Fees indicated are based on the current year (August 2016 to July 2017) and are subject to change next year.
Our further education courses (Entry to Level 3) are usually free if you are 16-18 years old. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for financial support to help with other costs associated with your course such as course materials and travel.
If you are aged 19 or over you may be required to pay fees.
If you are enrolling onto a Level 3 or 4 course and are over 19 years of age the fees may be higher and you will be required to take out an Advanced Learning Loan, please see the guide to fees for more information.
International students will be required to pay the full International course fee.
For more information, see our guide to fees.
This is the preferred route to higher education art & design specialist study. If you have identified art & design and specifically graphic design as a career direction, then this diploma is specifically designed for you, as the course will provide opportunities to explore a broad range of disciplines within this highly creative and growing sector to enable you to make an informed choice and build a specialist portfolio for progression to university or employment. Ultimately, on successful completion of this course, you will have a wide range of progression options (degree or employment) open to you (dependent on which area of the visual communications industries you choose to specialise in). You will also develop a range of transferable skills that will be essential for both further study and employment, such as creative thinking, critical reflection, research skills, problem solving and communication skills.
EXPLORATORY STAGE (units 1 – 4 internally assessed): Learning skills & context Short projects and workshops. At the end of this stage your work will be assessed to decide which (art/graphics) discipline best suits you. The five areas/pathways of study are:
- Art & design
- Graphics (digital & traditional)
- Illustration & Printmaking
PATHWAY STAGE (units 5 & 6 internally assessed): Development & progression Having selected a specialist pathway, you will begin to develop skills and understanding of your chosen pathway in greater depth by completing specialist assignments to fulfil pathway units.
FINAL MAJOR PROJECT (unit 7 internally and externally assessed): Proposal and realisation You will consolidate the skills and knowledge built up in the previous stages, through the identification, planning, development and realisation of a self-initiated brief, culminating in an end of course exhibition.
An interview with a portfolio and 5 GCSEs (A-C) including English & Maths and one A Level (grade C) in a creative subject or a BTEC L3 Diploma in an arts-related subject. If you are a mature applicant, relevant work experience, a portfolio, interview and brief assessment.
Each unit is assessed using a variety of assessment methods e.g. peer review/critiques, tutorials and formal assessments of assignment/portfolio evidence-based work. You will be required to demonstrate creativity, critical thinking, evaluation, decision making, personal reflection, time management and effective communication skills. All assessments will involve both practical and written elements.
On successful completion of the course, you will have a creative specialist portfolio for progression to relevant degree courses or employment opportunities e.g. as a graphic designer, illustrator, animator, photographer, advertising designer, web designer etc.
Employer Involvement: The course may include internal or external live briefs and visits from employers or guest speakers to enhance and contextualise learning where appropriate.
The course is mainly taught through studio based projects, augmented by trips to locations and galleries/exhibitions. You may also work on team and live projects which will prepare you for the processes and demands of the professional environment. Along with traditional art studios, we are fully equipped with Mac computers and Adobe Suite software. We have photographic and film studios, a darkroom and a well-stocked library to support your studies.