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

Please visit our Adult Education, Degrees and Employer section for alternative courses.


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 - what is it all about?

Our course at level 2 and 3 for Digital Arts and Animation are busy, inspiring and imaginative educational adventures. The work produced by students is amazing and there is always a real buzz in the studios. The course will lead you into the thriving UK and global creative-digital industries - if you work hard. Working alongside others with similar interests and ambitions is a special thing - building friendships and business relationships that can last a lifetime.

Students work on a variety of assignments that target imagination, digital skills, individual expression and professional standards. You will be taught by skilled professional artists and designers and you will become fluent with software and processes with speed. The courses are not dull! The assignments encourage individual flair and fascinations to flourish. Bringing you personality to your work is key. Timetabled sessions are structured and pacey. Developing your work and grades outside college is absolutely vital to your success.

Students will be required to build an on-line business presence to showcase their work and skills. You will also exhibit your work throughout the year and at or End of Year Show.


The courses and what you need to get a place

  • UAL Level 1 Diploma in Art, Design and Media (1 year)
  • UAL Level 2 Diploma in Art & Design (Digital Arts) (1 year)
  • UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Art, Design & Communication (internal pathway: Digital Arts and Animation) (2 years)

What level will you do? 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 course covers

Creative and Technical skills:

  • 2D digital illustration and design skills
  • Animation skills
  • Digital – various software - including Adobe CC (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign)
  • 3D digital software
  • Photography
  • Use of hardware such as a graphics tablet
  • Idea generation
  • Exploration and experimentation of media and processes
  • Independent development of studio work into own unique outcomes
  • Contextual studies - historical and modern creative practice and wider world inspirations

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 1 and 2 students progress to levels 2 and 3.

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 Digital Arts and Animation students have:

  • Met industry leaders at EGX Eurogamer and visited the Runescape studio Jagex
  • Won the Concept art and Games design sections of the FXP competition set up by Rizing Games and supported by Jagex
  • Won the local competitions set up by Norwich University of the Arts
  • Been involved in the initial concept design for the dream section of the short film Maximus directed by Richard Prendergast supported by Place 21 funding
  • Storyboarded the script for shooting Maximus
  • Created SFX makeup designs and application for the Maximus shoot
  • Designed and created the monster props/claws for the Maximus shoot
  • Visited the Cinema for new or old industry classics

Days & times

Starting September 2022

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