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Study

Our specialist post-16 study programmes offer ambitious creatives a dedicated pre-degree campus to develop their unique perspective, meet likeminded people and gain the sought-after skills necessary to progress onto degree-level study or industry.

Life in the 21st century places complex demands on graduates looking for work, and we know that for the GCSE-level students who are considering what step to take next it can feel like young people have to make a choice between pursuing academic excellence or learning the vocational skills that will best prepare them for their future careers.

That’s why, in addition to our creative UAL Level 3 Extended Diplomas in Creative Practice (equivalent to three A-Levels), we’re the first non-private education provider in the South West to join the international network of over 4,700 schools and education providers as an International Baccalaureate World School, offering students aged 16 to 19 the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) alongside their Extended Diploma, which delivers academic excellence with vocational skills – combining the best of both worlds.

We understand that art students are keen to explore and develop their creative practice in social and industrial contexts. Plymouth College of Art, both as an educational institution and as an inclusive, international creative community, is a natural home for this kind of activism. The college has been awarded the Social Enterprise Gold Mark for its systemic commitment to community engagement, and in 2019 our students were not only key in the Youth Climate Strike but also demonstrated their commitment to a sustainable creative future by taking their protest to Tate Modern, as part of the Late at Tate Britain programme.

Your arrival at Plymouth College of Art is the most exciting creative threshold, your gateway to the extraordinary range of specialist degrees in art, craft, design and media education. This is a place in which to discover who you are and where your creative path is leading into the global marketplace that is the creative industries internationally.

UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design

Our Foundation Diploma, validated by University of the Arts London, is a chance for students to discover, experiment and explore across a wide range of disciplines – as well as maximise their chances of gaining a First if they decide to progress on to degree-level study.

We offer places to students who have a Level 3 qualification and a GCSE profile of at least 5 A*-C grades (or 9-4 in the grading scheme) including English and Maths and a combination of AS and A-Level qualifications (with one in a creative subject).

We also welcome applications from mature students who may not have the qualification profile – but who have other experience and knowledge. All applicants need to show a portfolio of creative work that reflects their passion, enthusiasm and commitment for art, design and media.

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice

Our tailor-made UAL Level 3 Extended Diplomas across six different specialist pathways are specialised
creative qualifications, designed by artists, designers and performers for artists, designers and performers.
Awarded by University of the Arts London (UAL), they are assessed by coursework, equivalent to three full A-Levels or a maximum of 168 UCAS points, and are recognised by UCAS, universities throughout the UK, and by creative industry employers.

We normally offer places to students who have at least four GCSEs at grade A* to C including English and preferably with one in a creative subject (or 9-4 in the new grading scheme), and who show commitment and enthusiasm for art and design through examples of creative work.

Students will be supported to progress to Higher Education at Plymouth College of Art, another university or into employment.

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Design to Sell, Palace Court Pre-Degree Centre

International Baccalaureate Diplomas

Plymouth College of Art’s IBCP will incorporate our acclaimed creative UAL Level 3 Extended Diplomas into a programme that also includes two International Baccalaureate Diploma subjects.

This programme is best suited to students aged 16 to 19 who have completed at least four GCSEs at grade 9 - 4 (A* to C) including English and Maths, and are ready to progress onto an A-Level equivalent course specialising in one of our creative subjects, with plans to go on to a competitive university or ambitious career.

The International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) is an internationally-recognised framework of career-related education for post-16 students that seeks to develop confident, critical thinkers who are prepared for modern life and equipped with the cross-cultural skills needed to succeed in their future careers, within the UK and across the world.

Plymouth College of Art was awarded International Baccalaureate (IB) World School status in Spring 2019, becoming the first non-private education provider in the South West to offer the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), which will be taught in conjunction with its existing A-Level-equivalent UAL Level 3 Extended Diplomas. From September 2019, 16 to 19-year-olds in the region will have access to this world-class framework of education, combining vocational skills with academic excellence. Applications for the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) are now open.

IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to improving the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high-quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit www.ibo.org

“The International Baccalaureate has a reputation for being demanding but very rewarding. It offers a broader programme of study than A-levels, and encourages students to think independently, and to explore their creativity.”
BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation)

Level 2 Award & Diploma

The UAL Awarding Body Level 2 Award and Diploma in Art & Design course is a fantastic developmental programme supporting learners to access our Extended Diploma programmes. This course is best suited to students who are keen to progress further in art, design and media, but who don’t yet have the qualifications or experience necessary to be successful at Level 3 (including A-Levels or Extended Diplomas in Art & Design). Most of our Level 2 students will be aged 16 or over and have 3 GCSEs at grade 3.