Graphic Design & Illustration | UAL Diploma in Creative Practice | Level 3

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Course Code: FE0324-1C Course Type: 16+ college (full-time) Campus: West Durrington Campus Qualification: UAL Level 3 Diploma/Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication Funding: Eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan

Why this course?

If you would like a career in graphics or illustration or a related area then this is the course for you. Based within the exciting and vibrant creative industries department, our graphic design and illustration course provides you with the opportunity to build your skills in a variety of areas including design, drawing, print and digital design.

This course can be studied over two years; the UAL Diploma is completed in the first year and the UAL Extended Diploma in the second year.

Year 2 is a continuation of your studies to a more advanced level. You will further develop your skills and techniques and undertake an advanced major project.

  • Industry standard facilities including Macs and PC’s 
  • Industry expert tutors
  • Access to a range of specialist facilities including print workshops, photography studios and 3D workshops
  • Opportunities to work on live briefs
  • Excellent progression to university level courses or into employment

The average salary of a Graphic Designer in the UK is £31,286 per year. Once you are in a more senior position such as a team leader or technical director your salary could be in excess of £75,000.

Start dates

September 2023 Apply
  • alumni Views Jamie Hewlett Graphic Design & Illustration
    Jamie graduated and then went on to create the well-known comic character, Tank Girl and the highly successful virtual band, Gorillaz.
  • alumni Views Paul Norris Graphic Design & Illustration
    Paul graduated and then went on to work in visual effects and was part of the team that won an Oscar for visual effects for the film, Ex Machina.
  • student Views E.M. Graphic Design & Illustration
    The course has really helped me to develop my illustration skills using traditional and digital media.
  • student Views J.W. Graphic Design & Illustration
    I have really enjoyed my 2 years on this course. I felt really proud to have my work in the end of year exhibition, and now I’m off to university.
  • Mind
  • Book Covers
  • Face
  • Swell

Entry requirements

To join this Level 3 course, you should have at least 4 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, including English and maths, or a Level 2 qualification. You should also have a portfolio of your art/design work.  

Portfolio review with the course tutor.

Your portfolio of work must demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for the subject area. You are required to bring sketch books, evidence of research and observational drawings, examples of developmental work as well as some final pieces. We are also interested in looking at work you have completed in your own time. There are a number of parental consultation evenings scheduled throughout the year which provide parents with the opportunity to gain feedback on your progress made at college.

If you do not have the above grades, you can start on the Level 2 Art & Design course.

Entry requirements

About this course

You will build your skills in a variety of areas including design, drawing, print and digital design. With projects across advertising, packaging, illustration, typography, branding, print and digital design, you will discover your strengths and define your future path. Industry-based projects and work experience opportunities are part of each course curriculum, enabling you to develop the skills to progress to a career in the creative graphics and Illustration industries with the energy and confidence to thrive.

Topics and course units include

Year 1 (Diploma):

Project and assignment based learning using traditional and digital materials, techniques and processes. Supported by research skills and critical and contextual awareness.

  • Corporate identity/logo design and branding
  • Illustration
  • Concept art
  • Publicity, advertising and poster design

Year 2 (Extended Diploma):

  • Specialist pathway in Graphic Design or Illustration
  • Industry related projects
  • Portfolio development
  • Final major project and end of year Exhibition

Why this course at Northbrook College?

  • Industry standard Macs, PCs and software 
  • Access to photo studios, print rooms and 3D craft facilities 
  • Opportunities to work on live briefs 
  • End-of-year exhibition open to the public and employers

Northbrook College has a fantastic track record of progression to prestigious universities.

You will have the opportunity to work on real live projects commissioned by internal and external clients and be nominated for the competitive and highly regarded annual UAL Origins Exhibition. 

The vibrant arts department has a broad range of staff who are all practising artists and designers involved in the region's buzzing art and design scene. Our staff are here help you realise your potential. Our experienced teaching staff are passionate about their areas of expertise and are committed to helping you to attain your learning goals and meet your personal aims. You will work in artists’ studios with access to our 3D workshop, darkroom, printmaking studio, Mac suites and pattern cutting room.   

Without a doubt, one of the reasons we know you will love studying at Northbrook College is the renowned creative facilities and atmosphere at our West Durrington Campus. The campus is a dedicated arts space, with the art & design courses running alongside theatre arts and music courses. You will collaborate with like-minded, passionate students and benefit from the various creative projects that take place, such as theatre shows, music gigs and art exhibitions. The campus is regularly used by professional creatives, which further highlights the quality of our industry-standard facilities.

After this course

Further study

On successful completion of the Diploma (Year 1), you can progress to the Extended Diploma (Year 2).

Following completion of the Extended Diploma, you can progress to university-level course, either at Northbrook College or at universities throughout the UK.

Our West Durrington Campus is a creative arts space with students studying at degree level in art & design disciplines as well as theatre arts and music. Degrees at Northbrook College include Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Textile Design or Theatre/Set Design.

Future careers

  • Graphic designer
  • Web designer
  • Editorial designer
  • Illustrator
  • Advertising designer
  • Concept artist
  • Creative entrepreneur
  • Educator

Course fees

This course is free (you do not have to pay fees) if:

  • You are a UK citizen, hold EU Settlement Status or have a visa which could qualify you for home status.
  • AND you are under 19 on 31 August in the year you are studying.

Subsidised fees

If the above does not apply to you, you may still be eligible for a subsidised fee. For more information, please speak to our Admissions team: | 01273 667704

Advanced Learner Loan

You may be eligible to apply for a loan to meet the course costs of your qualification fees. This is paid directly to the College on your behalf. For more information about Advanced Learner Loans, please click here.

Additional costs

The majority of the equipment and materials are provided by the college to enable you to complete each project. However, you will be required to purchase an art kit from the college at the start of the course.

We also recommend you budget for £10 per week for any other consumable materials you may need appropriate to the development of your work. 

There will be one trip in the year which will cost approximately £20.

Open events

Register your interest for our next open events taking place in 2023. It's an opportunity to explore our amazing facilities and hear from our expert teaching staff.


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Course costs

All 16+ (full-time) courses are free to UK citizens, those who hold EU Settlement Status or have a visa which could qualify them for home status, AND are under 19 years old on the 31 August of the year of entry. If you are 19+ and interested in studying this course, you can find out more about costs and financial support in the link below.

19+ fees

How to apply

We accept applications throughout the year, allowing you to apply up until the course starts.

You can also apply for as many colleges and courses as you wish - so keep your options open!

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