Thre are so many fantastic pathwaysand careers which a subject choice of Art and Design can lead to. Please have a look at our powerpoint to find out more…

Career Pathways FINAL10




At one time works of art and well designed homes, furnishings and artifacts were the privilege of the wealthy.

Advances in technology and manufacturing have meant that artists and designers now have a part to play in the lives of everyone and creative industry reaches far and wide. There is now an increasing demand for people trained in Art and Design in a wide variety of disciplines in the workplace.

Qualifications in Art and Design

The first step on the road to a career involving Art and Design is undertaking the National 4 or National 5 certificate. The National 4 is a qualification which is equivalent to the old standard grade foundation level certificate and Intermediate 1 while the National 5 is more in line with the standard grade general and credit certificate and Intermediate 2.

This qualification would be the minimum requirement for a variety of Further Education courses such as Retail Display, Graphic Design and Exhibition Design. It is also highly recommended for many others such as Beauty Therapy and Childcare.

NB. – a portfolio of artwork plus several other National 5 qualifications is also required. Most pupils would complete a 5th year before applying to a College of Further Education.

These colleges offer a variety of modular courses which means that pupils can advance their qualifications depending on the extent of their ability. The minimum length of study depends on the course chosen, but would not in any case be more than one year. A typical qualification from one of these colleges would be an H.N.C or an H.N.D.

Outwith the modular courses, a foundation or portfolio preparation year is offered to prepare students for application to the Colleges of Art to go on to Degree level study.

Students committed to this pathway to Art College must have a minimum of four B Higher passes plus a minimum of three other National 5 qualifications.

Beyond National 5     

Higher Grade. This is required for entry to a more advanced level of course in the above colleges and for application to a Scottish College of Art (and also to any equivalent English College or University).                                                              

These colleges award Degrees and therefore require students to have a minimum of four B passes at Higher level (including Art and Design and English), plus three other subjects at National 5.

The minimum length of study is four years, the first of which is a general introduction to the different areas of specialism – i.e. Design, Drawing and Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture and many more.

The degree awarded is a B.A. (hons.). Excellence is recognised in the form of an award for a further year’s study resulting in an M.A.

A further option is available in the form of a Degree in Fine Art. This course is divided between the College of Art and the University where specialist studies take place on the History of Art. The degree awarded is an M.A.(hons.). This course is offered by a limited number of establishments across the U.K.

The following is a list of just a few of the careers which require some training from National 5 up to HNC and HND qualifications.

National 5 and/or Higher:


Beauty Therapy

Sign Writing/Production


Higher and/or HNC – HND :

Retail Display (shop and window dressing)

Exhibition Design (Galleries, conferences and information centres, etc.)

Landscape Design

Photography (portrait, fashion, photo journalism, events, etc)

Film and T.V. (cameras, lighting, makeup, sets, costumes, props, etc.)

Graphic Design (design for print, advertising, publicity, web design illustration, etc.)

Interior Design (Design for living and working environments. Co-ordination of colour, textures, furnishings, etc.)



Interior Design

Industrial Design( working with engineers to design working artifacts such as cars, computers, medical machinery, etc. (N.B. this requires Maths and Science)

Textiles Design (printed and/or woven)

Fashion Design

Restoration and Conservation (caring for and preserving works of art, textiles, buildings, etc.)

Theatrical and Costume Design

(Stage sets, props, costumes, etc.)

Film and T.V. (cameras, lighting, makeup, sets, costumes, props, etc.)



Jewellery Design (traditional and/or modern)

Layout Editor (printing industry for newspapers, magazines, books, etc.)

Furniture design/Production

Graphics (illustration, advertising, corporate identity design, website design, packaging design, etc.)

Computer graphics/animation

If you are considering a career in Art and Design and you need further information, the staff of the Art and Design Department are happy to offer advice and help.

Also, for more information and to find out what is going on in the department, please have a look on our blog at


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