Art and Design Portfolio Course NC

What is special about this course?

This course offers a diverse range of modules specially selected to expand students’ knowledge and creative approaches to art and design practise. All modules are practical and studio based with a contextual study element.

Drawing is the foundational backbone of the course as well as experimentation with a wide range of 2D, 3D and digital media. An exciting programme of lectures develops historical and contextual awareness of art and design and regular talks by visiting artists bring in new ideas and approaches. An optional study trip to a European city is also built into the course, which gives students an opportunity to visit major art galleries.

Individualistic and flexible learning is encouraged; where rules are there to be broken in an environment that encourages students to take risks, try new things, and not fear failure but rather embrace it in order to improve skills and expand knowledge. Problem solving and original thinking are core skills embedded in the course and a strong work ethic is built up with the production of a large amount of art work. The best of this work is selected for the student's portfolio and end of year exhibition.

Entry requirements

Ideally formal qualifications at National 5 (Credit Standard Grade) level, or equivalent.

Evidence of creative ability to be presented at interview in a folio of art and design work, ideally including sketchbooks with students own ideas and examples of observational drawing.

Lecturers can give advice on what to present beforehand - if required please contact the department.

Applications are welcomed from individuals who do not have these qualifications but can demonstrate relevant life experience and skills.

  • Exploratory Media Handling
  • Analytical Drawing
  • Creative 3D Art Form
  • Found Object Sculpture
  • Digital Media
  • Colour
  • Painting Media Techniques
  • Expressive Drawing
  • Contextual Studies
  • Creative Textile Development
  • Figure Drawing
  • Print Making
  • Photography
  • Painting to a Theme
  • Sketchbook Development
  • Project

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time
  • Part Time

As well as studio space within the Art, Design and Textiles Section, which has specialist art studios and an Apple Mac Suite; study and research space is also available within the college library. There you will find art and design reference material, PCs and internet access.

How long will my course last?

1 Year
  • Full time over one year
  • Part time over two years
  • Unstructured Part Time - pick individual modules

NC Art and Design Portfolio Course - Semester 1 Modules (pdf)

NC Art and Design Portfolio Course - Semester 2 Modules (pdf)

Where can I study my course?

    • Lerwick Campus

Start date



For the latest information on fees please see our fees policy.


Most full-time students will have their fees paid.

Students on part-time courses may also be eligible to have their course fees waived.

For more information see the funding page. 

What can I do on completion of my course?

Academic: You can progress on to further and higher education courses on the mainland in areas such as art, photography, graphic design, fashion and jewellery. Locally you can progress to our BA (Hons) Contemporary Textiles or BA (Hons) Fine Art courses delivered at Shetland UHI.

Employment/Career: Achieving this qualification may lead to apprenticeships in jewellery, digital media, graphic design, retail or interior design.

Former students have: Progressed to degree level and beyond to become professional photographers, artists and crafts practitioners.

Is there more information available online?

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"I have enjoyed every aspect of the NC course and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone with an interest in art who is considering applying.

Each module has been a challenge, but, with the support of very encouraging staff, I feel I have learned much and enjoyed success in creating art using a wide range of techniques and materials.

This course has provided me with a sense of achievement and a new set of friends!"

Susan Linklater, Fine Art student (previously studied on the NC course)

"The NC Art and Design course is designed to build a solid foundation in art skills and will equip students to progress to further study"

Paul Bloomer, lecturer

Apply for Art and Design Portfolio Course NC

I want to start in 2022/23
I want to start in 2023/24

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI Shetland. UHI Shetland 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.