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Intermediate Diploma in Art and DesignApply Now »

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Level: 2

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 1


Course Summary

This programme is designed to prepare you for a Level 3 course in Arts, Design, Technology or a related area. It is aimed at those who have GCSE English and Maths but don’t have an Art or Design qualification.

It will also enable you to achieve GCSE English and Maths to grade C/4 if you do not already have those grades. 

Whatever your entry qualifications, you will continue to develop your English and maths skills on the course. 

The Diploma offers an active live brief/work-placement programme in arts, design and related areas. It will also develop your independent learning and transferable skills.

Entry requirements

You will need four GCSEs at grade D/3 or above, or you may be someone who has grade C/4 and above in several subjects, including English and Maths, but have not yet achieved an Art or Design qualification. 

All candidates must have a successful interview and show a portfolio to gain a place.

Course Content

The course encourages your own direction and the final outcome is in an area of your choice. This forms the basis of your Final Major Project.

A lot of activities are based around visual and physical problem solving. Each unit offers a set of particular problems to solve.

The course will challenge you in the development of the formal elements of visual language, such as line, tone, plane and colour, to name but a few. 

You will learn about technical processes, new materials, methods and techniques, then use your creative freedom to produce exciting artwork in areas of your own personal interest.  

You will develop into an effective independent learner, able to manage yourself, your learning, your research and your artwork. You will be expected to experiment, practise and make valuable mistakes to learn from. 

Direct observed drawing from the real world (not pictures) provides a large part of the content and you will be expected to carry out life drawing - ie drawing from the human body.

You will carry out a range of two-dimensional activities/assignments including photographic recording and creative development, painting and graphics, alongside a range of three-dimensional activities/assignments in wood, metal and clay etc.

There are other specialist activities and materials, some of which may be very experimental. Upcycling and sustainable materials are forming an important part of the course.

You will be expected to carry out contextual research relevant to the area that you are studying.

Some of the technical elements of the course will ask you to apply/use maths skills, such as measurement, ratio and proportion, and develop your English comprehension and critical writing skills.  

How will I be assessed?

The Diploma is assessed at the end of each unit. There are eight units on the Diploma, with Unit 8 being graded PASS, MERIT or DISTINCTION. 


The work for Unit 8 has to be professionally presented in an end-of-year show for you to achieve the grade. 

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

The course requires a studio fee of £25.00. This also provides you with a sketchbook and a basic tool kit. You will be expected to buy materials/tools to replace or improve your kit. There will be money required for trips.  

What can I do after this course?

The course is designed to prepare you for a Level 3 course in Arts, Design, Technology or a related area.


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This course is run at the Joseph Wright Centre

About Joseph Wright Centre »

Jamie Holmes

Jamie Holmes

Weaving a success story in textile design

Peak Award winner Jamie Holmes showed there are no barriers to success if you have genuine creative talent. Profoundly deaf, Jamie joined the College from the Royal School for the Deaf and was supported by a signer throughout his studies.
He excelled on his Art and Design Diploma, specialising in fashion and textiles, and now has a place studying Textile Design at Huddersfield University – with his sights set on a future career in the creative industries. At our 2014 Peak Awards, Jamie won the Visual Arts prize, sponsored by Maber Associates Ltd, for his determination and willingness to improve.

When I first started at College, I was really lacking in confidence but I had so much help and support that I really found myself and I am looking forward to making the most of university.


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