Creative & Visual Arts

Qualification: Extended Diploma
Level 3

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About this course

This industry-recognised two-year course is equivalent to three A-levels, making it an excellent route to studying at university.

It will lead you to a wide range of careers within the creative industries. If you have an interest in visual arts, this course will give you the opportunity to explore and develop your creativity. The qualification has been written with the support of University of the Arts London.

You will showcase your work to the public, local employers and higher education institutions at our end of year exhibition.

By the end of the course, you will have built a comprehensive portfolio of general art and design work. In the 2nd year of study, you will pursue a specialist area of interest and build a specialist portfolio.

Full-time students aged 16-18 will follow a study programme at City College which includes:

  • The main subject qualification
  • Work experience which is effective, relevant, and includes careers fairs, site visits, guest speakers and introduces you to the expectations of the real demands of work
  • English and maths, where students have not yet achieved a GCSE grade 9-4/A*-C in these subjects by age 16
  • Additional activities, such as tutorials and work-related learning, to help further develop the personal skills relevant to your progression goals

These four elements should combine to provide stretch and challenge to prepare you for progression to employment or further study.

Earn up to 168 UCAS points#


#168 UCAS points based on Distinction grades

What you will learn

Year 1

  • Traditional and experimental techniques
  • Drawing and painting
  • Printmaking
  • 3D sculpture
  • Digital processes
  • Photography and darkroom skills
  • Art and design theory and practice
  • Creative practical skills
  • Contextual and historical research through a series of themed project briefs
  • Idea development and creative problem-solving

Year 2

  • Developing specialist skills in one or more disciplines
  • Preparing for professional life in the creative industry
  • Building a portfolio of work that will gain you a place at a university of your choice 
  • Showcasing your work at the end of year exhibition

If you successfully complete the first year of study you will gain a level 3 Diploma qualification. In order to progress to the second year you will need to pass the first year of study.

  • Well equipped art studios
  • Large and fully equipped photography studio
  • Photography dark room
  • Suite of Apple Macs
  • Gallery exhibition space

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs grade 4/C or above (including English)


Level 2 in Art & Design (merit or distinction grade) including GCSE English grade 4/C or above


Portfolio of artwork

You will be required to attend an interview at the College prior to enrolling onto this course.

Dates, times & fees
Start Date Course Times Duration Campus Fees
02/09/19 2 years Main campus
What next?
  • HNC/HND in Art & Design or Photography
  • Pre-degree Diploma
  • Degree at university
  • Work freelance or as a trainee designer or photographer

There are a range of university degrees and different careers within the creative industries that you can progress to if you go on to complete the two years of study. This may include:

  • Textile design
  • Fashion design
  • Visual merchandising
  • Product design
  • Graphic design
  • Illustration
  • Photography
Additional information

Students are expected to come to College prepared with sketchbooks and a basic range of materials and tools. Full details of the kit requirements are provided to students on enrolment. All specialist equipment and materials are provided by the College, however, there may be a requirement to purchase additional items throughout the year as projects develop and progress into independent areas of enquiry and interest.

If you will be 19 before the start of the second year of this course, you will be liable to pay a fee for that year. Please contact us for more information.

Trips, visits & activities

  • Visiting artists
  • Gallery trips
  • Work experience
  • End of year art exhibition