Back to Top

Art and Design (Applied General) Level 3 Extended Diploma

Print Page

Key information

Qualification type


Course code



Level 3


2 years


Kings Road,
Reading, RG1 4HJ

New and returning learners:

Please note that due to special measures we have put in place to make our sites COVID safe, we are asking all learners to enrol with us online. If you are unable to do so we can support you over the phone, simply call 0800 612 6008. Please do not enter our college sites without a prior appointment as we are managing the number of people on site at any time to comply with social distancing measures.

See information about the measures we are taking to keep learners safe while on campus.

Develops the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to progress to degree-level study in art and design, or into employment.

This programme has been designed to create conditions where an interest in the visual arts can be explored and developed and creativity tested. The programme is characterised by experimental and experiential learning, relying on the application of manual skills while valuing the accidental and disruptive results that can occur.

The qualification is accredited by the highly regarded University of the Arts London (UAL). 

Each year, our students have the opportunity to take part in our End of Year Festival to showcase their work. Take a look at our video of the 2019 show, "Arrival". 


What I'll learn

Developed by experts from institutions across England and University of the Arts London (UAL), this programme develops the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to progress to degree-level study in art and design, or into employment. It has been designed to create conditions where an interest in the visual arts can be explored and developed and creativity tested.

You will gain:

  • a critical and contextual awareness of different perspectives and approaches within art, design and related subjects of study or work
  • skills in researching, analysing and evaluating relevant information and ideas in order to develop creative solutions
  • an ability to adapt and safely use appropriate and practical methods and skills for creative production the ability to solve complex problems through the application of art, design or related practical, theoretical and technical understanding
  • evaluative and reflective skills that will help you to take responsibility for your own learning, development and decision making
  • responsibility for researching, planning and time management and opportunities to access progression opportunities
  • practical 2D and 3D skills through research and design development
  • planning and time management skills
  • evaluative skills when reviewing personal work
  • self-motivation - work independently inside and outside of college, work as part of a group and be able to present ideas to others.

By the end of the course, you will have benefited from a valuable insight into progression opportunities open to you. You will have the skills, knowledge and a portfolio of work to enable you to progress to university, or begin your career in the creative industries. Our students have gone on to study creative programmes at leading arts institutitions.


How I'll learn

You will study these units of work over the two years:

  • introduction to visual language in art and design
  • introduction to research skills in art and design
  • introduction to critical and contextual awareness in art and design
  • introduction to materials, processes and technical skills
  • an integrated approach to 2D problem solving
  • an integrated approach to 3D problem solving
  • an integrated approach to time-based problem solving
  • developing an Art and Design project
  • Art and design characteristics and context
  • preparation for progression in Art and design
  • engaging with an audience in Art and design
  • Art and Design proposal and realisation  

In addition, you will develop your English and maths skills, as well as your entrepreneurial skills, through live projects and enterprise activities.


How I'll be assessed

Practical work includes simulated and live briefs and course related visits. You need to be able to work independently and you are required to carry out approximately 15 hours of homework a week.


Entry Requirements

You will need 5 or more GCSEs grade A*–C (grade 4 or above), preferably including English language and maths, or a national award in art and design, or a first diploma in art and design at merit or above, plus GCSE grade C/4 or above or Functional Skills at Level 2 in English and maths.

Your offer is also subject to a successful interview, when we will expect to see a portfolio of art, design or craft work.  All students have their literacy and numeracy needs supported within the programme.


How to Apply

You can apply for this programme online. Click on APPLY NOW and follow the steps below:

  • Register for our online service and verify your account
  • Log in to our website and click APPLY NOW on your chosen programme’s page to complete your application

As part of your application, you will be asked to provide us with your contact details, how your chosen programme fits with your future plans and if you require any extra support (for example, because of a disability, medical condition, learning or language support needs).
Please include full details of your qualifications from your own country, as well as details of any English Language tests you have taken.

Printed application forms are also available.

Please contact our Careers team if you need advice and guidance to help you choose the right programme for you.