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3D Design BTEC HND (full-time)

This full-time creative qualification is designed to develop your personal identity through the exploration of a wide range of ideas, techniques and materials within 3D design. You will be able to self-direct your personal interests towards the use of metal, plastic and wood to establish skills and knowledge for jewellery design, product design, furniture design and interior design. The course will focus on building both specialist and multi-disciplinary skills, as well as introducing you to a range of contemporary designers and makers.

You will study core and specialist units, with the emphasis on building a creative portfolio that can be used to develop workshop and design skills, as a vehicle for gaining work with a range of prospective employers, or as a possible basis for gaining entrance to a final year on a degree programme. During the course you will be encouraged to develop a highly-individual, ideas-based portfolio, pursuing your specialist interests from theory to materials and techniques. You will engage regularly with ‘live projects’ and talks, and an impressive track record of engaging with commissions and working with established designers and craftspeople.

Employer engagement

View this document to see a taste of the workshops and other events that students have experienced recently.

Student success

Past 3D Design HND students who specialised in jewellery design have both progressed to successful careers within the field. One is working for international jeweller Arabel Lebrusan and has been part of the designs for the most recent award nominated bridal collection. The other student is working for Rachael Jeffrey's jewellery school and has recently had her work published in Glamour Magazine.

Talented HNC/D 3D Design students from Bedford College took part for the first time in an international event, New Designers. Their work was seen alongside the most famous design universities in the UK.  Read more.

Design Factory 2015-16 competition set by the Design Museum
Three of the HNC students were three out of 40 shortlisted as part of the Design Factory 2015-16 competition set by the Design Museum.

HND student gains internship at bespoke design service Koti
A HND student has gained an internship at a bespoke design service called Koti. Koti Studio is a product design consultancy built around a passion for considered design. Collectively, Koti has a vast array of experience in product design, product development and branding.

Talented student
Bedford College student Gregg Hinds has been described as an 'endeavouring' product and furniture designer and is currently one of 40 finalists of the Design Factory competition launched by the Design Museum. Greg experiments with new composite materials and resins, focusing on texture as a main feature of his designs.


Entry requirements

To begin this course you will need an Art & Design Foundation Diploma, or a National Diploma in an Art & Design subject, or an equivalent Level 3 qualification, or relevant professional experience. Applicants from A-Level programmes displaying high levels of creativity will also be considered, as will mature students, who will be considered individually on experience rather than qualifications. Entry will also be subject to a successful interview, where you will be asked to present a portfolio of your creative work, including developmental worksheets or sketchbooks.

This course is best suited to candidates who can evidence the ability and/or potential to:

  • Work imaginatively in 3D Design
  • Engage with contemporary fine art theory
  • Generate and develop creative ideas in response to a wide range of briefs
  • Articulate and communicate creative intentions clearly
  • Show willingness to collaborate and discuss work in group situations
  • Reflect critically on activities and learning, and demonstrate intellectual enquiry
  • Embrace new ways of thinking and engage with a range of techniques and materials.

Course content

You will study core and specialist units with the emphasis on building a creative portfolio which can be used:

  • To develop workshop and design skills
  • As a vehicle for gaining work with a range of prospective employers
  • As a possible basis for gaining entrance to a final year on a degree programme.

You will be encouraged to develop a highly individual ideas-based portfolio, pursuing your personal specialist interests from theory to materials and techniques. Students engage regularly with 'live projects' and talks, and have an impressive track record of engaging with commissions and working with established designers and craftspeople.

You will study the following core compulsory units:

  • Visual communication in art and design
  • Ideas generation and development in art and design
  • Contextual and cultural referencing in art and design
  • Professional practice in art and design.

In addition you will study from a range of specialist units, including:

  • Design principles
  • Product design
  • Design for performing arts
  • Specialist 3D technology and processes
  • Interior design
  • Properties of 3D material
  • Product design
  • Critical study in art and design
  • Professional studies in art and design
  • Lighting
  • Digital image creation & development.

Some of these units are likely to be combined to form a Final Major Project with unit five, Project Design, Implementation and Evaluation. As the course progresses you will be expected to develop more independence and autonomy, and negotiate a personal learning plan to support your practice.

Assessment methods

During the course you will work with a range of specialist lecturers (including practising artists and designers) in well-equipped studios and workshops. Project briefs will be set for each assignment, and you are encouraged to develop a personal response to each task. All activities are supported through one-to-one tutorials and group discussions to inform personal progress and aid assessment. Assessment will be continuous throughout the course, with assignments being graded at the end of each task.

Further study and career options

On successful completion of the HND, you will have the option to top up the qualification to a full Bachelor's degree at university or enter employment.

Additional information

Additional costs

  • You will need a minimum of £100 per year for materials, dependent on project requirements. 
  • Resource fee of £150 to cover: Jesmonite, sheet acrylic, timber, sheet/tube/bar brass.
  • Train fares for (optional) visits to the Design Museum and Material Lab in London.

Material Lab are run and funded by the UK’s leading tile manufacturer Johnson Tiles. They responded to what the art and design community desired: a place where inspiration and creativity go hand in hand, where you can immerse yourself in surface coverings of every kind no matter what it’s made from. Plastic, leather, vinyl, ceramic, paper, textile, glass… if it’s on the wall or the floor they've got it covered.

To enrol on this course you must apply through the University & Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) using the institution code BEDF B23 and the course code 092W. Visit or call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Course information & how to book

You will need to complete a UCAS online application form to apply for this course, available at The codes needed are located in the 'Additional information' section above. Please call the College on 01234 291000 if you have any queries about your application.

LengthStart DateFees per yearLocationCourse Code
2 years 28/09/2018 £5500 Cauldwell Street L510

Part-time course already started?

Our upcoming 2018-19 part-time courses will be out in May.
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Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.
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