Fashion Foundation Personal Statement

When to apply

The deadline for all Home and EU applications is 31 January 2018. Please note this course does not consider late applications.

You may choose either the Diagnostic option or ONE of the Specialist pathways on the online application. Please note, in some cases we may offer you a place on the course but on a different pathway to the one you have originally applied for.

Application Steps

  • All applications are given equal consideration
  • You can apply to one of the Foundation courses at UAL (CSM or CCW)
  • You will need to write a personal statement in support of your application
  • To complete your application you must submit a digital portfolio via UAL’s online portfolio review system
  • Following an initial review against five selection criteria (listed below) of your digital portfolio you will either be invited to an interview/ full portfolio review or be informed your application is unsuccessful
  • At the interview/ full portfolio review staff will first look at your portfolio before asking you talk about one project – please note that all interviews are conducted in groups

You will be informed of the decision by the UAL Applicant Portal by 11th April at the latest 

Required information for Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items when completing the online application form:

General Information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses);
  • Current English language level;
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details;
  • Employment history (if applicable);

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should:

  • Be a maximum of 500 words
  • Tell us why you have chosen the course and how it will help with your future plans
  • Describe aspects of your current work that support your mode of study choice
  • Talk about the type of work you want to make whilst on the course

If you do not complete all the required information or upload the necessary documents, we will not be able to proceed with your application and portfolio review.

Applying and how your application is considered 

Applications for this course are now closed.

You can only apply to Central Saint Martins (CSM) Foundation Diploma OR the Camberwell Chelsea Wimbledon (CCW) Foundation Diploma.

You cannot apply for both courses, any duplicate application will be withdrawn.

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal.  Please do log into your applicant portal as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, as well as allowing you to contact us with any questions you may have about your application. 

What happens next

If you meet the entry requirements you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system.  You must complete the digital portfolio submission within 7 days of receiving the instructions on how to upload your digital portfolio.

Digital Portfolio Guidance

Prior to being selected for interview for a place on the Foundation Diploma course we ask that you submit 20 pages of your work for consideration against our entry criteria.

Please note that these can include photographs of worksheets or sketchbook pages and that you might lay out multiple works in one page as long as they are clearly visible (for example: presentation boards). Please read the following advice carefully:

Visualisation skills

  • Include evidence in the form of drawings you've made from observation of the world around you such as landscapes, cityscapes, interiors, people and objects. (Don't rely on drawings from photographs.)
  • Do include experimental drawings, developmental designs, storyboards, technical design drawings, photographs, details of materials you have used.

Successful applicants demonstrate this through their sketchbook pages, worksheets, drawing, photography, textural or 3D work etc. and there is no prescribed way to submit the evidence.

Research and investigative skills

  • Include evidence of the primary and secondary research sources which have informed the projects in your portfolio.  Your research should be annotated with critical analysis which demonstrates your engagement with the sources you have identified.
  • This can be in the form of scanned pages or photographs from a sketchbook, notebook or blog. It is important for us to see how research informs your practice as an artist or designer.
  • It is also important for us to see where you gather your research from; site visits, gallery visits, books, magazines, websites etc.

Successful applicants demonstrate this in a variety of ways and there is no prescribed way to submit the evidence.

Creative thinking and problem solving abilities

  • Show us that you have considered a wide range of ideas for your projects. This could be shown in sketchbooks where initial ideas are recorded, selected and developed.
  • We are particularly interested in the development of ideas and the process you have gone through, the problem you have identified and solved in order to arrive at a final outcome.
  • Organise your work so that all stages of the development and decision making processes are evident, including your reflections and evaluations.

Successful applicants demonstrate this through sketchbook pages, worksheets, drawing, photography, model making etc. and there is no prescribed way to submit the evidence.

The use of a range of materials and processes

  • Show us that you have explored a range of methods. These could include drawing and collage techniques, model making, photography, printing techniques, fabric manipulation or any others.
  • We do not expect your portfolio to contain all the above items. Your range of materials and method investigation will largely be determined by your current course of study.

Successful applicants demonstrate this through sketchbook pages, worksheets, drawing, photography, textural or 3D work etc. and there is no prescribed way to submit the evidence.

An interest in art, design or related subjects

  • This will largely be covered by your personal statement but also Include evidence of your interest in culture and society and show how your interest informs your art and design work.
  • This could take many forms such as an interest in politics, the media, history, religion, philosophy, music, theatre, cinema, literature or new technologies.

Successful applicants can demonstrate this through their personal statement, in sketchbook pages and notebooks and there is no prescribed way to submit the evidence.

Following a review on your online portfolio, you will either be invited for a full portfolio review or your application will be rejected via the UAL Application Portal.

Full Portfolio Review

  • If you have been successful with the review of your digital portfolio, we will invite you to attend a full portfolio review at college between February and March.
  • Please note that we do not accept portfolios by post.

Preparing for your full portfolio review at college

If you are successfully selected for interview you should read the following advice carefully - we will ask you to talk about one project in the interview so please be prepared for that.

  • Make sure you allow enough time to prepare your portfolio properly. A well-presented portfolio takes a lot of time to organise, so don't disadvantage yourself by leaving it to the last minute.
  • Your portfolio can be organised chronologically or thematically, with sketchbooks linked to final outcomes. Arrange your work so that the admissions tutor can easily follow the way you've developed an idea from initial research to the finished piece (thematic).
  • Mount work on plain white cartridge paper. Avoid using black paper for mounting and don't use card as it's heavy and expensive. This may mean remounting schoolwork.
  • Labelling of work should be unobtrusive. You could add small titles or captions to bottom of images if you feel it helps explain your work or is providing dimensions.
  • Take clear photographs of your large, heavy and/or three-dimensional work, include close up images of details, and label with information about scale, materials and technical processes
  • Time restraints mean we can't view films, videos or DVDs. Please present this work in the form of storyboards and/or stills.
  • Make sure you've removed everything from the portfolio that isn't intended for review.
  • The quality of the work is more important than the quantity.
  • Include your sketchbooks and reflective journals. We are particularly interested in seeing work or research that you have carried out in your own time, this could be documented in a small sketchbook or notebook.
  • If you've studied design and technology subjects, don't forget to include this work too.

Having prepared your portfolio, check it against these recommendations. Please remember that a poorly prepared portfolio makes it difficult for the admissions tutors to judge your suitability for the course.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.  We aim to release final decisions by 11th April at the latest. 

Deferred entry

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry. 

Example Art and Design Foundation Personal Statement

Fashion permeates every level of our society. Whether people are fashion-conscious or not, through their clothes they inevitably are expressing some aspect of their personality, their worldview or their inner being. It is this universality of fashion design that has always attracted me to the subject. I’ve long been aware that garment design and style goes beyond the catwalks of the four fashion capitals. Whether we look at it from an aesthetic or a practical angle, clothes design is just as relevant a question to police uniforms or office attire as it is to the world of haute couture. This tendency of mine to see the design ideas behind the way people from all walks of life dress compels me to seek a career in fashion. Beautiful or functional design has a positive role to play for everyone and the opportunity to be involved in contributing my creative talents to this field is quite simply my life’s dream.

My love of fashion expressed itself for many years in the form of an instinctive desire for self-expression through clothes and accessories. My wardrobe was and still is to me a vehicle for shouting out my ideas and feelings to the world, an ever-changing, permanent artwork broadcasting the essence of my personality. However, studying Art and Design at college has revolutionised my understanding of fashion by unlocking its mysteries and codifying it into technical skills and ideas that can be put to use to create new works of fashion. Rather than seeing fashion in terms of other people’s finished garments, I am now able to understand the thought processes behind them and the painstaking creative processes and decisions relating to fabrics, folds and stitches. I’ve particularly enjoyed picking up practical skills such as drawing as they have given me the tools I need to be able to transfer a mental concept onto paper as the first step in then creating a finished work of art. Learning about a wide range of forms of art and design has also been very insightful because it has helped reinforce the importance of the key skills that lie at the heart of all types of design. I’m really looking forward to spending the next year gaining an even more complete grounding in all of these areas and putting them to use for my own creative endeavours through completing a foundation course in Art and Design.

I’m also very much interested in the logistical and business dimensions of the fashion world that make it possible for designers’ ideas to become a reality. Accordingly, I completed a work experience placement at an embroidery factory. From the placement I gained a much clearer understanding about the way that garments are manufactured and the relationship that textile businesses in the UK have with both overseas manufacturers and clothes labels here in the UK. During the placement I also gained a lot of invaluable administrative work experience such as ensuring records were properly maintained and also had the opportunity to develop my communication skills by handling queries from clients. In the second week of the placement I was based on the shop floor, an experience that I found fascinating because it gave me the opportunity to learn about the different machines used in the textiles industry and the effect they have had on the way clothes are made.

Art and design plays as big a role in my free time as it does in my studies. In addition to regularly creating my own clothes designs and developing my skills in a wide range of textiles techniques, with embroidery and knitting being two of my favourite activities at the moment, I am also an enthusiastic photographer. I love the challenge of trying to frame the world in a way that captures my perspective on life and what I find intriguing or joyous about the things around me. I also enjoy reading widely about the fashion and design worlds, both in the form of keeping up to date with fashion magazines and through reading books that cover all aspects of the industry.

We hope this example Art and Design Foundation personal statement is a useful guide for content and structure when writing your personal statement.

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