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Access to Higher Education: Creative Arts

This course is designed to develop your creative potential and prepare you for progression to a higher level of study at University or Art College. As a student on this course, you will be challenged to investigate a diverse range of art and design media, develop your own innovative visual language and realise your creative potential both as an individual and as a collaborator.

why choose this course?

This course is aimed at adult learners who would like the opportunity to retrain in art and design. The course will enable you to gain a broad understanding of subjects within the art and design framework giving students the knowledge, skills and understanding to explore, develop and test their creativity in areas such as fine art, drawing, painting, ceramics, glass, mixed media image creation, specialist design software, textile processes, printmaking and photography. The course will equip you with the opportunity to identify the area of specialism most tailored to your aspirations and ability. There will also be a structured programme of contextual studies which explore art movements and cultural issues associated with your study of art and design practice.

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Start date: 31/10/2022

Course code
Level 3
Penwith College
29 weeks
Access to HE


Exhibition opportunities

Live projects

Small classes

Excellent tutor support

Outstanding facilities

specialist equipment

The facilities and equipment are varied and spacious and include: 3D workshop, ceramics studio, ceramic and glass kilns, printing presses and screen-printing facilities.

Exhibition opportunities

All students can exhibit their work at the end of year exhibition held at Penzance School of Art. Other exhibition opportunities are possible through our collaborations with external galleries and arts organisations.

Series of workshops

The workshops, which are undertaken in the first term, are designed to give you an understanding of a wide range of practical and theoretical techniques and processes.

what will i learn?

During the course you will be taught required skills across a range of common art and design areas. You will learn how to extend your creative approach to the use and manipulation of a broad range of materials, processes and ‘making’ skills, as well as how to use tools, equipment and materials appropriate to the required production techniques.

The year is structured to allow you to shape an individual route to build your practical skills and creative potential through a series of themed projects, culminating in a Final Major Project and exhibition. You will also work on assignments to generate evidence, produce contextual and historical research, research idea development and show evidence of creative problem solving. This course is the ideal preparation for entry into a diverse range of higher education courses and careers within the creative industries.


Careers: Employment within the creative industries is as varied as it is challenging. Students from this course usually undertake specialist degree level education before entering employment. Many of our alumni have progressed into careers such as print and textile design, animation, designer-makers and design crafts such as ceramics or jewellery and silver smithing, graphic design, fashion design, illustration and commercial photography.

Progression: The Access to Higher Education programme is designed to give students the necessary grounding to progress on to Higher Education courses. The college has an excellent record of student progression to Degree level study. The majority of British Universities will accept Access to Higher Education courses as an alternative to A Levels and other more traditional routes. Students can apply for places on FdA and BA (Hons) courses in areas such as fine art, photography, contemporary crafts, interior design, 3D design, illustration, graphics and visual communication, fashion design and digital visualisation. Penwith College offers a one year HNC and a two year HND in Art Practice (Fine Art and Contemporary Crafts).

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Assessment Arrangements

The course is made up of 20 units, each with its own assessment criteria. Each completed practical project is graded against one or more units.

Entry Requirements

There are no entry requirements to come on to the Access Diploma however, most universities require you to have GCSE English Language and Maths at a minimum of grade 5 alongside the Access Diploma in order to progress on to the degree. There may be the opportunity for you to study one GCSE alongside your Diploma timetable.

Information & Support

Independent practice will be supported through PowerPoints, worksheets and other online guides.

College trips to visit museums and galleries will be offered and we encourage our students to visit galleries both locally and nationally to support their work.

Want to talk to someone?

Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our admissions team. We're here Monday-Friday 8.30am-4.30pm.

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