Course: Art & Design Level 3 Foundation Diploma

Study Level

Level 3


Lowestoft Campus


1 Year



This intensive one-year, broad-based Level 3 course encourages you to further explore and build on your skills, passion and strengths in art and design so that you can make the right creative career and Higher Education choice.

The course is practical and gives you wonderful opportunities for experimenting with a wide range of materials, processes and techniques before opting for a specialism, developing your individuality, initiative and confidence.

In an inspiring and supportive environment, we provide specialist, balanced and structured teaching to help stimulate your interest in art and design which includes portfolio building, drawing, painting, photography, illustration, printmaking, 3D, sculpture, computer aided design, graphic design, contextual studies and UCAS application support and guidance.

You will take part in challenging assignments, exhibitions and live assignments which will shape your personal independence in developing ideas and assist you in gaining new skills, materials and techniques, while building a substantial and ‘next stage ready’ portfolio of work.

Why study with us:

  • You will have access to dedicated creative spaces with specialist equipment and facilities, including print
    tables, sewing machines, painting and drawing spaces, computers with Adobe Creative Cloud software, 3D studio, darkrooms and digital printers.
  • There is the opportunity to undertake work experience in local studios, which looks fantastic on your CV.

If you are aged 19+, the fee for this course is £5421. You may be able to take out an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of the course, please contact our Admissions team via for more information.


You need to have completed an extended diploma or at least one A Level in Art, Photography, Textiles or Graphics and have four GCSEs at grades 9 to 4, ideally including maths and English, plus a sketchbook or portfolio of varied artwork.

If you have been out of education for a while and have no formal qualifications but wish to progress to university, you will be required to present a portfolio of accomplished art, design, photography and/or textiles work at interview.


Your work will be project based and presented in sketchbooks and a portfolio which is showcased in an end-of-year exhibition. You will be assessed and supported throughout the course with regular reviews, formative and final assessment in each of the three stages gaining a pass, merit or distinction.


You can progress to study a foundation degree in Professional Photographic Practice, Fashion and Textiles, BA Visual Art or FdA Visual Effects and Post Production through the University of Suffolk at East Coast College or other universities.

You can also progress into an apprenticeship or employment in careers such as architecture, graphic and web design, illustration, photography or fashion design.

"First Light Festival truly values its partnership with East Coast College. The college is an active part of our steering group and helps us to include the needs and voices of young people in our planning and offer for our multi-arts festival. Volunteering is an important part of what First Light Festival offers and we are delighted that so many students choose to take part in this way. As our work develops, we are also keen to explore workplace opportunities as our programme expands in exciting ways."

First Light Festival

Genevieve Christie, CEO

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