Art & Design

Fulfil your creative potential

If you are ready to start your journey to a career in the creative industries and are passionate about Art and Design, South Essex College is the place for you.

Our Art & Design team are committed to providing you with top quality programmes that are taught by industry-trained professionals. Our staff will strongly encourage your individuality and creative flair, to equip you with the confidence and innovation to work independently after your course.

Our aim is to help develop your knowledge to enable you to pursue your chosen career, both within and outside the creative industry.

We offer a wide range of Art and Design qualifications from introductory programmes right up to degree-level courses, and there are opportunities for entry at all levels, with clear progression routes.

Spark your creativity in an environment that encourages and supports your talent development.

Career destinations
  • Craft artist
  • Self-employment
  • Arts administrator
  • Arts manager
  • Graphic designer
  • Visual merchandiser
  • Interior designer
  • Photographer
  • Fine artist
  • Textile producer
  • Illustrator
  • Art teacher
  • Fashion designer
  • Magazine stylist
  • Retail buyer
  • Fashion marketer

Success stories

Celebrating Success 2022: Reiss Willis

Celebrating Success 2022: Reiss Willis

Course studied

Art and Design (Graphic Design) Level 3 Extended Diploma

Coming to college gave me the opportunity to make a fresh start.

Reiss Willis, from South Ockenden, studied the Level 3 Art & Design (Graphic Design) Diploma at the college’s Southend campus.

He was nominated for his positive attitude, work ethic and for producing high quality work, using digital and non-traditional methods.

His tutor said: “Reiss is a very nice individual, who is popular with the rest of the group and always eager to help other students. He should be incredibly proud of himself and his achievements because if he continues with this positive attitude and work ethic, he will have a fantastic future.”

Reiss would recommend South Essex College because of its accessibility, its support in all fields and the quality of teaching.

His greatest achievement was making a change in himself, to become more dedicated and motivated and be the ‘best version’ of himself. 

He said: “I struggled a little in school with behaviour and staying focussed so I knew coming to college was a fresh start and I could make a new impression. By completing all work to the highest quality and always completing additional work, I was able to win this award which I am very proud of.”

His plan after college is to go to Loughborough University and continue pursuing his dreams. 

His long term ambition is in graphic design where he would like to have his own firm and become a creative director, taking on jobs and rebrands for big companies.

Successful alumna wants to help students and businesses connect

Successful alumna wants to help students and businesses connect

Course studied

Art and Design (Graphic Design) Level 3 Extended Diploma

Attending the college helped me try out all the different sectors of design and find the areas I most enjoyed.

A former student from South Essex College is now a successful graphic designer working with big brands.

Samantha Fairbrother, 34, studied Level 3 Graphic Design at the college before heading to the University of the Creative Arts to study a degree in the subject.

She’s now a senior graphic designer and account manager at P&W who work with clients such as Tesco, Nutella and Tetley.

Sam is also starting her own business called TernHeads. She’s on a mission to help students, educators and businesses collaborate and connect in an easier way.

TernHeads will be a website platform for students to upload their portfolios, access business directories and adverts for placements plus a forum to ask industry professionals questions.

She said: “I hope it will also allow businesses and educators across the UK to collaborate together on more live briefs and workshops, enabling students from all walks of life to get better access to their dream jobs.”

Sam credits the college with helping her find her future career. She added: “I always knew I loved to problem solve and create stuff but I didn’t really know how to funnel that into a tangible job title. Attending the college helped me try out all the different sectors of design and find the areas I most enjoyed.”

She has lots of advice for students who may be worried about finding a creative career after lockdown. She said: “Take this time to research companies and build yourself an action plan. Get prepared for when the lockdown is lifted because everyone is going to be a bit bruised and battered by this but the industry will need to rebuild and future talent will be a big part of that.

“Get connected and start talking to people. Join LinkedIn and join online groups to see what industry people are talking about. There are many designers out there who are willing to help their fellow creatives in any way they can so don’t be scared to ask for help or advice.”

For more information about TernHeads, visit Follow Sam @ternheads on Instagram where she’s happy to help answer more career questions for creatives.