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 applying 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 academic study skills will also be improved.

There will also be the opportunity to gain GCSEs in Maths and/or English based upon a diagnostic test.

What will I study?

To achieve an Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design), learners must achieve 60 credits in total. 

  • Photography: Analogue Photography (3 credits)
  • Art and Design: Using a Workshop (3 credits)
  • Art and Design: Using Digital Applications for Art and Design Practice (3 credits)
  • Preparing for Application and Interview (6 credits)
  • Art & Design Contextual Studies (6 credits)
  • Academic Writing Skills (3 credits)
  • Reading and Note Making (3 credits)
  • Advertising Design (6 credits)
  • Art and Design: Colour Theory and Design (6 credits)
  • Photography: Digital Photography (6 credits)
  • Video: Short Documentary (6 credits)
  • Major Project (9 credits)

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. There will also be approximately 15 hours of private study time per week.

What qualifications will I get?

Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diploma: Art & Design. Skills & Education Group (Subject to Approval). 

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 show a portfolio of your work this could include art, graphics, photography, or media work to demonstrate your drive, ability to study and creative intentions and ability.

What are the entry requirements?

Applicants must be 19 or older. You do not need a prior formal academic qualification in the arts 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.

However, you must have a level 2 qualification in Maths and English (e.g. GCSE grade A/8 - C/4 or functional skills level 2)

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 cover 24 or who have an 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

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. Photography pathway students will need to have their own DSLR camera with memory cards. Graphic design pathway and the media pathway students require SD memory cards. Any other materials will be discussed at the start of the course.

What can I do after this course?

Upon successful completion of the programme students will be entitled to internally progress to HE courses relevant to their specialism. Students can also apply externally to HE courses which have graphics, photography, media or visual communication pathways. All applications are via UCAS and subject to course requirements which will be available on course websites.


Blossomfield Campus

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Part Time

Predicted Employment

How much can I earn?


Employment by Region

The career paths provided are to give you an idea of the careers that you could progress onto in the future. However, for some, you may need to complete higher level qualifications and gain experience before your dream job becomes a reality. The information provided is to support further research and to generate some initial career ideas when choosing a course. Please check entry requirements to degree courses, apprenticeships, and jobs as this may vary from year to year and across providers. For further advice and guidance, please contact: careers@solihull.ac.uk.
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