Art, Design & Photography

Summary of course

This course is designed for those who enjoy Art and Design and are sure of which career path to follow, and would like to specialise in illustration techniques. The first year is broad-based and will cover visual recording and communication, critical and contextual studies, the creative process, materials and techniques, developing a portfolio, managing a client brief and developing and realising creative intentions. You will develop your practical skills in observational drawing, 3D modelling, graphic design, fashion and illustration, fine art techniques, Photoshop illustration and photography.

Year 2 is more specialist, where you will have the opportunity to develop your area of interest and application to a Higher Education course. You will finish by writing and completing a final major project and mounting an exhibition of your work.

The course is made up of coursework and external examined units. You are expected to achieve at least a pass in each unit to complete the qualification.

Throughout, you will be encouraged to develop your skills in literacy and communication, and will receive strong personal tutorial support.

The course is taught through vocationally relevant project work and is highly practical in nature. As the course progresses students are encouraged to take an increasingly more independent approach to their work and to explore the specialist area which most interests them. You will also be expected to complete a period of work experience as part of your programme of study.

  • Drawing
  • Contextual Studies
  • Materials and techniques in 2 and 3 dimensions
  • Graphic Design
  • Photoshop illustration techniques
  • Photography for illustration
  • Illustration
  • Use of ICT to develop Art and Design projects
  • Printmaking
  • Print
  • Illustration techniques
  • Fine art painting and drawing

What will I study?

The units you will study are likely to include:

Core Units: Diploma -1, Introduction to visual language in art and design -2, Introduction to research skills in art and design -3, Introduction to critical and contextual awareness in art and design -4, Introduction to materials, processes and skills in art and design -5, An integrated approach to 2D problem solving in art and design -6, An integrated approach to 3D problem solving in art and design -7, An integrated approach to time based problem solving -8, Developing an art and design project -9, Opportunities for progression in art and design Core Units: Extended Diploma -10, Characteristics and contexts in art and design -11, Preparation for progression in art and design -12, Engaging with an audience in art and design -13, Project proposal and realisation in art and design

How is the course assessed?

Portfolio/Assignment based assessment working with strict deadlines in line with UAL expectations. Final major project assessed by the exam board.

On the UAL level 3 Diploma in Art and Design students will take a total of nine units to complete the diploma qualification and 13 for the extended diploma. All work is internally set and assessed and unit 8 and 13 are externally moderated by the exam board.

All units are graded and students are required to achieve a minimum of a pass in each unit to achieve the full qualification grade. Units 1 - 7 and 10 – 12 are awarded at a pass grade only. Unit 8 and 13 provides the overall qualification grade either P (Pass), M (Merit), D (Distinction).

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 have an interest in progressing to university in an Art and Design Illustration area of study and wish to gain a Level 3 qualification in Art and Design Illustration.

Progression and Career Opportunities

On successful completion of this qualification students could continue their studies to a Foundation course in Art and Design, Higher National Diplomas or Degree level in various specialist Art and Design subjects.

Entry Requirements for new students

4 GCSEs at Grade 9-4 [A*-C] including English and an arts based subject

Students applying for art courses are required to bring with them to interview a portfolio of art work demonstrating their skills and particular interest in art. This can include GCSE art work and personal work produced at home.

Interview Requirements

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

IMPORTANT: If you are coming for an interview for any of the courses in Art, Design, Photography, Illustration 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 a high level of drawing ability. If you have not studied GCSE Art you need to bring with you examples of observational drawing from life (not from photographs). These 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 you to come back and show us.

General Info (materials required for the course)

All Level 3 Art and Design students at Booth Lane are expected to purchase a starter kit of essential media and equipment in year one at a cost of £90. Each year, students will be advised to pay a fee toward the materials they will use (approx £75 each year) and another £65 to cover trips and visits to galleries (approx £370 over the whole course).

Course fee information


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...

Sorry, you’ve missed the start date for this course but we are planning to offer it again in 2019. If you would like to speak to a tutor about the course please call us on 0300 123 2344 or complete our easy online enquiry form.


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