Visual arts and design

Improve your skills of expression and better communicate the creative ideas in your head. Whether you use traditional or digital methods, our courses will help you deliver your concepts to the world.

About our visual arts and design programmes

Whatever your creative medium, develop your expressive potential on one our visual arts and design programmes. Master traditional techniques or digital creative skills with cutting-edge technology, including laser cutters and 3D printers.

Our accreditation with University of the Arts London means that you can have your work shortlisted to appear in the annual UAL exhibition in London.

We'll help you develop your skills in areas including:

  • painting
  • textiles
  • printmaking
  • sculpture
  • graphics
  • fashion
  • visual studies
  • design
  • computer design software
  • photography
  • historical and contextual studies
  • personal and professional development

You will follow a multi-disciplinary approach that will prepare you for the next step, whether that is further study or employment. You will learn in our traditional craft workshops and digital MakerSpaces.

We emphasise work experience on our programmes as it prepares you for the realities of working. This includes responding to live briefs set by employers, work experience, taking part in competitions, and attending masterclasses and careers talks.

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What is a career pathway?

Education takes time and money. By giving you a clear view of what qualifications you need to get the job and the salary that you want, we take the stress out of learning.

Our career pathway maps show you the entry requirements for each qualification and how long they take to achieve. With each new qualification, you have the option to continue studying at the next level or explore your employment options with a guide to the jobs and salaries you can expect at that stage. Each step of the way, our career advisors are there to help you make the right choice for you.

By focusing on your future employability and opportunities, we hope to inspire in you the drive to succeed and make the most of your investment in education. 95% of students that completed a course with us progressed directly into employment or onto higher-level learning such as a higher-level course, apprenticeship or university study.*
*AL destination data for 16-19 year olds

While the right qualifications can get you a job interview, it’s the attributes that we teach alongside your chosen programme that will get you the job. Click on the links below to find out more about our Attributes and Learning Philosophy.


Our aim is to equip you to be successful in the job market,

whether you are heading for a job straight after your time at

college, plan to take a university-level programme first or are

already working in a part-time job.

What could my future job look like?

Our art and design career pathway can help you develop a number of exciting careers in this creative sector, such as:

  • Photographer: take portrait and landscape photos for customers, including at family events and celebrations, using digital software editing packages to enhance the resulting images
  • Events manager: create, plan and implement events for the business or leisure sectors, including managing budgets and relationship with suitable suppliers
  • Fine artist: illustrate, sculpt and create artwork that helps an organisation's business purpose come alive
  • Creative director: manage marketing campaigns that help transform how your organisation (or your client's organisation) is perceived by members of the public such as through an advertising campaign

The visual arts and design industry

The creative industries are a driver of growth in local economies across Britain, adding over £90 billion to the UK’s economy each year.

The skills and business models of the wider creative economy are those that many experts judge to be of increasing importance: blended technical and creative skills,collaborative, interdisciplinary working, entrepreneurialism, and enterprise.

The creative industries house a variety of roles and are set to see continued growth in the coming years, which is great news for talented people with creative flair.

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Industry partnerships

We work closely with organisations to provide industry-standard teaching, learning and progression opportunities for our students, including:

  • Arts at the Old Fire Station
  • SAE Institute
  • Reading Rep
  • William Hands
  • The Furniture Makers
  • Benchmark
  • Ercol

You will have the opportunity to develop your employability by taking part in exhibitions, festivals and events, organising community workshops and pop-up shops.

You will also gain new skills by taking part in competitions, attending masterclasses and career talks, and responding to live briefs set by employers.