Foundation Diploma in Visual Communication, Advertising, Art Direction & Branding

This course covers the areas that underpin the visual creative arts industry.  Students are introduced to the fundamentals of visual communication and graphic design for branding, advertising, and art direction. Areas of focus include layouts, composition, typography, colour work, the relationships between photography and illustration and how all these unite to give students the tools of a persuasive visual communicator.  

As a visual communicator, you will learn to adapt from one brief to the next, including designing for print, web, mobile and TV in the arena of advertising and branding. On this course, you will develop a sharp eye for detail and an understanding of type, image and layout as key assets to succeed in this sector of the creative arts. All media from pen and paper to digital creative software is encouraged on this course. 
Taught in our CSVPA London Studio, students on the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design. Visual Communication: Branding and Advertising and Art Direction are placed in the heart of the creative industry in the UK.  


We provide access to all the Adobe software (Photoshop, InDesign, Premier Pro, After Effects, and more) and free colour printing.  
You will be actively supported through a hands-on approach and extensive contact time with your tutors. 


The UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art & Design- Visual Communication: Branding and Art Direction is included in the UCAS tariff and attracts tariff points for each final grade as shown below: 

UCAS Points 
Pass 80 – Merit 96 – Distinction 112 


The UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art & Design- Visual Communication: Branding and Art Direction is quality assured by UAL awarding body through a rigorous external moderation process and grades are monitored against agreed national standards.  It is also regulated by Ofqual

“I personally liked the balance between the independent and in-class work. We had enough time in class to ask questions and learn new skills, and to improve and perfect those skills on our own.”

Grigory – Foundation Diploma in Art & Design


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Course Location 
Course Length 
3 Terms 
Course Start 
Tutor Support 
Specialist staff support available 5 days a week. 
Studio Access 
Students have access to our studios 7 days a week, from 8 am to 8.30 pm, Monday to Friday and 9 am to 5 pm at weekends. 
How your work is assessed  
Visual and written assignments and projects. With specifications set by UAL awarding body.  
Awarding Body 
University of the Arts London Awarding Body 
English Language 
Up to 5 hours per week if required 
Degrees & further education in Visual Communication, Advertising, Art Direction and Branding. Guaranteed progression to any of our BA courses on successful completion of the Foundation Diploma. 


17 years + 

Educational Level 
Successful completion of High School (year 11 or year 12 depending on the native country) is needed or 1 x A level at grade E or above and 5 x GCSEs at grade 4 or C or equivalent, preferably in a relevant creative subject. 
Students who do not meet these entry requirements will still be considered on their own individual potential to succeed subject to a portfolio review and interview.  

English Level for International Students 
IELTS 4.5+ (no element under 4.0) 

No portfolio is required.


This 1 year (3 terms) course is fundamental if you want to progress to university to study Art & Design at degree level or if you want to study Branding, Advertising and Art Direction. 


You will be guided in choosing the specialism disciplines most suited to you. With support and advice from your lecturers, you will also consider which universities you wish to apply to.


In this term you will be applying the skills gained in your first term to several projects and live briefs from within specialism disciplines. You will also explore various themes relevant to environmental, social, and political issues as you develop your portfolio and prepare for university interviews. 


You will consolidate your practice through a self-directed project. At the end of term, you will showcase your work through an exhibition or show and celebrate your achievements at our graduation ceremony. 


This all encompassing subject ensures you have a solid understanding of drawing-based theory including mark making, colour theory and perspective theory that takes into account how work is produced. Over the year you will cover off the following areas:

  • Elements of composition, tone, colour, texture, form and structure
  • Observational analysis
  • Visual interpretation
  • Improvisation techniques
  • Rendering the abstract
  • Experimental drawing  


Through a variety of teaching styles, we focus on four key skills you need to pass your IELTS exam; listening, reading, writing and spoken English. 

Visual communication 
Art Direction 
Creative Communication 
Investigation into Creative Specialist Practice  
Professional Practices  
Visual Production 
Audience Engagement 
Critical and Contextual Studies 


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At CSVPA, we are looking for students to demonstrate originality and motivation. You need to show us that you are interested in the subject area you are applying for. If you are passionate about something, show it! It is less about the final piece and more about the thought process you have gone through. Show us your research and ideas in sketchbooks or notebooks and show us a variety of work which demonstrates the skills and experience you have. 
What to include: 

  • Show us 5-10 pieces of your very best work: quality is more important than quantity.  
  • Include both taught and personal work (you can include videos such as YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, etc).  
  • Demonstrate drawing skills (from live observation, as well as from photos or reference materials)  
  • Show us your personal ideas and areas of interest (if you’re passionate about a certain subject, show it!)  
  • Only use work you have made in the last 18 months: nothing older 
  • Submit it electronically as a PPT or PDF, or arrange an interview to show your work in person. 


What We Look for in an Portfolio guide, to prepare fully for your audition at CSVPA.



Are you interested in Foundation Diploma in Visual Communication, Advertising, Art Direction & Branding?
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