Art Students Astonishing Achievements

HNC Art students studying at West Lothian College are celebrating another outstanding year of achievements

Each of the eleven students who applied to degree level studies has been accepted to some of the most prestigious art institutions in Scotland where competition is fierce; for example Edinburgh College of Art has as many as five and a half thousand applications and as few as two hundred and fifty places each year: less than a five percent chance of success.

Art Lecturer Alex Harvey said, “Every year we are witnessing the bar being raised higher by our art students, this year is no exception; the group have amassed twenty-seven offers between them with nine students having the option of direct entry to second year and the majority having a number of offers to choose from.”


For the fourth year running a West Lothian College student has secured offers from all four major Scottish Art Schools, this year Kate Stewart has made this astonishing achievement.

HNC Art Student Kate Stewart told us, “We are have just finished an exhibition of our work at St. Margaret’s House in Edinburgh; showing a variety of examples from across our years work. We gained some really valuable experience, having a show at a city gallery has been a real highlight for us, and a fitting way to end an incredible year. Everything we have done on the course has prepared us so well for the next step and our future. I think everyone is going to miss being at college and the tutors, it has been such a positive experience, at the same time, we are all very much looking forward to continuing our studies at the next level.”

Principal Mhairi Harrington stated, ‘Our art department really does set an enviable standard in terms of the strength of learning and teaching that takes place; 100% success at degree level entry three years running: I would encourage anyone who is serious about a future in the arts to study with us. I look forward to seeing the work in Edinburgh and extend a massive congratulations to the whole class on their achievements.”

Hazel Brady, Business and Creative Centre Manager added, “Our HNC Art course offers students an opportunity to develop a bespoke portfolio. In recent years we have seen students go into an impressive range of disciplines: animation, concept development for games design, footwear design, jewellery, graphics, illustration, product design, visual effects, computer arts, costume design and even forensic psychology: to name a handful. The approaches our Lecturers encourage appears to be very attractive to the art schools and this year we have seen Angelica Biasiolo break new ground in her successful application to study Interior and Spatial Design. It is wonderful to see such great success in our department. Congratulations to the art team and to each and every one of our art students.”

Art Lecturer Rona Wilson said, “Our students have put in a huge amount of effort during the course; it takes commitment and hard work to reach art school. The development and expansion of creative skills we witness emerging from each individual learner is very encouraging and the results speak for themselves. It is a genuine privilege to be here at the beginnings of each person’s journey. We are immensely proud of every student and wish them all continued success in their futures.”

Summary of offers made in 2018:


11 offers at Gray's School of Art 

4 offers at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design 

5 offers at Edinburgh College of Art

5 offers at Glasgow School of Art

2 offers at Napier University


Individual offers received 


  • Kate Stewart - GSA Sculpture & Environmental Art, ECA Art, DJCAD General Foundation, Year 2 Gray's School of Art Contemporary Art Practice.
  • Rachael Rutherford - GSA Sculpture & Environmental Art, DJCAD General Foundation, Year 2 Contemporary Art Practice Gray's School of Art, Painting at Gray's School of Art
  • Jamie Rigg - GSA Sculpture & Environmental Art, ECA Art, Year 2 Contemporary Art Practice Gray's School of Art
  • Adele Craig - ECA Graphic Design, Communication Design Gray's School of Art
  • Victoria Peters - Year 2 Contemporary Art Practice Gray's School of Art
  • Guendalina Rota - ECA Art, DJCAD General Foundation, Year 2 Contemporary Art Practice Gray's School of Art
  • Phoebe Gates - GSA Sculpture & Environmental Art, ECA Art, Year 2 Contemporary Art Practice Gray's School of Art
  • Claudia Sneddon - GSA Sculpture & Environmental Art, Year 2 Contemporary Art Practice Gray's School of Art 
  • Marielle Vergara - Year 2 Contemporary Art Practice Gray's School of Art, Graphic Design Napier University
  • Joslyn Lundie - Year 2 Contemporary Art Practice Gray's School of Art, DJCAD General Foundation
  • Angelica Biasolo - Interior & Spatial Design Napier University


This is an exciting time to be part of the Creative Industries, we are learning from a recently published independent review by Sir Peter Bazalgette, that the arts are growing at more than twice the rate of the overall economy and set to continue rising; estimated to continue generating an additional one million jobs in this sector by 2030.


Currently the Creative Industries contribute more than £91 billion to the UK economy. It is no longer true to say that there are no jobs in art; far from it, the arts are now worth more than the automotive, life sciences including pharmaceuticals, aerospace and the oil and gas sectors put together.2


It is encouraging to see that West Lothian is making a positive contribution to the future of this growing industry.