BTEC Art & Design


The is a course which gives students a wide experience of art and design and which prepares them for application to degree, other higher level courses and for the work place in all aspects of the Creative Arts Industries.

Course Outline

Students take 18 units in total. This is equivalent to 3 A Levels.

Units include:
Unit 1: Visual Recording
Unit 2: Materials, Techniques and Processes
Unit 3: Ideas and Concepts
Unit 4: Communication through Art & Design
Unit 5: Contextual Influences
Unit 6: Application, Exploration and Realisation
Unit 10: Personal and Professional Development
Unit 34: Image Manipulation – Computers

Then another nine units from areas such as:
• Textiles
• Photography
• Painting
• Multi-disciplinary

The course programme uses assignments to complete the required number of units according to the specialist areas that each student chooses to follow.


Coursework (100%)
Final Major Project Included
Examining Board – Edexcel.

Special Entry Requirements

Standard BTEC entry requirements apply. In addition, a GCSE pass (grade 4 and above) or at least a Merit in an OCR National in Art, Graphics, Textiles or Design and Technology is essential. Students must be prepared to work hard and have a passion for this subject. A personal approach is encouraged throughout the course and it is expected that students will work in their own time to independently develop their projects.

Prohibited Options


Career and Progression Opportunities

Completing a BTEC Extended Diploma course allows students to apply directly to art and design degree courses. The majority of our students progress to university to study on a range of courses including Fine Art, Animation, Textiles & Fashion and 3-Dimensional Design. The way in which the course is designed supports students’ individual progression goals, allowing them to produce specialist and high quality portfolios to take to interview both for higher education and employment. Throughout the course, students develop a vast range of employability skills through a specialist and vocational learning environment. Students work on live briefs, exhibit their outcomes and work with industry standard software and equipment. This allows students to be prepared for a very competitive field of work in the creative industries.

Work Placements and Live Briefs

Students will be expected to prepare for their future through work placements and/or live briefs, giving students vocational experiences of working in the Creative Arts Industries. Previous students have had placements at places such as Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. Examples of some live briefs have been, curating exhibitions, creating murals for a hospice and delivering community art workshops. By the end of the course, you will have gained relevant skills and have a CV with cover letter along with a LinkedIn account. Joining LinkedIn will offer you career opportunities now and will assist your long-term career aspirations, as your profile will be accessible by thousands of prospective employers. Throughout your time at college, you will use the LinkedIn account to record all of your activities including work experience, any part time paid employment and gain access to relevant professional links. A clear DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) may be needed depending on the nature of the placement/live brief. The cost of the DBS is approximately £60.00 and if it is needed then you are responsible for this payment (details of how to pay will be provided).

Cost Implications

The College supplies most art materials that you will need during your lessons and materials such as paint, clay, paper etc. are available in all studios. Students are strongly advised to buy a BTEC Starter Pack at the start of the year which contains sketchbooks, folders and brushes from the Department. This is approximately £30. These are sold at a reduced cost and become essential for producing and storing the work you will create throughout the two years of your course. Please note, this course requires students to purchase electronic storage devices (such as an external hard drives) to save and store large files, such as images and music. Students will not be able to save these large files onto the College IT network. We advise that students also back up these files via online Cloud storage such as Microsoft OneDrive to ensure their files are secure. In both Y12 and Y13, students are required to attend a compulsory local visit. This ensures all students are able to experience a gallery/museum setting to develop their practical and contextual understanding. The visit will inform essential visual recording and contextual research for a range of assignments.


In additional to the set visits, there will also be the opportunity to take part in a range of additional trips and visits. In previous years, students have visited places such as the National Portrait Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Pitt Rivers Museum. These visits usually cost between £20 and £30. An overseas trip to visit galleries and museums in a major European city is also open to all Visual Arts students – in 2016 this trip was to Paris, in 2017 it was to Barcelona and Rome & Florence in 2018. The visits usually cost £650 on average.

Creativity and the Future of Work

Our future economy will be built on creativity and technology. Creativity is essential to addressing big societal challenges – designers are already working with engineers and scientists to mitigate global warming by designing user friendly and low-emission transport, for example. These jobs demand both creative and technical skills, and the future of work will increasingly rely on those who have them. Ofsted evidence has shown that creative subjects are effective at teaching and developing these skills – skills that are also the defining features of many creative occupations. UK labour market projections show that by 2024, the rate of growth for creative occupations will be more than double the average job growth across the whole UK economy. – CREATIVITY AND THE FUTURE OF WORK – CREATIVE INDUSTRIES FEDERATION AND NESTA

Other Information

If you are seriously considering a career in art or design, the BTEC Extended Diploma will prepare you for a degree course more thoroughly than taking a combination of A Levels. It will allow you to try different areas of the subject in order to select which specialism to apply for. It will also give you the time and opportunity to develop your art and design skills to a level where you can successfully achieve a place on a degree course. Students take a wide range of units (see above), but in the second year they specialise in one area of art or design in order to produce a portfolio of work for application to their chosen degree course. You will have access to all staff in the Art department, as well as equipment. This includes Fine Art, Graphics, Print and Textile studios as well as a Sculpture studio with a kiln. We have 40 Apple iMacs with the latest design software, including Adobe Photoshop and Director. You will have access to cameras, including DSLRs. We also have drawing tablets and a range of printers which consists of A4/A3 inkjets, as well as an A3 laser printer. You will be expected to develop your work both during formal lessons and in your own time. The department operates an open door policy, encouraging students to return during private study time and work independently in the studios. This course can be tailored to your needs and aspirations, providing a first rate grounding for progression to university.

This information is correct for September 2019 entry.

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