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Graphics, Illustration and Game Arts UAL Extended Diploma at Plymouth College of Art

Course description

Dynamic, challenging, and taught within a lively and dedicated creative community of professional designers, published illustrators and interactive specialists, this course will help you progress towards a career in design and illustration, or in the highly technical and rapidly evolving world of interactive media and game arts.

You’ll gain insight into the techniques and applications of graphics and illustration. You’ll also explore game arts and design, as well as the fascinating fundamentals of communications science and how people interact with computer games.

The first term gives a broad and exciting introduction to the world of creative industries. You will experience a series of fast paced, industry relevant projects in which you work with other specialist areas and, as a result, create unique and exciting work within your own subject area.

We’ll give you a solid grounding in the art and design processes, materials and digital drawing techniques that are used within the world of design. You’ll also develop an understanding of the context of interactivity and games design, including the evolution of mobile technology for handheld devices and apps.


Regular lectures on the history of design, typography, advertising and illustration, will underpin and complement your studio work. Sessions cover illustration for typographical and illustrative posters, packaging design, book cover design, magazine spreads, corporate identities, brochure design, photography, websites, advertising, type design, animation and book illustration.

We can offer you expert tuition and the outstanding facilities of a dedicated design and development suite.

Among the more specialist digital skills that you’ll learn are technical and creative image manipulation and 3D computer modelling.

We’ll also guide the development of your drawing and design skills, encouraging you to experiment with materials and techniques, whilst also teaching you how to communicate ideas in powerful and memorable ways and give you the confidence to present and discuss your ideas with employers or universities.



Course content

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


  • Unit 14: Project proposal and realisation (Level 4)

Entry requirements

We normally offer places to students who have at least four GCSEs at grade A* to C including English and preferably with one in a creative subject, and who show commitment and enthusiasm for art and design through examples of creative work.

Future opportunities

A high proportion of our students choose to continue their studies to degree level:

  • BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • BA (Hons) Illustration
  • BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern
  • BA (Hons) Fashion
  • BA (Hons) Games Design
  • BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking programmes are all available at Plymouth College of Art.

Further information

Throughout your course you’ll have the chance to collaborate on live assignments with external clients, gaining a real understanding of what it means to work in the industry and open up the many career paths that are available within graphic design and Game Arts.

Subject to you own chosen specialist direction you will have developed by the end of the course the skills needed for roles in software houses, design agencies or freelance roles.

As well as the ongoing advice, guidance and support you’ll receive from your course team, the college has a specialist careers service that will help you make the right decisions for your future.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Plymouth College of Art directly.

Last updated date: 08 June 2016

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