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Art & Design UAL Level 3 Diploma (Graphic Design Pathway)

This Level 3 UAL (University of the Arts London) Extended Diploma in Art & Design program has been designed to provide the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to progress to degree-level study in art and design, or into employment.

You will study in a dedicated building fully equipped with the latest industry relevant resources, and taught by staff with a high degree of industry experience in their field.

There will also be the opportunity to visit galleries, museums, exhibitions and festivals during the course, as well as the chance to get involved with community projects and competitions. Within year 2 (subject to age) there is also the opportunity to go on an cultural trip to a major European City.

The course provides an opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in preparation for a future within the creative industry. The structure allows you to focus on one of six pathways but encourages you to be broad and experimental in your approach. Opportunities to partake in exhibitions, competitions and work experience are strongly encouraged.


Entry requirements

To begin this study programme you will need...

Duration: 2 Years 

  • 4 GCSEs at grades 9-4 or A*-C ideally including English and maths 
  • Art & Design BTEC or UAL Level 2 Diploma (Merit level or above) with Functional Skills

Course content

Each of the two years has its own qualification made up of 9 units in the first and 4 units in second, with units being marked throughout.

The study program covers a range of disciplines that include: typography, brand identity, layout design, packaging, advertising and illustration.

In the first year you will taught the basics of the creative structure. 

Term one is an introduction to the elements that underpin development and understanding of your subject (practical, research and contextual). This will include learning about visual language, development of ideas and production of designs using specialist software.

Term two allows you to develop and use your knowledge in a series of projects focused around design in two, three and time based dimensions using specialist software.

Term three gives you the chance to work on an independent project that will utilise the knowledge from the first two terms. Your overall grade for the year will be taken from this final unit. This final grading is also repeated in second year.

The second year allows you to expand on your knowledge, developing work and creating a unique style for your portfolio. This will include exhibitions, vocational assignments and student devised projects expanding on tasks of your choosing.

Within each year there is a progression unit that, alongside a mandatory tutorial programme and small additional qualifications will support and enhance your journey through college and beyond.
  • English and maths:
    If you don't already have GCSE English and maths grade A*-C, we will work with you to help you develop your maths and English skills. 
  • Work experience
  • Personal development skills, study skills and employability skills 
  • Additional vocational learning and qualifications: 
    • During the study programme there will be cultural trips that relate specifically to Graphic Design, as well as the opportunity for second year students to visit a major cultural capital such as Berlin. You will develop skills in the following software: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign.

Assessment methods

You will be assessed on a continual basis throughout the study programme against the grading criteria.

At the end of each year you get the chance to work on your own self-directed project. This unit graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction will be the overall grade for the program.

There will also be an examination for Functional Skills or GCSE, depending on your grades.


UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design


  • English and maths qualifications if required
  • Short course in Art & Design practice if required

You can also gain up to 168 UCAS points.

Further study and career options

Course progression: The program is designed to prepare the student for progression to Higher Education. We have an excellent track record for getting our students onto Higher Educational courses nationwide, including our own highly successful internal HND/BA (Hons) Degree program. Students with the pre-requisite skills can also apply to undertake apprenticeships within graphic design.

Career progression: The Tutorial program is designed to support students in looking for employment through CV writing and careers advice. You will also undertake 20 hours of relevant work experience.

Additional information

To take part in the study programme you will be required to pay an additional fee of £50 to cover the cost of trips/visits to galleries and/or exhibitions.

You will also be expected to supply your own sturdy sketchbooks to record your development. A basic art kit will be useful and any pathway specific materials/equipment will be discussed at interview or enrolment.

Each pathway arranges a number of trips to enhance your studies, often to key exhibitions. Students aged 18+ will also have the opportunity to pay to go on an educational trip abroad.

Within the Graphics pathway you will have opportunity to enter local and regional competitions and apply your skills to professional work experience opportunities.

Funding information

All full-time Level 1 and Level 2 courses are now FREE for everyone, whatever their age. If you are looking to study a Level 3 qualification, courses are still free if you’re under 19 or 19-23 and studying your first full Level 3 qualification. If you’re over 23 or studying a second Level 3 qualification, you will need to pay a fee. Find out more on our financial support page at

If you are aged 19 or over you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. Find out more at You can also pay by instalments to help make the cost of this course more affordable.

PLEASE NOTE: Applications for our full-time study programmes starting in September 2020 will open on Monday 14 October

Course Information & How to Apply

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

LengthStart DateFees per yearLocationCourse Code
2 years 14/09/2020 Launch our fee calculatorFree if 16-18yrs. Are you 19+?
Launch our fee calculator
Cauldwell Street L055

Pay & Enrol


Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.
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