The Art and Design BTEC courses offer a dynamic and varied education in visual creativity. Nationally recognised, they provide an excellent pathway to art foundations, degrees and employment within the creative industries.
In addition to the general entry requirements the College requires, this course requires significant personal commitment to art and design, and therefore it is expected that applicants will have gained good GCSE grades in creative subjects, or can provide extensive evidence of their own work in a portfolio.
You will be set regular written work, including annotation and essays, and should therefore have a good level of written competence, including a Grade 4 in GCSE English Language.
The Art & Design BTEC National Extended Certificate
This fast-moving and exciting course introduces a wide range of practical experience across art and design. Equivalent to one A Level, highlights include:
- A celebration of our students’ achievements in a public exhibition.
- In your first year you will do work experience.
- In your second year, you can choose your own ‘creative pathway.’
In the first year. you will complete assignments that combine research, experimentation and exploration of disciplines such as fine art, graphic design, 3D design, printmaking, sculpture, surface design and computer-based working. Creative thinking is developed through research, museum and gallery visits, presentations, contextual study and extensive practical studio and workshop work. The second year provides a continuing core of visual studies with assignments focusing you on working towards an art and design specialism whilst building a strong portfolio for progression applications. Full support is offered for preparation of portfolios and interview technique. Inspiring visits and trips form the basis for assignment briefs designed to challenge and strengthen creative thinking.
The Art & Design BTEC National Diploma
This dynamic vocational and diagnostic course for those committed to progression in art and design. It develops the creative skills needed to progress directly to a wide range of highly regarded degree and foundation courses. Equivalent to 2 A Levels, highlights include:
- A course in life drawing to develop excellent skills for your portfolio.
- In your first year, you will do work experience.
- In your second year you will work on a live brief with an external ‘client’.
The first year builds core skills in drawing, painting, graphic design, 3D design, printmaking, sculpture, surface design and Adobe CC programmes. Extensive written work, visits and presentations develop wider understanding. Diverse studio experience enables varied and individual creative outcomes in response to set briefs. This course is fast-moving and requires a high level of personal organisation. In the second year, learners build a portfolio for application in a chosen creative discipline. Professional practice research, live briefs for external clients and visiting practitioners broaden vocational understanding while visits and trips form the basis of creative assignments.
Both courses are over two years. The department has an excellent record of enabling students to progress on to many highly respected degree and diploma courses across the country, including: architecture, jewellery design, fashion, graphics , illustration, 3D Design, fine art and game design, in addition to art foundation courses. Students have also progressed to apprenticeships and work placements in web design and 3D crafts.
Units are graded as Pass, Merit, Distinction.
The BTEC National Extended Certificate is assessed through two externally assessed units and two course work based units.
The BTEC National Diploma is assessed through three externally assessed units and five course work based units.
The BTEC National Extended Certificate provides a varied art and design programme. Students wishing to apply direct to degrees and art and design foundation courses should consider taking at least one more creative subject to build a coherent portfolio for application.
The Diploma provides a self-contained art and design programme enabling successful students to apply direct to degrees and art and design foundation courses. The remaining subject choice can therefore be made from any other subject area, providing entry requirements are met. Consideration should be given to the quantity of coursework overall, and to how mutually supportive subject choices can be.
Art and Design BTEC is a highly respected qualification, with 90% of students at Esher progressing onto university or arts foundation courses.
Here are some of the typical university destinations that our Art and Design BTEC students go on to. Click on a destination to see some examples of courses they have taken;
Ravensbourne University London
Typical courses: Art Foundation / Digital Marketing
Typical courses: Communication & Media / Product Design
Arts University Bournemouth
Typical courses: Design
Birmingham City University
Typical courses: Illlustration
University of Brighton
Typical courses: Film and Screen Studies
Typical courses: Film and Screen Studies
Manchester Metropolitan University
Typical courses: Photography
University for the Creative Arts
Typical courses: Architecture
University of Southampton
Typical courses: Interior Design Decoration
University of the West of England
Typical courses: Architecture and Planning
The Art & Design department has an excellent track-record for creative excellence and supports students to progress on to a wide range of degree and foundation courses across the country. The BTEC courses provide opportunities across most creative disciplines and equip students with the self-reliance and vocational experience necessary to progress directly to BA qualifications. The diploma course includes a focus on professional practice, presentation and communication skills, which prepares students for applications to higher education study.
The range of transferable and vocational skills developed on this programme enables those who do not wish to enter higher education to apply successfully for apprenticeships in professions such as joinery, graphic design and stonemasonry.
Students receive extensive guidance on progression, and Diploma students are able to adapt their second-year programme towards the development of a portfolio relevant to their career aims in creative subjects.
What extra support/enrichment activities are on offer?
There are regular visits to museums, galleries, artists and designers to broaden your horizons and inspire your creative project work.
You will also explore professional practice through live briefs for external clients (past clients include BP, the V&A Museum and Sky TV), and learn about how specialists in your chosen field work.
You will be supported by the department through all stages of your application to your next course, including portfolio guidance and mock interviews. We encourage students to use their private study time to work in the studios alongside their timetabled classes or supervised sessions after college, to extend and enrich their work.