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Fine Art BTEC HND (part-time) (top-up from HNC)

The one year HND programme in Art Practice is a follow on from the HNC course and will allow you to explore your arts practice with an emphasis on developing a personal visual language in paint, drawing, sculpture or interdisciplinary approach to making art. In addition you will develop methodologies for idea generation within an art context. The course will also introduce you to the philosophy and sociology of art. Art theory and contextual studies are delivered alongside your practical work. The course is run by art practitioners in studios in the purpose built South Bank Arts Centre. There is an emphasis on professional practice through live projects. This is a well-recognised course for the quality of teaching, collaborations and exhibitions. Our students also show their art work at the end of year exhibitions in the South Bank Arts Centre and get the opportunity to visit galleries at home and abroad in places such as Berlin, Amsterdam or New York.



I studied the Art & Design FD course at Bedford College and enjoyed it so much I wanted to progress on to the HND.  I did consider going to university, but thought it was best to do the first two years of my degree at college and then do a top-up third year at university, as I felt I needed the extra support college gives.  Plus, the cost was more reasonable than university - it was £4,000 a year for me, whereas university would have been £9,000, so I felt I was getting much better value for money.                                     

I particularly enjoyed the commission work we did for Bedford Borough Council.  I found it very rewarding and now have one of my sculptures in a local park.  The original commission was to design sculptures that could be placed inside and outside the labyrinth at Priory Park in Bedford.  I created something made out of recycled mahogany and teak.  I like bringing materials back to life and creating something beautiful out of discarded objects. I was delighted when my sculpture was selected to be positioned outside the labyrinth and then it was transferred to a permanent location at Harrold-Odell Country Park.

The skills you learn on this course, and particularly when undertaking real commissions, are invaluable.  It’s definitely improved my problem solving skills and made me more confident about how I approach my work.  I now feel ready for university and in September I’ll be doing a top-up year at the University of Westminster in London, so I’ll have a full BA Honours in Fine Art. 

Luana - Fine Art HND

Featured on The Guardian’s 'End of year favourites'

Painting by former student Emma Richardson

“The uncanny is frightening because it is not known. Children, especially little girls, signify a non-threatening vulnerability and when this is combined with the uncanny it can disturb our mental and emotional responses, as we generally seek to protect and nurture the young.”

Emma Richardson, former Fine Art HND student

Entry requirements

In order to begin this course you will need a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, UAL Level 3 Art and Design, or A-Level Art and Design.

Other requirements:
Portfolio of Art and Design work.

Level 3 qualifications in an Art and Design subject.

A Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Mature students will be considered individually on experience rather than qualifications. Entry will also be subject to a successful interview, where you will be asked to present a portfolio of your creative work, including sketchbooks.

Course content

Compulsory units:

  • Drawing in Fine Art
  • Developing a Fine Art Language
  • Developing a Fine Art Identity
  • Historical/Contextual Referencing
  • Critical Study
  • Visual Arts Professional Practice

You will choose ten optional units from the following:

  • Materials & Processes in Fine Art
  • Curating/Taking Part in Exhibitions
  • Painting
  • Fine Art Printmaking
  • Fine Art Photography
  • Fine Art Sculpture
  • Drawing: Personal Development
  • Lens-Based Recording Techniques
  • Presenting & Exhibiting Artwork
  • Specialist Studio Practice
  • Digital Imaging
  • Installation/Site Specific Artwork

Assessment methods

You will be set a variety of projects which encourage you to address and interpret various themes. You will also develop personally generated projects and undertake professional practice activities, such as curating group shows and workshops with schools. Assessments are in the form of peer and tutor assessment, and self-evaluation.


Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Art and Design (Art Practice)

Further study and career options

On successful completion of the HND you will have the option to top up the qualification to a full Bachelor’s degree at university or enter employment. Some relates jobs include: Art Practitioner, Illustrator, Gallery Curator, Conservation and much more.

Additional information

You will need to study six hours per week, Thu-Fri 9.15am-4.30pm. The days and times will depend upon the units you choose study.

Additional costs

  • Provision of basic art & design equipment such as: paint brushes, clay, plaster, wood, canvas, and any additional consumable materials demanded by personal project requirements.
  • Resource fee of £75 to cover acrylic paint, oil paint, mediums, and printing/ink costs.
  • Train fares for visits by train to London (normally up to two a year).
  • A digital camera is advantageous but not essential.

Course information & how to book

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

LengthStart DateDay(s)Time(s)Fee per unitLocationCourse Code
1-2 years (depending on prior learning) 20/09/2018 Thu, Fri 9.15 am - 4.30 pm £750 Cauldwell Street L1322 Apply

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Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.
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