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Entry Requirements

4 GCSEs at Grade C/4 including English Language or completion of a Level 2 course.

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Full time


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Full time


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Key features and Benefits

  • Showcase your artistic talents in our Annual End of Year Show, the National Festival of Making, Origins Festival and Embankment Galleries London
  • Benefit from our UAL School and College Network with University of the Arts, London
  • Learn from tutors, many of whom are practicing artists who exhibit their work nationally and internationally
  • Work with employers on live briefs to create promotional and corporate artwork that will nuture your freelance skills

This Level 3 UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design aims to provide a firm foundation in core art & design practice, and to encourage personal development and expression.

student smiling whilst drawing on easel stood in front of colourful painting


This Level 3 UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design aims to provide a firm foundation in core art & design practice, and to encourage personal development and expression. The course will help you find out what you enjoy, what you are good at and allow you to develop a set of valuable skills for future study and work.

Blackburn College is part of the UAL School and College Network, and are one of only 10 in the country to achieve this status. This means that all our students will benefit from:

  • Industry specialised lecturers
  • Invitations to a range of relevant talks and workshops - face to face and digital
  • Advice & guidance from a UAL representative
  • Help with portfolio development, creative careers and pathways to industry.
  • UAL set assignments

As part of the UAL network, Blackburn College tutors will also meet and share good practice with the other 9 UAL approved colleges around the country, to make sure our students are receiving the best learning experience possible. This Extended Diploma is extremely well regarded across design education in the United Kingdom and abroad.

We have a first-class record in placing talented students on the best degree course at institutions such as Ravensbourne, Chelsea School of Art & Design, Ruskin School at Cambridge, Leeds College of Art, Goldsmiths, London College of Communication, The Slade, Wimbledon, Camberwell College of Art, Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion. Many students on the programme also progress on to Blackburn University Centre.

What will I study?

The course is made up of 9 units in year one and a further 4 larger units in year two. Year one focuses on developing the necessary skills and knowledge to tackle more challenging and specific creative assignments in year two. You will be given a range of projects that challenge you to explore different areas of creative practice from core drawing skills (life drawing, visual studies) to solving 3D, textiles, photographic or graphic communication problems, supported by contextual studies throughout.

Entry Requirements

4 GCSEs at Grade C/4 including English Language or completion of a Level 2 course.

How will I be assessed?

In this qualification you will engage with study through project work. Development is progressive taking you through workshops, lectures and practical assignments at the beginning.

All assignments are pass or fail only until the end of year one.  Year two will provide you with the chance to specialise.

What can I do next?

This qualification is mapped to the Level 3/4 UAL Pre-Degree Foundation Diploma at Blackburn College. Many learners wish to complete this diverse, higher level course before they progress onto University or employment. Learners can also progress to Art & Design related degree courses at Blackburn University Centre, or to a whole range of other art, design and media related degree courses at leading institutions in the United Kingdom. Some learners also progress directly to employment within the creative industries.

Many students choose to progress on to programmes at Blackburn University Centre which allow you to follow a range of specialisms. These include:

  • Graphic Design
  • Animation and Game Arts
  • Photography and Moving Image 
  • Fashion and Textiles
  • Fine Art

These courses are all validated by UK Top 15 Lancaster University.

Your Study Programme

Discover other courses in Creative Arts

Career Options

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers use lettering and images to communicate information and ideas. This could be for all kinds of purposes from advertisements to product packaging. If you have lots of creative ideas this career could be perfect for you.

To become a graphic designer, you will need to have IT and drawing skills. You'll need to be able to find practical solutions to problems. You'll also need excellent communication skills.

Most professional graphic designers have a foundation degree, HND or degree in graphic design or other art and design-based subject.

Group of students and staff happy. Some holding stars and signs saying University of Oxford, Lancaster University, Manchester University and University of Central Lancashire

99.7% Overall BTEC Pass Rate

Blackburn College Results, August 2021
Read more student stories
  • Ofsted Good
  • Lancaster University.
  • University of South Wales.
  • University of Central Lancashire.
  • Skills for Health Quality Mark
  • Advance HE.
  • University of the Arts London.
  • Disability Confident Employer.