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Art & Design (Graphic Design) Advanced (Level 3)

Graphic Design is the art of visualising ideas using a combination of words and imagery across a variety of media. The Graphic Design industry covers a range of disciplines, including typography, brand identity, layout design, packaging, advertising and illustration. This study programme will introduce you to these key areas of communication and enable you to confidently develop your technical and creative skills to build a substantial portfolio of design work.

Within a dedicated Arts Centre, you will learn industry standard software and design techniques from experienced, enthusiastic tutors with a wealth of industry contacts. There will be opportunities to visit galleries, museums and exhibitions, as well as the chance to get involved with live design projects and national competitions. The study programme has an impressive record for working on live briefs, winning awards and placing students into Higher Education. Past students have regularly won ‘Design Against Fur’ and ‘National Glove Safety Poster’ competitions.


Entry requirements

To begin this study programme you will need...

Duration: 2 Years 
  • 4 GCSEs at grades A*-C or 9-4 ideally including English and maths 
  • Art & Design BTEC Level 2 Diploma (Merit level or above) with Functional Skills

Course content

  • Subject units:
    • Visual Recording in Art and Design
    • Materials, Techniques and Processes
    • Ideas and Concepts
    • Communication through Art and Design
    • Contextual Investigation in Art and Design
    • Specialist subjects may include:
      • Graphic Image Making
      • Typography & Layout Design
      • 3D Design (Packaging)
      • Mixed Media
      • Information Graphics
      • Image Manipulation
      • Words & Images
      • Design for Advertising
      • Design Methods
  • English and maths:
    If you don't already have GCSE English and maths grade A*-C, we will work with you to help you develop your maths and English skills. 
  • Work experience
  • Personal development skills, study skills and employability skills 
  • Additional vocational learning and qualifications: 
    • During the study programme there will be cultural trips that relate specifically to Graphic Design, as well as the opportunity for second year students to visit a major cultural capital such as Berlin. You will develop skills in the following software: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign.

Assessment methods

You will be assessed on a continual basis throughout the programme working to set deadlines. Each unit is assessed with project work. At the end of your second year, you will get the chance to develop your own self-directed project. There may also be an examination for Functional Skills or GCSE, depending upon your grades and the content of your personalised study program.  


Art & Design Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma


  • English and maths skills
  • Work experience
  • Personal development skills
  • Study skills
  • Employability skills
You can also gain up to 168 UCAS points. 

Further study and career options

On successful completion of this programme you can progress on to a Higher National Diploma in Graphic Design. Alternatively, you could consider applying for a university degree or seek employment or an apprenticeship in a field related to your specialism.

Additional information

To take part in the study programme you will be required to pay an additional fee of £45 to cover the cost of trips/visits to galleries and/or exhibitions. You will also be encouraged to buy books related to your specialism and appropriate equipment such as pens, pencils, USB sticks/external hard drives.

Funding information

All full-time Level 1 and Level 2 courses are now FREE for everyone, whatever their age. If you are looking to study a Level 3 qualification, courses are still free if you’re under 19 or 19-23 and studying your first full Level 3 qualification. If you’re over 23 or studying a second Level 3 qualification, you will need to pay a fee. Find out more on our financial support page at

If you are aged 19 or over you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. Find out more at You can also pay by instalments to help make the cost of this course more affordable.

Course information & how to book

To apply, select the 'Apply' button below. If you need help call us on 01234 291000.
Please state in your application the Art & Design pathway you wish to specialise in: (3D Applied Design, Animation, Illustration & Games Design, Fashion & Textiles, Fine Art, Graphic Design or Photography).

LengthStart DateFees per yearLocationCourse Code
2 years 10/09/2018 Launch our fee calculatorFree if 16-18yrs. Are you 19+?
Launch our fee calculator
Cauldwell Street L055

Apply Online

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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