Where will this course lead?

On successful completion of the course you will be qualified to enter Higher Education to pursue a UAL Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, Higher National Diploma or Degree course. You will also develop the necessary skills to enter the workplace or apprenticeship should you choose to do so. You could even become a freelance designer or animator.

What will I study?

The course covers many aspects of graphic design and animation, and you will have the opportunity to learn core graphic design skills and theories; such as working with the principles and elements of graphic design, typography, page layout, promotion, branding, visual communication, and visual language. You will develop a range of animation skills, understanding how to use hand-drawn, clay and cell techniques, as well as digital techniques, all of which are linked to the principles of animation.

Throughout the course you will develop a wide range of digital and traditional design techniques and software skills. You will use the latest Adobe Creative Suite in the development of much of your work. You will learn how to use a variety of materials and become confident in a range of techniques and processes. In addition to practical design and animation skills, you will explore contextual influences, looking at the work of historical and contemporary designers and animators to inform your own ideas.

How will this course be delivered?

The course is classroom based with individual, small team and wider group workshops, exploring and developing ideas, digital skills, and the use of theoretical principles in graphic design and animation. There will be a number of assignments each year which will allow students to work on their own choice of outcomes. Some of these assignments will be 'live', and working with clients and industry professional. There will also be the opportunity to work with specialists during enrichment and work experience activities. 

Sketchbooks and design boards are used to document the development of your ideas throughout each assignment and should contain your initial research, visual studies, design development and experimentation, along with your final designs and evaluation. It is expected that you annotate your ideas and reflect on your development as the assignment progresses.

What qualifications will I get?

The course leads to a UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Graphic Design & Animation (equivalent to three A-Levels). It is a two-year, full-time programme at Level 3.

How will I be assessed?

Assignments form the basis for coursework. The lecturing staff will introduce each new assignment as the course progresses. You will be assessed all the time you are working, but your main assessment is through assignment work, where you will be graded for each assignment and then given an overall grade for the final assignment of each year.

How do I get a place on the course?

You should apply through the College application process, via the website, telephone, or open events etc.

What are the entry requirements?

You need to have 4 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, one of which should be Maths or English, and also a creative subject such as Graphic design, Art, or Photography.

What else do I need to know?

As part of the programme you will undertake 'live' projects and competitions, which will give you an insight into the way in which professional designers work. As a department we have strong industry links with local employers and organise regular visits from professionals who work commercially and are regularly published within their field. They offer invaluable industry knowledge and current up-to-date skill.

At the end of the first year, and going into the second year of the course, you will receive advice on university courses and apprenticeships, along with methods of application. Guidance regarding the job market and employment opportunities will also be available. Portfolio building will form an important part of the second year as you prepare for interviews.

What can I do after this course?

You can progress onto university, an apprenticeship, freelance work, or employment in such subjects as Graphic Design, Illustration, Animation, Digital Art, and Concept Art. Skills learnt on the course are also transferrable into such subjects as Gaming and Web Design.


Stratford-upon-Avon College

Start Date






Course Fee

N/A For 16 to 18 Year Olds

Course Code


Study Mode

Full Time