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Access to HE: Art and Design Level 3 Diploma

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Key information

Qualification type

Access to HE

Course code



Level 3


1 year


Oxford City Centre,
Oxpens Rd,
Oxford, OX1 1SA

Start date

06 Sep 2021

New and returning learners:

Please note that due to special measures we have put in place to make our sites COVID safe, we are asking all learners to enrol with us online. If you are unable to do so we can support you over the phone, simply call 0800 612 6008. Please do not enter our college sites without a prior appointment as we are managing the number of people on site at any time to comply with social distancing measures.

See information about the measures we are taking to keep learners safe while on campus.

This programme has been designed to allow you to experiment with lots of different media and skills.

The broad experience on the Access to HE: Art and Design Level 3 Diploma enables you to understand what you are really good at and helps you decide what you want to specialise in when you progress to higher education.

This insight will help you choose the right future career path.

What I'll learn

During the programme, you will take part in several internal exhibitions and work alongside specialist lecturers, who will help guide you throughout the course.

Towards the end of your programme, you will have the opportunity to choose a subject specialism and complete a final major project.

In addition you will be able to access careers advice from specialist members of staff and you will be carefully guided through the UCAS process. Staff will also advise you on developing your portfolio.

Units covered include:

  • drawing
  • visual language
  • digital art
  • 3D art and design
  • graphic communication
  • mixed media
  • photography
  • textiles
  • printmaking


How I'll learn

This programme is taught through a range of approaches designed to provide you with the opportunity to develop your technical and conceptual skills.

The programme will help develop your skills in a range of areas, including drawing, media, digital art, photography, printmaking and textiles as well as your critical and analytical skills.

Your communication, personal and study skills will also be improved through a common core programme. There will also be the opportunity to gain GCSEs in maths or English.

You will benefit from socialising in an educational environment and working collaboratively on specialist projects. All of this is excellent preparation for higher education.

You will be assigned a personal tutor who will agree performance targets with you and support you to achieve these targets. Your tutor is also the first port of call for any pastoral issues. Our committed team of staff and careers specialists will also guide and support you with your higher education choices and applications.


How I'll be assessed

You will work on projects that develop your time management skills, research abilities and factual writing skills. These transferable skills are relevant to all areas of creative arts and will prepare you for both higher education and the world of work.

You will be given assignments to work on at regular intervals throughout the year. The teaching team will help guide you through all of the assignment requirements.

Many of your tutors are practising artists and designers bringing current industry practice to the classroom. What you can expect from the team is enthusiasm and commitment, individual guidance to help you progress and achieve, help with working on your individual strengths, extensive guidance for application to higher level courses, help with building a varied portfolio of work and help with exploring careers within the creative industries.


Entry Requirements

Applicants must be over 19 and have been out of full-time education for a year.

No specific qualifications are asked for, however a GCSE grade 4 (C) in English or maths would be beneficial.

You will have a numeracy and literacy assessment to check your suitability to study at Level 3.

If you are successful at your initial assessment, you will also be invited in for an interview where you will need to bring with you a portfolio of your work to date, demonstrate that you have a realistic career goal in mind and the motivation to achieve.

Some degrees require that you have some relevant paid or voluntary work experience and this will also be checked at interview. Applicants are strongly advised to check degree entry requirements with prospective universities before applying.

There is a wide range of support available at the college for students, including financial support.


How to Apply

You can apply for this programme online. Click on APPLY NOW and follow the steps below:

  • Register for our online service and verify your account
  • Log in to our website and click APPLY NOW on your chosen programme’s page to complete your application

As part of your application, you will be asked to provide us with your contact details, how your chosen programme fits with your future plans and if you require any extra support (for example, because of a disability, medical condition, learning or language support needs).
Please include full details of your qualifications from your own country, as well as details of any English Language tests you have taken.

Printed application forms are also available.

Please contact our Careers team if you need advice and guidance to help you choose the right programme for you.