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Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design) Ref. 400/0827/7 GRAPHICS Pathway

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design) Ref. 400/0827/7 GRAPHICS Pathway

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The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design) QAA Ref. 400/0827/7 WILL get you to apply for university to study Graphics in just 1 year!

This course is an option for people who would like to start or further their career in Graphic Design.

This diploma will allow you to apply for university courses in areas such as, but not limited to, architecture, fashion, textiles, printmaking, 3D design, graphic design, photography, illustration and fine art.

No qualifications are required to study this course so get started today!

In our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design), you will have the opportunity to define your individual practice and further prepare you for specialist studies in art and design. It helps you make the transition to specialist Art and Design education and can also be used as preparation for employment.

Graphics Pathway will work closely with a practising artist, who will develop your skills and specialism in this area of Art and Design.


The Diploma is designed to help you prepare a portfolio and make informed decisions about the Graphic Design area you will specialise in during a degree or other higher-level course.

Develop your creativity and skills within the broad field of art and craft and achieve your diploma at a pace to suit you.

During stage one, students will explore broad core principles and working practices in Art, Design and Media which will lead learners to discover their preferred area of study. Simultaneously, learners will create their critical comprehension and creative skill sets.

This Online Art & Design Course at a Glance

  • 100% online learning for adults
  • Flexible - learn in your own time around work and family
  • Flexible payments - interest-free monthly payments over 1 year 
  • One-to-one tutor support at mutually convenient times
  • Go to university without A Levels
  • Gain crucial knowledge, skills, understanding and confidence
  • Assessed through end-of-unit assignments 
  • Equivalent level to those of other level 3 qualifications, such as A Levels
  • Complete in 1 year or less

Education Provider: Cambridge Online Education - established 2002

Accredited by: Open College Network West Midlands

Regulated by: Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)


Course Outline

The Access to HE Diploma is a full Level 3 qualification designed to prepare learners without traditional qualifications for entry into Higher Education (HE). The Diploma provides opportunity for learners to acquire and develop knowledge and skills needed to progress to higher education study and also enables learners to develop social and emotional skills such as communication and confidence.


To achieve the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design) Ref. 400/1034/X learners must achieve:

  • 45 credits which must be graded, academic subject content at Level 3 only, 
  • 15 credits which must be either at Level 2 or Level 3 ungraded (U).

The following are the Core Unit titles for this Diploma:

  • Colour Theory & Design
  • Exploring Ideas Through Processes
  • Sketchbook
  • History of Art and Design (U)
  • Health and Safety: Workshop and Studio (U)
  • Presentation Graphics (U)
  • Study Techniques (U)

The following are the Specialist Pathway Unit titles for this Diploma:

Craft and Printmaking

  • Approaches to Craft – Function and Object
    • Introduction to Embroidered Textiles
    • Surface Decoration - Production
    • Working to a 3D Art Brief
    • Exploratory Drawing – Using Textile Media and Applications
    • Textile Workshop – Techniques and Processes
    • Final Major Project – Artefact & Exhibition
    • Research Topic


  • Advanced Digital Photography
    • Documentary Photography
    • Photography - Landscape and Cityscape
    • Presenting Photographic Work
    • Studio Practice
    • Photographic Lighting
    • Media and Materials in Photography
    • Introduction to Photograms

    Fine Art

    • Drawing Development – Life Drawing
    • Drawing for Painting
    • Painting - Mixed Media
    • Painting – Painting the Human Figure
    • Painting – Surface and Form
    • Perspective Drawing
    • Sculpture Skills
    • Final Major Project – Artefact & Exhibition


    • Advertising Design
    • Computer Graphics in Art and Design
    • Design for Print
    • Typography
    • Signs and Symbols Design
    • Page Layout Design

    Enrolment Requirements

    There are no formal entry requirements for students applying for the Cambridge Online Education Access to H.E. Diplomas. Tutors are nevertheless, required to ensure that learners admitted onto the Diploma possess the necessary skills and personal qualities to cope with the demands of the course.


    All Access to HE Diplomas require the achievement of 60 credits. 45 of the 60 credits must be graded at Level 3 (pass, merit or distinction). Such credits will arise from the Academic Subject Content Modules. The remaining 15 credits are ungraded and can be achieved at either Level 2 or Level 3. Students may only be registered against units with a maximum combined total credit value of 60. In terms of the length of time required for a learner to complete their diploma, for all Access to HE Diplomas the notional learning hours are 600. Notional learning hours comprise all learning that may be relevant to the achievement of the learning outcomes including directed and private study, practical and project work, assignments and assessment time. The assessment methods used for each unit of your course will be detailed in the Programme Handbook. Your tutor will provide you with formative feedback and provisional grades. Your grades will be then evaluated by the Examination Board. Final grades will be released to students after the External Moderation Visit.


    On successful completion of the course, you will receive a QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art & Design) at level 3 QAA ref: 400/0827/7 awarded by the Open College Network West Midlands.

    Open College Network West Midlands are a national Awarding Organisation, regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and Qualifications Wales, to develop and award nationally recognised qualifications. Cambridge Online Education is a fully accredited education provider for this qualification


    After completing the Access to Higher Education Art & Design, you can then continue your education or seek employment in the following fields:

    • Artist
    • Designer
    • Architect
    • Illustrator
    • Prop and model maker
    • Secondary school Art & Design Teacher
    • Lecturer
    • Corporate trainer
    • Education consultant for the creative sector
    • Curriculum manager
    • Content creator for education
    • University academic
    • Teacher trainer
    • Training manager
    • Learning centre director
    • Special educational needs teacher
    • Head teacher/Principal
    • College tutor
    • Online tutor
    • Careers adviser
    • Teacher recruiter
    • School leader
    • Instructor
    • After school programme manager
    • Scout leader
    • Magistrate
    • Life coach
    As different universities have different entry requirements, you are strongly advised to check these requirements with your chosen tertiary education provider. You can contact our career advisers for further guidance and support in this matter.

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    Meet your expert friendly tutor

    Pete's Story

    I thought I was destined to work in a warehouse forever until I found Access Courses Online. Now I'm retraining to teach! The best thing of all is I can keep working and earning money while I study. I would never have been able to be a teacher if I had to give up my job to study at college. I'm so excited to be working towards my true vocation - it's life changing for me really!