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UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design — Overview

The UAL Extended Diploma: Art & Design is an exploratory two-year equivalent to A-levels that we offer across five specialist routes. 

Providing a fast-paced introduction to materials, techniques and processes, your practical work will be supported by contextual studies covering a wide range of art, design and media practices – ensuring that your thinking and making intersect. 

Students explore 2D, 3D and digital work in this multi-disciplinary course.

With a contemporary ethos and a commitment to developing your independent voice, this course will help you begin to forge your individual creative identity alongside sharpening your written and communication skills for interviews and presentations. 

We’ll also support you in building employability skills such as problem solving, resilience, and confidence using industry standard design software to tailor and refine your creative skillset.

Throughout the course, you’ll have the chance to collaborate on live assignments with external clients, gaining a real understanding of what it means to work in the creative industries. 

“If you want a creative career, I don’t think a traditional sixth form will get you where you want to be. Study an Extended Diploma at Palace Court – there are incredible resources, fantastic spaces and knowledgeable minds here. Use them.”
- Jordan Mortlock, UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma Art & Design (Photography) student and Origins 2017 award winner


Creating your own unique response to themes like culture, entrepreneurship, diversity, and the environment, you’ll learn about a range of audiences and potential applications for your work across the creative sector. 

And through projects like our annual, student-led pop-up shop, Design to Sell, you’ll learn how to promote yourself as a creative professional. 

What will I get out of it?

You will be guided by a team of lecturers who are professional artists, designers and media practitioners, and you’ll be supported by technicians who are highly skilled in a wide range of 2D, 3D and 4D (time-based) techniques.

Our students have plenty of opportunities to take part in external activities.

We encourage involvement in higher education and employment progression events as well as numeracy and literacy rich creative competitions, such as ARTiculation – a national public speaking competition – and the Creative Conscience awards, which focus on social interaction and positive change.

Study trips give you some great cultural experiences nationally and internationally – previous exhibition and gallery visits have included London, Berlin and New York. 

You’ll also benefit from regular contact from visiting artists, designers, media practitioners and thinkers to provide insight into working life.

Throughout the two years you will develop a professional portfolio, readying you for your next steps in further study or employment.

What will I be doing?

From the outset, you will be supported in developing your individual creative voice. Working in a dynamic, professionally equipped art college, you’ll be supported by expert makers as part of a vibrant student community.

The first year gives you a broad introduction to the creative industries, and you’ll experiment across a range of media and materials to shape, test and develop your ideas, expanding your creative and critical thinking.

Working towards the same brief, you will experience a series of industry-relevant and conceptual projects, collaborating with students from other specialist subject areas to create unique and exciting work.

The second year has a professional focus, with an emphasis on preparation for degree level study or working in the creative industries.

Developing your creative autonomy and independence, you will write your own briefs guided by experienced staff who will also help you navigate professional spaces – reducing the gap between school and the studio.

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design — Modules

Unit 1: Introduction to visual language - This unit will develop your knowledge, skills and understanding necessary for the confident application of visual language in a range of art and design activities.

Unit 2: Introduction to research skills - This unit will provide you with an introduction to a range of research activities and related skills appropriate to the support of art and design. The unit will also develop an understanding of the vital role that research plays in informing and developing ideas.

Unit 3: Introduction to critical and contextual awareness - This unit will provide you with an awareness of the critical perspectives and contextual frameworks that support practical activity in art and design.

Unit 4: Introduction to materials, processes and technical skills - This unit will provide you with an introduction to a range of materials and processes used in art and design, their particular characteristics, and the related technical skills necessary to record experiences and articulate ideas.

Unit 5: An integrated approach to 2D problem solving - This unit will develop your ability to critically analyse and integrate research, contextual understanding, materials, methods and skills to solve 2 dimensional problems in art and design.

Unit 6: An integrated approach to 3D problem solving - This unit will develop your ability to critically analyse and integrate research, contextual understanding, materials, methods and skills to solve 3 dimensional problems in art and design.

Unit 7: An integrated approach to time based problem solving - This unit will develop your ability to critically analyse and integrate research, contextual understanding, materials, methods and skills to solve time-based problems in art and design.

Unit 8: Developing an art & design project - This unit will require you to make use of the skills, knowledge and understanding developed in previous units to complete an art and design project. This unit will also provide an opportunity for you to explore in greater depth an art and design activity of your choice.

Unit 9: Opportunities for progression - To introduce you to the range of progression opportunities within art and design education and the related employment market. To support informed application to art and design education or art and design related employment.

Unit 10: Characteristics and contexts - To develop a greater self-awareness and understanding of your creative abilities through an exploration of the characteristics and context of an art and design activity.

Unit 11: Preparation for progression - To develop your knowledge and understanding of progression routes and related application processes within art and design. To prepare you for entry and application to higher education or employment within art and design.

Unit 12: Engaging with an audience - To develop your knowledge of, and responsiveness to, the distinctive and individual audiences for specific art and design activities. To use this knowledge and understanding to develop more focused and enhanced creative solutions to art and design problems.

Unit 13: Project proposal and realisation (Level 3) - To enable you to take responsibility for your own learning by demonstrating your achievement in proposing and realising a project which integrates contextual perspective, research, problem solving, planning and organization, evaluation and reflection, and practical, technical and presentational skills.

or

Unit 14: Project proposal and realisation (Level 4) - To enable you to take responsibility for your own learning by demonstrating your achievement in proposing and realising a project which integrates contextual perspective, research, problem solving, planning and organisation, evaluation and reflection, and practical, technical and presentational skills.

To find out more about studying on our Extended Diplomas, view our presentation put together by Curriculum Manager Tim Dickinson here.

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design — Staff

Julia Stean

Julia Stean
Course Leader

Julia Stean’s own work crosses both the visual arts and performance with installations exhibited across the South from Reading to Devon, as well as in Manchester. She also ran her own crafts business creating bespoke home furnishings.

Julia has 12 years of teaching practice across many levels and varieties of students from Level 2 Art and Design to Foundation Diploma, Degree students to Adult Education. Julia started teaching at PCA in 2001 following teaching on Foundation Diploma at Exeter College. She became Course Leader of the ED Fashion and Textiles in 2005 and has developed an original and exciting course, which gives students varied, opportunities and challenges and prepares them well for professional working life.

David Hasell

David Hasell
Lecturer

David has been teaching since 1998, bringing his animation and video skills to the college in 2014. Working under the pseudonym ‘Crooknose’ for his personal practice, David also makes and sells paintings and even has a background in crafts, as well as being a trained blacksmith. He’s created music videos for bands, moving image for nightclubs, and had a short animation piece featured on BBC Three.


Lucy Owen
Lecturer

Lucy started her career in secondary education by successfully completing her PGCE in 2001. She then progressed on to teaching within further education at Somerset College, before moving to Plymouth College of Art.

Throughout her time here, Lucy has taught on many different programmes ranging from Level One to Level Three. Her degree is in 3D Design but as her knowledge has progressed, she has taught across a range of different disciplines, with a particular interest in printmaking.

The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design — Student Work

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design — Students Say

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design — Careers & Alumni

Where will this take me?

Many of our students go on to undergraduate programmes such as those offered at our own undergraduate campus – options ranging from Fine Art to 3D Design Crafts, Game Arts to Textile Practices, and more.

Others take the transferable skills they’ve developed with us and go straight into employment or apprenticeships in the creative sector.

As well as the ongoing advice, guidance and support you’ll receive from your course team, our dedicated staff will help you make the right decisions for your future.

What qualifications will I get?

You will receive a UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design when you successfully complete the course – equivalent to three full A-levels, or a maximum of 168 UCAS points – giving you opportunities to study at degree level.

Depending on which specialist direction you choose, by the end of the course you will be ready for degree-level study, having begun to develop the skills that you’ll need for agency roles, or to work freelance.

We guarantee our Extended Diploma students a place on one of our BA (Hons) programmes if they achieve a Merit or higher in their final assessment and meet any additional entry criteria.

Many of our students choose to continue their studies with us on degree programmes across art, design and media. Future careers could include: fine artist, set designer, curator, textile designer, ceramicist, jeweller, glass artist, painter, printmaker, art historian, photographer, product designer, or milliner.

Find out more about the range of Undergraduate programmes offered at Plymouth College of Art.

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design — Entry Requirements

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design — Resources

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design — Interview

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