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Graphic Design (UAL) Level 3 Extended Diploma

Course Information

  • Course Code: WEB006
  • Duration: 1 academic year
  • Study mode: Full Time

This Level 3 UAL Extended Diploma in Graphic Design is based around practical study with theoretical learning to underpin technical and creative skills. It is suitable for a wide range of students built to allow progression to university or employment. It is a specifically designed for those interested in a career within the creative industries and more specifically the field of graphic design.

University of the Arts, London Awarding Body (UAL) qualifications are recognised and highly regarded across the country and are designed by some of the best art, design and media educators in the world. Blackburn College is one of only 10 Colleges in the country to have a UAL progression agreement, which means that our students will benefit from:

  • A guaranteed interview with a UAL College/University
  • Industry specialised lecturers
  • Advice & guidance from a UAL representative
  • Help with mock interviews, specific to UAL criteria
  • UAL set assignments

As part of the UAL agreement, Blackburn College tutors meet and share good practice with the other 9 UAL approved colleges around the country, to make sure our students are receiving the best learning experience possible We have a first class record in placing talented students on the best degree course at institutions such as Ravensbourne, Chelsea School of Art & Design, Ruskin School at Cambridge, Leeds College of Art, Goldsmiths, London College of Communication, The Slade, Wimbledon, Camberwell College of Art, Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion.This qualification is mapped to the level 3/4 UAL Pre-Degree Foundation Diploma (Media) at Blackburn College. Many student may wish to complete this higher level and diverse course before progressing to University. Students can also progress to graphic design related degree courses at the University Centre at Blackburn College, or to a whole range of other art, design related degree courses at leading institutions in the United Kingdom. With some students also progressing directly to employment within the creative industries

What will I study?

The course is made up of 9 units in year one and a further 4 larger units in year two. YOu will be given a range of projects that challenge you to explore different areas of graphic communication practice including:

  • typography
  • illustration
  • design for print (e.g. page layout and poster design)
  • design for screen (e.g. web and interface design)
  • packaging

All of which are supported by contextual studies throughout.

Entry Requirements

4 GCSEs at Grade C/4 including English Language or completion of a Level 2 course.

How will I be assessed?

In this qualification you will engage with study through a range of creative assignments, all of which help build confidence, knowledge and skills in preparation for your final Project Proposal and Realisation at the end of year 2 in which you will specialise.

What can I do next?

This qualification is mapped to the Level 3/4 UAL Pre-Degree Foundation Diploma  at Blackburn College. Many learners wish to complete this diverse, higher level course before they progress onto University or employment.

Learners can also progress to Graphics related degree courses at the University Centre at Blackburn College, or to a whole range of other graphic deisgn related degree courses at leading institutions in the United Kingdom. Some learners also progress directly to employment within the creative industries.

Popular related degree courses available at University Centre at Blackburn College include:

These courses are all validated by UK Top 10 Lancaster University. 

Your Study Programme

View Study Programme Information

Career Options

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers use lettering and images to communicate information and ideas. This could be for all kinds of purposes from advertisements to product packaging. If you have lots of creative ideas this career could be perfect for you.

To become a graphic designer, you will need to have IT and drawing skills. You'll need to be able to find practical solutions to problems. You'll also need excellent communication skills.

Most professional graphic designers have a foundation degree, HND or degree in graphic design or other art and design-based subject.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire


As an illustrator, you would produce drawings, paintings or diagrams that help make products more attractive or easier to understand. This could include books, book jackets, greetings cards, advertisements, packaging and detailed technical diagrams. If you are talented at drawing, and have creativity and imagination, this might be the perfect job for you.

You’ll need to be creative while sticking to your customer's design brief. Time management is something you’ll need to use when meeting publication or client deadlines.

Many professional illustrators have a degree in illustration or other art related degree subjects. If you are creative, have artistic talent and the determination to succeed you could still be successful in illustration without a degree.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Product Designer

Product design is the process of creating new products and items from scratch or working on improvements to existing ones. Items can include everything from electronics, domestic appliances and machinery to company brands and web apps. Increasingly, product designers are also involved in how businesses offer their services to the public.

If you can mix your creative skills with a logical approach, this job might suit you well.

In this career you'll need good technical skills in model making and computer aided design, along with the ability to manage projects. You will normally need a relevant design or engineering qualification at foundation degree, HND or degree level to work in this field.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Printing Administrator

Printing administrators play a key part in the production process of the printing, packaging and graphics industry, one of the largest areas of manufacturing in the UK. They help to plan print jobs, agree supplies of materials, provide quotes for customers and work in sales.

If you’re well organised and a good teamworker with excellent IT skills, this career can offer a lot of opportunities.

To get into this job, you'll need a good standard of general education, including maths, English and IT. A qualification in printing and previous experience of the industry may give you an advantage, or you may be able to start with an apprenticeship.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Footwear Designer

Footwear designers create new designs and sample patterns for men's, women's and children's footwear, as well as sports and work shoes. They use computer design software and traditional drawing skills to create their designs.

If you have a keen interest in fashion, good drawing skills and can spot trends, this career may bring out the best of your creative side.

You'll normally need a higher education qualification like a degree in fashion or footwear design to get into this career. You may also be able to start as a designer's assistant and work your way up.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire