Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions. Please contact is if you have a query that isn't covered here.

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can i go straight to university after taking one of the diploma courses?

Level 2 Diploma - It would be unusual for a learner to secure a place on a Higher Education Degree Course directly from a Level 2 qualification although the criteria for admissions for individual universities varies. We would recommend you contact your university of choice to inquire about this. Learners would typically progress to a Level 3 Extended Diploma or self- employment or employment within the creative industries.

Level 3 Extended Diploma - Yes. In the past many of our learners have been able to secure a place on a Higher Education Degree Course in a creative subject whilst others have chosen to continue onto the Level 4 Foundation Degree in Art and Design to further confirm their pathway.

Level 4 Foundation Diploma - Yes, subject to the university's admissions criteria. In the past many of our learners have been able to secure a place on a Higher Education Degree Course in a creative subject whilst others have chosen to seek employment within the creative industries or become self-employed.

how many days will i be at college?

Level 2 Diploma - Attendance - 1 tutored day per week 9.30am till 4.30 pm. Learners are welcome to use extra time in the studio on other days.

Level 3 Extended Diploma - Attendance - 3 days per week 9.00am till 4.30 pm. Some extra hours may be required if learners are taking English and Maths qualifications.

Level 4 Foundation Diploma - Attendance - 3 days per week 9.00am till 4.30 pm. Some extra hours may be required if learners are taking English and Maths qualifications.

how many hours of work will i do at home?

All Diplomas - At least one or more days of self- study are required.

do I need to buy all my materials?

All Diplomas - Learners are expected to pay the £100 materials fee at enrolment which allows them to use the studio materials and printing facilities whilst at college. Some materials will be required for self- study. College of West Anglia can offer a Materials Bursary from the Learner Support Fund that goes towards the materials fee for learners who's family experience financial difficulty. A separate application is required to Student Services at CWA. Details of this can be provided on request. The bursary is subject to conditions.

Leisure Classes - Materials are included as part of the fee however encourage learners to purchase their own brushes as everyone has their own preference and you will need to bring a suitable carrier to transport your work home. Please ask us before purchasing brushes as some can be expensive and we can recommend some very economical packs which will be suitable. It is also advised that you have an apron, old shirt or wear suitable clothing for getting messy.

is the leisure course a serious class?

At AAE we offer structured learning program's with the emphasis on the fundamental skills necessary to develop as an artist. However leisure classes are designed to be a fun, relaxing, no stress activity with like minded people. We work closely with individuals who are inexperienced and nervous and all are made welcome. 

do i need any previous experience for the leisure classes?

No - you do not need any qualifications or previous experience. Some of our learners who are now in retirement and have not 'picked up a paintbrush since school days' are able to produce beautiful competent paintings after just a few lessons. 

what will i learn on the leisure course?

Each week you will work on a new project. We integrate the learning of painting and drawing skills without making students feel under pressure. Projects are delivered as step by step demonstrations. All learners are fully supported.

is a leisure course suitable for a complete beginner?

We are very experienced in teaching art to people who are complete beginners and always aim to make those learners feel welcome, supported and valued. Some classes have mixed ability but with each set of 10 weeks there are likely to be several beginners so do not assume that everyone will be professional and you will stand out as incompetent and feel uncomfortable. Painting is a learned skill and with the practical demonstration of colour mixing and brushwork you will soon feel like you are able to produce work you can be proud of.

can i pay weekly for the leisure course?

We offer our leisure classes in 10 week block bookings and as spaces are in demand we need to ensure that places are well used. However our Summer School Program allows for weekly bookings. Please contact us if you would like to discuss this further as it is possible to join a 10 week program midway if space allows. You can book online here.

 

how many ucas points is each course worth?

Level 2 Diploma - Successful completion of this course attracts UCAS points and is broadly equivalent to GCSE level.

Level 3 Extended Diploma - Successful completion of this course attracts UCAS points and is broadly equivalent to 3 A Levels.

Level 4 Foundation Diploma - This qualification does not offer any UCAS points.

Leisure Courses - These courses do not attract UCAS points.

is there any help with travel costs?

All Diplomas - College of West Anglia can offer a Travel Bursary from the Learner Support Fund that helps with travel costs for learners who live certain distances from AAE and who's family experience financial difficulty. A separate application is required to Student Services at CWA. Details of this can be provided on request. The bursary is subject to conditions.

is there any help with meals costs while at college?

All Diplomas - College of West Anglia can offer financial help with the cost of lunches whilst at AAE from the Learner Support Fund for those who's family experience financial difficulty. A separate application is required to Student Services at CWA. Details of this can be provided on request. The bursary is subject to conditions.

how many gcses do i need for the level 3 extended diploma?

Although 5 GCSEs  with a minimum grade 4 or above in  English and Maths and a creative subject are preferred please note the following. Vocational qualifications in relevant subjects may  be accepted as GCSE equivalent. We welcome applications from those who may not have all of  the above. In the past we have accepted students who have been home schooled or where the opportunity for attaining a full spectrum of qualifications has not been possible due to circumstances. We are most concerned with the applicants level of creativity and willingness to learn, so each case is judged individually.  You will be invited to attend an interview where you will need to present examples of art work and demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment toward the subject applied for. Applications from mature students without formal qualification are welcomed. A level 2 qualification may be offered in the first year if appropriate.

what qualifications do i need for the level 2 diploma?

 We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and welcome those who may not have formal qualifications. In the past we have accepted students where the opportunity for attaining a full spectrum of qualifications has not been possible due to circumstances. We are most concerned with the applicants level of creativity and willingness to learn, so each case is judged individually.  You will be invited to attend an interview where you will need to demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment toward the subject applied for. 

What if I didn’t get grade 4 or above in my English and Maths GCSE??

Learners who are accepted onto the Study Program (16+) who have not yet achieved a Grade 4 or above in English and Maths GCSE will be required as a condition of funding to continue studying towards these qualifications. English and Maths lessons will be provided each week at AAE with qualified teachers in small learning groups. Students are required to work towards one level above their previously attained level ( this may be Functional Skills) and sit exams each year until they reach GCSE Grade 4 or above or their course ends which ever is sooner. Please note that this is compulsory

Do I need an Art A Level or Level 3 Diploma for the level 4 foundation diploma?

Yes this is preferred, however, we have in the past accepted applicants who do not hold a Level 3  qualification in Art but who show a high level of artistic ability and commitment in other areas. We would expect to see examples of creative work undertaken by the learner at interview and applicants will be expected to demonstrate a real focus in developing a creative career. Each applicant is assessed on their own merit. We are committed to offering support to learners who may have faced challenges in their education in the past for a number of reasons ie having Dyslexia, anxiety issues, Autism or physical challenges where our facilities and staff levels allow. 

do i need an art gcse to apply for the level 3 extended diploma?

We have in the past accepted applicants who do not hold a GCSE qualification in Art but who show artistic ability in other areas. We would expect to see examples of creative work undertaken by the learner at interview and applicants will be expected to demonstrate a commitment to developing a creative career. Each applicant is assessed on their own merit. We are committed to offering support to learners who may have faced challenges in their education in the past for a number of reasons ie having Dyslexia, anxiety issues, Autism or physical challenges where our facilities and staff levels allow. A level 2 qualification may be offered in the first year if appropriate.