Art & Design

BTEC Level 1 Diploma

Course code
Type of study
Examination board

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This one year art course will provide you with opportunities to develop new and existing skills in all areas of art and design and to produce a creative portfolio. The Foundation Learning BTEC vocational units have been developed specifically to allow learners to progress to further BTEC qualifications if they choose.


Mainly E grade GCSEs or an entry level qualification. At your first College interview you should have some examples of recent work, to include drawings from observation and art work using different media.

This course provides an exciting introduction to art and design and is delivered through a series of workshops and project work.

You will produce art and design work based upon project briefs. These briefs will provide you with the opportunity to explore historical and contemporary art works.

During each assignment there is a period of practical workshops that introduce you to a variety of art techniques and processes, accompanied by one-to-one help while producing your own work.


Our art and design facilities have been designed to provide specialist creative areas of provision for both Vocational and A Level students.

Graphics suites have been designed each with individual screens and the latest Apple Mac computers with Adobe Design suite and A3 laser printers allow for high definition printing. The specialist printing studio has a range of printing presses including a 160 year old Albion flatbed press, silk screen developing unit and ample storage racks for student work. Students have secure portfolio storage within the building along with dedicated technician support.

Textile design students have two specialist studios fitted with sewing machines, dyeing facilities, knitting machines and a heat press. Individual work stations allow students to work on projects plus ample storage units give flexibility to teaching and learning activities.

Three dimensional design studios give students the opportunity to work in plaster, clay, fused glass, wood, metal, light craftwork and jewellery. Purpose built kiln firing facilities offer a wide range of pottery and glass firing techniques including earthenware and stoneware, glass fusing and an outdoor Raku and sawdust firing facility. A dedicated team of technicians support the demands of this very popular area of specialist provision, storage of portfolios and 3D work is available to all students using the 3D studios.


All units are assessed following set deadlines and an overall qualification is awarded at the end of the course.

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You’re here to learn and you want to learn, and the lecturers make it fun. You don’t have to come to college but you want to come to college.

Natalie Thorpe, A Level student

I would say it’s a college that really balances academia with fun, there is lots of extra-curricular stuff that you can get involved in. It has a really good work/life balance.

Laura Hagedorn, A Level student

I’m really happy and pleased with my grades. I really loved my time at South Downs, I have also made lots of friends, it’s a really nice place to be, I don’t want to leave.

Lauren Piper, A Level student


Upon completion of the course you could progress to a BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Art and Design or another appropriate Level 2 qualification.

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