Graphics and Illustration - Level 3 Extended Diploma (UAL) - CCCG
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Graphics and Illustration - Level 3 Extended Diploma (UAL)

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Start Date: 2 September 2024
Attendance: Full Time
Location: King's Cross Centre
Most suitable for: 16 - 18, Adults
Duration: 2 Years
Level: Level 3


The Graphic and illustration course offered through the Creative Practice and Communication Specification (UAL) presents an immersive journey into the dynamic realm of visual communication, digital design, and graphic storytelling. Tailored for individuals passionate about creating impactful visual narratives using cutting-edge technology, this program is structured to equip students with the skills and insights necessary to thrive in the ever-evolving field of digital design.

The curriculum encompasses a rich blend of theoretical foundations and hands-on practical applications. Students delve into design principles, typography, branding, and user experience (UX) design, gaining a deep understanding of how visuals communicate messages effectively in the digital landscape.

The course places a strong emphasis on harnessing creative technologies. Students explore a spectrum of digital design tools, software, and emerging technologies, allowing them to craft compelling visual narratives across various digital platforms. From graphic design software proficiency to interactive design and motion graphics, students are equipped to create engaging and innovative digital content.

Moreover, the program fosters interdisciplinary collaboration, encouraging students to engage with peers from diverse backgrounds such as illustration, advertising, and digital media. This collaborative environment sparks creativity, broadens perspectives, and prepares students for multifaceted roles in the digital design industry.

Industry engagement is a cornerstone of this course. Through live projects, workshops, and interactions with industry professionals, students gain practical insights, refine their skills, and understand the demands of the ever-evolving design industry.

Extended Diplomas have two one-year programmes. You need to finish the first year before moving on to the second.


The course is structured across modules designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of digital design principles, graphic communication, illustration and the utilisation of technology for creative practice.

Year 1: Foundation and Fundamental Concepts

Introduction to Visual Communication: Students begin with foundational modules exploring visual communication principles, design theory, and the psychology of visual perception. They learn the fundamentals of graphic design and its application in digital contexts.

Typography and Branding: Emphasis on typography, brand identity, and visual storytelling. Students explore the role of typography and branding in creating effective digital narratives.

Digital Design Tools and Techniques: Introduction to design software, digital imaging, and graphic design tools. Students learn to use industry-standard software for digital design, layout, and image manipulation.

User Experience (UX) Design: Introduction to UX principles and design thinking. Students delve into user-centred design methodologies and wireframing techniques for digital interfaces.

Year 2: Specialisation and Advanced Concepts

Advanced Graphic Design Studios: Progression to more specialized design studios focusing on advanced graphic design concepts, interactive media, motion graphics, and digital storytelling.

Digital Illustration and Animation: Further exploration into digital illustration techniques and animation. Students learn to create compelling visual narratives through animation and interactive media.

Design for Digital Platforms: Advanced modules focusing on designing for specific digital platforms such as web design, mobile applications, and immersive experiences. Emphasis on responsive design and user interaction.

Industry Engagement and Practical Projects: Engagement with industry professionals, live projects, or internships in design studios or digital agencies. Real-world applications and experiences provide practical insights and skill enhancement.

Final Major Project and Portfolio Development: Culmination of the course with a major individual project, accompanied by a comprehensive portfolio showcasing the students' best work and proficiency across various digital design domains.

This structured breakdown ensures a progressive learning trajectory, covering foundational concepts in the initial year and allowing students to specialise, apply advanced skills, and prepare for professional roles in the dynamic field of digital design and visual communication by the end of the program.


You will need:

  • Four GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English Language or Maths or an equivalent Level 2 qualification at Merit (and Functional Skills in English at Level 2/GCSE English Language at grade 4 or above)
  • A portfolio of your art and design work

All applicants must have an interview to confirm that the course is suitable for them.


The assessment methods for the Digital Design (Graphics) course within the Creative Practice and Communication specification  (UAL) employ various techniques to evaluate students' theoretical understanding, technical skills, creativity, and their application in the realm of digital design and visual communication.

Project-Based Assessments: Students complete a series of digital design projects throughout the course. These projects encompass various aspects such as branding, visual identity, motion graphics, UX/UI design, and interactive media. Assessments evaluate creativity, technical proficiency, and the ability to conceptualize and execute design solutions.

Portfolio Development: Students compile a comprehensive portfolio showcasing their best work, demonstrating their progression, skills, and versatility in digital design. This portfolio serves as a summative assessment of their abilities over the course duration.

Presentations and Design Critiques: Students present their design projects to a panel of faculty, industry experts, or peers. This assessment method evaluates their communication skills, ability to explain design concepts, and respond to critiques effectively.

Technical Skills Assessment: Evaluation of technical skills in graphic design software, digital imaging, animation, and other digital design tools. This assesses proficiency in utilizing design tools to create visually impactful content.

Written Assignments and Reports: Assessments may include written assignments or reports focusing on design theories, critical analysis of design trends, or project documentation. This assesses their theoretical knowledge and analytical skills.

Industry-Linked Projects and Collaborations: Collaboration with industry partners on live projects or briefs. Feedback from industry professionals contributes to the assessment process, ensuring relevance to real-world design contexts.

Final Project Evaluation: Culmination of the course with a major individual project, accompanied by an assessment focusing on innovation, creativity, strategic thinking, and the ability to address real-world design challenges in digital contexts.

These diverse assessment methods ensure a comprehensive evaluation of abilities, readiness for the digital design industry, and their capacity to create impactful visual communication across various digital platforms, preparing them for diverse roles in the dynamic field of digital design and graphic communication.


Aged 16-18

If you will be aged 16, 17 or 18 on 31st August prior to the start date of your course and you have the legal right to remain in the UK for the duration of your programme then your study with us will be free. Please see here for the documents you will need to show us.

Some courses will have other associated costs, such as for specialist materials and trips. Many of our students are eligible for financial support, see here for details.

Adults - Level 3

If you will be aged 19 to 23 prior to the start date of your course, and do not already have a full Level 3 qualification, you may be eligible for a Level 3 entitlement, in which case your study with us will be free. If you are older, or already have a Level 3, we have many other Level 3 courses that are also free to study. Otherwise, you will have to pay the fees yourself or apply for an Advanced Learner Loan.

Please see here for the documents you will need to show us.

Some courses will have other associated costs, such as for specialist materials and trips. Many of our students are eligible for financial support, see here for details.


Upon completion, graduates emerge ready for roles such as digital designers, UX/UI specialists, visual storytellers, or brand strategists. The course stands as a foundation for individuals seeking to make a mark in the dynamic and influential world of digital design and visual communication.

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