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Visual Arts & Communications Level 3 at Warrington & Vale Royal College

Course description

This specialist course is aimed at students who wish to pursue a career in the dynamic world of visual communication and printed arts. Careers within these fields are wide and varied including; graphic designer, fashion photographer, illustrator, book artist, photo journalist, typographer, sign maker, documentary photographer, product designer, events photographer and many more. This course is ideal for those who have previously studied art & design at GCSE or a L2 vocational qualification and who now wish to further develop their creative and technical skills in order to progress onto university or employment within this creative field.

Course content

The course delivers a specialist curriculum allowing students to develop specific practical skills as well as learn about the print, graphic design and photography industry and professional practice. Students complete project briefs that allow them to experiment with a broad range of design and production techniques whilst developing their theoretical knowledge. Topics include typography, location photography techniques, studio photography techniques, print design (magazines, DVD covers, book cover design, poster design), digital illustration and photo manipulation. You will learn about the design cycle and broaden your skills in idea development, contextual analysis of your research and expand your knowledge of historical and contemporary photographers & designers in order to influence and inspire your own work. Students will develop skills in various computer software programmes such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom and InDesign. You will study in specialist, industry standard photography studios and Apple Mac suites, and you will learn from tutors who are highly skilled within their particular fields.


You will be continuously assessed based on the projects you complete throughout the year. You will receive both verbal and written tutor feedback and take part in peer assessments. Assessment is through set assignments and project coursework. All students will take part in an end of year show where they will have the opportunity to showcase their work.

Financial information

The college provides some specialist art equipment and materials but students are expected to purchase their own sketchbooks, folders and basic art kits. These can be bought from the college art shop. It would be advantageous for students who wish to specialise in photography to have their own digital camera.

Future opportunities

Students who complete the full L3 in Visual Communication have a number of progression pathways including employment and further or higher education. Students who achieve on the L3 Visual Communication course can progress onto the L3 Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, apply to study on a specialist arts based HNC at Warrington & Vale Royal College or apply to an art, graphic design or photography related degree programme at a national university.

Further information

Will I complete work placements?

Students will have the opportunity to take part in work experience placements and will be supported in finding a suitable placement by the college work experience team and tutors. There are also opportunities to take part in live briefs.

Are trips and residentials organised during the course?

Students on the course will have the opportunity to take part in trips both locally and nationally to appropriate art galleries, museums, design or photography studios and exhibitions.

Are there any links with industry?

Students will have the opportunity to take part in guest lecture workshops with employers as well as live briefs for local community groups and/or employers. The tutors on the course have excellent links with industry professionals and students on the course will benefit from these working partnerships.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Warrington & Vale Royal College directly.

Last updated date: 03 November 2017
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    • By Rail: Anyone travelling by train should disembark at Central Station in Warrington. Our Winwick Road Campus is around a 20 minute walk along the A49 (you will pass the Warrington Wolves RLFC stadium and the Tesco supermarket on your left).

      By Bus: Warrington & Vale Royal College is easily accessible by bus from the town centre and nearby Cheshire districts. Bus numbers* 19, 20, 21, 22 from the Warrington Bus Station to Winwick Road Campus.

      *Please note bus numbers are subject to change.