Level 3 Technical Diploma Graphic Design

Start date(s):
31 Aug 2020
2 years
Level 3
Course Code:
Study Mode:
Full Time
Attendance Type:
Attendance Pattern:
Awarded by:
Framwellgate Moor Campus
Course costs:
Currently unavailable


This course is perfect for those who wish to explore the key skill areas within graphic design, while collecting evidence for their portfolio.

You will be encouraged to practice new techniques, and undertake a work placement, to gain valuable experience for work in the industry, or higher education.


Creative digital centre

Viral Campaign Poster

A student's final major project went viral after being shared on the RSPCA's social media. 

Art room

Portfolio building day at the Baltic

Our art and design students attended a trip to the Baltic for a portfolio building day.

Lewis Scott - Southpaw PR

Students have designs on dance company

Students have been working on a live brief for an innovative dance company.

HE Graphic Design

Amsterdam Trip Inspires Art and Graphic Design Students

Students from FdA Visual Arts and FdA Graphic Design visited Amsterdam.

Durham Police Graphic Design

Students help police illustrate the dangers of cyber crime

Graphic design students worked with Durham Constabulary to produce a creative campaign.


This qualification is designed to support learners who are interested in a two-year, full-time course. Completion of this course will allow learners to progress to a graphic design related foundation degree programme. The qualification enables learners to explore a choice of sector areas, providing learners with the skills required to secure employment in the graphic design industry.


  • Managing a Client Brief (Year 1): Learners investigate the process of responding to client briefs in the art and design sector, applying these skills to develop responses and present ideas.
  • Developing and Realising Creative Intentions (Year 1): This unit offers the opportunity for learners to develop and realise their own personal piece of art and design work.
  • Professional Practice in Art and Design (Year 1): Learners will explore professional practice in the art and design sector, developing a piece of art and design work for a particular market.
  • Photographic Materials, Techniques and Processes (Year 2): Learners will be introduced to the fundamental materials, techniques and processes in photography to develop their skills and understanding.
  • Graphics Materials, Techniques and Processes (Year 2): Learners will be introduced to the fundamental materials, techniques and processes in 2D-, 3D- and time-based graphics.
  • Typography and Typographic Design (Year 2): Learners investigate and explore typography and typographic design, developing skills in creating and producing typographic and layout designs to communicate a message to a specific audience.
  • Branding in Graphic Design (Year 2): Learners explore the concept of branding, developing skills in creating and producing designs to communicate brand associations, values, personality, behaviours and communication.
  • Graphic Illustration (Year 2): Learners explore processes and techniques of graphic illustration, applying technical skills to effectively communicate messages to target audiences.
  • Web Design (Year 2): Learners will explore the features and uses of websites. They will develop visual and technical skills to design their own website for a specific audience.

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

Students have access to a wide variety of resources and course related materials on our online learning system (Schoology). Your study programme will include preparation for employment and an expectation to complete relevant work experience and independent study. The Level 3 Tech Level qualification is equivalent in size to two A-Levels. You will study 10 units; of which 6 are mandatory and 2 are external. Mandatory content (67%). External assessment (33%).

Maths and English


Maths & English

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

Industry links:

To enhance the programme and the student experience we work with a number of graphic design companies and industry professionals. Guest Speakers include the Art Director, Tim Murphy, from Courage Creative.


All students are required to complete a work placement for each academic year of study. This placement should involve the use of graphic design. Wherever possible, we ask you to try and source a meaningful placement, however, if this is not possible, we do have opportunities sourced through college.You will be expected to proactively engage with applying for a placement as they become available. All of our placement opportunities will be posted to your online learning system (Schoology).

You could progress to a relevant Level 3 course at New College Durham, or go into employment.

Meet our students

Daniel Summerhill CS

Daniel Summerhill

Former graphic design student Daniel has joined the talented team of creatives at London agency Mccgic.


Robyn Challans

Robyn Challans progressed to university to study for a Creating Advertising degree.

Jonathan Minns CS

Jonathan Minns

Having left New College Durham with a Foundation Degree in Graphic Design, Jonathan now works as a freelance Graphic Designer.

What else?

If you wish to browse digital portfolios, or create one of your own, visit Behance.
Design Week provides a lot of interesting information related to the design industry.


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

Additional Costs

We ask all students to contribute £30 to trips and visits payable in September. We also recommend the two texts below which are developed by the examining body:

Revise BTEC National Art and Design Revision Workbook Publisher: Pearson, ISBN: 9781292150079, This Revision Workbook delivers hassle-free hands-on practice for the externally assessed units. £10.99 (correct at time of publication)

Revise BTEC National Art & Design Revision Guide. Publisher: Pearson, ISBN: 9781292150086. Ideal for classroom or independent study, this Revision Guide with ActiveBook is the smart choice for learners studying for the externally assessed units 1, 2, 6 and 7 of the new BTEC Nationals in Art and Design qualifications. £10.99 (correct at time of publication)

Interview Instructions

You will be invited for an interview upon receipt of your application. At interview you will be given details of the programmes available in Graphics, you will meet some of the curriculum team and have the opportunity to see the classrooms in which you will study.

The lecturer who interviews you will ask a series of questions to find out more about you and your career aspirations, and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the course. Your parent/guardian is welcome to attend the interview with you.

You are required to bring a portfolio/sketckbook of work, which must show an overview of your interests, drawing skills and digital skills. (Examples might include: photography work, presentations, logos, poster designs or examples of 2D or 3D work.)
Further Education

Getting ready for your college interview

Find out more information about your college interview.

Entry Criteria

Learners are most likely to succeed if they have: five GCSEs at grade 4 or appropriate BTEC qualification(s) at Level 2. Ideally, you will hold an English and maths qualification through GCSE or Functional Skills.