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Target audience 

A programme of study aimed at those who wish to gain a specialist Level 3 vocational qualification in the Art and Design sector.  This course is designed to progress students to Higher Education qualifications in Art and Design or for those who wish to enter employment.

Students will undertake a first year DIPLOMA year were a foundation of knowledge is to be laid, from this a second year EXTENDED DIPLOMA option is to be taken.  Students will be given the opportunity to study:

  • Graphic Design
  • Product Design
  • Fabrics and Surface pattern
  • Design Marketing
  • Interior Architecture
  • Digital Multimedia programme

The Level 3 Extended Diploma qualification in Art and Design is validated by Pearson Edexcel.

Entry requirements 

For learners who have recently been in education, the profile is likely to include one of the following:

  • A BTEC Level 2 qualifiction in Art and Design in a related vocational area
  • A standard of literacy and numeracy supported by a general education equivalent to four GCSEs at grade 9-4
  • Other related Level 2 qualifications
  • A level qualification in the appropriate sector
  • AS level qualifications in the appropriate sector
  • Related work experience

More mature learners may present a more varied profile of achievement that is likely to include experience of paid and/or unpaid employment.

Applicants must be aware that if students do not have a GCSE grade C/4 or above in Maths and/or English, then they will have to undertake further study in these subjects as part of their programme of study in addition to the main 'core' qualification.

  • As well as attending College to complete a qualification in your chosen area of study at L3 you will also be expected to attend a real work place environment, which allows you to explore the vocational area fully.  This work experience will be for 30 hours over the academic year and is an essential part of your qualification.  Staff will discuss this with you further at interview.


Course content 

Multidisciplinary Practice The qualification has been designed around holistic, explorative and integrated creative teaching approaches that are conducive to deep learning and skills development.  The qualification supports a curriculum where learners are able to continually revisit their approaches to the making and understanding of art and design practice, adding levels of refinement, sophistication and precision to their practice as they progress.  There are no specialist pathways in this qualification, this is in order to enable and encourage multidisciplinary practice and integration of all the relevant skills that learners want to develop.  Technical skills have been expressed through the following categories to allow for development and integration of skills across practices, including skills used across art, design and media.

Level 4 optional unit.  The final assessment in the Extended Diploma offers learners the option of producing additional evidence to demonstrate ability at Level 4, supporting them in achievening their aims for progression.

Teaching & Learning 

Through a combination of practical experience and practical assignments, these vocational qualifications provide Level 3 learners with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed for a career in the sector or to enter Higher Education.

Two teaching modules - teaching content is defined in two large blocks, called learning and teaching modules, to allow deep and integrated delivery of content.  Skills are developed through teaching and learning modules and synthesised through projects, producing outcomes for assessment.  To deepen and refine learners' skills over time, they need access to teaching and learning approaches that challenge them.  This is supported by the five mandatory areas of content, which are common to both modules and which are developed to give learners valuable transferable skills.  The five content areas are:

  • informing ideas
  • problem solving
  • technical skills
  • professional practice
  • communication
Assessment criteria 

100% internally set and assessed - all assessments are set and assessed by the teaching staff and verified by the awarding Body Pearson. There are four assessment units across the specification, two in the 540 Diploma and a further two in the Extended Diploma.

Common assessment criteria - the same five common assessment criteria are used to assess all work produced throughout the qualification, this simplifies assessent and means that it is clear what learners are expected to do to achieve the criteria. Grading is compensatory in assessment units and across qualifications, rewarding learners for their exceptional performance in some area, without requiring it in all areas.


On completion of the course, students can progress to Higher Education, or seek employment.  The qualification attracts UCAS Tariff points and meets the admission requirements for most relevant courses, such as visual communication, digital media, art subjects, product design, interior and architecture, fashion and textiles.

Other information 

The college will recruit learners to BTEC qualifications with integrity. It is expected that students will make every effort to attend all sessions. Students must have a commitment to completing the course. Those with work and or family commitments should be aware of the duration of the course and the need to attend all classes. The college will take appropriate steps to assess each applicant's potential and make a professional judgement about their ability to complete the programme of study successfully and achieve the qualification. This will include ensuring that applicants have appropriate information and advice about the qualification and that the qualification will meet their needs.


Whatever course you choose, you'll get the highest level of training from specialist tutors, benefiting from their knowledge and experience of working not just in education but also in industry.

Application & Enrolment

You are able to apply online for all courses, however to complete your course enrolment fully, you will need to have an interview and then be accepted onto a course. The only courses available to enrol online are Full Cost courses, if you wish to enrol on any other course please call into Student Services or call 01429 295000.

Full Cost course fees are inclusive of VAT.

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