Level 3 Diploma & Extended Diploma In Art & Design

Megan Parker, Hereford College
Megan Parker, Hereford College

The Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Art & Design are Level 3 qualifications designed for students who want to study art and design full time.

They have been developed specifically to support students who wish to go on to study an art and design subject at university.

Please read the UAL Awarding Body statements of purpose for these qualifications:

Both the UAL Level 3 Diploma in Art & Design and Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design have been supported by the following Higher Education Institutions:‌

How does it work?

Study for these qualifications is not time constrained but will normally be over a period of two years.

The structure of the qualification, with units linked to provide coherence, will allow learners to synthesise newly acquired practical skills with theoretical knowledge and understanding as they explore their aptitude and ambition and the particular characteristics of a broad range of art and design disciplines. Learners will be encouraged to recognise, not only the unique characteristics of different disciplines, but also the dynamic and potentially innovative relationships between those disciplines, particularly in a technologically driven environment.

The qualifications will require learners to develop a coherent and effective working methodology, through immersion, reiteration and reinforcement, which will enable them to react positively and creati‌vely across a diverse range of assignments and creative activities.

The final Unit, available at Level 3 and 4, will require the learner, particularly at Level 4, to demonstrate the independent capacity to self initiate, research, analyse, organise, reflect and evaluate commensurate with study in higher education.

Qualification Aim Numbers or QANs are as follows:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design - 600/2827/0
  • Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design - 600/2826/9

Specification, handbook and exemplification matrix

Qualification aims

To enable the candidate to: 

  • Have a critical and contextual awareness of different perspectives and approaches within art, design or related subjects of study or work
  • Research, analyse and evaluate relevant information and ideas in order to develop creative solutions
  • Understand, adapt and safely use appropriate and practical methods and skills for creative production
  • Solve complex problems through the application of art, design or related practical, theoretical and technical understanding
  • Critically review the effectiveness and appropriateness of methods, actions and results
  • Use evaluative and reflective skills in order to take responsibility for own learning, development and decision making
  • Take responsibility for the research, planning, time management and actions to access progression opportunitiesEffectively present themselves and their work to appropriate audiences.


Assignment and assessment templates:

Examples of the different delivery and assessment approaches of some of our approved partners:

The following sheets were developed by Carlisle College and successfully used with both Level 2 and Level 3 students:

Analysis of single image is about analysing a single piece of work in any media. The student ticks only the formal elements they recognise in a work and then they discuss that element in detail on the next line.

Comparison sheet is about comparing and contrasting two pieces. It is important to allow students who can write well to use their own methods or not use the sheets at all if they don’t want to – as long as their analysis is critical and engaged with the subject.

These sheets can be used regularly at Level 2 or Level 3 – probably starting with visual analysis and then as learners become more confident with the language to use the writing boxes. 

Staff from South Essex College have digitally showcased work from their Level 3 Diploma in Art & Design delivery, Fashion Pathway.

Useful information

These materials have been developed by our Chief Examiner to support delivery: