24+ Advanced Learning Loan  available to cover tuition fees for this course - flexible and affordable - click here for more info

The Portfolio Course has been developed specifically for mature students who wish to return to education to develop their artistic potential. The course mirrors the curriculum content of our highly successful and long established Foundation Diploma in Art and Design course, and leads to the same qualification, validated by the University of the Arts London. The course has a fantastic reputation within the region, and is delivered over a two day per week programme, with a requirement that students undertake additional study from home. 

The course is well structured and supportive, and provides an intensive and creative experience in which to develop your work and ideas. Studio-based projects including workshop based activities, studio teaching and study visits, will all encompass your learning and development as you become clear about your real interests and strengths. You will receive fantastic teaching and support from tutors who are practicing artists, who are sensitive to the needs of mature students reengaging in education. You’ll receive inductions to all College workshops, with freedom to utilise the facilities and services to supplement your learning. Working in a dynamic studio environment, you will be free to explore a range of disciplines including drawing, textiles, printmaking, small metals, 3D, ceramics, multi-media/digital design and photography. As you develop your specialist medium, you’ll develop your creative thinking, ideas generation, and research and study skills.
We look for students who are highly motivated, creative problem solvers and passionate about creating their own work; people who are prepared to challenge expected norms, take risks, be innovative and inventive, explore ideas and have fun doing so. Previous experience of art and design is desirable, but not essential. We will interview all applicants and would expect to see evidence of personal accomplishment in relation to creative endeavours.

Progression and careers

The majority of Portfolio students apply for undergraduate courses at Hereford College of Arts, including Artist Blacksmithing, Fine Art, Contemporary Applied Arts, Jewellery Design, Animation, Photography, Illustration, Graphic and Media Design and Textile Design. As well as degree study, you may wish to develop your practice as an artist or designer maker and exhibit your work, or you may decide to seek employment in an area related to the visual arts, such as arts administration or arts education.  For those students who already have undergraduate qualifications and may not be eligible for funding please see our Higher Level Study Programme.

On successful completion this course attracts UCAS tariff points across the three pass grades:

Pass Profile (165), Merit Profile (225), Distinction Profile (285)


1 year
2 days study at College/2 days study at home, each week

Course Code


Institution Code


Validated By

University of the Arts London


“Candidates at this well established centre can be certain that they will receive the highest levels of teaching, learning and assessment to inform their future ambitions within this context. The staff are commended for their dedicated practice” External Moderator Report UAL June 2014

Entry Requirements

  • No formal entry requirements
  • Interview with portfolio of work. This may include work produced for previous qualifications (GCSE, AS, A2, degree, etc.), or work that you have produced in your own time. A selection of observational drawing should also be included.
  • Minimum Age: 21
  • Applicants whose first language is not English - proof of IELTS overall score of 5.0 or equivalent on enrolment


College Level 3/4


£5,421 (2014) Fee remission may apply and loans/funding available


All applications should be made via the college.

How to Apply

Fees & Funding