Graphic Design

L3 Level 3
Full Time
2 September 2024 — 20 June 2025
City Centre Campus, Cardiff

About this course

Our BTEC 540 diploma and extended diploma in Graphic Design is a great course for individuals keen to pursue a career in the creative industries. Based at our City Centre campus in Cardiff, this programme offers a wide range of approaches to digital interactive design, whilst utilising the very latest Adobe software to generate stimulating outcomes.  It is a two-year course and over the length of the course you will achieve two qualifications. At the end of the first year you will receive a 540 Diploma and at the end of the 2nd year you will achieve a full extended diploma.  
Learners can expect to develop a range of skills related to their individual area of interest and creative potential. Graphic Design is one of the biggest growth areas. It encompasses subjects such as illustration, branding, packaging, image manipulation, design & layout, typeface design, plus other design related disciplines.

What you will study

The carefully selected projects will allow you to respond creatively to design briefs allowing you to get a taste of specialist areas such as:

  • Adobe software training
  • Materials, Techniques & Processes
  • Ideas & Concepts
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration (Traditional/ Digital)
  • Image Manipulation
  • Visual Communication/ Information Graphics
  • Typeface Design
  • Visual Diary
  • Packaging
  • Contextual Influences
  • Essential Skills Wales - Application of Number, ICT, Communications
  • Project 1 A1 - Application training
  • Project 2 A2 – Information Graphics
  • Project 3 B1 - Personal Progression (A variety of disciplines in one project, CV production, Online Portfolio building)
  • Project 4 B2 - Final Major Project (Student led project).

Students will work on a variety of projects, giving the students a wide array of basic skills in software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Behance portfolio, etc. Over the course of the two years you will complete four units. These units can be made up of smaller bite size projects. The department has an extensive array of computer facilities and equipment. You don’t have to have previous knowledge of any software but it would be an advantage if you did.

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs A* - C including English Language or Maths or successful completion of BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Graphic Design. You must provide a portfolio of work during your interview.

Teaching and assessment

  • Coursework assessment including written assignments and practical assessments

Important points

  • The College welcomes contact with parents/guardians of students who are under 18.
  • Additional support is available for students with learning difficulties and disabilities.
  • Cardiff and Vale College is committed to inclusion and values diversity. We are determined to promote equality of opportunity and to treat everyone fairly and with respect.
  • Cardiff and Vale College reserves the right to make changes to this course without prior notice.
  • Course fees are subject to change. Your fee will be confirmed prior to enrolment.
  • All courses are accurate at the time of upload or print.
  • Courses can only run if there are sufficient numbers.
  • Please note, if you choose three or more course choices, then you may be referred for a careers appointment first. This does not apply to A Level or GCSE choices.
Key information

Start date

2 September 2024

End date

20 June 2025

Time of day

Day Time

Full Time

18 hours per week


City Centre Campus, Cardiff
Maps & directions

Course code



Pearson BTEC Level 3 National 540 Diploma in Art and Design Practice


Students Work

Graphic Design

Graphic Design

What our students say

The teaching was amazing I just felt very supported. There was always that 1:1 tutoring that I really needed when I didn’t have much confidence. The facilities of the College were excellent, every year we had new technology and equipment we could explore, I felt my skills were really developing from that.

Aaron Leslie
Foundation Degree Product Design Graduate

Career prospects & further study


Within the Creative industries, there are nearly 3,000 job openings predicted from now until 2024 and a 16.0% growth in Cardiff Capital Region (EMSI, 2018).

After this course you may progress on to Higher Education, at CAVC we offer a Foundation Degree in Graphic Design.  Progress onto work placements within Graphic Design, Animation, illustration, Typeface Designer, Packaging, Magazine layout/ Print.



We're one of the largest colleges in the country with more than 30,000 people learning with us each year.

Learning Support

Our dedicated support teams offer support with additional learning needs, wellbeing and more.
Performing Arts


CAVC offers lots of opportunities beyond your studies including a great enrichment programme and sporting opportunities.

Find out more

Download a course guide for your area of interest.

Open Evenings

Visit us at one of ours sites, chat to tutors about your course of interest and see our great facilities for yourself.

Apply online

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City Centre Campus, Cardiff
City Centre Campus, Cardiff

City Centre Campus,

Dumballs Road,


CF10 5FE