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Graphic Design and Visual Communication Diploma 3 at The Manchester College

Course description

If you look around, virtually everything you see has undergone a complex design process. If you’re creative and innovative, and love a technical and practical problem solving challenge, then the graphic design industry is somewhere you might be right at home. This Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma is the perfect starting place. Right across the course, you’ll explore, develop and test your creativity, learning how graphic design and visual communication is a vital part of almost everything around you. You’ll study visual language and the impact it has, tying this in with the design of solutions for advertising, packaging, interactive, branding and social media marketing scenarios. You’ll focus on the importance of illustration, typography & layout design in the design of print and screen based communication, as well as learning about how contextual and historical perspectives can help inform and generate design ideas that work.This diploma will provide you with the knowledge and understanding to progress to degree level study in visual arts and graphic design, or into employment in the growing UK creative industries. You’ll gain experience in a range of digital software, and develop the types of skills that will help in any future career. You’ll receive your diploma from the University of the Arts London Awarding Body, the only specialist creative arts awarding body in the UK.

Entry requirements

To enrol on this Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Graphic Design and Visual Communication, you’ll need to have at least four GCSEs at grade C or above, including Maths or English. You can also progress from the Level 2 Diploma in Art & Design with a merit grade profile.Adult learners may also gain entry to the course without these qualifications providing they can demonstrate an ability to cope with the demands of study based on their previous experience, commitment, interest and ability which will be assessed at interview.Due to Government changes to grading systems for GCSES in 16/17, please follow the below link to see specific entry criteria for school leavers School Leaver Entry Requirements


In the early part of the course, you will build your skills in all areas of study and will receive assessment feedback, both part way through and at the end of each project. This will give you constructive advice to help you improve your performance. Your final grade will be assessed through a final major project.As part of the continuous assessment, you’ll be expected to study outside of designated art and design studio sessions, attend exhibitions and galleries and do further contextual reading, all of which requires an additional commitment outside of normal course hours.

Financial information

All full-time courses are free to 16-18 year olds who meet funding regulations. For further details please call the Course Enquiry Team on 03333 222 444.

Future opportunities

After completing the first year of this course you’ll receive a diploma qualification, and when you finish the second you’ll have an extended diploma qualification. From here, you can progress to a university-level course in a specialist discipline of your choosing, and may wish to apply for the Foundation Degree in Contemporary Art Practice here at The Manchester College.You’ll also have a range of skills and experience to help you on the path to an exciting and rewarding career in the graphic design industry. You may wish to be a junior graphic designer or an animator, a product designer or an illustrator. The choice is yours, and you’ll find lots of opportunities in this growing sector.

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: 10 April 2018
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Key information


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    • Northenden Campus is a large, welcoming campus, offering a wide range of courses for school leavers, apprentices, adults and university-level students. We’ve invested £2 million in the campus to make it a great place to study vocational and academic courses. We’ve created a wildlife haven within the grounds and wildlife corridors connecting the site to the beautiful Wythenshawe Park nearby. Some of the facilities at Northenden are open to the public, including beauty salons.

      Facilities at Northenden Campus include:

      • fitness suite
      • football pitch
      • games area
      • large library resource centre (LRC)
      • SkillZone with extensive IT tools
      • art and design workshops
      • canteen and coffee bar
      • purpose built kitchen for catering courses
      • woodwork, ceramics and jewellery workshops
      • photography studios
      • salons (open to the public)
      • wildlife corridors to Wythenshawe Park
      • wildflower meadows
      • habitats for wildlife
      • birdboxes

      Local area

      Northenden is a suburb of south Manchester. There are shops, a supermarket, restaurants and takeaways 15 minutes’ walk from the campus in central Northenden. There are also a small supermarket and shops closer to the campus. Northenden is surrounded by green space. The campus is minutes away from Gib Lane Wood and Wythenshawe Park which includes a community farm. It is also close to the Mersey Valley nature reserve; a riverside walk through miles of countryside and parkland.