Beyond Bart’s: Art Degree

Published 2 March 2022

With the end of their A-levels and their time at St Bart’s now clearly in sight our Year 13 students have their sights set on their future opportunities. Over the next few weeks we will speak to Year 13 students about their plans and their experiences so far.

“I hope to do an Art foundation year, progressing on to an Art degree. When I first started researching Art in further education, I was extremely sceptical of an Art Foundation year.Firstly, I wanted to have the ‘classic’ university experience and I had major FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) from all my friends going to Uni. Secondly, I thought I knew enough about the different fields in art (I do not! The A Level experience does not fully submerge you in the arts). But in retrospect I would encourage everyone pursuing any form of art to do a foundation year. It gives you an expansion of knowledge, you can try many forms of art you’d never even thought of.

If you really want the University experience you can apply to a degree course combined with a foundation year through UCAS (although these courses are quite limited). For the separate foundation year, you have to apply to each place individually. You can also apply to degree programs that don’t include a foundation year, then defer a year and do a foundation year in this time. The main perk of a foundation year is the fees are free if you start it when you are 18, although you cannot get a student loan.

The application process can be tedious, doing the usual UCAS application, as well as portfolios. But my main advice would be to apply to everything, apply to both degrees, separate foundation years and internships. Further education in a creative area can broaden your horizon and open up many job opportunities you had never considered before.”

Emily Toplis (13P4)

If you are a younger student who has been inspired by what you’ve read here, and would like to talk to our Sixth Form students about their experiences, please email