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Posted 05.07.19

Creative Extended Diploma students achieve amazing results

By Phillip Buchan

Nina Westwood with her results

Extended Diploma students from our dedicated Pre-Degree campus have received the results of their qualifications and this year 35% of students obtained a distinction in their UAL Level 3 Extended Diplomas in Art & Design, leaving the college with the equivalent of three A*s at A-Level, or 168 UCAS points.

This places us above the national average for students who receive a Distinction, for the third year running, preparing them for degree-level higher education or to progress onto a career in the UK’s booming creative industries.

Fashion & Textiles students scored exceptionally highly, with 88% of students obtaining a distinction

Alan Higson-Sweeney

Alan Higson-Sweeney received a Distinction in his UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Film, Animation & Media Production). During his time with us, Alan also took part in the BFI Film Academy for budding filmmakers across Plymouth and the South West, which has just been renewed for a third year.

Alan said: “Getting a Distinction today was everything I’d hoped for. It means the world to me. When I first came to Plymouth College of Art I knew nothing, but a grade like this defines my memories of the college. I can look back and always feel happy about my time here.

“Alongside my Extended Diploma I applied for a place on the BFI Film Academy and was one of a small number of people chosen. It was such an amazing experience, learning high-level filmmaking skills from industry professionals. One of the best parts was working with complete strangers to make a film, just like I will in my professional life. I’m still in touch with so many people that I met during the course, attending national networking events for BFI graduates and hearing about opportunities for the future. In fact, I’ve learned so much during my time in Plymouth that I’m not ready to leave yet, so I’m going to defer my place at university in Gloucestershire to stay an extra year honing my skills in recording and editing film with the people that I’ve met.”

Kitty McEwan

17-year-old Kitty McEwan, from Stonehouse, received a Distinction in her Graphics, Illustration & Game Arts pathway Extended Diploma

Kitty said: “I really tried to use my time at Plymouth College of Art as an opportunity to experiment, develop new skills and push myself forward to achieve new things. I really put a lot of time and work into my final major project, so it’s a huge relief to get a Distinction. Since I was young I’ve always been inspired by the work of Jamie Hewlett, particularly the Gorillaz. I love concept art, character design and comic art, so these are the areas I’ll continue to develop at university.”

Ellie Woodman

17-year-old Ellie Woodman, from Ivybridge, received a Distinction in her Graphics, Illustration & Game Arts Extended Diploma, and plans to go on to study BA (Hons) Illustration at degree level with us, starting in September.

Ellie said: “I’ve wanted to be an illustrator for as long as I can remember, and feel like getting a Distinction proves that I’m on the right path. All of my work for the past two years has paid off!

“Ultimately, I want to set up my own business, so I can’t wait to engage with that kind of support when I start my degree, developing my illustration and business skills in tandem. My work to date has examined how to interpret Japanese fashion styles for western audiences, creating inclusive designs and sizes. That’s something I plan to continue working on.”

Meg Bryce

18-year-old Meg Bryce received a Distinction in her Film, Animation & Media Production Extended Diploma. Next she plans to study BA (Hons) Digital Media Production with us, starting in September.

Meg said: “When it was time to choose my A-Levels at school, they felt so restrictive, and I didn’t want to put my energy into subjects that I wasn’t passionate about. As soon as I heard about the A-Level equivalent subjects at Plymouth College of Art, with an emphasis on media production and making, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I’ve worked really hard for this distinction and it means that I can go on and do what I want to do, continue making films.”

Nina Westwood opens her results

18-year-old Nina Westwood received a Distinction in her UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design, which has given her the confidence to think ambitiously about what to do next.

Nina said: “This means a lot to me. I knew I had it in me to get a Distinction, and wouldn’t have been happy if I didn’t get it! I had accepted a place at a UK university, but earning a Distinction opens more options to me. I’m going to think carefully about where I want to go next, possibly a university in the Netherlands. During my time at Plymouth College of Art I’ve learned that I have a deep interest in fashion design, but I’m much more interested in fine art fashion design than I am the prospect of working in the fashion industry.

“First I want to take a gap year, expand my own personal practice and get involved in more community projects. During the Design to Sell event in Palace Court I set up my own business making and selling funky festival clothes. That’s something I definitely want to expand in my gap year.”