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Level 2 Diploma in Art & Design

The one-year course provides the opportunity for those who are inspired by art and design and wish to explore, develop and test their creativity within a structure that will offer a sound base of skills and knowledge, while enhancing self-confidence and revealing the potential career demands and opportunities within the sector. The course draws upon established approaches to teaching, learning and assessment that are successfully proven to appeal to and engage students seeking practical study.

You will be encouraged to develop the practical skills necessary to follow art and design further and the theoretical understanding to provide support for these skills. With a range of stimulating yet demanding art and design activities which are designed to challenge and stretch students, you will be developing the problem solving and communication skills needed realise your creative potential.


There is opportunity to explore a range of 2D and 3D processes including regular observational drawing activities, design, printing techniques, painting, photography and working in  the college workshops with wood, metals, ceramics and textiles.

Practical classes and tutorials are delivered over three and a half days of the week, leaving plenty of study-time to complete supporting research and written tasks. Units are delivered through studio practice projects which are assessed at the end of each term and through an on-going monitoring of progress, together with supporting written tasks.


Term One

Term one includes an introduction to materials, processes and technical skills in 2D and 3D, together with an introduction into the inspiration of ideas by looking at the work of other artists. This work is closely referenced to your practical work. In the second half of the term there is an opportunity to explore Photography, Printing techniques and drawing techniques involved in solving 2D creative problems.

Term Two

In the first half of the spring term you will return to the workshops solving 3D problems, and in the second half you will solve time based creative problems  which will involve more independent study as you know have the knowledge and confidence to create creative solutions.

Term Three

In the summer term students conclude with the developing and producing a personal project where they write their own project proposal and produce work to exhibit in the End of Year Show, which brings together the expertise and skills learnt during the year.


The diploma is made up of eight units, each with its own assessment criteria. Each completed practical project is graded against a unit. All students complete a final personal project which is graded pass, merit or distinction. The grade for this final unit gives the overall grade for the course.

Throughout the year, we feel it is important to look at art and inspiration for ideas 'outside of the studio', and to see what is happening in the art & design world, so we arrange a range of trips and visits to exhibitions and collections, as well as activities such as a recent  photography field trip to Tintern Abbey and Chepstow Castle.

Students also study English and Maths as an integral part of the course and will take Functional Skills qualifications and/or work towards GCSEs as appropriate.


Progression and Careers

The Diploma enables you to study what you enjoy, and in return you will gain a useful qualification that is equivalent to four GCSEs, and having built a strong portfolio of artwork.

On successful completion of the Diploma in Art & Design, you will guided through applications to further levels of art and design study, such as entry onto Extended Diploma in Art & Design. There is also guidance to alternative access to employment routes within the creative industries, including vocational pathways such as apprenticeships or training.



1 year full-time


When we asked students:
94% say the course helps them with confidence

88% of students feel the course has improved their communication skills


"The tutors are nice - I learnt a lot of new design skills"

Entry Requirements

  • Minimum age of 16
  • Minimum 4 GCSEs Grade F and above (to ensure that you qualify it is highly desirable that you achieve at least a grade C or above in English or Maths)
  • Portfolio & interview
  • Applicants will also be required to complete a short piece of written work


College-Level 2


No tuition fees (with the exception of students from the Channel Islands) will be charged to students aged under 19 on 31st August in the year in which the student begins the course


Come along to one of our Open Events - meet our staff, current students, walk round the studios and workshops, and find out more about our courses.  You can download the Further Application Form from this page

More on How to Apply

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