Fine Art Higher National Diploma level 4 – C8088

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Course Overview

The Higher National Diploma (HND) in Fine Art is a practical course designed to build your knowledge and develop your creative potential in the arts. This course will help prepare you for a successful career as a visual artist. The combination of subjects will allow you to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to work in areas of art and design practice.

The course mixes theory and practice with research, problem-solving and teamwork skills in areas such as fine art, painting, drawing, photography, textiles and digital design and image making.

Creative Arts students can also benefit from opportunities to collaborate with other students across a range of creative arts pathways, further developing your employability and industry related skills.

The intention of the course is to allow you to build upon your previous art experience as well as introduce you to more contemporary and exploratory ways of working. You will have access to a wide range of facilities and resources such as art and design studio spaces, ceramics and 3D workshops, photography studios, graphics computer suites, media studios and a dedicated student higher education hub.

What You'll Learn

Year 1

On successful completion of the first year, students can be awarded a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Art Design.
The level 4 modules lay the foundation of learning by providing a broad introduction to Fine Art. This develops and strengthens core skills while preparing students for specialist subjects at level 5 or to enter employment within the industry.

Students will gain a wide range of fine art knowledge linked to practical skills gained through research, independent study, directed study and workplace scenarios. Students are involved in vocational activities that help them to develop transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, research and analysis, which are highly valued in higher education and in the workplace. By the end of level 4, students will have sound knowledge of the basic concepts of fine art. They will be competent in a range of subject-specific skills as well as in general skills and qualities relevant to key areas of fine art.

Subjects studied in year 1 of the programme include:
– Ideas and Concepts / Media and Materials
– Exploring histories, theories and developments
– Exploring and developing ideas
– Communicating ideas and formats to a wider audience
– Learning new technical knowledge and skills including Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Digital, Textiles, Academic Practice

Year 1 units are:
– A1 Concept and Development
– A2 Creative Project

Year 2

The level 5 modules prepare students to move on to specific areas of fine art at level 6 or to enter employment with the qualities and abilities necessary for roles that require personal responsibility and decision-making. Students will be able to develop and apply their own ideas to their studies, to deal with uncertainty and complexity, to explore solutions, demonstrate critical evaluation and use both theory and practice in a wide range of fine art situations.

By the end of level 5, students will have a sound understanding of the principles in their area of specialist study and will know how to apply those principles more widely in the business world. They will be able to perform effectively in their specialist area.

Year 2 units are:
– B1 Personal Professional Development
– B2 Professional Project

Entry Requirements

Standard entry to this course requires a minimum of 32 UCAS points from a recognised level 3 qualification in a related subject (i.e. two A2s at grade D, extended diploma PPP, or an Access to HE). You are expected to hold GCSE English and Maths at grade 4/C or equivalent.

We welcome applicants who do not match standard entry requirements but who can demonstrate the ability to study this subject at university level and who can evidence relevant experience. You will need a portfolio of your work. Following receipt of this work, an interview by phone will be conducted.

A minimum IELTS score of 5.5 is required for non-native English speakers.

How you will be assessed

Units are assessed through the completion of either practical or written assignments that are set in a contemporary, work-related context. The final stages of the course involves the production of a professional portfolio. The work you undertake is negotiable and will reflect your individual strengths and career aspirations.

Assessment is continuous throughout both years for each module. All assessment is summative and contributes to progression and achievement. Extended writing skills are assessed in contextual studies. An assessment submission schedule is issued when the course commences. Upon successful completion, HND students are awarded either pass, merit, or distinction.

Course Fees

Tuition fees

Total Fees: £6165.00

Additional Costs

Educational trips are not compulsory but encouraged as part of your experience. Previous students have paid towards a subsidised UK or an overseas trip (previous excursions include Paris, Milan and London). Learners can sometimes benefit from a free UK trip.


If the course is longer than one year the total fees are for the first year only and further fees may apply in future years. All fees are based on a ‘home’ learner status. Please contact us for information on overseas fees.

For more information, please see our course fee disclaimers page.

Learn more about fees

Course and Career progression

You can top up to a full degree by joining the final year of our BA (Hons) Professional Studies (Creative Industries) following successful completion of this course.

You may also apply to other universities to top up on related degrees. Careers are varied and range from freelancing, fine artist, illustration, graphics designer, ceramicist, textile artist, screen printer, interior designer or surface pattern designer.

What Happens Next

You can apply directly to us using our direct application form via the College Website.

Due to the nature of this programme, you may also be invited to attend an interview, or where necessary, other means of interview (i.e. telephone, web-based, Microsoft Teams) can be arranged. You may also be asked to submit a portfolio of work.

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