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Art & Design BTEC Level 3 at Shipley College

Course description

Explore 2D and 3D visual language by working in a variety of areas such as painting, drawing, printmaking, graphic design, computers for art, textiles and fashion, plus 3D materials such as clay, wirework and wood.

Create a reference file using all the materials and techniques studied for use in future study or work.

Learn to work to a professional brief, based on realistic workplace situations and to communicate your own ideas to different audiences.

In year two, you will develop a project of your own in response to a set brief. In addition, you explore the work of other artists, designers and crafts people and benefit from talks from professionals.

Course content

You will study a range of units, options include:

  • Unit 1 - Visual Recording in Art & Design Improve your mark making skills working from primary source, for example the natural world, the man-made world. This unit forms the basis for all further study.
  • Unit 2 - Materials, Techniques and Processes Be introduced to a range of art and design materials, techniques and processes through numerous workshop activities. Produce a technical file to refer to throughout the course.
  • Unit 3 - Ideas and Concepts in Art & Design This unit will introduce you to the design process. An understanding of this is very important particularly when working to a client brief.
  • Unit 4 - Communication through Art & Design Be introduced to ways of communicating your own ideas to different audiences.
  • Unit 5 - Contextual Influences in Art and Design Examining the work of other artists, designers and crafts people and appreciating how they work is essential if you are to develop your own ideas. Throughout the course, this unit will provide opportunities to look at the work of others.
  • Unit 6 - Application, Exploration and Realisation in Art & Design In year two, this important unit will allow you to show case everything you have learnt during the course. Develop a project of your own in response to a set brief and work in either graphic design, fine art, 3D working, fashion/ textile, digital media or some other specialist pathway.

You will have the chance to curate and showcase your work at the End of year Art Exhibition. It is a great way for others to see your artwork. Our Art and Design students have been involved in community projects and have been on several trips out for inspiration.

Examples include:

  • Volunteering at Saltaire Arts Trail.
  • Visiting Kirkstall Abbey for inspiration while creating concept art for the games unit and develop environments for the characters.
  • Trips to Leeds Art Gallery and Yorkshire Sculpture Park for insights and ideas

Entry requirements

  • 4 GCSEs at grade A* - C (9 - 4), including English & maths.
  • If you don’t have grade C (5-4) in both subjects, the minimum for the other is grade D (3).


  • A full Level 2 at PP grade or above with maths & English grades equivalent to those stated above.*
  • A keen interest in art, design and creativity and a portfolio of artwork or sketch books.

* Students with grade D (3) in either English or maths will be expected to re-take that subject in Year 1.


The course is unit-based and is mostly assessed internally, with some units being assessed externally, with Pass, Merit and Distinction grades.

You will be set a number of assignment briefs throughout the course which will allow you to work through the grading criteria for each unit. You may also need to take GCSE or functional skills tests which require learners to sit externally set tests.

Financial information

Most students will not have to pay tuition fees. There will be a number of basic materials you must pay for and you will be expected to add to these as you progress through the course. The total cost is likely to be approximately £50 per year. You will also have to pay for educational visits to galleries, museums and exhibitions

Future opportunities

After successfully completing this course, you can move on to a degree or diploma in Art & Design at university or begin your career in Graphic Design, working in the Media Industry, Multimedia, Fashion, Illustration and Product Design.

Further information

This is a one or two year Level 3 course. You will be in college 3 days per week. You will be expected to work between nine and twelve hours a week on homework.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 02 February 2017
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