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Art and Design (General) Extended Diploma Level 3 Year 1 at West Suffolk College

Course description

This course teaches a broad foundation of core art and design skills in term 1 of the first year. Students then choose to specialise in their chosen area for the remainder of the course.

Course content

This is our largest course and is a terrific two years of art and design education. The course starts with fast four-week introductions to the four different specialisms within art and design - Fine Art (including painting, sculpture and conceptual art), 3D Design (including ceramics, jewellery, furniture and product design, interior design and sculpture) and Graphic Design/illustration. From the start of term three, students then have the opportunity to choose their specialist path and then study this for the remainder of the course. This is a unique and successful feature of the course.

Furthermore, throughout the course, students are educated in the core creative skills of art and design such as drawing, mixed-media work, digital media, printmaking, inventive idea creation and contextual studies. The course is a hugely rewarding two years and a brilliant springboard into university and a future in the creative industries.

See some of the work our students have created on

Any student aged 16 to 19 who does not hold a GCSE A* to C (9 to 4 on the new grading structure) or equivalent qualifications in Maths and English by age 16 will need to continue to study these subjects in each academic year.

Entry requirements

Entry is by interview. Candidates will need either a minimum of four GCSE's Grade C or above, or an equivalent Level 2 qualification. Applicants will have the opportunity to discuss the course content and requirements during their interview and provide a portfolio of work demonstrating their creative ability. Applicants will need to be able to be motivated, manage their own time and have a mature outlook.


Students will achieve a UAL Extended Diploma in Art and Design. This is a highly respected and valued qualification by universities and employers.

Financial information

Free for 16 to 18 year olds. 

Future opportunities

Students on this course have a great record of progressing to university degree courses and employment. The UAL Level 3 qualifications all carry the same UCAS points as equivalent A-levels. Art universities respond incredibly favourably to Extended Diplomas as they know that they have been delivered within a specialist Art School environment with specialist Lecturers.

Last year, 82 per cent of students progressed to university and 18 per cent were successful in finding employment. Students who decide not to progress to university generally undertake trainee employment positions within the creative industries. We have an outstanding track record of our students having amazing careers and fulfilling their dreams.

Successful students progressing from our Level 3 courses will be guaranteed an offer on the BA (hons) Graphic Design and Communication or BA (hons) Applied Interior Design here at The University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College.

Further information

Students will need a range of basic art and design equipment and an A2 portfolio. There will be an ongoing cost of materials throughout the course. Trip and colour printing money is collected at the start of the year.


How to apply

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

Last updated date: 12 December 2016
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