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Graphic Design BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma at Stafford College

Course description

Course Content

This L3 Extended Diploma course is an excellent starting point for those considering a career within the exciting and vast Graphic Design industry.


This creative course will enable you to experiment with a wide range of media and techniques, both digital and traditional, as you develop an understanding of graphic communication. You will work with challenging vocationally relevant briefs.


A key aspect of this Extended Diploma programme is the continual and formative assessment of coursework, so you will know how you are progressing at every stage. Your personal tutor will work closely to support you and help to monitor your development through regular 1:1 tutorials.

Course content

Year One

The first year of the course is designed to give students an excellent grounding in the subject. Project briefs will reflect modern design practices, exploring graphic communication for screen and print, typography, photo-montage, screen printing, illustration, web page and mobile application design. Your practical work will be underpinned by an awareness of graphic design theory, contextual studies and the latest industry standard software. You will be introduced to software programmes such as Photoshop, Illustrator,

In-Design, Flash, Dreamweaver and Final Cut Pro.


Year Two

The second year of study builds on the skills and knowledge you have gained in year 1. You will have the opportunity to advance your creative and technical skills and you will be encouraged to increase your understanding of how these skills can be applied to the contemporary graphics industry. Your responses to project briefs will become more personal and you will be encouraged to create innovative graphic outcomes by combining the cross discipline skills and media that excite you.


At this stage in the course you will become ready to think about your application to Higher Education or employment, so you will be supported to research your options and to develop a portfolio of work suitable for progression in your particular area of interest. In the final term you will create your Final Major Project and showcase your talents in the End of Year Show. During the second year of the course you will have the opportunity to take part in an overseas study trip to a European destination. Recent destinations have included Paris, Barcelona and Rome


We aim to develop creative, practical and technically able individuals, who upon completion of the BTEC Level 3 Diploma are well equipped with transferable skills for a variety of career opportunities.


English & maths

We are committed to helping students improve their skills in English and maths. Students on a full-time course at College who missed out on GCSE qualifications at grades A-C in these subjects at school will attend additional classes and receive support to enhance their grades. Depending on individual ability, students will work towards GCSE, City & Guilds or Functional Skills awards to ensure that they have the qualifications needed to progress to university or employment.

Entry requirements

  • Minimum of 4 GCSE passes at grade C or above, preferably including an Art subject and English.
  • A full Level 2 Diploma in a related subject achieved at Merit grade or above. Pass grade will be considered if suitable practical/vocational skills can be demonstrated and a satisfactory reference provided.
  • For qualifications other than GCSE’s in subjects not directly related to this course will only be recognised as equivalent to 1 GCSE.
  • Other experience will be considered for mature applicants.
  • Selection will be by interview. You will be asked to provide some examples of your own work and some evidence of interest in your chosen Art and Design subject.


Students progress is continually monitored with formal assessment of practical and written work.  At the end of the course students display their work in a final exhibition.

Financial information

Students applying for this course should be aware that although the college supplies some materials, the cost of additional resources should not be ignored. Personal materials for this course will cost about £5.00 per week, plus the cost of preparing a portfolio at the end of the programme. Additionally students will be expected to pay £30 into the visits fund at the start of the course to cover the cost of compulsory local educational day trips (this excludes the non-compulsory overseas residential visits). All these costs will be discussed further at interview.


For information about possible other fees and financial help, please call 01785 275512.

Future opportunities

This course is the starting point for a career in the Graphic Design industry and subsequent career pathways include Advertising, Publishing, Web and Mobile Application Design and Freelance work. However, whilst some students go directly into employment, many wish to go on to further study on a Foundation Degree, HND or Degree. Students progressing from this course have taken further study in areas graphic design, web design, visual communication, graphics and illustration.

Further information

If you would like any more information about the college or our courses, you can write, visit, or telephone Student Services on 01785 275468. Our e-mail address is:  If you are unsure about which course to take, we can arrange for you to talk to our guidance advisors. For specific course information please contact the appropriate course leader

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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