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Welcome art and design applicants!

You have made a great decision choosing West Notts!

A quick message from the Head of Department, Kerry Pilcher


FAQs - art and design courses

The following information will hopefully give you a little bit more of an insight into what it will be like to be a student with us.

  • Where will I study?

    Our art and design courses are based at the Derby Road campus, Mansfield, in the visual arts and design building. The college operates 13 different bus routes to and from this campus, both in the morning and the evening.

  • What is it like?

    College is an adult, professional environment intended to prepare you to work in your chosen industry. We expect our students to behave in the way that they would in a job with an employer. Attendance and punctuality are very important too.

  • What will I study?

    The courses are a mix of practical sessions that will encourage you to try a number of different techniques and practices, alongside some classroom-based theory. You will get to try your hand at drawing, painting, ceramics, digital design, textiles, photography, printing and screen printing, 3D design as well as fine art. The higher the level of study programme that you’re on, there will be more theory combined with practical.

  • What about English and maths?

    If you start at college and you haven’t yet achieved your English and maths GCSEs at grade 4 or above, then you will continue to study these for three hours each week per subject. At the end of your first year you will take a re-sit GCSE exam. It is important you attend your English and maths lessons alongside your chosen course.

    Take a look at our fact sheets to find out why English and maths is important within this industry.

    View English and maths fact sheets

  • What will I have to wear?

    Art and design students can wear whatever they want to come to college in, as long as it’s appropriate and isn’t offensive. We have no dress codes in terms of hair colour, jewellery etc.

  • Will I have to do a work placement?

    At levels 2 and 3 you will be expected to complete a work placement. Past students have worked in design studios and even tattoo parlours, designing tattoos for clients! The central work placement team can help find you an opportunity. This is a great way to get your foot in the door and maybe even move into a job.

    All of our students will be able to also get engaged with our learning companies, which provide in-house opportunities to gain real-world experience.


  • Applicant activities

    Before you start at West Notts, here are a few activites to get involved in.

    Submit your portfolio

    Have you had an offer of a place on an art and design course?

    Have you sent us examples of your work yet? If not, please see below.

    We ask that you provide a small portfolio of artwork including sketchbooks, preliminary studies or any other creative work (minimum 6 images), which will support your application. This can be paintings, drawings, pictures of 3D or clay work, textiles, fashion, photography, graphics etc. It can be work you have completed at home or at school.

    You will need to scan or photograph your work and clearly label the files and should include your full name.

    If your files are too large to send by email, please use a service such as Dropbox, WeTransfer or similar and email us the link.

    Please only send your work to us, if you have an offer of a place.

    Submit your portfolio

    Get a head start for college

    Here are a series of tasks for you to try before starting your course. The tasks are designed to help you practice your skills and develop your knowledge of a range of artists.

    By completing these tasks you will be able to get a head start on your course by learning the basics before joining us in September.

    Anything you complete will be able to be used as part of a forthcoming project, so why not give it a go?

    Paint like Edvard Munch

    Paint like Frida Kahlo

    Paint like Georges Braque

    Meet the tutors

    Get to know to know a bit more about your tutors before you join us.

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    Watch - What our students say

    Raeannah chats to us from the art and design curriculum about all the creative techniques she gets involved in during her time at the college. She’s particularly enjoying textiles and using the sewing machines to create her work.

    View the video on YouTube

    Image of a young man standing next to his artwork in an exhibition.

    News - Students work together for suicide prevention

    It was definitely not a full-stop for students at West Nottinghamshire College last week as they thoughtfully supported Project Semicolon – the organisation dedicated to the prevention of suicide.

    Read the story

    Image of a group of students on a balcony holding a banner

    News - Kaleidoscope of creativity by aspiring artists and performers

    Each year our students showcase their end-of-year projects by way of galleries, live performances, gigs and more. It’s an exciting time for them to show off the very best of their portfolios before they move on to further studies and employment.

    Read the story

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    Read letters from our current students

    Our students wanted to share their experiences of college with you. We hope their letters help answer some of your questions and put you at ease.

    Read Christopher's letter

    Read Ruby's letter

  • Ask your tutor

    Anything playing on your mind about your college course? Then send your questions to our college tutors using our simple online form.

    Ask a question

Why choose West Notts?

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100% A Level pass rate in 2020.

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One of the top colleges in the UK for student satisfaction.**Learner Exit Survey 2019/20

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An extensive bus service across Mansfield and the surrounding area.

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We have four campuses each boasting a number of state-of-the-art facilities.

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