This two-year course is an attractive alternative to A-levels and provides a transformative bridge between school and university. Based at the University’s Vernon Street site, it offers students with an interest in visual arts the opportunity to explore and develop creativity within a specialist, stimulating, and supportive environment.
The course has been designed to provide the skills, knowledge, and understanding to help you discover your talents. We nurture individual strengths through a wide range of visual disciplines, and you will specialise in one of four pathways: Fashion & Textiles, Fine Art, Graphic Communication, or 3D Design.
Several disciplines are introduced within each pathway. Fashion & Textiles may, for example, focus on fashion or costume design, fashion branding, or textile design. Fine Art can include painting, printmaking, sculpture, and installation. Graphic Communication can incorporate graphic design, comic and concept art, illustration, animation, creative advertising, photography, and filmmaking. 3D Design can involve product design, interior design, theatre design, design crafts, and architecture.
You will also develop important employability and communication skills and be guided on career opportunities within the creative industries. Students benefit from an enrichment programme of visiting professionals, competitions, and live/simulated briefs. Upon successful completion of all units, the overall grade for the qualification will be achieved through the assessment of a final unit of course work and is the equivalent of three A-levels.
You’ll be introduced to the underpinning principles of art and design theory and practice to inform the development of your creative, practical skills. Exploring different approaches and experimentation with a range of media, techniques, and processes allows you to discover individual strengths and interests. This helps you to decide which specialism to choose. You’ll finish the year by undertaking a major project in Fashion & Textiles, Graphic Communication, 3D Design, or Fine Art.
Three-Dimensional Design is about designing objects and spaces. These objects might be the functional items we use every day, such as mass-produced products (the ‘tools of life’), or the spaces we occupy or visit, rooms, interiors, buildings, and the spaces in between buildings (‘the spaces of life’). By studying on the 3D design specialism you can explore practices such as interior design, spatial design, product design, design for stage and television, architecture, craft design, landscape architecture, furniture design, and automotive design.
On the 3D Design pathway you will do a number of briefs which give you the opportunity to nurture and develop your emerging interests and direction in your creative practice. You will learn about the design process, consider ethics, sustainable and safe working practices. You will develop skills in resistant materials and workshop techniques to include wood, metal and plastic manipulation, casting, vacuum forming and laser-cutting. You will learn how to generate ideas for design solutions using drawing, diagrams, model making, photography, CAD, animation and film; and you will learn about contemporary and historical design.
Further education students have access to resources based at our Vernon Street campus all run by experienced instructors. Students are introduced to a wide range of materials and processes that assist their studies depending on their course specialties. These include:
Computer suites housing networks of Apple Mac computers, with regularly updated, creative software.
A specialist art library with print and online resources to support studies in the creative arts, and a not-for-profit shop selling a wide range of materials.
Print workshop which includes extensive facilities for screen-printing, traditional printmaking and bookbinding.
Photography resource with a range of equipment for loan including digital and film cameras for still and moving image and a range of support equipment for use in the dedicated lighting studio or off-site.
Photography darkrooms with black-and-white film processing and printing facilities.
Wood, metal & casting workshop equipped with industrial-standard machinery, supplemented by hand- and power-tools.
Extended Diploma in Creative Practice
The Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication are qualifications for post-16 students looking to pursue a specialist career in the creative industries. The majority of our students progress onto higher education.
Our students’ breadth of experience and impressive portfolios leads them to secure places on specialist degree courses across the country (including those at Leeds Arts University) and pursue careers in various fascinating fields. These include animation, illustration, graphic design, film, advertising, fashion design, fashion branding, surface pattern design, photography, architecture, product design, sculpture, concept art, and fine art.
Others choose to access appropriate entry level roles, training programmes or apprenticeships.
UCAS point when available:
P (72 UCAS points)
M (120 UCAS points)
D (168 UCAS points)