Level 3 90 Credit Diploma Art & Design

Start date(s):
31 Aug 2020
1 year
Level 3
Course Code:
Study Mode:
Full Time
Attendance Type:
Attendance Pattern:
Awarded by:
Framwellgate Moor Campus
Course costs:
16-18 - Free (UK & EEA)
19+ - £5421, your course may be free
(previous year's fees)


This course provides you with the opportunity to study a variety of exciting specialist art and design units. The content of the course is fascinating as it focuses on the historical, cultural and contextual influences of numerous creative elements.

You will work with a wide range of intricate techniques and processes to develop innovative ideas and concepts for visual communication. You will get the opportunity to explore design methods, fashion visualisation, multi-disciplinary work, illustration techniques, fine art, contextual studies and photography.

Your second year will be more specialised as you choose whether you want to follow a fine art or design pathway.
sam it

A real vocational experience

Enjoy our new TV and online adverts, and find out from our students what it is like to study at a top-performing college.

Art room

Take a tour around our Art & Design facilities

Our students have access to spacious Art rooms, studio spaces, print rooms, Mac suites, and specialist equipment. 


Life Olympia art and graphics 2

Art & Design and Graphic Design Competition

Our Art & Design and Graphic Design students were involved in an exciting competition, organised by Life Olympia.

Art & Design

Cultural Work Experience

Our Travel & Tourism and Art & Design students completed work experience at the Oriental Museum and Palace Green Library.

Durham cathedral

Durham drawing

Our art students gained inspiration for their next assignment by visiting key sights within Durham.


George Fashion at Asda

Art & design students visited the George fashion department to learn more about the career opportunities available.

Christmas card

Annual Christmas Card Competition

Graphic Design and Art and Design students took part in the Annual Christmas card competition.


The course is designed to stretch and challenge those who are looking to progress into a career within the sector. You will be introduced to an exciting range of art and design pathways, including printmaking, illustration, textiles, fashion and fine art.

This practical qualification will allow you to explore, develop and test your creativity. You will develop an extensive range of skills that are required for progression into any creative discipline.


The course includes the following units:
  • Visual Recording – you will select and visually record a range of sources in order to communicate information to different audiences, using appropriate presentation methods and for a range of specific purposes.
  • Materials Techniques and Processes – you will work safely and creatively with various materials, techniques and processes associated with your specialist pathway.
  • Ideas and Concepts – you will broaden and deepen your skills, knowledge and understanding of creative thinking, across contemporary and historical art and design, in order to inform your own practice.
  • Visual Communication – you will develop your knowledge and understanding of skills in communication through art and design. You will study how practitioners use primarily visual imagery to communicate ideas, messages and meaning, and then apply your findings.
  • Contextual Influences - you will understand historical and cultural influences, and how they inform art, craft, and design. This will be achieved through research and critical analysis, and applying it to your developing practice.

You will be required to choose three optional units – details will be provided on commencement of the course.

If you progress onto the second year of study, you will study an additional nine specialist units - you will select your options based on the vocational area you wish to pursue a career in.

Time commitment

Average number of hours per week

Work Placement
Assignment Feedback
Independent Learning


*Days and times of study are subject to change. Timetables are confirmed at the start of term.

Teaching & assessment

Alongside developing a good grounding of basic art and design skills, you will be encouraged to explore and develop experimental strategies to enhance your creativity in all assignments. You will take part in a number of innovative practical and written assignments and will be advised on how you could improve.

Formative feedback will be an integral part of your learning and progression and will include practical and written assessments, critiques, presentations and one-to-one tutorials. You will have a supportive team of art and design staff to assist you throughout the programme. Our objective is to prepare you with a sound basis for your future career.

Maths and English

Stobo Castle

Maths & English

Maths and English skills are essential for the workplace and university.

Industry links:

We are very proud of our strong links with well-established organisations within the art and design industry. These links will enable you to learn more about the creative sector and will provide you with valuable employment experience through live briefs, guest speakers and competitions.

Past students have accepted fantastic opportunities to work with a range of organisations, including:
  • Life Olympia
  • Durham Cathedral
  • Gillian Arnold Designs
  • The Woodpile
  • The Gala Theatre
  • Durham Market.

You will be provided with numerous opportunities to showcase your artwork and gain valuable experience of curating an exhibition.


You will undertake a meaningful ten day work placement, to develop your skills and knowledge in a relevant area. You will take part in employability sessions to ensure you develop the key skills for full-time employment.

You could progress onto a relevant higher education programme at New College Durham at university.

Alternatively, you may considering pursuing a career in one of the following areas:
  • Entertainment Crafts
  • Costume Design
  • Fashion Marketing
  • Communication and Fashion Design
  • Photography
  • Illustration
  • Fine Art
  • Textiles
  • Surface Pattern
  • Interior Design
  • Animation
  • Architecture

What else?

You could visit the following local art galleries: The Biscuit Factory or The Baltic.

If you are interested in glass art, visit the Crushed Chilli Gallery or the National Glass Centre.


Please note these prices are for the current academic year and may be subject to change for our courses starting in future years.

Campus Image 1

Fees and funding

Find out more about course fees and financial support for UK, EU and non-EU students, plus how to pay your fees.

Refund policy square 2018/19

Refund Policy 19-20

View our refund policy for further and higher education programmes (page 2) and full cost courses.


Additional Costs

You will be expected to pay £20 each academic year to cover costs for trips and consumables. The College will provide specialist resources where possible.

You will be required to have access to your own materials and equipment. These can be purchased for approximately £30-£50 (dependant on supplier).

Interview Instructions

You will be invited to attend an interview. At this stage, you will be required to bring a portfolio of artwork.
Further Education

Getting ready for your college interview

Find out more information about your college interview.

Entry Criteria

In order to access this course, you must possess a minimum of four GCSEs at grades D or above (or equivalent), ideally this will include maths and English, or a relevant Level 2 qualification.