90 or 180 Credit Course
Achieve a 90-credit diploma in your first year of study then top up to 180 credits on the extended diploma in the second year. The extended diploma gives you much more detail on the subject — it's the same as three A-levels and is a great route into university. If you already have 90 credits from another college, you can choose to top up to the extended diploma with just one year of study.
This is a two-year full time course that further develops a deeper and considered understanding of the specific visual arts pathways on offer:
- Graphics & Illustration
- Fine Art
- Interior, 3D & Product Design
- Fashion & Textiles
The programme includes very detailed relevant contextual, theoretical research and the development of specific pathway skills at an advanced level. Learners are expected to work with much more independence and create their own research opportunities outside of college study times.
Candidates will need to demonstrate a high level of aptitude within the visual arts and present examples of artwork at an interview via a professional port-folio review. Candidates will typically have completed a level 2 qualification (or equivalent) in an arts related subject and have the appropriate levels of the necessary core skills in the subject.
The extended diploma is run across two academic years and consists of set project briefs that range in length and complexity. Each project has a different focus so, for example, one may be concerned with a real live brief or problem and another may involve using presentation skills in preparation for UCAS applications and university interviews. Learners will also be taught new practical, theoretical and contextual skills and the opportunity to improve existing ones in-line with pathway choices.
This enables learners to produce a very large body of work that incorporates many different creative problem solving opportunities that reflect a really broad range of outcomes both within specific pathways and within general art and design. This reflects how the industry operates and prepares learners for further study at a higher level. UCAS applications are conducted at the beginning of year two with port-folio workshops and development ready for degree course interviews during the Spring term.
Projects are varied in length and they are assessed halfway through (formative) and at the end (summative). Learners have frequent 1:1 support from teachers to help develop their skills and work, along with group activities and class demonstrations of new skills. The practical tasks are mapped against the UAL awarding body criteria and help learners to develop a very wide range of skills. The final project of the first and second year is longer as it forms the grade for the course with those being a Pass, Merit or Distinction. The final grade for the whole extended diploma is awarded at the end of year two.
Four GCSEs A*-C with English at A*-D; OR a relevant Level 2 diploma at least at merit plus English assessed by us to be at an appropriate level. You must also show a portfolio of your art and design work at interview, which could include sketchbooks, drawings and samples. If you don't have this, the interview panel will give you tasks to complete for interview.
For international students, you will need an IELTS score of 5.5 (minimum 5.0 in each section) or equivalent. Find out more in the international pages.
You'll buy an art kit and this provides a variety of resources worth more than the cost - payment is assessed on your circumstances.
As part of this course, you're eligible to apply to University of the Arts London through our progression agreement with them. This helps you with feedback on your portfolio and interview preparation. You can also progress to the HNC in Graphic Design here at South Thames College or to an art and design degree at university or art college. You can also look for related work in a range of art, craft and design specialisms.
All courses run subject to demand and the content listed here should be used as a guide only. Course content may vary according to a range of factors such as course duration, campus, teaching staff and requirements from awarding bodies. Check our course and fee guidelines for further details.
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Art and Art History
Art and Design
DIY and Home Improvements
Fashion and Textiles Design
Graphic Design and Web Design