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BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design at Newcastle-under-Lyme College

Course description

During your time on the course you will have the opportunity to explore and develop your art and design skills through a wide range of specialist areas. We will enhance your knowledge and prepare you for university degree courses, apprenticeships or the workplace. You will enhance your knowledge of art and design history in order to support you in your creative development. You will produce a diverse portfolio of work that will prepare you for your next steps in Higher Education or within industry.

You will cover a range of units over a two year, full-time course. The course normally runs over three days within the college week. All students are expected to give significant time to their studies outside college. Real world work experience opportunities will be part of your programme as will independent study.

Maths and English
Alongside your course you will study maths and/or English to improve your skills in these vital subjects by attending structured weekly sessions as part of your timetable. Maths and English development is also integrated in practical assignments

Course content

Year 1
You will learn how to develop a variety of techniques and skills, using a wide range of materials. You will generate and refine ideas and outcomes in response to project briefs. You will understand how to present ideas effectively to different audiences, creating your own visual language. The course offers a range of specialist options taught by specialist staff including graphics, illustration, textiles, fashion, ceramics, 3D design, photography, fine art, visual studies and contextual studies. Year one culminates in a controlled, externally marked assessment which will help determine your final unit first year grade.

Year 2
Year 2 will allow you to focus your creativity, strengths, skills and knowledge into one of the course specialist areas, allowing you to really develop your knowledge of materials and techniques. You will prepare a portfolio of work for interview for HE or employment routes. Second year study also allows for more independence in terms of writing your own project briefs and choosing personal outcomes. You will produce and exhibit your own work at the end of course for the college exhibition.

Entry requirements

Usually you’ll need four or more high grades at GCSE in subjects that are relevant to the course you’d like to study (including maths and/or English). Alternatively, you’ll need a Level 2 Diploma with overall Merit in a relevant subject and maths and English at appropriate levels.

You will also be expected to bring examples of your artwork to interview to help staff assess your suitability for art and design study. We will consider applications from students who have not taken an Arts GCSE if they have a strong portfolio.


This is a hands on, practical qualification and you will be assessed throughout the programme at key assessment points. This will involve research, project work, sketchbooks, practical work, design and drawing sheets, presentations and contextual studies notes and essays. All assessments will be graded Pass, Merit or Distinction. Both first and second years of your main programme will include externally marked units.

Financial information

Newcastle Maintenance Allowance (NMA): Anyone with a household income under £21,000 can receive £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances.

Future opportunities

On completion of the course you will gain the BTEC Extended Diploma which is accepted by universities for entry onto their courses such as: Photography, Textile Design, Graphic Design, Fashion Marketing, Media and Promotion, Crafts, Illustration, Fine Art, Art History and Costume Design. The qualification is also designed to prepare learners for appropriate direct employment in the vocational sector, and is suitable for those who have decided that they wish to enter a particular specialist area of work in the areas of Art and Design. It also gives you the opportunity to develop a range of techniques, personal skills and attributes essential for successful performance in working life.

Further information

Gallery and exhibition visits will be offered which you will be expected to attend as an essential part of your development in art and design. Live briefs and competitions will be undertaken too. There are detailed online resources to support you on this course and an Additional Learning Support Team if required.

For more information about this course please contact Stacey Rowell on (01782) 254326 or (01782) 254323


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newcastle-under-Lyme College directly.

Last updated date: 21 November 2016
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