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

Start date

August 2023


Most students have their course fees paid as this is a full time course. Please read our Fees & Funding information pages for more information regarding residency, previous study and bursary rates. Please contact if you have any further questions.

Rest of UK students : For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), with a term-time address in Scotland, studying full time, the course fee is £5,800.

Some of our courses require students to have essential equipment/clothing.

If you are under 18, you are entitled to have essential equipment paid for whether you are entitled to Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) or not. However you must complete an application even if you know that you're not entitled to EMA.

If you are 18 and over and are eligible for a bursary, these costs will be met through your bursary. If you are not eligible for a bursary, you will need to fund these items yourself.


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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You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

I am a mature student and had studied art previously: Access to Art and Design, University Diploma HE 3D Design.  

I chose to do this course because I wanted to learn how to paint and reignite my creativity after the first lockdown of the 2020 Covid 19 Pandemic. 

I have really enjoyed the course as the lecturers inspired me and have been very supportive. Within each module they allowed me to explore where I wanted to head, offering guidance and suggestions allowing me to think a bit more out of the box. I really enjoyed working to deadlines and to a brief which you are given at the start of each module.  

Most important thing has been not to be treated any differently by being a mature student and lots of artist materials available in the studio and to take home! It has given me back my confidence in myself and my art. It has also unlocked my creativity allowing me to paint. 

Barbara Martin

I am planning to study art at university. I chose to do this course to explore different media and art practices. I have really enjoyed it because it has allowed me to learn new skills and revisit those that I have not used in a while. It’s great for those wanting to re-instill their passion for art, study it further or begin their journey into art. I have had the time, materials and support to create a portfolio of work.
Education can often be designed for one type of learner, but this course is very inclusive. 

I will be studying a HNC in Art & Design in Glasgow Clyde. This will prepare me for applying to second year of Communication Design at Glasgow School of Art.

Caetano Pelletti

Apply for Art and Design Portfolio NC Level 6

We are no longer accepting applications for 2022/23

I want to start in 2023/24

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI West Highland. 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.