Art and Design Portfolio NC Level 6

What is special about this course?

This one-year course is based in the inspiring location of the Isle of Skye. Making the most of our landscape, students will learn to work in a range of environments and gain knowledge from experienced tutors and professional artists. With small group sizes and a purpose-built studio in our Portree centre, the learning experience is full of exciting challenges, enabling students to explore a variety of art and design disciplines. These include drawing, painting, sculpture, print-making, digital imaging, textiles and design. The end of the course is celebrated with a full-scale exhibition, managed and led by the class.

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 HNC Contemporary Art Practice at UHI West Highland and BA (Hons) Fine Art across UHI.

This course suits a diverse range of students including school leavers, those wishing to advance in Higher Education as well those looking to widen their skill set.

The course may run with students working at 2 levels. The college will ascertain which level is best for you at interview after viewing current samples of your work and informal discussion. Students will achieve either: NC Art and Design SCQF level 6 if the required units are successfully completed, alternatively you may study and achieve NQ Art and Design SCQF level 5.

During your course, we introduce you to using a range of digital technologies, which will help you get the most from your course and at the same time develop your digital skills.  Find out more about key computing skills and essential student skills

Entry requirements

You should have 3 National 5 passes or equivalent including Art and English. All applicants must present a folio of recent work at Interview. Mature students will be considered on merit.

  • Drawing
  • Printmaking
  • Textiles
  • Colour
  • Contextual studies
  • Art project
  • Sketchbook development
  • Creative 3D artform
  • Exploratory media handling
  • Digital media
  • Personal project 
  • Presentation and preparing for exhibition
  • Embedded development of core and essential skills

More than just your subject 

Imagine coming out of college with your subject qualification PLUS a portfolio of skills endorsed by employers. That’s exactly what you will get with us. Our skills+ portfolio is part of your full-time course. You will develop skills in digital literacy, entrepreneurship, metaskills, work-readiness, net-zero, wellbeing, and the skills you need for your future aspirations. Our skills+ portfolio becomes your portfolio to take away with you. Whilst studying your subject you will build your skills+ portfolio and gain confidence and resilience along the way.


Internet connection and a suitable device with headphones, microphone and camera (minimum spec) is required. Please email us if you have any concerns about connectivity or equipment.

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time

You normally need to commit to 18 hours per week (2-3 days) of blended learning time consisting of timetabled learning and personal study.

For the practical elements of your course, some of your timetabled learning will probably take place in the Creative Art Studio in Portree.


How long will my course last?

34 Weeks

August - June

Where can I study my course?

    • Portree

    Please note, UHI West Highland will be changing its name to UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023, subject to Scottish Government approval. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study.

Start date

August 2023


For the latest information on fees please see our Fees & Funding information pages.


Students may also qualify for bursary funding.

What can I do on completion of my course?

After this course you could consider applying for BA Fine Art (Hons) with other academic partners within the University of the Highlands and Islands or other art and design courses elsewhere. Additional Highers may be required for this level of study.

Is there more information available online?

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I moved to Skye after school. I loved painting and drawing and I liked the look of this course. I hadn’t done printing, sculpture or jewellery making so I thought it would be a fun project for myself to try out new things and I really enjoy it.

The new things push you out of your comfort zone but that’s good. I wasn’t sure about printing to start with but then after Claire was teaching me I really started to enjoy it. The lecturers are good and always helpful and there’s a good buzz in the studio.

I want to carry on with art so have applied for various Uni’s and for HNC Contemporary Art Practice. This course has helped me create my portfolio for application.

Gracie Buchan

I did Higher Art in school and I thought I'd like to continue with art. The course is more in depth and we also use more media like print making and sculpture, so I am doing more creative exploration.  

I would recommend this course. It’s fun, it’s enjoyable in general and it shows you different things that you might not have experienced before. The class size is small, so you get more attention and more feedback. You are also able to share with the rest of the class. It’s quite nice sometimes to walk about the class and see what everyone else is up to.

Faith Crossley

Apply for Art and Design Portfolio NC Level 6

I want to start in 2023/24

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI West Highland. Please note, UHI West Highland will be changing its name to UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023, subject to Scottish Government approval. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study. UHI West Highland 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.