Graphic Design and Visual Communications (Art and Design)

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Qualification type: Foundation Diploma
Level: Level 3
Awarding body Pearson
Academic year: 2018/2019
Start date September 2018
Duration 1 or 2 years (discussed at interview)
Location: Darlington College
Attendance: Full time

Course overview

This exciting graphics course is designed to help you maximise your potential as a creative thinker and inspiring communicator. Be part of the dynamic, evolving graphic design industry and put your stamp on the look of the future. This course offers you the opportunity to study a wide range of interesting assignments that will improve your chances of finding employment or studying for an honours degree. You will be prepared for the world of work through exciting ‘live’ assignments set by practicing designers and industry clients such as:

  • Darlington Borough Council
  • Darlington College
  • Lingfield Point
  • Durham Constabulary

You will also enjoy the benefits of educational visits.

The skills you will learn are not only essential for the graphic design industry but are transferrable to other areas such as web design, animation, games design, photography, fashion marketing, fine art, architecture, product design and many more.

If you have not achieved a C grade or above in English or maths, you will as part of your course be required to work towards this as part of your study programme.  You will be given the opportunity to go on work experience at certain times during your course.

To develop your employability opportunities you may also be given enrichment classes. This may focus upon additional qualifications, industrial updating and career preparation. Additional Arts Award Projects can be undertaken to gain additional UCAS points.

Entry requirements

4 GCSEs subjects with 4 points or C grade and above, including 4 points or C grade in English or maths. Candidates are encouraged to gain points in all subjects taken. Alternatively you will need an appropriate Level 2 qualification at merit grade and a satisfactory school report. We will request a school or college report and you will attend an interview at the college.

You will need to bring a portfolio of work to your interview.

A good level of ICT knowledge is required.

How to enquire/apply

To apply for this course please click the apply button and complete the online application form. If you have any queries with regards to your application or would like further information and support please contact us on 01325 503030.

Studying and learning

You will be taught in an excellent spacious studio environment that includes a dedicated computer studio with state of the art equipment and software. You will learn through assignments, demonstrations, workshops and industry lead projects that are based on realistic work. Visits and visiting lecturers form an important part of the learning process. Your work is supported with personal and group tutorials as well as guidance and encouragement from the enthusiastic, supportive staff team who are all specialists in their subject area. You will be expected to devote approximately 10 hours per week to self-directed study – homework is considered to be an important aspect of this course.

The course comprises a range of core and specialist units covering the following topics:

  • Corporate image and branding
  • Advertising and promotion
  • Illustration and visualisation
  • Editorial design
  • Packaging
  • Printing
  • Computer graphics
  • Design for web
  • Digital photography
  • Design history
How will I be assessed

Course work is continually assessed and formally marked at the end of each assignment. All assignments feed into the units of the course, each unit providing you with a grade Pass, Merit and Distinction dependent on the quality of work submitted.

Successful completion of this course provides you with the qualification BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design - equivalent to 3 ‘A’ Levels, the maximum UCAS point score that can be achieved from this Level 3 qualification is 168 UCAS points. 50% of the students completing the L3 Art and Design programme in their second year achieved the grade DDD, 40% achieved D*D*D* (168 UCAS points).

Previously students achieving above DDM have been successful in applying for bursaries at relevant universities.

Things you may need

While some equipment and materials are provided, you will be required to equip yourself with art materials for your studies. A kit list will be provided at enrolment. There will also be a number of trips and visits throughout the course that may incur some costs.

What next

This course will help prepare you for progression onto an honours degree, foundation degree or a HND in graphic design, illustration, advertising, web design or similar related subjects.

You will be advised and supported in your UCAS application/employment application with help on appropriate routes and portfolio preparation. All students who have completed a Level 3 Art and Design course at this college have been successful when applying to their chosen degree courses.

A career:

In some cases a student will progress directly into design related employment from the course. Most, however, go on to higher education and then take up careers in graphic design, advertising, branding, magazine and editorial design, illustration, web design, photography, fashion marketing, event management, product design or other creative pathway – the list is endless.

Information, advice and support

Darlington College offers a wide range of support including careers guidance, financial assistance, additional learning support, childcare and many more. For more information on any aspect of student support contact the Student Services Team on 01325 503030 and they will direct your call to the appropriate college support team.

Fees and funding

This course is free if you are 16-18 years of age on August 31 of the calendar year in which you begin your studies. If you are 19+ years of age fees may apply. However help may be available. To see if you can receive any funding call our Student Services Team on 01325 503030.
Course fees are payable to Darlington College. Registration and membership fees may be payable. All course fees are per year.

What if I need support?

Here at the college we have outstanding support. Our support staff are dedicated to providing you with all the help and guidance you may need throughout your college journey.

You might need help and advice on a wide range of issues such as childcare, counselling and additional learning support. For more information on any aspect of student support contact the Course and Information Team, who will direct your call to the appropriate member of the college support team, call: 01325 503030.

Enquiry Form

If you have any questions about this course, send us a message using the form below.