Where will this course lead?

This course is for 19+ who want to pursue a career in the creative industries in graphic design, photography or media by preparing you for higher education and apply for university courses in a chosen specialism.

You will develop your skills in a range of areas, graphics, media, digital art and photography, as well as your critical and analytical skills. Your communication, personal and study skills will also be improved.

There will also be the opportunity to gain GCSEs in maths and English.

What will I study?

To achieve an Access to Higher Education Diploma, learners must achieve 60 credits in total


Intro to computers in art and design (3) ungraded

Health and safety in art & design (3) ungraded

Technical Experimentation in Photography (3) ungraded

Colour Theory & Design (3)

Advertising Design (6)

Video Project (6)

Advanced Digital Photography (6)

Study Techniques (6) ungraded

History of Art & Design (3)

Extended Essay (6)
Portfolio & Progression (3)

Exploring Ideas Through Process (6)

Final Major Project - Artefact and Exhibition (6)


How will this course be delivered?

The chosen units will be delivered by specialist staff through the completion of set assignment briefs. Teaching is delivered through a range of practical workshops, lectures, one to one tutorial support, guest lecturers and educational visits.

This course will run over approximately 12 hours per week starting at 09:30am until 3:15pm. There will also be approximately 10 hours of private study time per week. 

What qualifications will I get?

Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design) - Visual Communication Pathway. Awarded by 'Open College Network' West Midlands Region.

How will I be assessed?

Assignment briefs will be set throughout the academic year with multiple assessment points where students will receive feedback on their progress throughout the year.

All student work is internally assessed by staff members who deliver the unit, then verified by internal and external moderators.

How do I get a place on the course?

Places on the course will be offered by interviews. You will be asked to bring along a portfolio of your work graphic, photography or media work to demonstrate your drive, ability to study and creative intentions.

What are the entry requirements?

Applicants must be 19 or older. You do not need a prior formal academic qualification to be accepted onto the course however if you are serious about studying on this programme you are expected to demonstrate your creative flair, enthusiasm and firm commitment to your study during the interview stage.

Maths and English qualifications above a C/4 grade would be ideal but not a requirement.

What else do I need to know?

You will be able to visit art galleries, museums and places of interest for location work during the course.

Applicants can apply for an Advance Learner Loan to help with the costs of a course. Loan eligibility does not depend on your income and there are no credit checks.

Student Finance England will 'write off' any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances you owe for an Access to HE course once you complete a higher education course.  However, if you leave or change your course after 2 weeks or more you will have to pay back any money that's been paid to your college (plus interest).

Applicants may also be eligible for the Advance Leaner Loan Bursary Fund if you need help with costs while studying, for example - childcare, travel or trips related to the course.

More information can be found via - https://www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan.

Is there anything else I will have to pay for in order to do this course?

You will need to purchase any stationary you require for the course as well as contributing to any trips or visits you go on, this will be no more than £50 per trip.

Specialist equipment will be advised at the interview stage. It is recommended that all students have access to Adobe Creative Cloud and a USB stick. Photography pathway students will need to have their own DSLR camera with memory cards. Graphic design pathway students will require a basic drawing kit including pencils, mental ruler, rubber and scalpel and the media pathway students require SD memory cards and external hard drive, but these will be discussed at the start of the course.

What can I do after this course?

Upon successful completion of the programme all students will be entitled to internally progress to HND courses relevant to their specialism. Students can also apply externally to HE courses which have graphics, photography, media or visual communication pathways.


Blossomfield Campus

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Course Fee


Course Code


Study Mode

Part Time