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Home » Courses » Access to Higher Education: Art & Design

Access to Higher Education: Art & Design

Learn to explore and expand your own creativity and visual language across a range of Art and Design disciplines. You will explore media processes and theories through two and three-dimensional workshops and projects, developing your work into independent and original outcomes.

Why choose this course?

If you are 18+ and interested in pursuing a career in Art & Design, either independently or via higher education, then the Access to HE: Art & Design could be the place to start. It is a broad and inclusive course and no prior qualifications are necessary. We will help you build skills, knowledge, and experience from whatever your starting point, towards your chosen progression routes, be that higher education or a different route.

The course is particularly geared towards learners who are returning to education, with friendly and knowledgeable staff supporting your development throughout your journey. You will study an extensive range of creative practice including drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, painting, graphic design, illustration, architecture and more. This includes practical, experimental workshops as well as sessions on theory, creative concepts, and contextual study. The Study & Presentation skills unit develops the skills necessary to study at HE level, including essay writing and researching.

The course is led by knowledgeable and experienced lecturers in small groups (max. 15) over 3 days a week, with approximately a further days’ worth of time required for independent work and study. You will study in our purpose-built Ginkgo building which is based on the Tregye Campus at Carnon Downs, with views over the Cornish countryside where you will have your own course base room and access to specialist facilities for a range of 2D and 3D disciplines.

The course does require hard-work and commitment to your studies, but with the support of your lecturers, tutor, and technicians, as well as a range of other support offered by Truro and Penwith College, the Access to HE: Art & Design will allow you to develop your skills, confidence, and creativity to progress as an independent learner.

Apply for this course

Start date: 16/09/2024

Course code
Level 3
Truro College
1 year
Access to HE

top course highlights

Small classes

Outstanding facilities

Experienced Lecturers

Practical Focus

UCAS support

A picture of the grade 2 listed building at Tregye campus.

A small, welcoming course

Set on our Tregye Campus over 3 days a week, the purpose-built Ginkgo building has excellent facilities across two and three-dimensional processes. You will share with the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, while having your own base room.

Art Design TC 0008

Creative, practical focus

The course has practical workshops at its core, with each unit starting with a series of experimental, material or process-based sessions led by our team of creative and knowledgeable staff before developing into independent project work.

Art Design TC 0005

Progression support

Access to HE courses are designed to support learners to progress to university level courses, although you can study the course if this isn’t your intention. Extensive support is given with portfolios, personal statements, and course choices, if this is the path you wish to explore.

What will I learn?

You will learn a range of Art and Design skills, techniques and theories and develop the confidence and knowledge to develop your own independent outcomes, culminating in an exhibition of your work at the end of the course.  The course will also support you in developing the skills, confidence and experience necessary to progress to higher education study.
The course consists of 10 units, both graded (g) and ungraded (u) which make up a total award of 60 credits.

All students will undertake the following units:

  • Drawing 1: Basic Techniques – 3 credits (u)
  • Drawing 2: Life Drawing – 3 credits (g)
  • Printmaking – 3 credits (u)
  • Photography – 6 credits (g)
  • Design – 6 credits (g)
  • 3D – 6 credits (g)
  • Colour – 6 credits (g)
  • Final Major Project 1: Research & Development – 9 credits (g)
  • Final Major Project 2: Exhibition & Analysis – 9 credits (g)
  • HE Study Skills – 9 credits (u)

These units are supported by tutorial sessions and extensive support with portfolio development and UCAS university applications.

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Where will it take me?

Potential career options include: Artist, Graphic Designer, Architect, Printmaker, Photographer, Illustrator, Textile Designer, Game Design and more.

Progression opportunities include: Higher education study across a variety of Art and Design courses.

Assessment Arrangements

Assessments are intended to prepare students for higher education assessments by developing skills in research, time management, organisation, critical and contextual analysis.

There are three main assessment points during the year where you will submit the work achieved across multiple units. The primary means of assessment is through your personal, annotated sketchbooks and practical work, but also includes the following assessment methods:

  • Portfolio of Evidence
  • Exhibited Work
  • Presentations
  • Written Essay
  • Discussions

Entry Requirements

There are no prior qualifications needed to apply for this course, although prior creative qualifications and experience would be an advantage. We recommend that you have GCSE English and Maths at a minimum of Grade 4 (C) before you commence the Access course. However, please contact us to discuss your prior qualifications and planned progression route and we would be happy to advise based on your particular set of circumstances.

It is advisable to check the GCSE requirements for the higher education course you wish to complete following the Access course, as they may have different stipulations.

Information & Support

Your studies will be supported through weekly tutorial sessions with regular individual feedback and group discussion. Course information and documentation as well as session resources are available via our online learning platform.

Truro and Penwith College offers extensive additional support through its Learning Services, Study Support and Student Services teams.

Additional information

Although a lot of materials and resources will be provided, some additional expenditure will be required including purchasing of sketchbooks and additional materials. There may also be opportunities for study visits both locally and abroad for an additional cost. Bursary support may be available to help with these additional costs via Student Services.

Awarding body: CAVA

Meet the staff, tour the campus and find out about life as a student at one of the best colleges in the country.

What you could earn

  • Artists
  • Arts Officers, Producers and Directors
  • Textiles, Garments and Related Trades
  • Textile Process Operatives
  • Advertising Accounts Managers and Creative Directors
  • Architects
  • Furniture Makers and Other Craft Woodworkers
  • Other Skilled Trades
Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


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