Course information

Study type Study Tier Start Date Duration Course Contact

Full Time

  • Advanced
8 September 20202 yearsLouise Downer

Entry Requirements

The Isle of Wight College has standard entry requirements for full-time college courses, depending on the level of the course to be studied.

There may be additional entry requirements for a small number of specialist courses. If this course is one of these specialist courses, additional entry requirements will be stated below.


This is an advanced level course that runs over two years.  On completion, your final grade will attract UCAS points, for example Distinction* (D*D*D*) attracts 168, and is equivalent to 3 A levels.

This qualification can allow you progress to Higher Education, or to an apprenticeship or into work. Students are encouraged to undertake freelance work and the skills that you will learn will prepare you to do this.

Higher Education

Higher education opportunities in specialised areas such as; graphic design, illustration, computer and traditional animation, fashion design, textile design, multimedia design, 3-dimensional design, website design and photography.

The Foundation Diploma in Art Design and Media

This course will help you further develop your skills. University is an important step for young people and it is better that you invest in the right course.  This one-year qualification helps you make that decision, through participation in, and experimentation, with different subjects, materials, techniques and processes.


The transferable skills you learn on this course are valued by employers:  teamwork, presentation and interview skills, communication skills both verbal and written, marketing knowledge and use of social media for promotion. Time management and problem solving skills.


Anyone wishing to understand an exciting visual language! Expect to engage with complex design problems and to arrive at solutions that promote, publicise, inform, persuade and entertain!

One of the most important requirements of this course is a lively enquiring mind, a growing interest in graphic design, illustration, photo-manipulation, typography, animation, web design and photography to name but a few!

The Diploma in Graphic Design introduces you to:

  • 3D design
  • 2D animation
  • Information graphics
  • logo design
  • web design
  • mixed media
  • advertising
  • typographical layout
  • poster and brochure layout

Introducing all the exciting technologies of graphic design, website construction, animation and photography.


You will be invited into college for an interview. The interview is a two way process and it will allow you to ask any questions that you may have regarding the course. You will be required to bring into college a portfolio of photography work that you feel relevant for the tutor to see.

The portfolio could include:

  • Your GCSE/AS Level art /design/graphics/photography
  • Work you have done in your own time.
  • If you cannot take these out of school, then take photos of some of the best pages.  We want to see how you think about and record your ideas.
  • Include some drawing – this can be drawings of anything such as still life, family.
  • If you have any photography, work include this.
  • If you have digital or animation work, please bring this in.

The portfolio can be hard copies or digital copies on a USB or a website/Instagram account.

We suggest you have at least 10 pieces of work to show the tutor, they will ask you questions about your choice. 


Through a variety of workshop practices, project work and visual studies you will develop your understanding of graphic design, digital design, image manipulation, typography, animation, photography and other design disciplines.

You will learn how to design and prepare visuals using traditional skills – mark making and hand produced artwork. You will learn how to use the industry standard software including – Adobe Creative Cloud – In-Design, Illustrator, Photoshop, Animate. Webflow and Auto Desk Maya (This however is subject to curriculum direction and can alter).  You will also understand the requirements of pre-press and how to prepare print ready artwork.


Working within the mature, creative and exciting environment of the all-purpose built art and design block at the Isle of Wight College you will study in the latest, well equipped studios that include fine art, graphics, textiles, 3D, a 38 station Apple Mac Studio. (All hardware supporting some of the latest industry standard software).

Practical and theoretical work is integrated throughout the course with individual and independent work forming a large part of your studies, supported with workshop, lecture, demonstration and tutorials. There will be a major final project at the end of the second year.


Your programme of study will include qualifications in:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Graphic Design.
  • You may wish or be required to retake either a Maths or an English GCSE (subject to approval) or Functional Skills Maths or Functional Skills English

There is a material fee payable for this course per year. You may be eligible to apply for financial assistance to help meet these costs.


Study Programmes

All Study Programmes for 16-19 year olds at The Isle of Wight College are designed to include:

  • Work experience which is effective, relevant, and includes careers fairs, site visits, guest speakers and introduces you to the expectations of the real demands of work
  • Extended work experience/industry placement for Level 3 learners Over the course of your Level 3 study programme you may be expected to do between 36 – 415 hours of industry placement depending on the course you have chosen. All learners are expected, and encouraged, to do their best to find their own relevant, purposeful work experience which supports their career progression.
  • English and maths, where students have not yet achieved a GCSE grade A* - C (9 - 4 using the new grades) in these subjects by age 16
  • Non-qualification activity, such as tutorials and work-related learning, to help further develop the personal skills relevant to your progression goals
  • A vocational experience which will form the substantial part of the programme

These four elements of the programme should combine to provide stretch and challenge for you helping to prepare you for progression to employment or further study.

Please refer to the 16 to 19 study programme document to learn more.

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