Extended Diploma in Art & Design (UAL Level 3)

What is the Course About?

The course includes a stimulating range of art and design-based subjects and projects, some of which are ‘live’ for gallery exhibitions or design briefs for clients.

From the outset, we aim to improve your existing creative skills and introduce you to many new and innovative approaches to creating art. You will experiment with lots of new materials and processes and this will allow you to build your technical skills whilst developing research skills and growing your awareness of critical and contextual issues.

The course has been designed to provide you with a strong foundation for progressing to a broad range of creative subjects at university or employment. It provides you with a vital bridge between school and university, helping you to become more independent thinker and practitioner.

During the second year you will be given the opportunity to take a week-long educational trip to London. The trip gives you the chance to visit/explore galleries, museums, media studios, and current major exhibitions. There will also be an opportunity to research university options in and around the London area and to visit the UCAS Fair.

What will I study?

This course is made up of 1 Unit in the first year and 1 Unit in the second year.

Year 1 – You will be introduced to the principles of Art, Design and Media Theory, plus technical and practical skills. You will explore and experiment in relation to design briefs, to help you choose a specialism. Areas covered are:

  • 2D (drawing, painting, illustration, graphic design, photography and printmaking)

  • 3D (ceramics, 3D design, fashion, textiles and sculpture)

  • 4D time based (animation).

You will finish the year with a final major project set by UAL but run by you based on your interests and strengths and supported by your tutors. The result of which will determine your final grade for the year.

Year 2 – You will be stretched and challenged as you extend your knowledge and experience of the disciplines within which you are working. You will prepare for degree level study or employment by becoming increasingly independent. You will be fully supported by your tutors when preparing for application interviews to higher education or employment, whilst producing a portfolio or work. You will be working with subject specialist briefs through the year and will produce a self-identified final major project which you will exhibit in an end-of-year-exhibition.

What are my progression and career options?

You could progress to university, after which there are many career options, which include becoming: a graphic designer, photographer, fashion designer, interior designer, exhibition designer, ceramicist, jewellery maker, illustrator, fine art artist, animator, visual merchandiser or a web designer.

This course is included in the UCAS tariff and attracts tariff points for each final grade: Pass 72, High Pass 96, Merit 120, High Merit 144 and Distinction 168. You should be advised that some university degree courses require students to have gained GCSEs at C or above in Maths and English, and you may be advised to complete these qualifications to ensure that you have the best possible chance to progress to higher education.

How will I be assessed?

The course is based on continual assessment, approximately every six weeks, which can be in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, and/or an exhibition of the work completed during this period. At the end of each year, you will produce a final project which demonstrates your skills and creativity in your chosen specialist discipline. This body of work is displayed in the end-of-year-exhibition.

Assessment takes the form of one external assessment taken at the end of the first year/unit, which is set and marked by the UAL Awarding Body and one internally assessed project taken at the end of the second year/unit, which is marked by the centre and moderated by UAL Awarding Body. Both units of the Extended Diploma are graded as Fail, Pass, Merit, or Distinction. Unit 1 and Unit 2 are aggregated to provide the final overall grade for the Extended Diploma qualification of: Fail, Pass, High Pass, Merit, High Merit and Distinction.

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of four GCSEs, at grade C or above (or grades 9-4), at least one of which should be in an Art and Design subject or the equivalent Level 2 qualification in an appropriate subject e.g. Art & Design (BTEC or UAL) with a Level 2 profile at merit and distinction grades.

  • Suitable evidence of your learning and achievement, ideally in the form of a portfolio of Digital Media, Art and Design, or Design Technology work, to be presented during your interview.