Level Three National Diploma/Extended Diploma in Art and Design Practice


This new Art and Design qualification has been designed around explorative learning approaches that enable deep engagement with your art projects and creative skills development. You will be encouraged to continually re-assess your work to deepen your understanding of art and design practice. This will give you the opportunity to add levels of refinement, sophistication and precision to your practice as you progress. The qualification also supports learners to become confident in taking ownership of and responsibility for their projects.

There are four assessment units across the specification; the course structure is:

Year One (540 Diploma) - Exploring and Developing Art and Design Skills – A1 Skills Development & A2 Creative Project

Year Two (Extended Diploma) - Advancing Creative Practice – B1 Personal Progression & B2 Creative Industry Response.

What will I study?

In order to enable and encourage multidisciplinary practice and integration of all the relevant skills that learners want to develop, traditional and non-traditional techniques will be practised through the following

  • Exploring and Developing Art and Design Skills
  • Skills Development
  • Creative Projects
  • Advancing Creative Practice
  • Personal Progression
  • Creative Industry Response

There are no specific pathways within the course structure, but you will be given the opportunity to experiment within a wide range of subjects, techniques and methods.

The completion of an extensive portfolio that showcases your skills and knowledge will prepare you for progression. Minimising the number of assessment units allows for largescale projects and provides a holistic learning experience. The 1 year 540 Diploma, equivalent to 1.5 ‘A’ Levels, is for learners who are looking to study art and design as a one-year, full-time course. The Extended Diploma, equivalent to three A Levels, is the two-year, full-time course option that meets entry requirements for learners who want to progress to higher education courses in art and design areas before entering employment. The course will help you develop the knowledge and skills required for creative degree courses, including: • problem solving • teamwork • project work • presentation • analytical skills • creative development.

The structure of this new qualification is in keeping with current industry practice and university teaching and assessment.

How will I be assessed?

These courses are 100% internally set and assessed through practical activities and written coursework and the development of a portfolio. Course work and practical assessments are based on live assignments where appropriate.

Entry requirements

Four GCSEs grade A*-C/4- 9 to include English

Or level two diploma (merit)

Or first diploma (merit)

Or NVQ level two

Or equivalent

Or on successful interview

What next?

The qualification attracts UCAS Tariff points and meets the admission requirements for most relevant courses, such as visual communication, digital media, art subjects, product design, interior and architecture, fashion and textiles. This includes our related Level Four BTEC Higher National Certificates, the Level Five BTEC Higher National Diploma in Art and Design (fashion, graphic design and interactive media pathways are also available) the BA (Hons) in Media, Design and Production.

Additional information

Find out more about the course


For start dates and fees, consult the relevant course guides below or you can request a prospectus by post.

Free Distance Learning Courses 2024-2025 Full-time Further Education Prospectus