ASDAN’s Expressive Arts Short Course offers exciting and rewarding activities to develop skills and knowledge through all forms of expressive arts. This programme helps learners develop practical arts skills, as well as personal, social and work-related skills.  

The Expressive Arts Short Course will enable learners to:

  • learn and demonstrate techniques in different forms of expressive arts (eg visual arts, performing arts, music, crafts, writing)
  • develop an awareness of how creative expression and enjoyment of the arts can have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing
  • develop their own creative voice and produce their own original work
  • gain an understanding of the importance of arts and creativity in society and industry

Short Courses can be completed using the student book or are available for learners to complete online through the ASDAN e-portfolio system. Learners log in to complete challenges, record skills development and upload evidence. Tutors can view learner progress and sign off work, leaving feedback as needed.

Who is it for?

The Expressive Arts Short Course can be undertaken by young people of all abilities, mainly aged between 13 and 19 (as well as adults and younger learners, where appropriate). 

It is ideal for students who are interested in arts and enjoy learning in a creative environment. The course can be used to support learning in all types of expressive arts, including visual arts, performing arts, music, crafts and writing. This could be anything from painting to poetry, crochet to circus skills, DJ-ing to dance.

Course content

The Expressive Arts Short Course contains five modules:

  • Explore
  • Experiment
  • Develop
  • Reflect
  • Careers in the arts

The Expressive Arts Short Course accredits between 10–60 hours of activities. It is available in student book and e-portfolio format. Tutors should choose the most appropriate option for their situation. Each learner will need their own copy of the Short Course student book or an e-portfolio login – this contains the challenge content.

Download sample pages from the Expressive Arts Short Course student book


Learners must present evidence of their activities in an organised portfolio or e-portfolio.

This will contain:

  • a record of challenges completed, with supporting evidence for each challenge
  • recording documents, showing how learners have planned and reviewed their activities
  • summary of achievement, highlighting skills development
  • personal statement


Short Courses can count as up to nine of the credits needed to achieve the International Award Programmes.

Supporting Resources

A free downloadable tutor information booklet to support the Expressive Arts Short Course is available in the members area for centres registered for Short Courses.

A quick guide to Short Courses is available to support the delivery of all ASDAN Short Courses. This document offers advice and guidance for tutors, including a step-by-step guide to delivery.

Additional resources to support Short Courses can be downloaded from theOrb – ASDAN’s Online Resource Bank. Resources available include witness statements, activity logs, lesson plans, worksheets and examples of evidence.

Getting started

For international centres new to ASDAN, your first step is to complete the expression of interest form. Current ASDAN centres need to ensure that the Short Courses are added to their centre's registration.

Following registration, you will be able to purchase your books and access additional resources and guidance via the members area of this website. ASDAN also provides introductory training workshops and can arrange in-house training.

ASDAN members area

Once your centre is registered with ASDAN for Short Courses, you can find further information and resources in the members area. This section of the website contains all the essential documents, forms and updates that you will need to deliver your course.

There is no limit to the number of people from a centre who can register to use the members area. 


Once students' work has been internally moderated, centres can request certificates for successful candidates from ASDAN, using the form in the members area.

There is no external moderation for this programme, although ASDAN reserves the right to request samples of candidates' work for quality assurance purposes.

What's Next?