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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?

Is it your dream design characters and create creatures, spacecraft or miniature robots or environments that will wow, fascinate or scare millions or are you fascinated by realistic modelling and the magic of animation? If you are interested in storytelling and characters then this unique course is the right one for you. In year one you will develop pixel art in 2D and 3D, animate digitally and by hand, learn how to sculpt by hand and on computer, develop model dioramas and digital landscapes in 3D software as well as comic and concept art, props and merch or games.

In year two you will choose to work in your specialist pathway which could include the fabrication of props, large and small scale model or sculpting and stop motion animation, 2D animation or comic design, concept art for games or 3D digital character design, 3D assets for games or film. We will support you to apply to the right University and our students are currently studying Special Effects Make Up, Model making for film, animation, stop motion, creature design and prop making, VFX compositing for film and games, 3D animation for games, comic book design and illustration, 2D Concept art and set design and architecture and our course is built to find your strengths and specialist skills and support you to achieve.


This is the only Level 3 course in the UK that specialises in Prop and Model Making design.



The courses and what you need to get a place

Interactive and computer arts2
Interactive and computer arts 1
interactive media 4 copy
interactive media and visual effects 3
interactive media and visual effects 5 copy
interactive media and visual effects 6
interactive media and visual effects 7
interactive media and visual effects 8
interactive media and visual effects 9
  • 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: Interactive Media & Model Making) (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 and we will make sure that you are on the right course!


What the course covers

Creative and Technical skills:

  • 2D illustration and comic book development
  • Concept art and Character Design
  • Games Art
  • Storyboarding for Screen
  • Animation - traditional and digital
  • Prop making and model making - digital and by hand
  • Digital - various software - including Adobe CC Photoshop, Illustrator, Animate and Aftereffects - plus industry specifics Cinema 4D, Mudbox, MagicaVoxel and Twin Motion or Unreal
  • Physical - polymer clays, sculpting, laser cutting, casting and model making
  • Idea generation and audience
  • Exploration and experimentation of specialist pathway skills
  • Independent development of studio work into own unique outcomes

Professional Skills:

  • Working on 'live' competitions
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Working with focus and independence
  • Communication
  • Presentation both physical and online
  • Online media profiles and promotion

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 85% of our level 3 students decide to progress to university. They all successfully gain places. Our students progress to the very finest universities in the field such as Hertfordshire, Staffordshire, Bournemouth, Bolton, Manchester, Nottingham Trent, Wrexham, Leeds, Norwich and 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. In the past 3 years Interactive Media & Model Making 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 2023

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