Art & Design NC

What is special about this course?

This one-year course enables students to explore a variety of art and design disciplines including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, digital imaging, design and textiles. Alongside practical studio work, there is a contextual study element involving lectures, visits to exhibitions and talks by visiting artists.

Professional skills are developed through ‘live projects’ in collaboration with organisations such as the Pier Arts Centre, the St Magnus International Festival, the Orkney Folk Festival, and students are encouraged to engage with the unique environment, culture and history of Orkney.

The NC is designed to enable students to prepare a comprehensive portfolio of work suitable for submission to higher education courses across the UK, including BA (Hons) Fine Art or BA (Hons) Fine Art Textiles at Orkney College UHI.  

Entry requirements

Interview with a selected portfolio of Art and Design work.

2 Intermediate 2 or National 5 passes  (Usually Art & Design and English). However it is recommended that any student wishing to articulate on to Degree courses gains entry requirements prior to application (usually 4 passes at Higher).

Mature and overseas students who do not have the above qualifications but who can demonstrate a capability to successfully complete the course may be given a place but this is at the discretion of the interviewing panel.

Units include:

  • Art and Design: Exploratory Media Handling
  • Art and Design: Colour
  • Art and Design: Contextual Studies
  • Art and Design: Digital Media
  • Art and Design: Personal Project
  • Photography: Research Project
  • Art & Design: Painting to a Theme
  • Art & Design: Expressive Drawing
  • Art & Design: Introduction to Sculpture
  • Art & Design: Printmaking
  • Art and Design: Sketchbook Development
  • Art & Design: Creative Textile Development
  • Art and Design: Design Activity
  • Jewellery Design: Non Precious Materials
  • Art and Design: Analytical Drawing

Students have the opportunity to extend their academic skills in Communication and Literature.

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time
  • Part Time

You will study by way of class-room based lectures and tutorials in College and by using on-line support materials. 

The Course is continuously assessed.

How long will my course last?

1 year full-time

Where can I study my course?

    Start date

    August or January


    Full time

    If you are studying a full time Further Education course (NCs, NQs etc.) the College claims your fees from the Scottish Funding Council for students who are under 18 on the first day of the course. Students over the age of 18 on the first day of the course have to apply to Orkney Islands Council (OIC) for a tuition fees bursary.

    Information on the tuition fees bursary is available on the OIC website.

    Part time

    Normally you are responsible for your course fees but if you are in receipt of certain benefits you may be eligible for a Part Time Course Fee Waiver. Not all part-time courses at Orkney College UHI are covered by the Fee Waiver Scheme and only certain benefits are acceptable as a basis for a Fee Waiver. Please contact the college to enquire.

    If you are eligible, you may be entitled to an ILA of up to £200 a year towards a course.

    What can I do on completion of my course?

    BA (Hons) Fine Art or BA (Hons) Fine Art Textiles at Orkney College UHI. Application to Art Schools and Colleges.

    Career Opportunities
    Students may pursue a career in the area of art and design and with their portfolio of artwork, may gain places on Higher Education courses.

    Is there more information available online?

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    Apply for Art & Design NC

    I want to start in 2021/22

    We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at Orkney College UHI. Orkney College operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.