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Graphics (Art and Design) 90 Credits and Extended Diploma Level 3 at Darlington College

Course description

This exciting graphics course is designed to help you maximise your potential as a creative thinker and inspiring communicator. Be part of the dynamic, evolving graphic design industry and put your stamp on the look of the future. This course offers you the opportunity to study a wide range of interesting assignments that will improve your chances of finding employment or studying for an honours degree. You will be prepared for the world of work through exciting ‘live’ assignments set by practicing designers and industry clients such as:

  • Darlington Borough Council
  • Darlington College
  • Lingfield Point
  • Durham Constabulary
  • BoredSports

You will also enjoy the benefits of educational visits.

The skills you will learn are not only essential for the graphic design industry but are transferrable to other areas such as web design, animation, games design, photography, fashion marketing, fine art, architecture, product design and many more.

If you have not achieved a C grade or above in English or maths, you will as part of your course be required to work towards this as part of your study programme.  You will be given the opportunity to go on work experience at certain times during your course.

To develop your employability opportunities you may also be given enrichment classes. This may focus upon additional qualifications, industrial updating and career preparation.

Course content

You will be taught in an excellent spacious studio environment that includes a dedicated computer studio with state of the art equipment and software. You will learn through assignments, demonstrations, workshops and industry lead projects that are based on realistic work. Visits and visiting lecturers form an important part of the learning process. Your work is supported with personal and group tutorials as well as guidance and encouragement from the enthusiastic, supportive staff team who are all specialists in their subject area. You will be expected to devote approximately 10 hours per week to self-directed study – homework is considered to be an important aspect of this course.

The course comprises a range of core and specialist units covering the following topics:

  • Corporate image and branding
  • Advertising and promotion
  • Illustration and visualisation
  • Editorial design
  • Packaging
  • Printing
  • Computer graphics
  • Design for web
  • Digital photography
  • Design history

Entry requirements

4 GCSEs grades A*-C including GCSE maths or English or an appropriate Level 2 qualification (at a merit grade) and a satisfactory school report. We will request a school or college report and you will attend an interview at the college.

You will need to bring a portfolio of work to your interview.


Course work is continually assessed and formally marked at the end of each assignment. All assignments feed into the units of the course, each unit providing you with a grade Pass, Merit or Distinction dependent on the quality of work submitted. Successful completion of this course provides you with the qualification BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design (Graphic Design) - equivalent to 3 ‘A’ Levels, the maximum UCAS point score that can be achieved from this Level 3 qualification is 420 UCAS points. 50% of the students studying Graphic Design in their 2nd year (2013-2014) achieved the grade DDD, 30% achieved D*D*D* (420 UCAS points). Liam Blewitt – on the student profile achieved D*D*D* and secured his place at Northumbria University to study BA (hons) Graphic Design. He was also eligible for a scholarship at Northumbria which means £2000 per year reduction in course fees if he maintains high grades.

Future opportunities

This course will help prepare you for progression onto an Honours degree, foundation degree or a HND in graphic design, illustration, advertising, web design or similar related subjects.

You will be advised and supported in your UCAS application/employment application with help on appropriate routes and portfolio preparation. All students who have completed a Level 3 Art and Design course at this college have been successful when applying to their chosen degree courses.

A career:

In some cases a student will progress directly into design related employment from the course. Most, however, go on to higher education and then take up careers in graphic design, art direction, advertising, magazine and editorial design, illustration, web design, photography, fashion marketing, event management, product design or other creative pathway – the list is endless.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 08 March 2016
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