Level 3

Art and Design (Graphic Design) Level 3 Extended Diploma

Duration Age Group Study Year Cost Available Locations
FREE* Southend Campus
Duration Age Group Study Year Cost Available Locations
FREE* Southend Campus


This course is designed to take you through a comprehensive range of different graphic design and multimedia techniques and disciplines. The aim of the course is to provide you with the opportunity to explore and develop a wide range of graphic design skills both digital and non-digital, to help you to progress to either further or higher education or employment in the industry. Related careers in this area of study include graphic design, illustration, web design, advertising, packaging design, concept art, marketing, animation, motion graphics, publishing (magazine and newspaper design).

Entry Requirements

  • Level 2 qualification or GCSEs x 4 at grade 4/C -  one to be grade 4/C in ENGLISH OR MATHS dependent on vocational subject to be studied
  • You will be asked to provide evidence of your ability in the subject which could be in the form of a portfolio
  • Successful attendance at interview event

Study Programme

Students who do not achieve a grade 4 or above in English and/or Maths will be required to complete an English and/or Maths qualification via the Century platform. Students will engage with at least 3 hours a week study via the online platform.

The Century platform is an online software system that uses artificial intelligence to create a personalised, adaptive and differentiated set of learning.  Students will work on a set of skills that are unique to them, the system will produce results and feedback tailored to meet individual learning needs alongside tasks that are mapped against the GCSE curriculum and encourage stronger learning outcomes.

Course Structure

You will complete six units in year one and seven units in year two.

Units and content covered include:

Visual recording in art and design

  • Critical & contextual studies
  • Graphics media, techniques and technology
  • Materials, techniques and processes
  • Advertising
  • Logo design
  • Graphic illustration
  • Developing an art & design portfolio
  • The creative process
  • Typography & typographic design
  • Packaging design
  • Web page design
  • Managing a client brief
  • Curating an exhibition
  • Drawing and printmaking
  • Maths and English


Assessment & Feedback

During year one of the course four units are internally set and assessed assignments/projects, two units: Visual Recording & Communication and Critical & Contextual Studies are externally set and assessed by BTEC. During year two five units are internally set and assessed assignments/projects, two units: Managing a Client Brief and Developing and Realising Creative Intentions in Art & Design are externally set and assessed by BTEC. Your work will be assessed through a mixture of practical tasks, supporting written material, projects presented in sketchbooks and controlled assessments set by BTEC. Your progress will be supported by regular on-going feedback throughout your course.

Course Cost

School Leavers, full time: FREE

FREE to UK/EU under 19s not in employment.

What Next...

  • Art and Design Level 4 Foundation Diploma
  • Higher education at university or college, including our BA (Hons) Graphic Design at University Centre Southend
  • Students have successfully progressed to degree courses in Graphic Design, Motion Graphics, Illustration, Digital Advertising, Computer Games Design, Graphic Communication, Animation and Photography at a range of external HE institutions including Camberwell, Norwich, Goldsmith’s, UCA, UAL-London College of Communications, Falmouth, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Greenwich, Ravensbourne, Wimbledon and London Metropolitan Universities