Level Four BTEC Higher National Certificate in Art and Design

This course provides an opportunity to develop the intellectual, creative and technical skills required to be a successful contemporary practitioner in the art and design industries. Students will  be provided training  in essential skills of visual communication and will have the opportunity to explore a range of applications of visual communication including fashion, textiles, 3D product, fine art, illustration, print, typography, lens-based media.

In addition to the mandatory units you will be able to choose from a range of optional units that interest you most.

After completing your higher national certificate, there is the option to top up to the higher national diploma, which is a level five qualification.

What will I study?

Mandatory units:

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

Optional units include:

  • Advertising campaigns
  • Design application in fashion
  • Specialist 3D materials
  • Painting and printmaking
  • Business practise/marketing for self-employment

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?

Progression to the Level Five Higher National Diploma in Art and Design, the second year of a BA (Hons) degree or professional practice in a range of careers in fashion, art, crafts, graphics and related industries, including design for advertising, page layout, illustration and digital imaging, and fashion styling and clothes design

Additional information


Validated by Pearson