Art, Design & Photography

Awarding organisation

Awarding Body: BTEC

Qualifications on offer:

  • Level 1 Diploma in Exploring the Creative Arts and Media Sectors
  • Level 1 Functional Skills in English and Mathematics

Summary of course

This course is a lively and fun programme of study related to the creative arts sector that is suited to students who have a general interest and apptitude in creative subjects and who are interested in progressing further. The aim of the course is to broaden and deepen students' understanding of careers in art, craft and photography.

The mandatory units of the course will explore employment potential not only in art and design, but also in media, performing arts and music too, whilst optional units will enable students to develop specic skill in art and design through project work. Students will explore a variety of areas of art and design such as photography, graphic design, 3D crafts, textiles, painting, printmaking, 3D design and set design.

Dedicated tutorial support will encourage you to develop relevant life and work skills, and build your confidence in your abilities and talents. At the end of the course, you will produce a final major project and will mount an exhibition of your work.

You will go on at least three trips a year which will take you to major galleries and exhibitions in London and elsewhere to see the work of the artists you are studying.

What will I study?

The units you will study are likely to include:

Core Units:

  • Explore drawing
  • Explore printmaking
  • Explore mixed media
  • Explore design crafts
  • Explore and create surface relief

Specialist Units:

  • Accessory project
  • 3D design
  • Enterprise activity
  • Personal project
  • Self mamangment skills
  • Explore painting

All units are subject to change and may be withdrawn.

For further information about the course and the units you will study, please read the awarding body specification by clicking on the link below:

Awarding Body specification.

How is the course assessed?

All units are assessed through project work. Assessment is ongoing throughout the year with overall grades being awarded for all units at the end of the course. The course is made up of ten to fifteen units/thirty-seven+ credits. The specialist units enable you to study particular areas in more depth.

Students must achieve a pass grade in each unit to qualify for a qualification grade.

Your Study Programme

If you are aged 16-18, you will join a Study Programme. We will make sure you are working at the right level on your core qualification and are challenged to achieve the highest level of qualification you can. All students will continue to improve their maths and English and if you don't have a grade 4 (C) at GCSE, we will work with you towards achieving that goal (subject to specific entry requirements for particular courses). Work experience will be part of your study programme and complement your college study and prepare you for employment. You will also get involved in activities to help you develop life skills and to build your confidence so you can make progress in your career. Weekly timetables will include tutorial support which may comprise of full group activities or one to one sessions to discuss individual progress or support needs.

Who is this course for?

This course is ideal if you are aged 16-24, have an interest in Art, Design and Media and wish to gain a Level 1 qualification.

Progression and Career Opportunities

Tha aim of the course is to give students the skills and understanding they need to progress to a Level 2 qualifications in Art & Design (or other creative vocational areas) or to employment.

Find about more career opportunities and expected starting salaries by clicking on the 'What Can I Earn?' section of our website.

Entry Requirements for new students

Level Entry Requirements
Entry and Foundation: GCSEs, mainly 2-1 (F/G) grades. Satisfactory school reference*
Level 1: Four GCSEs at grade 2 (E) or above
Level 2: Four GCSEs at grade 3 (D) or above
Level 3 BTEC Courses or equivalent: Four GCSEs at grade 9-4 (A*-C)
Level 3 A Levels: Five GCSEs at grade 9-4 (A*-C) including English and maths
Level 4/5: A Level 3 qualification such as: A Levels, BTEC Level 3, Access to HE, Advanced Apprenticeship; equivalent of 48 UCAS points
Specific Course Requirements: Standard Level 1 entry requirements and an interest in Art and Design

*All applicants will be invited in for interview.

Equivalent qualifications will be considered except where English has been studied as a second language and is required at GCSE grade 2 (E).

In exceptional circumstances, applications which do not meet the formal entry criteria may be considered on an individual basis.

Interview Requirements

You must bring your interview letter to your appointment and arrive 15 minutes before your interview is due to take place.

A portfolio review will be held as part of your interview.

If you are coming for an interview for any of the courses in Art, Design, Photography and Fashion, you will need to bring with you a portfolio of work that demonstrates your creativity, enthusiasm and shows the skills you have already developed.

Your portfolio could include GCSE coursework from art and design subjects and work you do in your own time.

This course requires some drawing ability. If you have not studied GCSE Art you need to bring with you examples of observational drawing from life (not from photographs). This could include: plants, fruit, vegetables, details of clothing. During your interview we will look through your portfolio so we can help you join the course that is right for you.

If you do not bring a portfolio to your interview we will have to re-arrange a convenient time for your to come back and show us.

General Info (materials required for the course)

A materials fee of approximately £40 is payable at enrolment to cover specialist materials and materials used for demonstrations.

In addition to this, students may need to purchase specialist equipment or materials needed to complete projects work.

There will be the opportunity to take part in trips and visits arranged to galleries and exhibitions throughout the course. The cost to cover these is approximately £60 and this amount is payable at enrolment.

Course fee information

All Students will need to enter or register for their course qualification either by examination entry or Board Registration. The course tutor will advise you how to enter or register for your qualification and of the College deadline. All late entries are subject to a late entry fee.

The following fees will be payable in full:

16-18 year olds

  • All re-sits except first re-sit of GCSE Mathematics and English
  • Unauthorised absences from any examination entered
  • Any examination/registration unsupported by your subject tutor
  • Late examination/registration entries
  • Trip/materials/equipment/uniform fees

19 years or over

  • Level 1 course: Examination/registration fees^1
  • Level 2 course: Examination/registration fees^1
  • Second Full Level 3 course: You may be eligible to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay for the course fees^2
  • Level 4 course: Loans may be available^2
  • All Levels: Trip/materials/equipment/uniform fees

Overseas Students

  • £6,750 tuition fees in Year 1 of a 2-year course
  • £6,750 tuition fees in Year 2 of a 2-year course
  • £350 non-refundable Examination/registration fee in Year 1
  • Trip/materials/equipment/uniform fees

^1 Fee remission may be available if you are in receipt of a state benefit. ^2 Contact the Enrolment Centre for more information on 0300 123 2344.


student success

Melissa Mehrtens

Melissa Mehrtens

Aspiring hat maker Melissa Mehrtens won the chance to work for a designer who supplies headwear to the Duchess of Cambridge having studied on an HE course at Northampton College.The...

We are planning to offer this programme from September 2016. The full details, including the fees for the 16/17 academic year will be available on the College website from the beginning of July 2016. In the meantime, if you would like to speak to a tutor about the course please call us or complete our easy online enquiry form.


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