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This study programme is designed for 16-19 year olds only (age 19-24 for students with an Education, Health and Care Plan). 

Please visit our Adult Education, Degrees and Employer section for alternative courses.

About the course

About The School of Art, Design & Digital-Creative / Leonardo Creative House

We hope you apply and join one of our courses. You will belong to the biggest curriculum area at West Suffolk College - The School of Art, Design and Digital-Creative. We are thriving, fun and ambitious. Studying ONE subject that you truly connect with (with no exams) is a liberating joy. You will love it!

This year we have over 500 students studying a broad range of creative courses across different levels. We are fortunate to have our own purpose-built building - 'Leonardo House' - on the main campus. Over many years we have all worked hard to be considered one of the very best Further Education creative centres in the UK. We care about what we do and strive to develop the next generation of professionals for the UK and global Creative Industries. Our culture is one of very high standards and freedom of individual expression. You will be working with like-minded individuals and professional specialist staff. Being part of Leonardo Creative House is a great thing. With hard work you will thrive and progress to a rewarding future.

Derek Johnson - Director of The School of Art & Design / Leonardo Creative House

The course

Focusing on the one subject you love and developing your skills alongside other like-minded artists is a truly brilliant thing. The happy days of art college will last a lifetime and launch you into a career.

Level 1 Art & Design is an outstanding course - always at the very centre of our Art School. The course is for students wishing to study and embed themselves in college culture before progressing to a more demanding specialist level 2 and 3 courses.

You will learn and develop a broad range of hands-on creative, technical and professional skills. These include illustration, fine art, design skills, 3D/sculpture, digital work, animation, printmaking, painting and photography. Digital art skills are further developed - and this includes animation, graphics and digital illustration.

All courses are delivered across different assignments in specialist studios with professional staff. As courses progress students will focus more and more on their own creative interests and individual skills. This mix of very structured teaching and the culture of open expression are the core of our thriving Art and Design courses.

What you need for a place on the course

Put simply, to gain a place a level 1 you will need to apply and attend an informal interview (do not worry it is a very pleasant meeting!) we will discuss levels and your entry skills. We have an open entry policy with level 1 - students right for this level, motivated to do their best and committed to high attendance can apply. There are no specific GCSE entry qualifications and you do not need to have studied art and design previously. All will be fine!

What the courses covers

Creative and Technical skills:

  • 2D illustration and design skills
  • Drawing and painting
  • 3D making skills - media and processes
  • Printmaking
  • Animation
  • Introduction to games design (L2 Digital Arts)
  • Digital: various software - including Adobe CC (Photoshop, Illustrator)
  • Idea generation
  • Exploration and experimentation of media and processes
  • Independent development of studio work into own unique outcomes
  • Contextual studies - historical and modern international art and design and connections to the wider world.

Professional Skills:

  • Working on 'live' assignments
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Working with focus and independence
  • Communication
  • Presentation of outcomes
  • Online professional social media profile

How will I be assessed?

All courses and levels are assessed against submitted coursework by a deadline - work with NO sat exams. All are assessed at Pass, Merit, Distinction levels against the qualification unit criteria.

We are proud to be a University of the Arts London (UAL) accredited college. This is the largest creative awarding body in Europe.

Where will it take me?

Level 1 and 2 students progress to levels 2 and 3.

Level 3 students progress to university or employment. Annually about 75% of our level 3 students decide to progress to university. They all successfully gain places. Our students progress to the very finest universities such as Chelsea, Central Saint Martins, Manchester, Nottingham Trent, London College of Fashion, Norwich, Southampton and many others.

Outstanding aspects and highlights

We love doing as many enriching things as possible. This ensures your educational experience is varied, challenging and positive. Recently art and design design students have:

  • Various local, national trips and residentials
  • Visiting artists who present their work
  • Various exhibitions - online and in a gallery format
  • Outstanding level of selected work which was exhibited for the prestigious UAL 'Origins' exhibition in London
  • Presented nationally on the UAL 'Student Takeover' Instagram
  • 'Live' assignments and paid freelance work opportunities

Days and times

Starting September 2023

Days & times

Starting September 2023


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