Art Foundation Course The Foundation Year

A skills-based art foundation course in London's creative Docklands

  • Foundation Year Crit


    The Foundation Year, run by the Royal Drawing School, is a one year accredited skills-based course with five days teaching per week. Limited to 60 places, the School ensures one-to-one tuition, with a supportive learning environment in an inspiring part of London’s Docklands buzzing with creatives and artist studios. This intensive course helps students to develop the making and thinking skills needed for the next level of study and provides a route to a number of creative disciplines. The School awards a minimum of 50% of students a scholarship or fee reduction every year.


  • Foundation Year contextual studios


    The structure of the course progresses from set assignments towards self-directed study. The course is full time, with five days’ teaching a week and consists of three stages, during which students develop skills in observation, research, media and independent thinking. Drawing underpins the structure of the course, complementing the many different media that students will be introduced to. During the first two terms students will have weekly life drawing sessions in the studio where they will draw from the unclothed model. There is a Contextual Studies component that runs throughout the year.

  • Foundation Year Drawing


    Building on the success of its first two years the main campus at Trinity Buoy Wharf has recently been expanded, with facilities split over three floors including well-lit teaching and sculpture studios, purpose-built drawing studio, Kiln and ceramics facilities, intaglio print room, photography darkroom, individual studio spaces, Apple Mac suite, reference art library and a common room and kitchen.


  • Foundation Year: Outside


    After nine wonderful years, the Royal Drawing School has taken the hard decision to close its highly successful Foundation Year course which, over the years, became recognised as one of the leading foundation courses in the country. The decision follows a shift in the FE to HE progression landscape along with the School’s desire to refocus activity at its main campus in Shoreditch, following the on-going uncertainty posed by the global pandemic. Our sister charity, The Prince’s Foundation, is hoping to launch a new one year foundation course for school leavers preparing for Higher Education. If you would like to register your interest, please contact



Niam Madlani

Read student story
Using the most limited of means, drawing offers some of the most demanding opportunities for growth to a contemporary artist, both visually and intellectually, allowing a free transition between mediums.
Letter from the Artistic Director