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Fine Art (Art and Design) 90 Credits and Extended Diploma at Darlington College

Course description

If you have a passionate interest in Fine Art this exciting new course provides you with the opportunity to stretch and develop your creative abilities through experimenting with a range of Fine Art media. These including painting, drawing, photography, print-making, digital and lens-based work. The fine art specialism allows you to explore personal responses to a wide range of challenging assignments which enable you to work across multidisciplinary areas. You will be encouraged to develop your ideas through enquiry and discuss your work through presentations, exhibitions and written assignments. Live assignments are an important part of the course and will prepare you for the world of work. These include art competitions, exhibitions, and community arts projects from clients such as:

  • Darlington Borough Council
  • Darlington College
  • Lingfield Point
  • Shout About Art

You will also enjoy the benefits of educational visits.

The skills you will learn are not only essential for the Fine Art industry but are transferrable to other areas such as advertising and marketing, exhibition design, publishing and illustrating, photography, teaching, art therapy and working for community arts projects, arts administration and management and many more. Professional practice is a key feature of this course, students will build an innovative and diverse portfolio to take them onto to Higher Education and/or Employment.

If you have not achieved a C grade or above in English or maths, you will as part of your course be required to work towards this as part of your study programme.  You will be given the opportunity to go on work experience at certain times during your course.

To develop your employability opportunities you may also be given enrichment classes. This may focus upon additional qualifications, industrial updating and career preparation.

Course content

You will be taught in an excellent spacious studio environment that includes a dedicated fine art studio with state of the art equipment.  You will learn through assignments, demonstrations, workshops and industry lead assignments that are based on realistic work. Visits and visiting lecturers form an important part of the learning process. Your work is supported with personal and group tutorials as well as guidance and encouragement from the enthusiastic, supportive staff team who are all specialists in their subject area. You will be expected to devote approximately 10 hours per week to self-directed study – homework is considered to be an important aspect of this course.

The course comprises a range of core and specialist units covering the following topics:

  • Painting in fine art
  • Generating fine art ideas
  • Public art
  • Multi-disciplinary Work in fine art
  • Fine art principles
  • Sculpture
  • Drawing
  • Community art
  • Image manipulation in computers

Entry requirements

4 GCSEs grades A*-C including GCSE maths or English or an appropriate Level 2 qualification (at a merit grade) and a satisfactory school report. We will request a school or college report and you will attend an interview at the college.

You will need to bring a portfolio of work to your interview.


Course work is continually assessed and formally marked at the end of each assignment with clear written feedback regarding your progress. All assignments feed into the units of the course, each unit providing you with a grade pass, merit or distinction dependent on the quality of work submitted.

Successful completion of this course provides you with the qualification BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design (Fine Art) – equivalent to 3 ‘A’ Levels the maximum UCAS point score that can be achieved from this Level 3 qualification is 420 UCAS points. 50% of the students studying Art and Design in their second year (2013-2014) achieved the grade DDD, 30% achieved D*D*D* (420 UCAS points).

Future opportunities

Previous students who have completed this course have gone on to study at establishments such as the University of Durham, University of Sunderland, Leeds Metropolitan University, Northumbria University, Newcastle University, The Universities of Central London and De Montfort University amongst others.

You will be advised and supported in your UCAS application/employment application with help on appropriate routes and portfolio preparation. All students who have completed a Level 3 Art and Design course at Darlington College have been successful when applying to their chosen degree courses.

Further study:

This course will help prepare you for progression onto an Honours degree, foundation degree or a BTEC HND in Fine Art, Illustration, Event Management, Art Administration and management or similar related subjects.

A career:

In some cases a student will progress directly into design related employment from the course. Most, however, go on to higher education and then take up careers in exhibition design, publishing and illustrating, photography, teaching, art therapy and working for community arts projects, arts administration and management and many more within the art and design sector.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Darlington College directly.

Last updated date: 08 March 2016
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