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BTEC HND Art & Design

Key Information
  • Campus Icon

    Campus: David Game College - London

  • Duration Icon

    Duration: 2 years

  • Mode of Study Icon

    Mode of Study: Full-time Study (Daytime)*

  • Level of Study Icon

    Level of Study: RQF Levels 4 and 5

  • Next Start Date Icon

    Next Start Date: March 2024 (TBC)

  • Awarding Body Icon

    Awarding Body: Pearson

  • UCAS code Icon

    UCAS code: HADG

  • Intakes Icon

    Intakes: March & October


The Higher National Diploma in Art & Design at David Game College is a fast track pathway to a successful career in the creative industries.

The Graphic Design specialist pathway provides an introduction to a wide range of graphics disciplines, allowing you to specialise in whichever aspect of the graphic design industry you wish to pursue.

This course focuses on the development of design skills, practical programme knowledge and technical ability to work in a design environment.

You will learn and work with the most up-to-date digital software (Adobe Suite), studying a range of modules that develop skills in digital design, typography, branding, infographics, packaging, motion graphics, illustration and editorial design. You will also be further prepared by core skills development in professional practice, contextual research studies and visual communication, be given a chance to respond to professional briefs and be taught by specialist tutors and visiting lecturers who are all working within the industry.

The course is delivered via a combination of Mac studio classes, practical workshops, lectures, one-to-one tutorials, and field trips taken in galleries, street art, and museums.

* 1st Year 2.5 days in college | 2nd Year 2 days in college (made up to full-time through self-directed study).  In addition, learners are required to attend a personal tutor meeting twice per semester.

  • Modules
  • Entry Requirements
  • Admissions Process
  • Course Specifications
  • Assessment
  • Progression
  • Careers
  • HNC
Year 1 Level Credits
Typography 4 15
Graphic Design Practices 4 15
Communication in Art & Design 4 15
Visual Narratives 4 15
Technique and Process 4 15
Professional Practice 4 15
Contextual Studies 4 15
Pearson Set Project 4 15
Total Credits 120


Year 2 Level Credits
Advanced Graphic Design 5 30
Digital Animation 5 15
Art Direction 5 15
Branding & Identity 5 15
Professional Practice 5 15
Applied Practice Collaboration Project 5 30
Total Credits 120

Note: The HND is awarded on completion of a minimum of 240 credits.

At DGHE, we review applications individually, considering each applicant’s unique circumstances. Whether you hold a UK qualification, possess work experience or have obtained qualifications from overseas, we are open to discussing your application and exploring potential pathways for admission. We’ll look at the complete picture when it comes to your application; just get in touch with our admissions team at admissions@dghe.ac.uk, who will be able to advise you.

Examples of accepted qualifications 

  • A level standard or overseas equivalent 
  • Or other UK level 3 qualifications (e.g. Foundation Diploma, Access to HE Certificate, a BTEC Diploma/National, Advanced GNVQ or AVCE) 
  • Or Overseas Qualifications equivalent to Level 3 (e.g. Diploma de Baccalaureate, Brandos Atestas, Ensino Medio, etc.) 
  • And a Portfolio of artwork 

For more information on accepted international qualifications, visit our designated page. 

Non-standard qualifications & Mature applicants 

  • We encourage mature students who are 21 years of age or older to apply. At DGHE, we value mature students’ diverse experiences and perspectives. While some entry requirements may still apply for this programme, we welcome applicants with relevant work experiences and carefully consider each one individually. 

English Language Requirements: 

IELTS 5.5 / 4/C in English GCSE / Functional Skills Level 2  

Students who have studied in a country where English is not the primary language will be required to meet our English Language Requirements. Usually, students must take an English Test offered by DGHE or provide one of the above. 

*If you do not meet the required standard of English requirement in the assessment, you will be offered our Pre-sessional English language course to help you improve your English to the necessary level to gain admission to the course.  

Restrictions on learner entry: 

The BTEC Higher National qualifications require learners to be 18 years and over at the start of their course.

The College will ensure that entry requirements are applied per institutional policy and that the admissions process will follow the following format.

Step 1: Apply

All applicants must first create an online portal account with David Game Higher Education and complete the application form

Step 2: Upload Documents

All applicants must upload the following documents on the portal:

  • Examination transcripts (English translation where necessary), or notarised copies and English Language examination transcripts (where applicable)
  • Your CV
  • A copy of your passport
  • A 300-500 word personal statement outlining the reasons for applying to your chosen programme, how you feel you will benefit from the programme of study, what contributions you will make to the College and how this will help your future career aspirations
  • Photo (Passport style picture)

Note: If you are not able to submit the documents online, you can bring them to the college, and a staff member can do it on your behalf. If requested, applicants must provide two references in support of their suitability for the programme.

Step 3: Arrange an Interview

  • Applicants will be subject to a personal interview where possible, either by a member of the admissions team or an approved agency (where this is not possible, acceptance will be based on the information contained in the application form and any supporting documents)
  • Arrange an appointment to visit DGHE to present certain original documents and attend an interview. You can do this via email at admissions@dghe.ac.uk or via telephone at 02032200347
  • Applications can also be submitted in person at our DGHE campus. Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.

Note: All applicants must present original examination transcripts on the interview day.

Step 4: Internal English Test

Applicants whose first language is not English, with no formal or recognised qualification, will be required to take the DGHE English Entry test to determine whether their level of English is appropriate for the course applied. The level required for entry onto the HND is typically an IELTS 5.5 or above.

If you do not meet the required standard of English requirement in the assessment, you will be offered our Pre-sessional English language course to help you improve your English to the necessary level to gain admission to the course.

Step 5: Accepting your Offer
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application after completing steps 1, 2, 3, and 4 on the assessment day.

If the application is successful, the applicant will be sent a formal ‘Unconditional Offer’ letter via email. Once the applicant accepts the offer, they are entering into a legal, contractual agreement with the College.

A ‘conditional offer’ can be issued to an applicant with one or more outstanding conditions to be met. These can include passing an English language test or providing an original copy of evidence referred to in their application form. After such conditions are met, the College will issue the Unconditional Offer letter.

Note: Closer to the start of the course, the Admissions Team will send information regarding the induction day and timetable.

Campus Name: David Game College

Course Duration: Two years, full time

Course Delivery: Two days per week (during the first year, students may be required to attend one extra day per week).

Course Fees: £8,900 (Student Loans available)

Awarding Body: Pearson

Note: UK/EU students may be eligible for study loans/grants from the Student Loans Company. This support can help finance both your studies and day-to-day living expenses (depending on the course level). You can find more information related to Student Finance and the necessary qualifications by visiting the corresponding links. For more information, please contact the admissions team at admissions@dghe.ac.uk or T: 0203 220 0347

Formative assessment is a continuous component of the programme. Your coursework will develop into a working portfolio, and select pieces will feature in a final-year exhibition. Alongside practical projects, you will also be assessed with group presentations, case studies and reflective academic essays.

Most units on the BTEC HND level courses are worth 15 UK credits. You will be expected to commit at least 150 notional hours towards completing the learning outcomes per unit. This usually consists of a combination of direct teaching time and independent study time (e.g. preparations for research, assessments and background reading).

  • We use various assessments, simulations, and role plays as part of the assessment process to address challenging areas of practice. We share with critical friends how students can be supported throughout the course of the programme in their attempts to gain voluntary hours within the sector and how experts from the field will be involved in the delivery of the programme to provide students with real-life scenarios.
  • Small class sizes and individual attention enable us to help students from all backgrounds gain the qualifications needed to maximise their higher education and career prospects.
  • DGHE provides workshops that are centred on the idea that a learner can build upon their learning through engaging in learning activities that are relevant to their subject areas.
  • Students are supported throughout their learning to develop their knowledge, skills and values required for future employment. Teaching is frequently based upon an experiential model of learning, enabling students to develop the ‘what,’ ‘how,’ and ‘why’ of practice.

Upon successful completion of the HND, there is an opportunity to complete a third-year‘ top-up’ with us studying a level 6 BA (Hons) Visual Communication (Top-Up) programme, which is delivered in partnership with the University of Gloucestershire. Alternatively, the HND could lead you to a suitable degree at another provider or graduate entry to selective institutions.

For a comprehensive list of universities that offer other top-up degree pathways, please find out more here.

The focus on specialist pathways, at Level 4 and Level 5, provides students with a clear set of skills and goals for further study or entering employment. Students who complete a BTEC Higher National in Art and Design may find work in:

  • Graphic Design
  • Graphic designer
  • Print Production
  • Web Design studios
  • Animator
  • Creative Director
  • Illustrator
  • Design Agencies
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Magazine features editor
  • Fashion Design Studios
  • Branding Agencies
  • Publishing Companies

The HNC consists of the first year of the HND (i.e. 120 credits at Level 4 Higher National Certificate).

Please enquire today if you want to study for the HNC programme; the start dates are as per the HND.

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