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Access to Higher Education: Diploma in Art and Design

An Access to Higher Education Diploma is a means of entry to a degree course. It will help you prepare for the academic rigour of higher education study, reviving skills you might not have used in a while and building your confidence. You will be part of a group of other adult students equally excited about learning, motivated to work hard and fulfil their ambitions.

If you’ve always wanted to study on a creative degree course but haven’t much relevant experience, this course could be for you. The Access to Higher Education Art and Design course is designed to prepare you for studying a creative arts degree but has wider appeal. If you simply wish to further your understanding of the art world and develop your talent, you will progress in an inspiring environment and become more focused on your own creativity.

The course mixes practical creative work, experimenting in 2D and 3D disciplines, with seminars introducing art history. You will begin the course exploring creative techniques and approaches and experimenting with different materials to develop your skills. Alongside this you will examine a wide range of artists’ and designers’ work to inform your own ideas and see your work in the broader framework of art and design.

Guided tasks throughout the course lead towards independent project work as your skills develop. The projects you complete will encourage more independent thinking, develop your specialist interests, and identify degree courses to help you progress in your chosen field.

Throughout the course you will be building a portfolio of work, sketchbook studies and written projects, all of which are essential for a successful interview.

Apply for this course

Sep 2022 : Brannams : Part-time
Course Code : PTB503L (2022)
Level : Level 3
Duration : 2 Years

Cost : * Total Fee £3932

Brannams campus Apply
Sep 2022 : Brannams : Full-time
Course Code : FTB041
Level : Level 3
Duration : 1 Year
Brannams campus Enquire

Course details


Your assessment will be through formal feedback on each project with graded and ungraded units, as well as ongoing informal reviewing, support and guidance.

Entry Requirements

Most universities require GCSE grades at C or above in English and Maths, or equivalent, as part of the entry requirements for degree courses. GCSE English and Maths are separate qualifications from the Access to Higher Education Diploma so, if required, we offer additional lessons for these subjects. If you don’t already have a C grade or above in Maths or English at GCSE, these are currently free for students over 19. Please contact our Advice and Guidance Centre for further details.

Please note that due to the amount of work involved, we strongly recommend that you only take one GCSE at the same time as the Access Diploma.


Students will normally progress to a foundation degree at Petroc or another university.

Facilities and resources

Our open-plan studio is fully supported to aid your study and development. A well-equipped learning resources centre offers wider materials, as do the many online resources accessible as a Petroc student.


Q: Do universities recognise the Access to Higher Education Diploma?

A: The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a national qualification and is recognised and accepted by UK universities. Many universities have policies to encourage applications from Access to Higher Education students, who are valued for their maturity and willingness to contribute to discussions.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: You may be entitled to full fee remission if you are aged 19 – 23 and studying your first full Level 3 qualification. To find out more about the Advanced Learner Loan, please contact our Advice and Guidance Centre.

Applicants who take the Advanced Learner Loan do not need to pay anything upfront. If you complete your Access Diploma and then go on to complete a course in Higher Education, the remaining balance of your Advanced Learner Loan, including any interest on it, will be written off. You can get full information from Student Finance England. Or you can contact our Advice and Guidance Centre for advice and information on fees.

Q: Can I get any help with childcare, or other costs?

A: Some additional help is available, dependent upon individual circumstances – please contact our Advice and Guidance Centre for advice and information.

Study Programme

Every full-time student at Petroc will have their own Study Programme which will include:

– Your academic or vocational qualification.

– Maths and English Language development – if you have not achieved GCSE grade 4 in either of these subjects.

– Work Experience – hours will vary depending on your qualification and course level.

– Tutor Support – to support your personal, academic and professional development.

– Sustainability – helping you to identify how you can improve the sustainability of your future employment sectors.

– Personal Development Awards – developing six key areas of personal and employability behaviours to prepare you for the working world.

Apply for this course

Staring Date : 12/09/2022
Course Code : FTB041 Brannams campus Enquire
Staring Date : 12/09/2022
Course Code : PTB503L (2022) Brannams campus Apply

Why Petroc should be your first choice

Petroc offers high quality education and training across North and Mid Devon. We provide outstanding learning, excellent facilities, strong connections to employers and a supportive environment to help you fulfil your education goals and set you on your path to the career of your dreams.

Photo by Guy Harrop. Pic of Petroc college students, Devon

image copyright guy harrop
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We offer a supportive and inclusive environment where you can flourish and feel a valued member of the college and wider community. 


Our teaching spaces and facilities are some of the best in the region, providing stimulating and true-to-life learning environments. 


We’ll provide you with the experiences you need to be ready for employment or the next step on your educational journey.

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