Art & Design Triple Vocational A Level (BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Course Description

This is an in-depth, full time course providing a broad education in art and design with students working through a wide range of pathways including: fine art, graphic design, mixed media, textile design, printmaking and photography. In the first year you will explore all art and design pathways whilst in the second year you will specialise and begin to create a portfolio of work that will lead onto higher education, apprenticeship or employment.

Entry Requirements

Students will be expected to have five GCSEs at grade 9-4, including English Language and preferably, Art & Design or a Merit in a relevant vocational Level 2 Diploma (or equivalent) and a minimum of grade 3 in Mathematics.

Course Content

The ethos of the course is based around students developing their understanding of theory and practice and their relationship to one another. Developing your intellectual and imaginative powers, your capacity to understand and communicate and make critical judgments about every aspect of art & design.
In the initial phase you will create and work in sketchbooks, exploring a wide range of materials, media, processes and techniques. You will explore the creative potential of a sketchbook, learning how to develop skills such as: narrative, layout and experimental. You will learn to develop ideas and contextualise your work. As your confidence grows and you become both creative and skilful at handling a wide range of media and materials, you will explore your ideas on a large- scale that allows you to use traditional and non-traditional art & design techniques, processes, materials and media.
It is important that you learn how to develop a project that consistently pushes and really develops ideas along a creative path that meets the needs of the brief and breaks new ground creatively. To this end you will be asked to absorb contemporary visual culture and bring in inspiration not just from artists and designers but also novels, films, music, poems, architecture, dance, adverts, TV and magazines.
You will regularly attend exhibitions and artist led workshops. You will “top up” your core art & design studies with enrichment opportunities such as life drawing, animation and traditional darkroom photography techniques. This wide range of traditional and digital media, materials, processes and techniques that you will develop will allow you to stand out at university, apprenticeship opportunities or employment.


All work is coursework and assessed by an external moderator.

Enrichment and Work Experience

There is the opportunity for some students to do a substantive placement of 350 hours or 50 days work experience and (where applicable), all other students will complete a minimum of one week work placement during the summer term. Throughout the academic year there will be several day trips to galleries, artist studios and city visits to gather and practise your observational recording techniques. Some will be enriching, but for those that are compulsory, travel costs will be met by The Sixth Form. Workshops take place each Wednesday afternoon and they cover all areas of art & design to further develop your creative making skills and broaden your knowledge of art & design.

Additional Information

To support your studies, you will be required to purchase relevant materials as outlined: Kit: £22.50 includes an A3 portfolio, 4 x A4 sketchbooks, masking tape, fine liner, biro, set of drawing pencils, set of paint brushes, 1 set of Anilinky paints.

Future Career Opportunities

• Artist
• Curator
• Gallery Assistant
• Studio Assistant
• Community artist
• Art therapist
• Graphic designer
• Textile designer
• Art historian
• Photographer
• Architect

See below for more in-depth progression and salary information:

Why study at The Sixth Form Bolton?

The course is equivalent to three A Levels, qualifying entry onto a relevant degree course. We have an excellent level of progression to higher education. Student’s portfolios are fuller and more well-rounded than a student who chooses to study one or two art & design subjects at A Level. The course is most suitable for those students who know their future lies within art & design.