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  • Start date:   August 2019
  • Level of Qualification:   SCQF Level 7
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    SCQF Level:   07


This course is for students wanting to progress from NC art and design. It is an excellent opportunity for school leavers who have achieved Higher or Advanced Higher art and design who want to study art at degree-level. Mature students with skills, experience and commitment will also benefit from this course.

On the course you will develop an attractive and diverse portfolio to support an application to art school.

From our HNC contemporary art practice course in 17/18, 11 out of 12 students applied for degree-level study, and all gained places on their chosen courses including the prestigious Gray’s School of Art, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Edinburgh College of Art and Glasgow School of Art.


Read about Kate Stewart's West College experience here

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    What the course includes

    The course lays the foundations for degree-level study, develops your professional studio experience, and teaches you about contemporary practices within the creative industries.

    It covers exploration, experimentation and creativity within different art disciplines including drawing, painting, two-dimensional practices, video, digital media, photography, printmaking, visual and contextual research, life drawing, three-dimensional practices, public art, installation, live art and sound art.

    It provides a studio environment and opportunities that mirror industry standards and includes:

    • Art and design context
    • Conceptual processes
    • Developmental drawing
    • Creative arts project: production
    • Portfolio production
    • Graded unit

Why choose this course

The course will enable you to develop your own approach and portfolio through individual tutorials, advice and support, and group and peer reviews. It will prepare you for for entry into degree-level studies in UK art schools. Most of our students receive several offers with many gaining direct entry into second year. The course includes museum and gallery visits; European cultural capital trip; opportunity to exhibit your work; work experience in the creative industries; speakers from industry; and opportunity to attend summer school to prepare you for full-time study.

Entry requirements

  • Two Highers in English and art/NC in art and design or similar
  • Mature students should have an extensive supporting evidence of recent creative work
  • A portfolio with varied and recent examples such as painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, jewellery
  • Work created from observation. Note that we do not accept work copied from photographs and cartoons
  • Where it leads

    Education: progression to art school, degree-level or HND. Past students have gone on to HE studies in animation, sculpture and environmental art, textiles, concept design, digital design, painting and printmaking, fashion, intermedia, costume design, illustration, communication design and silversmithing, fine art photography, footwear design, interior design and product design and jewellery design.

    Employment: in community art services, gallery/museum work and others.

Interview arrangements

Our interviews are informal and involve a discussion about the course and its content, a practical drawing exercise and an individual chat with course tutors during which we will look through your portfolio. This is an opportunity for us all to get to know each other a little. You should bring a portfolio of your work to the interview and evidence of your qualifications.

Fees, Finance & Funding

There may be help available to assist with your study related costs. Impartial, confidential help and advice on financial matters is available from the Student Funding Team - including Bursaries, Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), Student Awards Agency for Scotland, Student Loans Company and student support funds. Click here to find out more

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Take that next step in your career and apply for this course today. If the course is not yet open for applications, register your interest or feel free to ask any questions by clicking make an enquiry.