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Art and Design BTEC level 3 National Diploma at St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College

Course description

The UK creative industries were worth a record £76.9 billion to the UK economy in 2013. Growth in the creative industries was higher than in any other UK industry and was three times the average increase in the UK economy during this period.

The sectors, which include advertising, architecture, crafts, design, film, games, publishing, museums and galleries, music, technology and television, are an important source of job creation for the UK. 

Studying Art & Design at St Charles Sixth Form College is the first step to becoming part of the UK creative industries. The skills you will be taught as an Art student at St Charles will prepare you for a diverse range of pathways – whether you want to be a Vehicle Designer, Architect, or an Illustrator, St Charles can help you to prepare for the next step, and begin your creative career path.

Course content

Its main purpose is to allow learners to develop the core specialist knowledge, understanding and skills required by the sector. You will spend 11 periods a week studying Art and Design.

The Subsidiary Diploma is a 6 unit course delivered over 1 year. Units will cover 2D and 3D Art and Design, Critical and Contextual studies.

The National Diploma is a 12 unit course delivered over 2 years (the Subsidiary Diploma 6 units will be carried through from year 1). You will have opportunity in the 2nd year to develop communications techniques (graphics , illustration and printmaking) as well as developing a more specialist portfolio to suit your chosen career pathway. Having created a portfolio you will be supported in making applications to university or direct into employment.

Entry requirements

Minimum 5 GCSEs or equivalent at grade C or above for vocational study programmes.

You must meet the St Charles entry requirements for a level 3 programme including GCSE in Art and Design at grade C or as alternative 5 GCSE’s grade A-C or PM or above in BTEC Extended Certificate and a portfolio of art work that is judged to be at a high enough standard to study Level 3 Art and Design (Occasionally students will be recommended to study at Level 2 if they have no prior art and design experience but are keen to pursue a creative career pathway).


There are no timed examinations. Assessment is 100%  coursework based. Work needs to be carried out independently for all tasks set by your teacher. All deadlines must be met in order to pass each unit.

A grade is awarded for each unit as a Pass, Merit or Distinction. You need to pass every unit in order to pass the course. Where relevant you will be offered a 2 week resubmission opportunity for each unit in order to improve your grade.

Financial information

We require students to buy an Art kit upon arrival to the department at a cost of £20 this will include sketchbooks/paper, paints, pens and pencils, brushes, colour digital printing, stencils and mount board/foam board for exhibition purposes. The department provides all other specialist materials that may be used.

Future opportunities

After completing the Level 3 National Diploma in Art and Design you are well positioned to apply directly to university to study an arts based degree or a Foundation course. In the past 3 years 100% of students that have chosen to continue to study on an arts based course at a higher level have been successful in an application.

The department has built links with many leading creative universities, and many students gain places at prestigious institutions such as University of the Arts London Colleges (Central Saint Martins, CCW, LCC LCF), The Royal Drawing School, Ravensbourne, Middlesex, and further afield in Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Newcastle and many more.

The range of specialisms applied for is diverse, but may include Fine Art, Graphic Design, Animation, Architecture, Product Design, Engineering, Fashion Design, Textile Design, Surface Pattern, Photography, Fashion promotion and styling, Marketing and Computer Games Design.

Further information

There are many extra curricular courses and events to get involved in as a student in the Art Department. Recent examples include an in house photography and bookmaking course in collaboration with a local hospital, a Photography course and exhibition at Central Saint Martins, Summer schools in Product Design, Interior & Spatial Design, Fashion Design, Photography and Textiles with Ravensbourne, Chelsea and Camberwell College of Arts, an animation course with the Courtauld gallery, as well as in house life drawing sessions. We also invite tutors from higher education in to offer portfolio advice to support students applying to higher education.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 12 October 2016
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