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Course Code: SFVAR049

Course Level: Level 3

Study Mode: Full-Time

Course Type: Vocational Courses

Course overview

Providing a rich and immersive experience for aspiring artists and designers. This course aims to develop your creative skills through a diverse range of projects and workshops.

Students explore various mediums, techniques and concepts in art and design; from drawing and painting to digital media and sculpture, learners develop their creativity and technical skills under the guidance of experienced practitioners. With an emphasis on experimentation and personal expression, students are equipped to pursue further studies or enter the creative industries with confidence and a portfolio of work showcasing their talent and vision.

We will help enhance your knowledge of art and design history and cover a range of specialisms which will enable you to build a comprehensive portfolio of artwork that will prepare you for your next steps in higher education or within the industry.

Throughout your first year you will learn how to develop a variety of techniques and skills, using a wide range of materials. You will generate and refine ideas and outcomes in response to project briefs and understand how to present ideas effectively to different audiences, creating your own visual language.

The course offers a variety of options taught by specialist staff including illustration, textiles, ceramics, 3D design, mixed media, fine art, visual studies and contextual studies.

You will undertake a number of internal assessments throughout which will determine your final unit first year grade.

In year two, you will have the opportunity to focus your creativity, strengths, skills and knowledge into one of the course specialist areas, allowing you to really develop your knowledge of materials and techniques. You will have more independence in terms of writing your own briefs and choosing personal outcomes which will help as you begin to plan, produce and exhibit your work at the end of the course at the college exhibition.

You will also prepare a portfolio of your work which you can present during interviews for higher education or employment routes.

You will have a minimum of four or more high grades at GCSE in subjects relevant to the course you’d like to study, including maths and/or English Language at grade 4 or above. You will need a GCSE grade 4 or above in an Art-related subject and/or a good portfolio.

We will consider applications from students who have not taken an Art GCSE if they have a strong portfolio.

This is a hands on, practical qualification and you will be assessed throughout the programme at key assessment points. This will involve research, project work, sketchbooks, practical work, design and drawing sheets, presentations and contextual studies notes and essays. All assessments will be graded Pass, Merit or Distinction. Unit submissions are internally assessed and may be externally moderated.

If you wish to find out more you can contact Sue Bugler, course leader, by emailing:

Follow us on instagram: @art.stafford

On completion of the course you will gain the BTEC Extended Diploma which is accepted by universities for entry onto their courses such as: Photography, Textile Design, Fashion Marketing, Media and Promotion, Crafts, Illustration, Fine Art, Art History and Costume Design. The qualification is also designed to prepare learners for appropriate direct employment in the vocational sector, and is suitable for those who have decided that they wish to enter a particular specialist area of work in the areas of Art and Design. It also gives you the opportunity to develop a range of techniques, personal skills and attributes essential for successful performance in working life.

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18. If you are outside this age group, please contact Charlotte Robertson on 01782 254141 or email

College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £26,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit


Pass rate


achieved DMM+ in 2023