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Graphic Design Level 3 at Sheffield College

Course description

This is a two year full time course.

About the course

Do you want creative work experience? Live projects?  Visiting speakers from industry? National competitions? Then look no further than this course.

This course gives you an exciting opportunity to gain an understanding of the creative industries and their products.  As a student you will develop a range of skills and techniques in interactive media design, graphic communication and web development.

Through the first year of the course you will be given a broad introduction to the diverse aspects of graphic design, web development and interactive media. This will range from typography, graphic and image making to website designs and motion graphics.  Your projects will be broad based to give you the room to be creative, but in line with the creative needs of Sheffield and beyond.

We have excellent professional links and you’ll be trained on industry standard software such as Indesign, Muse, Photoshop, After Effects and Illustrator.  You will also be given an introduction to animation and image making processes. As the course progresses you will work with increasing independence and become prepared for either Higher Education and/or the world of work.

Alongside your design projects you will study professional practice, portfolio preparation and online self-promotion. You will finish your qualification with a final major project and a real exhibition of work at a Sheffield venue.  Industry professionals are invited to and attend this event.

You will also be involved in an exciting enrichment programme alongside the course.  This allows you to work on “live” project briefs set by real clients, attend lectures from guest speakers working in the creative industries and compete in national design competitions.  You will be given enterprise opportunities where you can create and sell your own design work. We run a number of trips on this programme to introduce you to cutting edge galleries and contemporary design work all over the country in order to inspire your own work.

We pride ourselves on our students’ success in progressing to Higher Education, with many of our students gaining places on degree courses throughout the country, as well as on to our own degree programmes.

The Design & Visual Arts Department is a large, well equipped department with highly trained staff, a customised print shop, digital and traditional darkrooms, Mac and PC suites, large well-resourced studios, print making facilities and a variety of other resources.  Equipment is available to hire, students can borrow cameras, graphics tablets, laptops and iPads from the stores. From September 2015 students choosing to study at our Hillsborough campus will do so in our new multimillion pound creative centre.

Where necessary you will be required to study Functional Skills or GCSE Maths and English if you do not already hold a minimum of GCSE grade 4. (Many universities and employers ask for a minimum of GCSE grade 4 in both Maths and English).

Will this course suit me?

An ideal student for this course is one who is motivated and has an interest in the world of design. You are not expected to have any knowledge of design software as training will be provided, but an enthusiasm for art, design and creativity is essential.

Qualification Title

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma which attracts UCAS tariff points equivalent to 3 A levels.

What students say about this course.

“You do get a lot of independence in your work, with a project brief to guide you.  Also the tutors are very friendly and helpful and very easy to get along with, if you do need help on your projects, they will be glad to help.”

“I really love the course and I’ve learnt loads of skills and gained more independence.”

“You will have your ups and down but if you stick with it and try your best everything will be worthwhile.”

“You will love it.”


Entry requirements

5 GCSEs at 4-9 / A*- C including an Art related subject and English Language.


The course is assessed entirely by coursework. You therefore need to have good time management skills and be able to work to targets and deadlines.

Financial information


At The Sheffield College we will always do our best to support you through your studies, to make them as stress free as possible. We have a specialist support team who can give you all the advice you need on all things financial, including what might be available to you, so that you don’t go short and you can concentrate all your efforts into your studies.

Free meals

If you meet the eligibility criteria we’ll be able to support you with free meals. You’ll get an amount of money that you can use within the college shops and diners per day. This will be added to your student ID card which you will just swipe to purchase items.

Travel passes

Students (including Apprentices) of The Sheffield College who live in South Yorkshire are eligible for a 16–18 Student Pass which entitles pass holders to cheaper travel on buses and trams in South Yorkshire. Pass holders are also entitled to half fare on Northern train services in South Yorkshire.

Learner Support Fund

If you are enrolled with us, you may receive support towards the cost of:

  • Travel

  • Books and materials

  • Uniform and equipment

  • Essential course trips

  • NUS extra

  • DBS checks needed for your course (previously known as CRB)
  • UCAS registration fee and travel to interviews when applying for university

Future opportunities

Where can it lead?

The next step could be to our own Foundation Degree in Graphic Design or other Higher Education course within the Art & Design field including Photography, Fashion, Textiles and Illustration.

Career opportunities include design agency roles, advertising, publicity and “freelance” self-employment.

Further information

Open Days

Why not come and see for yourself. Visit us on one of our open evenings and meet the people who will be teaching you, have a chat about what the course involves and look round our fantastic facilities where you’ll be learning.

Our City, Hillsborough, Peaks and Olive Grove campuses will be open on the following days:

Thursday 25th October 2018, 4pm- 7pm
Wednesday 21st November 2018, 4pm- 7pm
Tuesday 29th January 2019, 4pm - 7pm
Monday 4th March 2019, 4pm- 7pm


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: 19 September 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: Two years
  • Course code: HFNGP1


  • More information
    • Welcome to Hillsborough Campus

      Our Hillsborough campus in the north of the city is our creative hub with Art and Design, Photography, Fashion, and Music all based at the campus alongside more traditional courses such as A-Levels and our strong Sports base.

      The facilities at Hillsborough really have to be seen to be believed (why don’t you check out the tour!) from shiny Mac suites, which there are numerous, to sprung dance studios, a theatre and a TV studio.

      Hillsborough’s not just for those who are confident on the stage or in front of the camera, it also has a stage production workshop for set design and prop making, a wire tension grid which provides a strong, safe and virtually invisible platform for lighting changes to be made.

      Hillsborough also has a gym, a 3G sports pitch and a sports hall which is available for use for all, not just those studying Sport.

      If you need childcare, no problem! The Hillsborough campus has an Ofsted Outstanding rated nursery onsite.


      Hillsborough Campus, Livesey Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S6 2ET

      By Car

      From the M1 take Junction 33 onto the Sheffield Parkway.

      Take a right onto Derek Dooley Way/A61 and follow the A61 for approximately 2 miles.

      When you reach a KFC restaurant on your left and Owlerton Stadium on your right, turn right onto Livesey Street. Hillsborough Campus is located approximately 300 metres down Livesey Street, on the right hand side.


      Unfortunately the only on-site parking available at Hillsborough is for Blue Badge holders (more access information can be found here), however there is pay and display on-street parking and car parks available nearby.

      By Train

      Once you arrive at the station your best bet is to hop on a tram – the train station even has its own tram stop. See the Tram section below for more details.

      By Tram

      Pick up a blue line tram heading towards Malin Bridge and get off at Hillsborough or Hillsborough Park – both of which are around 5 minutes away.

      You can use the Supertram website to plan your journey and get up to date information about fares.

      By Bus

      There are a number of different buses that stop near Hillsborough Campus – too many to list here in fact!

      Check out the Travel South Yorkshire website for further details.

      By Bike

      Hillsborough has secure bike storage on site. Please speak to Student Services to register and gain access to the storage facilities.


      For accessibility information please see the Disabled Go website here.