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Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Graphic Design

If you're creative, have artistic flair and enjoy using the latest computer software, our graphic design course could be the perfect match for you.

Graphic designers communicate in a visual way and you could find yourself doing anything from designing fonts and typefaces, to manipulating photographs, investigating advertising or studying 2D animation.

Our software mirrors that used by industry professionals and this will be available to you thoughout your course.

When will I start the course and how long will it take?

The course will start in September and will take two years to complete.

What will I study?

During this course, you will focus on developing and harnessing skills that will enable you to become a graphic design specialist.

You will study such areas of design as:

  • Typeface design
  • Magazine layout
  • User interface/app prototyping
  • 2D animation
  • Digital and traditional illustration
  • Branding and logo design

You will be taught by specialist staff to use industry standard software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and After Effects.

The course involves a varied mix of digital and traditional artwork that will help to develop both your drawing and software skills as well as your visual awareness and compositional skills.

Enrichment and employability opportunities on the course include working on cross-curricular projects within the computing and creative industries department, 'live' competition briefs and presentations from artists relating to subject specialisms.

How is it assessed?

You will create work for a range of practical assignments and projects that will be assessed internally and/or externally. Tutors will provide ongoing feedback designed to help you improve across a steady learning curve.

Do I need any previous qualifications to start this course?

You will need four GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and preferably an art based subject.

English and maths forms an important part of your future, ensuring you achieve the best success in your chosen career. But don't worry, if you haven't got the desired grades, we will still have a course available for you.

What are the course fees?

If you are a school leaver, aged 16-18, (under the age of 19 on or before 31st August 2017), you do not pay tuition fees or examination and registration fees and may be eligible for additional support depending on your financial situation. For more information, please click here.

What can I go on to do once I have completed this course?

Once you have finished this course, you may choose to continue studying at degree level with BA (Hons) Graphic Design at University Centre St Helens, accredited by University of Chester.

Alternatively, you may decide to apply for graphic design degrees at universities around the country. Some of our previous graduates have places at Salford University, Ravensbourne, Liverpool John Moores University and UCLan.

Ref: Graham Williams

Why study Graphic Design with us?

Industry Expert Tutors

Our tutors are experienced industry experts and passionate about their subject.

Learning environment

Teaching takes place in a dedicated state-of-the-art Apple Mac studio where you’ll be learning to use the latest Adobe software.

Progression routes

You can progress from St Helens College to our very own Graphic Design degree at University Centre St Helens.


Students are encouraged to undertake accredited Adobe Associate exams to enhance their CV when applying for a job or university.

Employment and graduate opportunities

On completion of this programme there are a whole host of career opportunities in creative industries.

Employer links

This area has built good links with the Northwest design community and offers work related opportunities with local design studios.