Extended Diploma students from Plymouth College of Art’s Palace Court Pre Degree campus are celebrating today as they receive the results of their qualifications, after successfully tackling the challenges posed by continuing their art education without interruption to learning during lockdown, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
41% of Plymouth College of Art UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma students obtained a Distinction, which is equivalent to 3 A*s at A-level or 168 UCAS points. This is an increase of 4% from last year and is 20% higher than the national average of students who receive a Distinction in the UAL accredited qualification.
UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Fashion & Textiles) students performed exceptionally well, with 58% achieving a Distinction, while UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Graphics, Illustration & Game Arts) also saw an impressive 45% of students achieve a Distinction.
35% of UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design students obtained a Distinction, which is 14% above the national average and is an increase of 8% from last year.
These results reflect the hard work and innovative creative practice of the students, who have continued to participate in regular lessons online since lockdown began in March, including online critiques led by expert tutors, one-on-one live video tutorials, plus advice on progression into Higher Education and other career options, helping them prepare for the next stage of their creative development.
Level 3 Extended Diploma Photography student, Hannah Mortimore, aged 19 from Liskeard, achieved a Distinction. Speaking on results day, Hannah said: “I’m so happy, getting a Distinction is brilliant! I studied animal care before coming here and have always been interested in nature photography. I’ve learned so much at Plymouth College of Art and developed so many different techniques and methods. Next I’m going to study marine and natural history photography at Falmouth, near to where I live.
“One of the best parts of coming to Plymouth College of Art is how much I really loved to make friends here, because it's such a welcoming place. I always felt out of place in secondary school and never felt accepted, but when I came to Plymouth College of Art I was immediately accepted by everyone. I loved finding my place here and made some amazing friends. This last couple of months taught me how much I really loved being at the college. I wish that I could come back!
“Plymouth College of Art is amazing, it's such a good place for creative people who want to work within the creative industries and is somewhere that I never felt out of place. It was so much better than doing A-Levels, a much more mature environment than school. I think everyone finds their place here.”
Ali Al-Moussawi, a Level 3 Extended Diploma Graphics, Illustration & Game Arts student, said: “I wasn’t expecting to receive a Distinction - I couldn’t ask for more! The hard work has paid off in the most terrific way that I can think of. I’m hoping to study a degree in graphic design and typography next, after I get some further results next week. I’ve built a lot of confidence over my two years at Plymouth College of Art, becoming more independent and more vocal. I feel like I’ve improved so much as a student and as a person because of my time here. Palace Court has been like my second home.”
Sam Gingell, a Level 3 Extended Diploma Art & Design student, said: “I’ve just received a Distinction, which is what I was hoping to get and is very exciting. Next I’m going to go to the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London to study prop-making, learning how to make masks and prosthetics, sculpting and casting.
“I’m so happy that I didn’t stay at sixth form to study art and came to Plymouth College of Art instead. Hearing from friends who stayed on to do art at my old school, my experience was so much better. I had access to huge screen printing presses, lathes, power tools and industry-standard equipment, but at school they got some acrylic paints kept in a cupboard.”
Maya Albagli, a Level 3 Extended Diploma Art & Design student, earned a Distinction, and said: “I’m planning to take a gap year now, exploring freelancing and other mediums while I network, before taking up a place studying illustration at undergraduate level next year. I learned so many different things at Plymouth College of Art, developing confidence about sharing my work. I came in with an open mind because I knew Palace Court would have so much to offer, so I listened to feedback and used all the facilities.
“The people are what made me choose to come to Plymouth College of Art. I was in love with the community here. I met so many interesting people. If you’re trying to make a decision about what to do next, I’d say come to Palace Court. You get a very different experience to any other education system. Everyone here is very open. The experience has helped me grow in many ways. I’d recommend it to anyone who is a little bit stuck or doesn’t know what to do, because you kind of find yourself during the two years that you’re here.”
Steven Forsyth, (Interim) Pre-Degree Manager at Plymouth College of Art, said: “Our students have shown incredible resilience, creativity and commitment working in and remotely out of college, during what has been a very challenging time for all, so it was really important for us to get this right.
“Our academic and quality teams have gone over and above to scrutinise our students’ progress throughout their courses, in pre-lockdown teaching up to 20 March 2020, to ensure that we presented a robust and transparent tutor estimated grade process to our awarding body.
“It's really pleasing to learn that our assessment processes stood up to external scrutiny and our students have received the end of course grades that they deserve after two years of hard work. We wish them all the best with their future and the next stage of their lives in Higher Education and employment opportunities.”
"The Foundation in Art and Design has taught me that art is so much more than the practice itself, and I have become a part of such a wonderful community of artists, with tutors that have supported me endlessly."
- Esther Ashworth-Howell, UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design
The value of our Foundation Diploma
Maddy Blyth, Foundation Diploma Course Leader at Plymouth College of Art, said: “We are thrilled to see our students' hard work recognised through these exemplary results. Despite the challenge they faced, our students rose to meet it with humor, energy and fearlessness. Undertaking a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design is a journey of discovery where students are given the space and the time to explore their creative ambitions and develop confidence in their future steps. Now more than ever, the value of an extra year developing skills, learning critical thinking and independence is immeasurable. We couldn't be prouder of our students and we wish them the very best of luck with their next steps!”
UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design student Esther Ashworth-Howell said: “I got a distinction overall on my Foundation in Art and Design and I am very pleased to say I will be progressing onto the BA (Hons) Illustration course at the Tavistock Place campus! I started the year without much direction or an idea of what I wanted to do; I knew I had a love of illustration but I didn’t know how to put this into practice. The Foundation in Art and Design has taught me that art is so much more than the practice itself, and I have become a part of such a wonderful community of artists, with tutors that have supported me endlessly.
"There were no boundaries of what we could do with our art, and having access to all the facilities at the main campus, I knew that the community vibe at Palace Court expanded to the rest of the college, hence why I applied to do my degree there! I will always be thankful for the support that the tutors gave me, and also the lifelong friends I have made. I’m more than excited to start my degree in October and I have been itching to get back to Plymouth College of Art to continue doing what I love surrounded by amazing people."
The specialist creative Level 3 Extended Diplomas delivered by Plymouth College of Art are designed and awarded by UAL Awarding Body, which is part of the University of the Arts London (UAL). Designed in collaboration with industry and education partners, the qualifications, which are equivalent to A-Levels for 16 to 19-year-olds, are recognised by UCAS, Plymouth College of Art and other arts universities throughout the UK, and by employers in the creative industries.
Preparing for GCSE Results Day
If you know a school leaver receiving their GCSE results and looking to specialise in art, design, craft or digital media at Further Education (FE) level, please visit our website for a full list of Level 2 and 3 courses now recruiting for Autumn 2020. Our Extended Diplomas and International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) prepare young people for success in industry and progression onto a degree at HE level, with many choosing to continue their studies at Plymouth College of Art. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)1752 203434 to find out more.
Students and their parents/carers looking for advice on Results Day can also come along to our myth-busting GCSE Top Tips Online Event, taking place on Monday 17 August.
Clearing is now open for 2020 study
A limited number of Clearing places are still available on undergraduate courses at Plymouth College of Art starting as late as November 2020. If you’re over 18 years and looking to study a BA (Hons) degree or Foundation Diploma in Art & Design call us now on +44 (0)1752 203402 or Whatsapp us on 07722744184. (Open 8am-8pm on Thursday 13 August, 8am-5pm on Friday 14 August, 10am-2pm on Saturday 15 August).
The college’s undergraduate building Tavistock Place is now welcoming prospective students on campus for bookable tours and drop-in advice sessions. Click here to view a full list of upcoming events (online or in-person). You can also see a curated list of Ones to Watch from this year’s graduating cohort online, including artists from England, Wales and Bahrain.