Graphic Design

Diploma/Extended Diploma , Level 3
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Available at the following campuses:

What Our Students Say

“I decided to study at Leeds City College because I liked the equipment and the rooms that they had, and I liked how it was a whole new space – it had only recently been built so everything was brand spanking new and it looked really clean and really nice.”


“When I first came I didn’t know anybody at the college but because it’s people you’re surrounded by and people with similar interests to you, you do make friends quickly and you make really close friendships with people because you’re listening to the same things and you’re going through the same things, and you can help each other as well.”


“I’m working really well with my tutors – they’re really supportive and we just have a laugh. It’s like a really nice atmosphere. I think the facilities are really fantastic.”


Did you know!

  • We provide full-time arts education to over 1,000 students every year, from level 1 through to BA Honours degrees. If you are successful in gaining a place on one of our specialist courses, we will work with you to develop your creative skills and prepare you for the next big step – either to university, drama school, art college or the world of work.
  • The number of Graphic designers needed in Leeds is due to grow by 4% between 2019 and 2024 (Emsi

Course Information


Delve into graphic design with this creative programme. You’ll develop your practice with Adobe software and professional photographic skills as well as traditional techniques such as printing, drawing, and painting. You will build a personal portfolio that showcases your work which will be essential for higher education and employment. You’ll also work on live client brief projects and have the opportunity to apply to train on-site in a local creative agency.

Click here to view our Graphic Design Showcase 2019/20.


Video Transcript

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INTERVIEWEE – SHARON DUCE, Graphic Design Course Leader (SPEAKING)

INTERVIEWEE – JAMARI, Student of Graphic Design Level 3 (SPEAKING)

INTERVIEWEE – FRANCINE, Student of Graphic Design Level 3 (SPEAKING)

Scenery – Student grabs a watercolour pencil.

Scenery – Student begins colouring in a rose.

Scenery – Student places lens into camera.

Scenery – A model poses for their photo to be taken.

Sharon Duce – “Hi I’m Sharon and I’m the course leader for Graphic design at Leeds City College. Graphic design is not a computer course, we’re not just invested in teaching you the skills of how to use adobe software. We’re here to help you learn how to think. It might be something that might be typical graphic design, advertising, marketing this kind of thing. Equally it could be a sculpture or it could be something else. Anything goes in our Graphic design course.”

Scenery – Students are shown painting.

Scenery – Sharon provides feedback on Jamari’s work.

Jamari – “Hi I’m Jay and I’m studying Graphic Design Level 3, I think when it gets to design – stuff like that I just enjoy letting my imagination take control. For me specifically I like to lay about 5 – 10 maybe even 20 different foundations, maybe sketches to see what they are asking me to make and what I can produce. Look back at the stuff that I’ve made – It’s like making an art style, when you make an art style you need to look at different pieces and put them together to make a mesh that looks cohesive”.

Scenery – Jamari is seen using Adobe InDesign to do his work.

Jamari – “So like if I want to make something bold and that stands out for people that see it, I want to look at my previous art and think what about that makes me look at it. What’s the first thing I see when I look at this drawing that I’ve done. That’s the kinda stuff that I just really enjoy putting together.”

Scenery – Students are seen using Macs in a classroom.

Scenery – A screen shows a student’s work.

Sharon Duce – “Because I can draw upon my 20 years experience within the graphic design industry, I have a good idea, a very good idea of what students need to be able to do when they leave college and also to understand that we need to give them a variety of skills. We like to offer what we call a pick and mix of technical skills this does include computer skills, adobe, photoshop etc but it also includes getting those ideas on to paper, using a pencil, using paint other mark making materials, getting messy in an art studio and coming up with these ideas to begin with.”

Scenery – A student dabs their paintbrush into some paint.

Scenery – Students paint onto papier mache.

Scenery – Student finishes off a portrait piece.

Sharon Duce – “Trying things out, experimentation because from experimentation comes great ideas and the ideas and the point you’re trying to make the message you’re trying to deliver? This is what graphic design is all about.”.

Francine – “Hi I’m Fran, I’m studying Level 3 Graphic Design at Leeds City College. I’ve been working on a lot of Adobe Illustrator just really trying to practise on that. Whatever we learn at college maybe when I go home because I can use the software at home as well. I just practise on Adobe Illustrator so I can get my digital illustration techniques a little bit better.

Scenery – Fran is seen using illustrator

Francine – “Actually what we are encouraged to do here is work a lot in our sketch books and our studio books and make sure we’re always sketching our ideas up. We have art classes upstairs, so we can do screen printing and lino printing and then we have a photography class as well so I’ve learned how to use DSLR cameras”.

Scenery – Students are seen handling a DSLR camera and setting up softboxes.

Francine – “We’re actually learning the fundamentals of traditional art like I said and developing them further if we actually want to make them digital”.

Jamari – “Drawing a person, drawing a character from a TV show, that’s one thing. It’s fun but it’s one thing but then when you see buildings and billboards, they just stand the test of time. Hundreds of thousands to millions of people can see them. Knowing that if I have kids in the future, maybe one day I could point them at a billboard and say ‘ Yeah your Dad made that’.”

End Slide – Leeds City College (School of Creative Arts)

Who is this course for?

If you’re in year 11 or 12 and are looking to take the next steps towards your career, or you are over 19 and want to return to education to improve your job opportunities, this course is for you. Our vast selection of vocational courses span a range of subjects and combine academic study with practical skills. Study in industry standard facilities and use our industry links to prepare for progression.

Benefits and skills

  • Create illustrations, magazine layouts, advertisements, campaigns, typography, animation, videos and photography to professional standards using Adobe software.
  • Experiment with mixed media and develop your art and design skills.
  • Make use of our professional facilities including Apple iMac studios, photographic studios, photography dispensary, and graphics tablets.

Entry requirements

Four GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English or maths.

Available Apprenticeships and Progression options

Progression may include degree level study, apprenticeships or employment.

Course details


1 year Diploma
1 year Top-up Extended Diploma

Start Date: 09/09/2024
Fees (16-18): No fee
Study Type: Full time
Course Code: 76727-01
Fees (Adult): £2,882

Please note that for all courses starting on 9th September, there will be an induction week, WC 2nd September.

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