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Fine Art BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma at Stafford College

Course description

  This L3 Extended Diploma course is an excellent starting point for those considering a career within the creative art and design industry.   It offers the opportunity to study a broad-based programme and will introduce you to a range of disciplines including print-making, painting, life drawing, drawing and illustration, colour theory, working in 3d - wood, metal and plastics, ceramics, textiles and historical and contextual studies. 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 a strong foundation in drawing, life drawing, painting, print making and sculpture. The emphasis in this year is on learning to handle media and mastering techniques. Your practical work will be underpinned by an awareness of art and design theory and contextual studies.


Year Two

In year two 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 creative art and design industry. The use of computers in art will be incorporated extending your skills through the application of digital processes. You will be expected to think more conceptually and your responses to project briefs will become more personal. You will be encouraged to create innovative 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 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. 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 is the starting point for a career in the creative Art and Design industry. Some students go directly into employment, but many wish to go on to further study a Foundation Degree, HND or Degree in vocational areas such as fine art, graphic design, digital design, photography, visual media and communication, moving image, 3D design, product design, fashion, textiles, surface pattern, illustration, animation, theatre and performance design, architecture, interior and spatial design.

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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