FdA Digital Arts

The Foundation Diploma in Digital Arts is a two-year programme that offers a quick route into the digital and creative industries. The course is aimed at students with creative talents seeking to develop professional-standard skills to work in the creative and digital sectors. The digital and creative sectors have been identified as growing sectors both regionally and nationally. Our intention in creating this course is to address this need by providing you with the skills and support to launch your career as a creative practitioner in one of the many occupations available in the creative and digital industries.

On the course you will be introduced to the basic principles of graphic design, animation and photography as well as learning new design technologies like App and computer games design. You will learn about the central debates and discourses that inform contemporary digital art and design and understand the industry in which you will work. You will learn to crucially appraise your own work and the work of others, in a constructive and productive way. You will have the opportunity to do a 120 hour (three week) work placement with a design agency or media organisation and/or work on an industry commission. You will have the opportunity to work creatively and problem-solve in a group in ‘live’ projects and real-world briefs.  The course culminates with a number of capstone modules that will enable you to showcase your talents and get feedback for your ideas from industry professionals.

Throughout the course you will be supported in developing your professional profile and your entrepreneurial skills to ensure a smooth transition to professional employment. All students completing the course will have a portfolio of work (physical and digital) to show to prospective employers and you will have multiple opportunities on the course to develop your network of professional contacts.

The courses at University Centre Peterborough are studied in smaller class sizes compared with other universities, a typical class size is under 30 students.

  • Acquire industry-standard skills while honing your talents as a creative practitioner.

  • Learn from professionals with industry experience in small classes with state-of-the-art equipment.

  • Gain work experience and develop a professional network to help promote a speedy transition to professional employment.

  • Discover a quick route to a range of occupations in the digital and creative sector, one of the fastest growing sectors regionally and nationally.

48 UCAS points:

  • A-levels
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
  • IB Diploma
  • Access to HE

Students who do not qualify by any of these qualifications should call 01733 214466 or email admissions@ucp.ac.uk to discuss equivalent qualifications and previous experience.

You must have GCSEs English and Mathematics at grade C or above.

We accept A level General Studies and AS levels when combined with other full qualifications.

If English is not your first language you will require IELTS score of 6.0 or above or an equivalent English Language qualification.

A face to face interview is required before an offer can be made.  A portfolio will be required before offering a place on the course.


APCL relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study. If you have previously completed a course which is relevant to your proposed course you should make this clear when you apply. For this to be eligible for consideration you must be able to provide certification, which shows your success in a final assessment for that course. Learning must be completed in the last five years or further evidence of updating will be required. Simple participation in a course or an attendance certificate is not sufficient.


UCP offers students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning processes ensure that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you should identify any relevant prior learning when you apply.  If your previous study specifically relates to modules on the course you wish to undertake we may approve a reduced programme of study, thus shortening the time it takes to obtain your award. Where this relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study, this is called Prior Certificated Learning, and where learning has been achieved through relevant work or experience, this is referred to as Prior Experiential Learning. Claims must be approved before you commence a course.


It is important to understand that the APEL process does not award academic credit for experience alone, but for learning which can be shown to have been achieved through that experience. Students are required to prepare an individual case for the credit arising from their learning experiences. This normally means that a student receives support in the preparation of a portfolio, in which their claim is justified in detail and is supported by relevant evidence. This portfolio of evidence is then submitted for assessment and the possible award of academic credit. Alternative methods of assessment of evidence may be available but needs to be discussed with the Admissions team or Course Leader.

If you have any questions about entry requirements contact the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email admissions@ucp.ac.uk.

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)
  • Graphic Design (30 credits)
  • Photography (15 credits)
  • Critical Theory in Art and Media (15 credits)
  • Digital Animation (15 credits)
  • Introduction to the Creative Industries (15 credits)
  • Digital Asset Development (15 credits)
  • Web Design and Authoring (15 credits)
Final year for full-time students (Level 5)
  • Critical Practices of Art and Design (15 credits)
  • Computer Games Design (30 credits)
  • App Design (15 credits)
  • Integrated Advertising (30 credits)
  • Professional Practice and Development (30 credits) - with 120 hour work placement
Year one for part-time students (Level 4)
  • Graphic Design (30 credits - L4)
  • Critical Theory in Art and Media (15 credits - L4)
  • Digital Animation (15 credits - L4)
  • Introduction to the Creative Industries (15 credits - L4)
  • Digital Asset Development (15 credits - L4)
Year two for part-time students (Levels 4 & 5)
  • Photography (15 credits - L4)
  • Web Design and Authoring (15 credits - L4)
  • Critical Practices of Art and Design (15 credits) - L5
  • App Design (15 credits - L5)
  • Professional Practice and Development (30 credits - L5) - with 120 hour work placement
Year three for part-time students (Level 5)
  • Computer Games Design (30 credits - L5)
  • Integrated Advertising (30 credits - L5)

Click here for more information about each of the core modules.

If it is unviable to run an optional module due to student demand, an alternative module will be offered.

A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study.  A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study.  A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

When studying this course at University Centre Peterborough, we will timetable your lectures as two full days a week over two semesters per year (part-time will be one to two full days a week over two semesters per year).

Each semester is up to 15 weeks which includes 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks. If studying full-time you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 15 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities.

We recommend that full-time students allow up to an additional 30 hours per week for additional study. The campus is open Monday to Friday throughout the whole year and open late until 9.00pm from Monday to Thursday during term time. You also have 24/7 access to online resources from Anglia Ruskin University.

Timetables are available at least one month before enrolment and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods. Note that the days of the week you study may change each year and in some circumstances one of the full days might have to be split into two half days, but we aim to keep these as full days where possible.

Throughout the duration of your course you will be assessed by the following methods:

  • Coursework
  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Portfolio
  • Reflective log book
  • Presentation/oral assessment
  • Work based assessment
  • Written assessment

We will provide, by the beginning of the first week of each semester, a current module guide with all the information you need for each module, including details of assessment tasks, the deadlines for these tasks, the required format and any relevant guidance.

Formative assessment opportunities are written into all module plans to provide students with on-going feedback.  End of semester assessments will have formative opportunities in weeks 9 or 10 of the semester.  In addition revision sessions will be held in week 12.

When a student has achieved 120 credits at level 4 and 120 credits at level 5 they become eligible for a foundation award. The award classification is determined by calculating the credit weighted arithmetic mean of the module results for all modules at level 5. The following classifications are determined by the above calculation:

70%+         Distinction
60-69%     Merit
40-59%     Pass
0-39%       Fail

This course is aimed at creative individuals who want to work in the digital and cultural industries. It has been designed to address the shortage in skills, both locally and nationally, for creative digital arts practitioners. We consulted extensively with industry in the creation of this course to ensure that the skills and competencies developed are current and industry-standard. The result is a unique and ambitious course that will provide you with the environment to develop as a creative practitioner, while at the same time equipping you with the skills and competencies needed to succeed in the creative and digital industries. Students completing the course are expecting to go on to careers as graphic designers, animators. App and games designers, photographers, digital content providers and advertising campaign managers.

To help launch you on your chosen career path you will be supported in developing your professional profile and digital portfolio. Every student will complete the course with a portfolio of work (both digital and physical) to present to prospective employers. You will also have the opportunity to develop your professional network through live projects and centre-wide employability events. Finally you will have the opportunity to do a 120 hour work placement with a local design agency or media organisation.

Peter Wright

I am the Course Leader for the FdA Digital Arts degree at University Centre Peterborough.  I studied a BSc (Hons) at Sheffield Hallam University in Design and Technology and during my course I specialised in Graphic Design and Control Systems.

After graduating I taught both graphics and control systems in local schools and for Her Majesty's Prison Service before for joining University Centre Peterborough in 2016.

During the development of the FdA Digital Arts, I have lectured on the BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Systems and BA (Hons) Media Production degree programmes at University Centre Peterborough, including modules on:

  • Digital Asset Development 
  • Digital Media Practice and Creative Computing 
  • Maths for Computing
  • Multiple Computer Networking Modules from Level 4-6 
  • Undergraduate Major Project

I have a keen interest in graphic design but also emerging technology and how a creative mind mixed with technical knowhow can push the boundaries on how we view, and interact with the world around us.

Following this interest, I am currently studying a MSc Computer Science at University of Hertfordshire, which is focusing on the design and development of E-learning platforms.  This training not only benefits students at University Centre Peterborough but I will also be working alongside the National STEM centre creating and delivering CPD to teachers in STEM subject.

Having worked in education locally my whole career I have seen many students achieve their ambition and move into their chosen career, including seeing a student graduate from University Centre Peterborough having first taught them as a year 7 student during my first year as a teacher. I am now using this experience and contacts with in the local area in shape the FdA Digital Arts into a degree valued by employers.

You will also see me outside of lectures, around campus participating in a societies and joining events, and shaping the future of University Centre Peterborough as part of the Higher Education Academic Board.


  • MSc Computer Science, University of Hertfordshire (currently studying)
  • BSc (Hons) Design and Technology, Sheffield Hallam University

When you have chosen a course to study at University Centre Peterborough, your next step is to make an application.

All full-time applications for UK and EU students must be made to UCAS via a web-based tracker system – www.ucas.com (the institution code for University Centre Peterborough is P56).

All part-time and postgraduate applications can be directly to University Centre Peterborough. Contact the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email admissions@ucp.ac.uk to start your application.

If you only wish to apply to University Centre Peterborough and already have the entry requirements, you can also apply directly to us by downloading and completing the following form.

Before you apply, please check that you meet the entry requirement which is listed on the course information pages.


For full-time undergraduate and HNC/D applications, we advise you to make an application for your chosen course as soon as possible to secure your place. We will process your application within 1 to 5 working days so you know if you have a successfully received an unconditional or conditional offer. We are available to help you through every step of the way.

First UCAS deadline
If you have not made your application by Tuesday 15th January 2019, you can still apply to University Centre Peterborough at any time afterwards.

UCAS Extra
If you missed the first UCAS deadline, you can still apply through UCAS Extra from Monday 25th February to Thursday 4th July 2019. This also gives you the opportunity to add UCP as an additional choice if you have used all five choices and are not holding any offers.

From Friday 5th July 2019 you can apply via UCAS through Clearing.

This is open to those who have not yet applied or students who have waited until they have received their grades. However, you do not need to wait until you receive your grades before applying through Clearing.

If you have applied and been accepted at another university, you still have the opportunity to change to study at University Centre Peterborough.


Don’t panic. If you have done better or worse than you expected, contact University Centre Peterborough during Clearing and we will let you know very quickly. During this time of year we have additional staff so you can speak to admissions and academic staff who can advise if you can be accepted on a degree. We are used to helping hundreds of students at this time of year so you can feel assured that you receive the best advice and support.

If you have any questions about making an application contact the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email admissions@ucp.ac.uk.

Key Facts

Institution code
Accredited by:
Anglia Ruskin University

University Centre Peterborough

Duration and Delivery

2 years full-time 
(2 full days a week over two semesters per year)

3 years part-time 
(1-2 full days a week over two semesters per year - 90 credits in years 1 & 2 and 60 credits in year 3)

Start Date
w/c 16th September 2019 or w/c 27th January 2020

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate UK and EU students starting in 2019/20 will be £8,000 per year, which is lower compared with many other universities.

All full-time undergraduate students will receive £500 cash reward at the end of every year and students from low income households can apply for a £500 cash bonus after the first semester of every year (subject to eligibility).

Fees for part-time study are pro-rata depending on the number of credits you are studying (i.e. 60 credits per year will be 50% of the tuition fee).

There may be additional costs for this course which are not covered by the tuition fee.

Additional Notes

Click here for terms and conditions 2019/20 including our complaints policy.

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FdA Digital Arts

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