Level 3, UAL Extended Diploma

Visual Design


Level 3

Career Sector

Creative & Digital

Available At


Start Date


Course overview

Are you interested in design? This course explores a range of creative aspects found within the design industry including Graphics, Illustration, Textile and Fashion, Surface pattern and Interior design.

The course has an embedded program of live projects so that you can gain work experience alongside your time in the classroom.

You will develop your creative and technical skills, enabling you to produce a varied and sophisticated portfolio of work.

If you are looking to progress to a rewarding career within design, this course is for you.

Entry requirements

  • At least five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above including English Language or Maths. If your English Language is a D/3, your Maths must be at least a C/4 and vice versa


  • A Level 2 BTEC Diploma or above and GCSE English Language or Maths at grade C/4 or above
  • Grade C/4 or above in an Art, Design or Media based GCSE is preferred

Students will be required to present a portfolio or sketchbook of art work as part of the interview process to demonstrate commitment and potential.

What will I study?

Specialist projects include:

  • Graphic Design and Illustration
  • Display & Visual Merchandising Live Group Projects
  • Branding, Marketing & Promotion
  • Interior Design & Fashion

You will complete a broad range of design principles throughout the two years; producing work that will give you the opportunity to improve your drawing skills, develop your use of appropriate materials, techniques and processes.

The design aspects covered may be any of the following: Typographical or illustrative posters (digitally produced, printed or produced by hand), packaging, book cover design, magazine spreads, corporate identities/logo design, brochure design, photography, advertising, type design, animation drawings and textiles fashion and fashion marketing.

All coursework will contribute to your final grade. Because you will be required to meet tight deadlines, a professional work ethic is encouraged and expected throughout the course. The work you will produce reflects the range of career paths available within the design industries, helping you to choose the right specialist path when you reach the end of your course and are applying for further study. Work based learning and live briefs form an integral part of this course.

The course is assignment based and continuously assessed; you will construct a comprehensive portfolio for each assignment. The Final Major Project is externally assessed and will form the basis of your final exhibition.

Units and indicative content

Unit 1 - Introduction to visual language in art and design

Unit 2 - Introduction to research skills in art and design

Unit 3 - Introduction to critical and contextual awareness in art and design

Unit 4 - Introduction to materials, processes and technical skills in art and design

Unit 5 - An integrated approach to 2D problem solving in art and design

Unit 6 - An integrated approach to 3D problem solving in art and design

Unit 7 - An integrated approach to time-based problem solving

Unit 8 - Developing an art and design project

Unit 9 - Opportunities for progression in art and design


Why should I choose USP College?

  • Links to industry are top on our agenda with a range of opportunities to work with outside clients by becoming a member of the Live Creative College Company.
  • You will take part in trips and visits during each project including visits to design studios.

What could I do next?

  • You could progress to the Art Foundation Diploma or HND at USP College, or continue to university to study a range of design related qualifications.
  • You could also progress directly to employment, in areas such as: Graphics, Advertising, Editorial, Fashion, Textiles, Publishing or Print. Future careers in design include Graphic Designer, Interior Design, Illustration, Visual Merchandising, Set Design and Fashion Promotion amongst many other routes.

Additional costs

  • Equipment costs including, sketchbooks, USB and a basic art kit.
  • This subject will include printing costs.
  • The opportunity to take part in Trips/visits.


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