.
  • Developing student’s critical awareness of the contemporary visual world and related contexts and the relationship of contemporary practice to historical, cultural, environmental, and social influences
  • Developing student’s intellectual curiosity through critical understanding and advanced learning using appropriate methods like reflective journal and interaction between self and others
  • Develop learners’ ability in methods of creative production by maintaining an open mind in exploring new ideas through risk-taking
  • Develop learners’ understanding and awareness of the opportunities and demands of study in art, design, craft, and communication to translate potential and ability into achieving goals within higher education, chosen employment, or industry liaison
  • Connect to the workplace and employers by encouraging participation in ‘live project’ wherever relevant to the specification and through engaging practitioners as lecturers on, or visitors to the program
  • Provide a context in which students can identify and interpret their strengths and direction through a continuous diagnostic and progressive exploration of skills and concepts to art, design, craft, and communication practice.


Total Qualification Time

For this qualification, Pearson specifies the total number of hours that it is expected the average learner will be required to undertake to complete and show achievement for the qualification – Total Qualification Time (TQT).

Within this, Pearson also identifies the number of Guided Learning Hours (GLH) that a center delivering the qualification will need to provide. Guided Learning refers to activities that directly or immediately involve tutors and assessors in teaching, supervising, and invigilating learners like lessons, online instruction, tutorials, and supervised study giving feedback on performance.

On top of guided learning, others require learning directed by tutors or assessors that including private study, preparation for the assessment, and undertaking assessment when not under supervision like preparatory reading, revision, and independent research.

The qualification also has a credit value that is equal to one-tenth of TQT. Pearson consults with users of these qualifications in assigning TQT and credit values. This qualification has a TOT of 1200 (120 credits, 720 GLH).

Related Qualification

To accommodate the new framework, the academic level and size of the Edexcel BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. As such, the qualification is now available at Level 3 and Level 4 with all qualifications with 120 credits in size. Moreover, both qualifications have several common units in their structures. However, the BTEC Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design comprising of credit predominantly at Level 4.

Centers choosing to follow the level 3 or level 4 versions of the qualifications should consider the ability and maturity of the students they enroll. Students finding difficulty achieving a Level 4 qualification can opt for certification for the Level 3 qualification should they achieve the optional units at level 3. Equally, students making excellent progress on Level 3 qualification can achieve the Level 4 qualification by achieving all the optional units at Level 4.

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