Graphic Arts Level 3

This course is designed for students who have completed their GCSE’s or a relevant Level 2 qualification and want to explore different aspects of graphic arts such as graphic design, animation, typography, illustration and games design.

What Will I Learn?

Year 1

In the first year of the extended diploma qualification you will work alongside art and design diploma students developing some of the essential skills that underpin all creative disciplines. During the diploma programme you will have the opportunity to explore your creativity within a structure that provides a sound base of skills and knowledge. With access to professionally equipped art and design workshops and studios you will learn through experimentation using a broad range of 2D, 3D and digital processes. Projects will help you to gain a contextual understanding of art and design and support you to make and articulate personal connections and interpretations. You will have the opportunity to take part in exhibitions and gallery visits and to develop your skills through independent and group learning.

Year 2

In the second year projects enable you to develop a more specialist understanding and to apply your creativity in response to a series of fast paced industry relevant briefs. The programme encourages you to combine analogue design techniques and interactive digital processes to create a portfolio of work suitable for moving image, editorial illustration, print and publishing, branding, character and concept design as well as other general graphic practices. Regular contextual lectures on the history of design, typography, advertising and illustration, will underpin and complement your studio work.

You will also engage in GEM and GAP activities to develop your English, maths and employability skills.

Course Content

The Graphic Arts UAL Awarding Body Diploma / Extended Diploma programme units may include:

  • Visual Language
  • Research Skills
  • Critical and contextual awareness
  • Materials, processes and technical skills
  • 2D, 3D and time based problem solving
  • Opportunities for progression
  • Project proposal and realisation
Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs (grades A*-C/9-4), including English and maths plus a art or design subject, or satisfactory results in a relevant Level 2 qualification (Merit/Distinction), and an interview with a portfolio of artwork.

Career Opportunities

Animator, illustrator, graphics – design and communication, branding, interactive design, advertising, printing, publishing and character games development.

Course Progression

On successful completion of the one year programme you can continue your study of Graphic Arts on a one year Extended Diploma Level 3. Alternatively students can choose to study for the Art and Design Foundation Diploma, or Creative and Digital Media Apprenticeship.

After completing the Extended Diploma programme many of our graduate progress on to Higher Education and can choose to study on a wide range of graphic related programmes including animation, graphic design, animation, typography, illustration, advertising and games design.

What do our students say?
I cannot think of a better way I could’ve spent my last year in education, The tutors on this course are admirable for taking on a class of twenty something teenagers and managing to do so in a way that made myself, and others think of them more as friends than teachers.
I can honestly say I enjoyed waking up for college and getting excited about the new possibilities each day had. The materials and support you receive here outshines any class I have taken before.
I cannot recommend this course any more highly, and I am extremely sad to be leaving, if I could stay another few years then I would!Joshua Edwards – Extended Diploma in Graphic Arts Level 3
As well as this course helping me to develop a wide range of skills and knowledge, I have also made brilliant, long lasting friends!
The tutors are down to earth, supportive of all of their students and very passionate about the subject. This has made it easy to ask for help, when needed.
This has truly been one of the greatest periods of my life so far! I would 100% recommend this course to anybody who has a creative sparkBen Scales – Extended Diploma in Graphic Arts Level 3
This course successfully helped me to develop a wide range of skills needed to succeed within the design industry. Giving you the opportunity to develop knowledge in areas which will boost your; analog, digital and communication skills-sets. This course covers it all!
The tutors are; caring, supportive and most importantly informative, always helping you to develop and push yourself further every step of the way. I couldn’t recommend this course enough! The course leader also loves Wu-tang, so what’s not to love…Cobi Brady – Extended Diploma in Graphic Arts Level 3
This course was the best course I have ever taken. You never stop learning new things. The way the course is made, makes everyday new and exciting. The tutors motivate you to achieve your own goals and help you as much as they can in every single way. I would recommended this course to anyone, Best course ever!Max Toogood – Extended Diploma in Graphic Arts Level 3
I don’t know where I would be without this course. A huge thank you to the brilliant tutors who keep each day exciting and new and the massive help they are! This has been by far the best course I’ve taken and would take it again if I could!Sabrina Luckman – Extended Diploma in Graphic Arts Level 3
Fantastic, educational and productive course with inspirational, motivational tutors who know what they’re talking about. After 2 years I’ve refined my skills in a multitude of craft and have tried new techniques outside of my comfort zone.
Would wholeheartedly recommend this course. Thank you so much.Lewis Collen – Extended Diploma in Graphic Arts Level 3
Couldn’t recommend this course enough, I’ve learnt so many skills within in graphic arts and even in communication and writing. The tutor and student communication and support on this course is brilliant. The skills we’ve learnt are applicable to the work place and has allowed me to move on with great connections.Chloe Moore – Extended Diploma in Graphic Arts Level 3
There was such a great connection between the tutors and student. We were really put into a professional environment which faced us with real life challenges. This course has opened up so many opportunities for myself and other students and helped us to progress onto higher things next year.Georgia Pizzala – Extended Diploma in Graphic Arts Level 3
A great course with great tutors. Ive learned so much and became much more confident in my self and in the work I produce. I have learnt many new skills which will be useful for the course I am going on to next year. Covers a wide variety over the two years which I have really enjoyed.Emma Nind – Extended Diploma in Graphic Arts Level 3
I owe it to this course for the amount of confidence I’ve gained the past 2 years, not only in myself but also in my work, the encouraging tutors and the supportive environment this course provides has played a huge part in this and I would recommend it to anyone thinking of joining it!Jess Aldridge – Extended Diploma in Graphic Arts Level 3
An amazing course run by amazing people, haven’t stopped smiling all year, highly recommend it. Thank you so much!
Ellena Louise Kite – Extended Diploma in Graphic Arts Level 3
An amazing course that I would recomend to anyone. Have been the best two years of my life so far. Emily Norman – Extended Diploma in Graphic Arts Level 3
Graphic Arts Level 3
LevelLevel 3
DurationOne or Two Years: Year 1: Diploma | Year 2: Extended Diploma | Two Years: Extended Diploma
Study ModeFull-Time
CampusColchester Institute
Start DateSeptember 2019
Fee(s)16-18 year olds: Free
19+: £8,583 (This fee covers the full two-year course)


All Fees and prices shown on the website are for courses starting in the 2018-19 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.