Art & Design

If you love using your original ideas to create something, then working in the creative sector will be a fun and rewarding experience that enables you to demonstrate your artistic flair. It’s a competitive industry but one the UK currently excels in. Creative people are highly sought after by many employers, including large organisations and design companies.

You could be animating video games, designing your own line of clothes or seeing the artwork you've produced in a national publication. The only limit is your creativity.

Why choose us?

We offer a range of Art and Design qualifications from introductory programmes right up to degree-level courses. The department also welcomes many visiting speakers and you can be sure that our courses will give you the opportunity to sample a range of art and design activities, build a portfolio of creative work and focus on your chosen specialist area.

Showcase your work
You will have the opportunity to exhibit your work to the public in the College’s spectacular Art & Design End of Year Show or the HND/BA Graphic Design Show and plenty of opportunities to enter competitions to showcase your talents, giving you the chance to see how others respond to your ideas and enabling you to network with professionals from the industry. 

Strong links with industry

We have strong links within the creative industries through our membership of professional bodies such as D&AD, (Design & Art Direction) and the Design Business Association. You will have the chance to be involved in practical work experience projects as part of your course so that you can develop the important skills that employers look for including creative thinking, problem solving, communication and team work. Just a few of the organisations that our students have worked for recently include Bedford Borough Council who commissioned BTEC National Diploma Fine Art students to design a graffiti mural, giving new life to an underpass connecting Wilstead and Wixams.

Our students have also worked with The Landmark Trust on a project at Queen Anne’s Summerhouse in Old Warden and our textiles students work with a local design company in Rushden, TigerLily, to develop surface pattern designs that are then used on fabric production. You could join our talented students who have already gone into careers in the fields of film and computer-generated imagery (CGI), stage design and rigging, film producing and graphic design.

The Art & Design BTEC Foundation Diploma Pre-Degree team, for instance, have worked with the Content Manager and Photographer at John Lewis, Fine Art engineer Alex Chinneck and Fine Artist Andy Holden as part of an inspirational speaker programme. 

Real progression opportunities
There are opportunities for entry at all levels, with clear progression routes. This means you will always know what you are working towards and that you have real chances to progress to a high level. Many of our Art & Design students also go on to higher level study at their first choice university or art and design school.

Student destinations

In 2018 91% of students went on to degree-level study at colleges and universities such as The University of Brighton, De Montfort University and Portsmouth University, or moved straight into paid employment.

Source: Bedford College Student Destination Data 2018

Expert tutors

You will be taught by practising professionals who will strongly encourage individuality and creative flair, to equip you with the confidence and innovation to work independently after your course.

Fantastic facilities & industry standard equipment
Our South Bank Arts Centre is one of the most impressive creative spaces around and provides you first class teaching facilities. It includes cutting-edge industry standard media and music suites, 3D model making and animation equipment, screen and silk screen printing, dark rooms, drawing studios, TV and recording studios, editing suites and graphic design studios with the latest Apple Macs.

Our art gallery provides you an arena to showcase your work to the public or view an exciting programme of external work including graphics, painting, installation and textiles, visit to see examples of student work. In short, we have everything you need to excel in Art and Design.

You will have the use of specialist workshops for fine art, textiles, print, pottery, textiles, 3D work and photography. There are almost no restrictions on how you can express your artistic talent and you will leave us having had the opportunity to experiment with many different media and understanding what you would like to specialise in.

Student success

Our Art & Design students produce amazing, award-winning work. Year on year our HND Graphic Design students beat UK universities in industry-set challenges for creative solutions in advertising and marketing.

You will benefit from the expertise and contacts of our tutors who have all had successful careers in a variety of creative industries ranging from design, fashion, film and photography. You will be encouraged to enter competitions and win awards to ensure that you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs or university. 

Art & Design courses