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Posted 28.04.17

A new home for Foundation Diploma in Art & Design students

By Phillip Buchan

Palace Studios, our new dedicated building for Foundation Diploma in Art & Design students, is due to open August 2017 on Buckwell Street in the heart of Plymouth’s city centre — adjacent to the planned British Land-owned Bretonside multiplex and cinema redevelopment and on the same street as our new Palace Court campus, which was shortlisted for Building of the Year Award last year by The Building Forum for Devon and Cornwall.

Students learning in Palace Studios, which are currently being refurbished to creative art and design standards, will work across different disciplines to identify their chosen specialism within the arts, preparing them for creative degree-level study at selective, competitive universities for the creative arts, and to enter the UK’s booming creative industries. The creative industries contribute over £80 billion per year to the UK economy and provide employment for over 1.8 million people.

"It gave me a freedom that no other course has given me. It was a truly experimental existence for one year." — Zowie Broach co-founder of BOUDICCA, speaking about our Foundation Diploma in Art & Design

Foundation Diplomas in Art & Design are a qualification unique to the creative industries, designed to offer ambitious students the opportunity to spend a year immersing themselves in discovery, experimentation and exploration of different artistic disciplines that are unavailable in conventional education settings.

Palace Court, our Pre-Degree campus on the same street as the new Palace Studios

Palace Studios will add to the regeneration of the area between Drake Circus and the Barbican, which we contributed to last year with the opening of Palace Court on Buckwell Street, the college’s dedicated Pre-Degree campus for over 600 16 to 19-year-olds studying creative Extended Diplomas. Since 2010 Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth School of Creative Arts have invested more than £25m in the city of Plymouth, and created circa 200 new jobs.

"Our past Foundation Diploma in Art & Design students have had work exhibited at Tate Modern and Saatchi Gallery." — Matias Shortcook, Associate Dean of Pre-Degree

Palace Studios will include two large specialist studios designed to meet the needs of modern art, design and media students, comprising spaces of over 160 square metres, high windows for natural light, plus an enclosed courtyard social area — all housed only 250 metres away from the sea and five minutes walk from our main Tavistock Place campus.

Matias Shortcook, Associate Dean of Pre-Degree at Plymouth College of Art, said: "We remain committed to the importance of our Foundation Diploma in Art & Design. That year of vital experimentation gives our students the grounding to succeed at the most competitive arts institutions in the world and the creative industries beyond."

Foundation Diploma in Art & Design students exhibit in our annual Degree Show

"Our past Foundation Diploma in Art & Design students have had work exhibited at Tate Modern and Saatchi Gallery, with graduates like Zowie Broach going on to found the international fashion label BOUDICCA. Plymouth College of Art is the most significant destination for Foundation Diploma in Art & Design study in South West England, a beautiful region that contains two entire national parks, four World Heritage Sites and the longest coastline in England."

Zowie Broach, co-founder of the independent fashion label and design house BOUDICCA and Head of Fashion at the Royal College of Art, said of her Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at Plymouth College of Art: "Being at the college allowed me to be myself. It ran a series of ideas through my system and asked me to question them. I learned so much in my time there, but it’s only in retrospect that I realise how powerful that year really was for me. It gave me a freedom that no other course has given me. It was a truly experimental existence for one year."

UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design students at Palace Studios will continue to have access to the industry-standard specialist studios, workshops and learning resources at Plymouth College of Art’s Tavistock Place campus, from the Ceramics and Glass Studios and range of printmaking and textiles workshops, and the 3D printing technology in FabLab Plymouth, to the wide range of photographic and digital kit in the college’s Equipment Resource Centre, as well as the cutting-edge facilities at the college’s new Palace Court campus.