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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

General Art and Design 1 - Woman with hand over face
General Art and Design 2 - Skulls
General Art and Design 3 - Skulls
General Art and Design 4 - Face abstract
General Art and Design 5 - face abstract
General Art and Design 6 - plant
General Art and Design 7 - face
General Art and Design 8 - abstract painting
General Art and Design 9 - abstract painting
General Art and Design 10 - comic book

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.

Our level 3 Art & Design (general) course is outstanding. You will learn and develop a broad range of creative, technical and professional skills. These include illustration, fine art, design skills, 3D/sculpture, innovative digital work, animation, printmaking, painting and photography. These are delivered across different assignments in specialist studios with professional staff. As the course progresses 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:

Put simply - to gain a place a level 3 you will need at least four x GCSEs grade 4 or above. We would like least one of these needs to be in Maths or English. If you feel you may not achieve this then level 1 or 2 will be the perfect first step. These are outstanding courses. We are flexible to individual circumstances. At interview (do not worry it is a very pleasant meeting!) we will discuss levels and your entry skills.

All will be fine!

What the courses covers

Creative and Technical skills:

  • 2D illustration and design skills
  • Drawing and painting
  • 3D making skills and media and processes
  • Printmaking
  • Animation
  • Digital: various software including Adobe CC (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign)
  • 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 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 courses carry the required UCAS points for university applications.

Where will it take me?

Level 3 students progress to university or employment. Annually about 75% of our level 3 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 art & design students have:

  • Various local, national and international trips and residentials
  • Visits to the studio and foundry of Laurance Edwards an internationally renowned sculptor
  • National and International trips and residentials. In 2022 and 2023 80 Level 3 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

Days & times

Starting September 2023

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