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Art & Design BTEC Extended Diploma Level 3 at Bolton College

Course description

Our full-time study programmes are designed to maximise your career prospects and widen your options for further or higher study.

If you’re creative and have a vivid imagination, then our Art, Design & Digital Media courses will enable and encourage you to unlock your potential. This course builds on skills gained at Level 2, and our art department is fully equipped with a range of specialist resources & materials to aid your development.

Work experience is also an integral part of our study programmes, enabling you to gain essential exposure to the world of work.

Course content

What you'll learn

You will follow a varied programme of study, which will include learning about:

  • Working in the Art & Design Industry
  • 2D & 3D Visual Communication
  • Building an Art Portfolio
  • Using Ideas to Explore, Develop and Produce Art & Design
  • Contextual References in Art & Design

You could also explore a variety of design briefs, including:

  • Fine Art
  • Graphic Design
  • Photography
  • 3D Design
  • Textiles & Fashion

If required for your chosen HE course, you may wish to study English & maths to Level 3.

Elements of study

Your programme consists of the following elements:

  • Study of your chosen vocational subject
  • English and maths (continued until the achievement of GCSE grade 4 (C) or equivalent)
  • Employability skills (e.g. punctuality, attendance, communication and team work)
  • Work experience (giving you a taste of working life)
  • Tutorial & personal development (e.g. healthy living, volunteering and citizenship skills)

Entry requirements

You should have five GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above (including Art, Maths and English) or a First Diploma (at Merit level), plus a portfolio of work. We will then invite you for an interview.


Throughout the two-year course your work will be internally assessed. You will be given feedback on a regular basis and will be set targets to stretch and challenge you. Before Easter of the second year, you will focus on your final major project.

Financial information

Government-funded Further Education courses are usually free if you are aged 16-18 and are a British or European Union resident.  Financial help is available for some students, whose families are on low income. If you’re worried about the cost of going to College, why not pop in for a friendly chat with our Student Services team?

For any financial queries or information about available bursaries, feel free to contact Student Services at Deane Road by calling 01204 482 181/195 and asking for a member of the Student Finance Team; or alternatively, come by and see us – we’re here to help!

Future opportunities

After you have completed the course you could progress on to a higher education course at college or university, or explore the possibility of doing a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4).

Check out opportunities at the University of Bolton by visiting

Following further study you could work as:

  • An Artist can earn up to £28,000 a year, depending on experience.
  • A Graphic Designer and earn between £15,000 and £26,000 a year.
  • Professional Photographers can earn on £30,000 on average.


Further information

Further information

  • Sessions led by creative tutors with years of industry experience
  • Modern Apple Mac suites
  • Opportunity to display work to the public in annual end-of-year Arts Showcase


We want to give you a positive experience at College and a rounded view of the industry you could one day be working in. So, during your time at College, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a range of activities, including:

  • Visits to art galleries and artists’ studios
  • Masterclasses and specialist workshops delivered by professionals from the art world
  • Opportunity to work to live briefs

Our £75 million campus offers:

  • A fitness suite and sports hall
  • Apple Mac suites
  • Libraries
  • A theatre and dance studios
  • A café selling Costa coffee
  • Wella-approved hair salons

We also have a wide range of events throughout the year including showcases, enterprise activities and cultural celebrations.

Number 1 for Achievement Rates

We’re the number one General Further Education College in Greater Manchester for 16-18 achievement rates for higher level qualifications. 

Ofsted Grade 2 ‘Good’

In our last inspection we were graded 2 for ‘Good’. Ofsted highlighted the fact that our learners develop good employability and personal skills and that a high proportion progress to Apprenticeships, employment or Higher Education.


The College will support you throughout your time here; you will receive personal support from both your tutor and your Learning & Development Mentor. Support is also available from our dedicated Student Services team for personal, financial and careers guidance.

During their visit Ofsted commended the College for its provision of “well targeted information, advice and careers guidance, which meets individual needs and enables learners to make informed choices about the next steps in their learning and career”.

Open Events

Discover what Bolton College can do for you by attending one of our Young People’s Open Events at our Deane Road campus.

Wednesday 17th October 2018, 4.30pm - 7pm

Thursday 22nd November 2018, 4.30pm - 7pm

Tuesday 5th February 2019, 4.30pm - 7pm

Futures4Me Event

Wednesday 3rd October 2018, 3.30pm-7.30pm

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 21 December 2018
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