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Level 3 Graphic Design & Illustration

Subject Area

Graphics, Games Design & Media

Student Type

Students aged 16-18

Study Mode

Full Time

Course Type


What is the course about?

Graphic design is art with a purpose. It is a combination of using art and technology to communicate a particular message and create an impressive visual. This specialist course is for students who wish to pursue a career in graphic design or similar creative industries. Students will be introduced to both traditional and contemporary approaches. You will be taught the principles of commercial design, how to express yourself digitally using the latest Apple Mac computers and graphic tablets, and how to think critically and creatively.

Why should I choose the course?

Graphic design is everywhere – the characters on your favourite computer game, your morning cereal box, and the music festival poster on your bedroom wall were all created using graphic design. The graphic design industry continues to be at the forefront of digital creativity, and this course enables you to develop the technical skills needed to progress to a career as a graphic designer, illustrator, product designer, and many more related roles. The course works in close collaboration with local employers and designers, and as a student on this course you will undertake a multitude of employer led projects. You will have opportunities to showcase your work throughout the year in exhibitions, culminating in a final end of year celebratory show. You will leave the course with an impressive design portfolio, outstanding design skills, and high levels of confidence and competence in using industry standard software.

What will I learn?

You will be educated in essential design skills such as digital illustration, advertising, the importance of font choice and composition, digital manipulation, and moving image. You will be encouraged to develop your lateral thinking skills and explore your innovative ideas, enabling you to create award winning designs. Previous students have won local and global design competitions and are eagerly sought by universities.

You will be taught these digital skills by highly skilled, practising professional designers, who are still actively engaged in the design industry. The software and hardware used on the course is industry standard and you will become proficient in using Apple iMac computers and creative software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and After Effects.

The assignments that you complete will be fun and informative, enabling you to produce a fantastic portfolio of work that will underpin your chosen progression route, whether it be university or employment.

Units covered include:

  • Festival poster design
  • Vinyl sleeves
  • Digital illustration
  • Magazine front covers
  • Character illustration
  • Logo design and corporate identity.

What will the course lead on to?

Many students who complete this course go on to university or decide to complete a HNC Graphic Design at Warrington & Vale Royal College. Employment opportunities at the end of the course include trainee employment positions within the creative industries.

Are there any links with industry and university?

The course has many positive links with employers, who regularly request students to work on live projects. These projects will give the opportunity to work alongside employers, learning valuable skills such as teamwork, negotiation, and verbal communication.

What support is available?

You will be allocated a progress coach who will provide you with support to help you succeed on your study programme and progress on to your chosen career or progression path. We have a team of staff dedicated to providing learning support if required, as well as a Welfare Team that is on hand to offer guidance, support and help when needed.

Additionally, eligible students can access a wide range of finance and funding support to help them during their time at college.

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Why should I choose to study the course at Warrington & Vale Royal College?

The course is delivered by highly experienced tutors who have a wealth of industry experience. All of our tutors are practicing artists and designers who are regularly involved in external projects.

Throughout the course you will have access to a range of specialist studios and excellent facilities including printmaking, 3D studios, and state-of-the-art Apple Mac suites. There is also a well-stocked library with a great selection of graphic design books and e-resources to assist you with your studies.

What are the entry requirements?

You will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English and/or maths, or you will have needed to have successfully completed a related level 2 course. If you have not already achieved a grade 4 in your GCSE English/maths and you wish to study this course, you will be required to work towards GCSE English/maths as part of your qualification.

Are there any additional costs associated with the course?

Additional costs will include high quality colour printing of your final designs through the college’s print bureau. You will also need a range of basic art design equipment and ideally an A2 portfolio. These can be bought from the college art shop. More details will be provided on application.

Having a home computer and access to the software would be beneficial but is not essential. The course also includes various educational trips throughout the year that you will need to pay for.

Careers Information

Course options

Starts Sep 2024

72 Weeks
Class Times
Warrington Campus
Adult Fee
16-18 Fee

Course Enquiry

Please complete this form if you would like any other information about this course