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Art and Design Practice Image Making (Graphics, Photography and Illustration) (Advanced) - Level 3


The Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design is structured in two distinct pathways – Image Making and Commercial Design - both are designed for progressing onto higher level study courses at university, and working directly in the creative industries.

The course is a full-time programme split into two stages: 

  • Year 1 - Foundation Diploma (equivalent to 1.5 A Levels on completion of one year)
  • Year 2 - Extended Diploma (equivalent to 3 A Levels on completion of the two years)

Following successful completion of the National Diploma in year 1 you may then progress to a second year of study on the Extended Diploma.

The Image Making Pathway is designed to allow students to develop an extensive skill set specialising in different types of image making techniques ranging from traditional to digital methods. On the image making pathway you will combine traditional artistic techniques including printmaking, which will inform the digital image making process. This pathway includes photography, which involves working in the studio with flash lighting as well as learning how to use a DSLR camera to respond to artistic influences and client briefs.

You will also have the opportunity to build on your skills and the fundamental principles needed within the graphic design industry. Focusing on and developing skills in visual communication, problem solving, traditional and digital forms of illustration, image manipulation, printmaking, branding and typography, allowing you to create highly effective and well considered design solutions.

Graphics – Logo design, branding, traditional printing methods and typography using  Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Photography – Exploring a range of traditional and digital methods including using DSLR cameras, graphics tablets, Adobe Photoshop and studio lighting.

Illustration – printmaking, traditional and mixed media art and design practice, visual recording.

Start dates and fees

Start DateCodeAnnual Fee (Age)Actions
16-18over 19
Sep 20242302A1591FREEFREE* to £2882.00Apply

* If you are aged 19-23 and studying your first Level 3 course then that course may be free. Please contact us for more details. If you are aged 19 or over and either studying a second Level 3 course or qualifying Level 4, 5 or 6 course you may be able to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the costs.

What will I study?

  • Photography
  • Painting and drawing
  • Print making
  • Visual recording
  • Fine art

Entry requirements

  • Four GCSEs at grade 4 or above.
  • Or, a relevant Level 2 qualification at merit level. Both require a portfolio of evidence of art work.

If you are a young person who is not currently studying a traditional GCSE programme, we will consider alternative qualifications such as functional skills and vocational qualifications.

Please contact our admissions team for further information -

Applicants aged over 19:

  • If you do not have the entry requirements listed above you may still be accepted to study if you can provide relevant experience, a strong portfolio of work and a commitment to the subject.

Study programmes - essential skills for employment

If you're a student between the ages of 16 and 18 (or 19 to 25 with an EHC Plan) we want to make sure you have the best possible chances of landing an awesome job once you finish college.

Students who haven't achieved a grade 4/C in GCSE maths or English to continue studying these subjects while you're here with us. By doing so, you'll be building a strong foundation of skills that will significantly boost your employability in the future.

Think of it as a chance to supercharge your knowledge and abilities. You'll be equipped with the tools necessary to tackle the world beyond college with confidence. Plus, we'll be right here to support you every step of the way.

In addition, to help you gain essential skills for employment, all students aged 19 and under and studying a full-time course with us will take part in our study programmes.

How long is the course?

2 years.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment takes place through controlled assignments set by tutors and the examining board which are externally verified.

You will take part in projects and practical workshops based on realistic workplace situations. 

What can I progress onto?

*As we are a partner college of Nottingham Trent University (NTU), you may qualify for various benefits should you choose to apply to NTU after completing your college course. This could include a Progress NTU offer, where you would receive an offer one grade below their standard offer. For instance, a typical offer for one of their courses might require 128 UCAS tariff points. With Progress NTU, your requirements would be 120 UCAS tariff points. For further details, please call us on 0808 100 3626 or discover more about this benefit here.

Career opportunities

How do I apply?

Apply online

Next steps

Attend an open event

View our upcoming events

Call our general enquiries team

0808 100 3626
Getting to college Financial support How to apply Course guides

Why choose West Notts?

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96.2% A Level pass rate in 2022.

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

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We offer a flexible and cost-effective travel pass to all students and apprentices.

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

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