Extended Diploma in Art & Design (UAL Level 3)

What is the Course About?

Department: Art, Design, Media and Music

Faculty: Creative and Leisure Industries

The course includes a stimulating range of art and design-based subjects and projects, some of which are ‘live’ for gallery exhibitions or design briefs for clients.

From the outset, we aim to improve your existing creative skills and introduce you to many new and innovative approaches to creating art. You will experiment with lots of new materials and processes and this will allow you to build your technical skills whilst developing research skills and growing your awareness of critical and contextual issues.

The course has been designed to provide you with a strong foundation for progressing to a broad range of creative subjects at university or employment. It provides you with a vital bridge between school and university, helping you to become more independent thinker and practitioner.

During the second year you will be given the opportunity to take a week-long educational trip to London. The trip gives you the chance to visit/explore galleries, museums, media studios, and current major exhibitions. There will also be an opportunity to research university options in and around the London area and to visit the UCAS Fair.

What subjects/units/modules* will I study?

This course is made up of 1 Unit in the first year and 1 Unit in the second year.

Year 1 – You will be introduced to the principles of Art, Design and Media Theory, plus technical and practical skills. You will explore and experiment in relation to design briefs, to help you choose a specialism. Areas covered could include:

2D (drawing, painting, illustration, graphic design, photography and printmaking)

3D (ceramics, 3D design, fashion, textiles and sculpture)

You will finish the year with a final major project set by UAL but run by you based on your interests and strengths and supported by your tutors. The result of which will determine your final grade for the year.

Year 2 – You will be stretched and challenged as you extend your knowledge and experience of the disciplines within which you are working. You will prepare for degree level study or employment by becoming increasingly independent. You will be fully supported by your tutors when preparing for application interviews to higher education or employment, whilst producing a portfolio or work. You will be working with subject specialist briefs through the year and will produce a self-identified final major project which you will exhibit in an end-of-year-exhibition.

Will I need a DBS check for this course?


How can I find out more about the course?

If you apply for this course, you will be invited to an Information Sharing Appointment (ISA) when you will be given more detailed information about the course and when you’ll be able to ask any questions you may have.

Will I need any specialist uniform and/or kit?

Starter pack information

Listed below are the essential requirements for the course in Art & Design. All the items are available in a variety of shops in Douglas or you can buy them on-line.

Suggested local stores are:

WH Smiths (Strand Street), Creative Shop (Strand Street), The Artist (Nelson Street),

Dealz (Strand Street), Bridge Bookshop (Ramsey and Port Erin), Joan’s Wool & Crafts (Onchan), The Stationery Shop (Ramsey).

Online suppliers: www.seawhites.co.ukwww.specialistscrafts.co.ukwww.artistsuppliesdirect.co.ukand www.atlantisart.co.uk

The specialist photography equipment supplier we suggest is ‘Morrison Photos’ located in 3 Tynwald Street, Douglas.

Electronic supplies: Isle of Gadgets (Douglas), Gadget Man (Douglas), PC World.

Basic Art and Design equipment

Essential Equipment

1 A1 art portfolio carry case/poly folio

2 Pritt Sticks

1 Pencil sharpener

1 Rubber

2 Masking tapes 25mm

1 packet of Blue Tack

2 rolls of Sellotape

1 Set of pencils HB-6B

2 Black fineliner pens

2 permanent black markers (Sharpie)

1 30cm Ruler

1 large pair of scissors - marked or labelled with your name

1 A4 logbook /sketchbook (available from College reception)

1 graphite stick 6B

1 set of chalk pastels

1 mixed pack of different size bristle brushes

1 tube of ‘uhu’ glue

2 tubes of superglue

1 charcoal pencil

1 craft knife with blades

1 box of good quality watercolours

1 box of dressmakers pins

4 Ilford HP5 135-24 Film

1 Ilford 5” x 7” Multigrade Pearl or Glossy Photographic Paper -100 sheets-DO NOT OPEN IN DAYLIGHT!

1 External Drive of at least 500mb

4 GB SD digital memory card – for use with College Digital DSLR cameras

1 quality USB card reader (Sandisk imagemate all-in-one is very good)

When will I get a timetable?

Please see below an example of a previous years timetable. All students will be given their timetables on the first day of the new academic year.

Level 3 Art & Design Example

9.10-10.40 (break 10.40-11)


1-2.30 (break 2.30-3)




Fine Art



Visual Communication



Tutorial 1-3



Directed Study


Directed Study

Digital Media

Useful links

A quick guide to course fees

Student Awards (Grants)

Free School Meals


International Applications

Student Emergency Fund

What happens once I have applied?

We will send you an email to let you know we have received your application. If you are new to the course area you have applied for, you will be invited to an Information Sharing Appointment (ISA) along with all other applicants to the course.

Please note: applicants are invited to ISAs depending on the date the application was received (there is limited capacity for each ISA so you may not be invited to the same one as other applicants who have applied for the same course). You will receive your invitation via email, to the email address you used when setting up your UCM Learner Portal.

Popular Courses

Sometimes we get a high volume of applications for particular courses. If your first choice course is popular, we’ll let you know and ask if you would like us to process your second choice course as well. This doesn’t mean you won’t be considered for your first choice it just provides you with a back-up plan.

International/UK Applicants

If you are an international/UK applicant someone from UCM will contact you remotely. It is essential that you have uploaded copies of your results/ certificates and relevant translations of grades/ certificates. Please note, if you are an international applicant and your application is received later than the end of May (i.e. three months before the start of the academic year) we will not be able to process it as the immigration processes would exceed the timescale required to start in September.

What do I need to know about Information Sharing Appointments (ISAs)?

Do I have to attend an ISA?

If you are invited to an ISA, you must attend!

What happens if I can’t attend the ISA I’m invited to?

Please let us know and we will make sure you are invited to an ISA on a different date.

What happens if I don’t attend an ISA?

If you fail to attend two ISAs without letting us know why, we will assume you don’t want us to continue with your application.

How long will the ISA take?

The ISA will start at 4:30 p.m.

(If parents/carers bring you to the ISA, they can wait in the College’s refectory; there are vending machines available.)

What can I expect at the ISA?

You will be invited in from 4.30pm till approximately 7pm along with 4 other applicants for your course.

The course tutor will speak to you first and tell you more about the course.

There will be opportunity for a one to one discussion in which we will review your portfolio of work. Please bring in your design technology, textiles, graphic communication or art and design work. In addition we would love to see any of your own personal creative work. The work you bring in could be in the form of 2D physical work, photographs of work you are not able to bring in, digital work downloaded.

We will also be asking you to complete some creative tasks so we can gage your interest, knowledge and skills.

You will have lots of opportunity to ask us questions about the course and your suitability for it.

What should I wear?

Casual clothing

What will I need to bring?

Prior to your ISA (Information Sharing Appointment) please upload to the learner portal 6 images of completed work (drawing, painting, 3D, textiles, fashion, design or photography) and 6 images from your preparatory work (sketchbooks pages or worksheets). If you have digital work please attach a link to where we can view and ensure you change the settings to public. Please note each upload must be under 10MB in size or they will not upload. In addition to this please bring your portfolio and any sketchbooks to your appointment.

Who do I contact if I have mobility or additional educational needs that I would like to discuss before the ISA?

Please email applications@ucm.ac.im

What happens once I’ve attended an ISA?

We will contact you within 5 working days of the ISA to either:

  • make you an unconditional offer (i.e. a definite place on the course);

  • make you a conditional offer (i.e. a place on the course IF you get the results required in the summer exams);

  • suggest you apply for another course because the one you have applied for is not suitable for you (if this is the case it is likely we will have discussed this with you during the ISA).

What happens if I get an unconditional offer?

You will be invited in to enrol, which is when you are given your student card. This may happen in the summer, if not you will be enrolled at the start of your course.

What happens if I get a conditional offer?

If you have applied for an FE course, you will need to upload your results to your UCM Learner Portal, once you get them (e.g. GCSE, BTEC). We will then check to see you have got what is needed for the course and, if you have, we will convert your offer to unconditional, which means you definitely have a place on the course. You will be enrolled at the start of your course (that’s when you get your student card).

If you are unlucky and don’t get what you need for the course you applied for, you will be invited in to find out what else is available to you at UCM.

What are my progression and career options?

You could progress to university, after which there are many career options, which include becoming: a graphic designer, photographer, fashion designer, interior designer, exhibition designer, ceramicist, jewellery maker, illustrator, fine art artist, animator, visual merchandiser or a web designer.

This course is included in the UCAS tariff and attracts tariff points for each final grade: Pass 72, High Pass 96, Merit 120, High Merit 144 and Distinction 168. You should be advised that some university degree courses require students to have gained GCSEs at C or above in Maths and English, and you may be advised to complete these qualifications to ensure that you have the best possible chance to progress to higher education.

How will I be assessed?

The course is based on continual assessment, approximately every six weeks, which can be in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, and/or an exhibition of the work completed during this period. At the end of each year, you will produce a final project which demonstrates your skills and creativity in your chosen specialist discipline. This body of work is displayed in the end-of-year-exhibition.

Assessment takes the form of one external assessment taken at the end of the first year/unit, which is set and marked by the UAL Awarding Body and one internally assessed project taken at the end of the second year/unit, which is marked by the centre and moderated by UAL Awarding Body. Both units of the Extended Diploma are graded as Fail, Pass, Merit, or Distinction. Unit 1 and Unit 2 are aggregated to provide the final overall grade for the Extended Diploma qualification of: Fail, Pass, High Pass, Merit, High Merit and Distinction.

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of four GCSEs, at grade C or above (or grades 9-4), at least one of which should be in an Art and Design subject or the equivalent Level 2 qualification in an appropriate subject e.g. Art & Design (BTEC or UAL) with a Level 2 profile at merit and distinction grades.

  • Suitable evidence of your learning and achievement, ideally in the form of a portfolio of Digital Media, Art and Design, or Design Technology work, to be presented during your interview.