Level Five BTEC Higher National Diploma in Art and Design (fashion and graphic design pathways also available)

This course is aimed at people who would like to work in creative arts and media industries. The main pathway is in art and design, for people wishing to work as a practising artist or in a related occupation, such as someone who makes and sells craft items for a living. Pathways are also available in fashion and graphic design.

During the programme you will study and practise a variety of techniques and develop a substantial portfolio of work, as well as learning the theory behind art and design. In addition to the mandatory units you will be able to choose the optional units that interest you most.

What will I study?

Mandatory units include:

  • Visual Communication 
  • Ideas generation and development 
  • Contextual and cultural referencing
  • Professional practice

Art and design pathway optional units include:

  • Portrait and figure studies
  • Portfolio preparation
  • Drawing techniques
  • Painting studies and mixed media
  • Jewellery design
  • Glass

Fashion pathway optional units include:

  • Design exploration in fashion and textiles
  • Creating a fashion collection
  • Experimental printed textiles
  • Garment manufacture

Graphic design pathway optional units include:

  • Digital imaging
  • Typography
  • Design and layout
  • Photography


How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in a variety of ways, including written assignments, work-based assignments, work experience, practical assessment, portfolio development and presentations.

For more information about assessment, including guidance on marking, feedback and plagiarism, please refer the HE Assessment Policy and the programme spec for course-specific information.


How will the course be delivered?

It will be delivered through a mixture of workshops, taught sessions, lectures, independent learning and work-based assessment.

All programmes are led and taught by experienced teaching staff who are vocational specialists.  They are qualified, and often have extensive experience within the industry or the sector being studied. All teaching staff meet or exceed the requirements set by the awarding institute or body.  


Entry requirements

  • Four GCSE passes at grade C or above including English language
  • A level three qualification in an appropriate subject
  • Successful interview with visual portfolio and demonstrating commitment to the subject

A typical offer for this course would ask for the entry requirements to be met, however, all offers take individual applicants’ experience and qualifications into account. 

What next?

Successful completion could help to progress your career in a technical or management role.

You can progress onto a top-up degree, which is usually a one year course which is equivalent to the third year of a degree and results in a full BA (Hons) degree. Top-up degrees are available for all subjects at most universities and colleges.

Additional information

Validated by Pearson 

Key statistics

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