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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 - what is it all about?

Graphic Design is one of our most popular and established courses. It is taught by qualified and practicing designers in industry-standard studios. It is fast and fulfilling. This course directly leads to you becoming a graphic designer / digital artist - if you have the drive and ambition. Working alongside other young designers is a real joy and is an opportunity to make friends and business partners that can last a lifetime.

You will learn a broad range of skills - hands-on and digital - often combining the two to develop highly innovative outcomes. Assignments are focused to teach specialist skills and drive creativity. Becoming fluent with composition, typography, image management, creative flair, product spec requirements and professional standards is the core aim. As the course develops you will become increasingly specialised and independent. You will build you own on-line business profile and map you journey into becoming a successful member of the UK and global flourishing creative industries.

Note: you will be issued with a free Adobe CC licence for independent home working.

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The courses and what you need to get a place

  • UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Art, Design & Communication (internal pathway: Graphic Design) (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 illustration design skills
  • Typography and layout
  • Promotion / advertising
  • Printmaking processes
  • Animation / motion graphics
  • Digital: various software; including Adobe CC (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign)
  • Idea generation
  • Exploration and experimentation of media and processes
  • Industry requirements
  • Independent development of studio work into own unique outcomes
  • Contextual studies into graphic design historical and modern and wider world inspirations

Professional Skills:

  • Working on 'live' assignments
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Working with focus and independence
  • Study of historical and modern art and design
  • 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 Graphic Design / Digital Arts students have:

  • Local, national and international trips and residentials
  • Visit to the Design Museum to study for the film poster assignment
  • Visiting professional graphic designers and digital artists
  • Training for World Skills - Graphic Design
  • Exhibited at the prestigious UAL 'Origins' London exhibition
  • Exhibited work at the Abbeygate Cinema in Bury St Edmunds
  • Undertaken a broad range of 'live' assignments - such as with 'Master of Cards' and 'LCH Games'

Days & times

Starting September 2023

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