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Art and Design Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (Graphic Design) at Bedford College

Course description

Graphic Design is the art of visualising ideas using a combination of words and imagery across a variety of media. The Graphic Design industry covers a range of disciplines, including typography, brand identity, layout design, packaging, advertising and illustration. This course will introduce you to these key areas of communication and enable you to confidently develop your technical and creative skills to build a substantial portfolio of design work.

Within a dedicated Arts Centre, you will learn industry standard software and design techniques from experienced, enthusiastic tutors with a wealth of industry contacts. There will be opportunities to visit galleries, museums and exhibitions, as well as the chance to get involved with live design projects and national competitions. The course has an impressive record for working on live briefs, winning awards and placing students into Higher Education. Past students have regularly won ‘Design Against Fur’ and ‘National Glove Safety Poster’ competitions.

Course content

You will study five core units and twelve specialist units. The core units are:

  • Visual Recording in Art and Design
  • Materials, Techniques and Processes
  • Ideas and Concepts
  • Communication through Art and Design
  • Contextual Investigation in Art and Design


Specialist subjects may include:

  • Graphic Image Making
  • Typography & Layout Design
  • 3D Design (Packaging)
  • Mixed Media
  • Information Graphics
  • Image Manipulation
  • Words & Images
  • Design for Advertising
  • Design Methods
  • Personal & Professional Development


During the course there will be cultural trips that relate specifically to Graphic Design, as well as the opportunity for second year students to visit a major cultural capital such as Berlin. You will develop skills in the following software: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign.  

Entry requirements

To begin this course you will need a minimum of four GCSEs at grade C or above, including English Language; or alternatively, a BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Art & Design (merit grade or above) with Functional Skills.

Entry is also subject to a successful interview, where you will need to show a portfolio of your existing work. This may include GCSE art/design work, personal self-initiated work and/or any other creative work you have undertaken such a photography or sketching.


You will be assessed on a continual basis throughout the course working to set deadlines. Each unit is assessed with project work. At the end of your second year, you will get the chance to develop your own self-directed project. There may also be an examination for Functional Skills or GCSE, depending upon your grades and the content of your personalised study program.  

Financial information

This course could be free! You will be eligible if you are aged 19-24 on the 31st August of the year you are starting your course and are actively seeking employment and in receipt of a means tested benefit (such as job seekers, housing benefit, council tax benefit). Please note you will need to be able to produce evidence of the benefit in your name when you come to enrol.

Future opportunities

On successful completion of this course you can progress on to a Higher National Diploma in Graphic Design. Alternatively, you could consider applying for a university degree or seek employment or an apprenticeship in a field related to your specialism.

Further information

To take part in the course you will be required to pay an additional fee of £45 to cover the cost of trips/visits to galleries and/or exhibitions. You will also be encouraged to buy books related to your specialism and appropriate equipment such as pens, pencils, USB sticks/external hard drives.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 04 February 2016
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