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Choosing what to study can be challenging. Speak to one of our advisors to find out what your options are.

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This study programme is designed for 16 to 19 year olds (aged 19 to 24 for students with an Education, Health and Care Plan).

All courses take place on our Sixth Form Campus, therefore any applicants aged 25+ or over who do not have an Education, Health and Care Plan may be required to complete a DBS check as part of the conditional offer to West Suffolk College. The cost to the applicant for a DBS is £30.00 and the DBS check can be completed through the college.

Please visit our Adult EducationDegrees and Employer section for alternative courses.

About the course

About The School of Art, Design & Digital-Creative / Leonardo Creative House

We hope you apply and join one of our courses. You will belong to the biggest curriculum area at West Suffolk College - The School of Art, Design and Digital-Creative. We are thriving, fun and ambitious. Studying ONE subject that you truly connect with (with no exams) is a liberating joy. You will love it!

This year we have over 500 students studying a broad range of creative courses across different levels. We are fortunate to have our own purpose-built building - 'Leonardo House' - on the main campus. Over many years we have all worked hard to be considered one of the very best Further Education creative centres in the UK. We care about what we do and strive to develop the next generation of professionals for the UK and global Creative Industries. Our culture is one of very high standards and freedom of individual expression. You will be working with like-minded individuals and professional specialist staff. Being part of Leonardo Creative House is a great thing. With hard work you will thrive and progress to a rewarding future.

Derek Johnson - Director of The School of Art & Design / Leonardo Creative House

The course

Focusing on the one subject you love and developing your skills alongside other like-minded artists is a truly brilliant thing. The happy days of art college will last a lifetime and launch you into a career.

Entry onto this course requires a level 3 Extended Diploma or A-levels. You will learn and develop a broad range of creative, technical and professional skills.

Our UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Digital Arts pathway) is a challenging and rewarding course. This one-year course is for students wishing to have a multi-layered, fast paced, challenging and rewarding creative education experience. You will learn new digital artistry, games design, 3D digital, animation, graphic design and lens-based media/photographic skills. The course is a wonderful mix of structured workshops and the vital importance of independent art practice. These are delivered across different assignments in specialist studios with specialist staff. As courses progress students will focus more and more on their own creative interests and individual skills. This mix of very structured teaching and the culture of open expression are the core of our thriving Art & Design courses.

The courses and what you need to get a place:

For the UAL Level 3-4 Foundation Diploma Art & Design you will need a level 3 qualification/s. This is typically A-levels or an Extended Diploma.

What the courses cover

Creative and Technical skills:

  • 2D digital illustration and design skills
  • 3D digital skills - media and processes
  • Animation
  • Digital design - various software - including Adobe CC (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign)
  • Animation skills
  • Games design and introduction and development
  • Idea generation
  • Exploration and experimentation of media and processes
  • Independent development of studio work into own unique outcomes
  • Contextual studies - historical and modern international art and design - and connections to the wider world.

Professional Skills:

  • Working on 'live' assignments
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Working with focus and independence
  • Communication
  • Presentation of outcomes
  • Online professional social media profile

How will I be assessed?

All courses and levels are assessed against submitted coursework by a deadline - work with NO sat exams. All are assessed at Pass, Merit, Distinction levels against the qualification unit criteria.

We are proud to be a University of the Arts London (UAL) accredited college. This is the largest creative awarding body in Europe.

NOTE: All level 3-4 courses carry the required UCAS points for university applications.

Where will it take me?

Foundation Diploma students progress to university or employment. Annually about 90% of our students decide to progress to university. They all successfully gain places. Our students progress to the very finest universities such as Chelsea, Central Saint Martins, Manchester, Nottingham Trent, London College of Fashion, Norwich, Southampton and many others.

Outstanding aspects and highlights

We love doing as many enriching things as possible. This ensures your educational experience is varied, challenging and positive. Recently Foundation Diploma art & design students have:

  • Various local, national and international trips and residentials
  • Visits to the studio and foundry of Laurence Edwards - internationally renowned sculptor
  • National and International trips and residentials. In 2022 and 2023 80 Level 3 and level 4 students have the opportunity to travel to either the East Coast USA (New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC) (17 days) and South Korea (17 days) funded through the Turing Programme,
  • Various exhibitions - online and in a gallery format
  • Been selected and exhibited for the prestigious UAL 'Origins' exhibition in London
  • Presented nationally on the UAL 'Student Takeover' Instagram
'Live' assignments and paid freelance work opportunities

Days & times

Starting September 2023

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