After nine wonderful years, the Royal Drawing School has taken the difficult 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. We would like to thank you for taking an interest in this course and wish students the best of luck with any applications to other foundation courses and with your careers as the artists, designers and makers of the future.

The Royal Drawing School continues to offer over 200 courses in drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture on the Public Programme for students aged 18 and over.

Q. Can I apply to The Foundation Year?

We are no longer accepting applications for The Foundation Year. The Foundation Year 2020-21 will be the final cohort to graduate from this course in June 2021.

Q. Are there other foundation courses that I can apply to?

There are other foundation courses available in London and across the country that are still accepting applications for entry in September 2021 and we recommend that you apply as soon as possible.

Our sister charity, The Prince’s Foundation, is planning to start a new one-year foundation course in September 2021 for school leavers preparing for entry to Higher Education. With a wider curriculum focussed on the Applied Arts, their expanded offer will include architecture, crafts and textiles. The Royal Drawing School will partner to deliver the Fine Art component of this new coursewhich will run from the same site at Trinity Buoy Wharf, Docklands. For more information, contact:

Q. What else does the School run for school leavers?

As well as Young Artists courses for 10-18 year olds, a Public Programme for over 18s and bespoke Life Drawing in Schools courses, the Royal Drawing School is developing a new school leaver’s programme, The Drawing Gap, which will run at the School’s main campus in Shoreditch. Aimed at gap year students, we will offer both three and six month programmes of study, launching in Summer 2022. This intensively taught skills based course, with drawing at its core, offers an experience of art school and portfolio development during their gap year. Please contact to register interest.

 Q. I have already applied and paid my submission fee, what should I do?

If you have already applied and paid your submission fee, The Foundation Year team will be in touch with you to arrange a refund. If you have any other questions about your application please do not hesitate to contact   

Q. Why have I only heard about this decision now?

The difficult decision to close The Foundation Year follows a shift in the FE to HE progression landscape along with the School’s desire to refocus activity under one roof, its main campus in Shoreditch, East London, following the on-going uncertainty posed by the global pandemic. Discussions about the course’s future were concluded at the last board meeting on the 27th January 2021, applicants were informed the following week. We appreciate the interest you have shown and the time and consideration you have put towards your application. 

Q. Who teaches on The Foundation Year?

The Foundation Year is directed by Daniel McAuliffe and teaching is led by a team of Senior Core Tutors with extensive experience in Foundation level teaching. They are supported by both Core Tutors and Alumni Faculty who are graduates of The Drawing Year, the School’s postgraduate level course.

Q. How much teaching will I receive on The Foundation Year? 

This in an intensive, taught, skills-based course. Students receive five days’ tuition each week during term time, as well as weekly Contextual Studies lectures and in-conversations with contemporary artists.

Q. Is there life drawing on the course? 

Yes, we draw from life in the studios, from both clothed and unclothed, male and female models. Drawing from the unclothed figure in particular familiarises us with our shape and movement and encourages an understanding of both. It allows students to see the structure of the body with the intention of developing the ability to make up figures in their artwork. We welcome students from all backgrounds, as such, students may request an alternative course of study if they are unable to work from unclothed models. If you are not able to draw from an unclothed model, please let The Foundation Year office know when you accept your place.

Q. How many students are on The Foundation Year?

Our intake is limited to 60 students each year to ensure that we are able to provide high quality one-to-one teaching throughout the course.

Q. What qualification will I receive at the end of The Foundation Year?

Students will receive a Level 3 or Level 4 Diploma in Fine Art. UK national students generally receive a Level 3 qualification which gives students UCAS Tariff Points to contribute towards university applications. UK nationals can request to study a Level 4 qualification. International students receive a Level 4 qualification which enables students to obtain a study visa for the UK. 

Q. Is The Foundation Year accredited?

Yes, The Foundation Year is a fully accredited course at Level 3 and Level 4. Accreditation is awarded by The Prince’s Trust (regulated by Ofqual). This qualification is recognised by all UK and international universities. 

Q. Do I get UCAS points on The Foundation Year?

Yes, at Level 3 students gain additional UCAS tariff points on completing the course and will be awarded a different number of points dependent on the grade they are awarded; Pass, Merit or Distinction. 

Q. What do our students go on to do?

Helpful, expert advice and guidance on progression from The Foundation Year is one of the key benefits that we offer students. Following their graduation, last year’s students progressed to a wide variety of BA courses in subjects ranging from Fine Art, Painting, Drawing, Sculpture and Photography, to Animation, Graphic Design, Architecture, Illustration and Technical Arts and Special Effects, at top-ranking universities including the Architectural Association, Camberwell College of Arts (UAL), Central St Martins (UAL), Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Glasgow School of Art, Goldsmiths University of London, Newcastle University, The Ruskin School of Art, Slade School of Art (UCL), University of Brighton, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, The University of Edinburgh, University of Falmouth, University of Leeds, University of Oxford, and Wimbledon College of Art (UAL), among others.