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Art and design Advanced Level 3 (Double)            studied at ABS


To find out what qualifications are needed for each pathway/entry route click here.

Art and design level 2 Diploma at distinction, or merit with recommendation

6 or above in art or portfolio of work


The Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design consists of 13 units of study and is equivalent to 3 A levels. 7 units are mandatory and include 4 externally set units (that are conducted in controlled conditions), and 6 optional units that can be selected from a range of specialist areas.


The first year of the course is designed as a foundation course, where you will study a wide range of ideas, concepts, materials and techniques in Art & Design, preparing you to complete 2 external units and develop a body of personal work leading to a final major project.

Mandatory units

Unit 1 External: visual recording & communication

Unit 2 External: Critical & contextual studies in art & design

Unit 3 The Creative process

Unit 4 Materials, techniques & process in art & design

+ 3 Optional units:        

Photographic materials, techniques & processes


Fine art materials, techniques & processes


The second year of the course aims to help you develop your skills in a specialist area and prepare you successfully progress on to a Degree course at University or a Foundation course in Further Education. Portfolio sessions and workshops are organised primarily in the autumn term of Year 13 – run through organisations such as Camden Arts Centre and the Tate. Art foundation talks are also organised for students interested in this route, and facilitated by a visiting tutor from UAL.

Mandatory units

 Unit 5 Developing an art & design portfolio

Unit 6 External: Managing a client brief

Unit 7 External: Developing & realising creative intentions

+ 3 Optional units linked to own specialist pathway from the list below

Optional units

  • Graphics materials, techniques & processes
  • Textile materials, techniques & processes
  • Graphic illustration
  • Surface design for textiles
  • Painting
  • Time-based techniques in art & design
  • Curating an exhibition
  • 3D design crafts materials, techniques & Processes


The course is designed for students to gain knowledge and understanding of visual communication and the creative process to develop their own creative voice. Learners develop an understanding of the importance and influence of the work of artists and designers to develop and realise their creative intentions. They produce a portfolio of art and design work to support progression to higher education. Optional units provide opportunities to gain knowledge in specialist areas linked to future career intentions or a specialist degree.

These are just some of the skills you will learn during the course.



Rules for assessment are very strict for the BTEC course. All units are taught through project briefs, where a vocational scenario is proposed and ideas are explored and developed in relation to these briefs. During Y12 all briefs are set by the teaching staff, during Y13 students negotiate their own briefs in relation to their particular interests. Assessment for all units (except the 4 external units) is internal and measured against grading criteria of pass, merit & distinction. Each brief has a set deadline for submission, which must be met, and all students receive formal assessment only after submission. There is then a 15 day window in which to make improvements to work before final assessment – all assessment decisions are verified by an examiner from Edexcel.

The 4 external units are set and marked by the exam board. They are produced under exam conditions during a period set by Edexcel as part of the summer exam series. 2 External units are taken in the summer of Y12 and 2 units are taken in the summer of Y13.


The qualification is designed for post 16 learners who want to progress straight onto an art and design related degree course in Higher Education. Students that successfully pass the BTEC would also be suitably qualified to move into a junior role within industry.