Level 3 BTEC National Diploma/Extended Diploma in Art & Design Practice – September 2024

Funding information: Free for Eligible 16-18 year olds otherwise Adult Learner Loans available, costs apply.
Duration: 2 Years - Daytime
Attendance: Full-time Provision

Course Overview

This course is aimed at individuals who have already achieved a relevant Level 2 qualification or equivalent who wish to continue to develop their Art and Design practice at a more advanced level. This qualification has been designed to provide you with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to progress to further education, higher education and training or employment in the Art & Design industry.

The structure of the qualification is aligned with current industry practice, university teaching and assessment methodology. The completion of an extensive portfolio will showcase your skills and knowledge whilst preparing you for progression.

The course follows a two-year programme with the Pearson Level 3 National Diploma in the first year and the National Extended Diploma in the second year. Universities typically regard the course as the equivalent to three A levels.

Course Content

In the first year the course follows a diagnostic process, you will be given the opportunity to work in a variety of Art and Design disciplines including: drawing, painting, photography, film, ceramics, graphic design, animation, illustration, textiles, fashion, printmaking and 3D. The emphasis will be on skills building and cultivating knowledge and understanding of Art and Design practice. Relevant industry-based work experience and engagement with live briefs underpin the delivery of this vocational qualification.

In the final third of year one, after building an appreciation of the variety of areas of specialist practice available, you will be given 1:1 help and advice from specialist tutors to decide upon a chosen Art & Design pathway for your final major project.

Whilst continuing on your chosen pathway, in the second-year students will explore professional and industrial practice in greater depth whilst developing your own portfolio and developing practical outcomes in your chosen specialism. You will have opportunities to work with industry professionals and learn to present and display your work in a way that will afford you the best opportunities for progression.

Integral to this Extended Diploma year is the investigation into the learners next steps and preparing the necessary materials to support this.

Areas of knowledge and skills include:

  • Drawing, painting
  • Fine Art
  • Sculpture
  • 3D
  • Ceramics
  • Printmaking
  • Textiles
  • Photography
  • Animation
  • Fashion
  • Graphic Design
  • Applied Arts
  • Illustration

Entry Requirements

You will need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above or a relevant Level 2 qualification and a portfolio of creative work available to discuss at interview. Applicants without the minimum requirement but demonstrating exceptional creative ability throughout their portfolios may be considered.

Assessment Methods

  • Portfolio
  • Practical assessments
  • Coursework


The course has been designed to provide students with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to progress to higher education and training or employment in the industry. The large qualification is designed for progression and to provide a substantial portfolio as an outcome of undertaking significant projects.