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Art, Design and Fashion

Access to Higher Education: Creative Arts Level 3 Full-time

In Brief

Start Date / Duration

This course starts in September 2024 and runs for 36 weeks on, typically across three days. Exact dates and times to be confirmed.

Entry requirements

  • You must be aged 19 or over to study an Access course.
  • We would like to see examples of recent work produced over the last three years, including drawings and evidence of your enthusiasm in any other medium
  • Level 2 English is desirable

You will achieve

Level 3 Access to HE Diploma in Art and Design, awarded by CAVA.

Course overview

This course is designed for mature students who have an ongoing enthusiasm for the creative arts and for those who wish to develop their growing interest in a variety of practical art and design areas. The Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma is a qualification which prepares you for study at degree level. If you would like to go to university but left school without the qualifications you need, then an Access to HE course could be for you.

Course content

You will spend the equivalent of two days a week in our well-equipped studios working with enthusiastic and committed tutors, who are all practicing artists, across a range of disciplines.

Our aim is to help you develop a critical awareness of why you produce your work rather than just showing you how to do something.

Studio Practice

The course is divided into three stages:

  • The first stage introduces you to skills and new ways of thinking about observation drawing, painting, textiles, 3-dimensional design, printmaking and an introductory project. The project will help you to develop, analyse, evaluate, sustain and resolve your ideas
  • The second stage consists of a thematic and self-elected project, which you can develop in any media or direction that you wish in consultation with your tutors
  • The third stage consists of a final major project which gives you the opportunity to design, plan and take much more responsibility for the direction of your work

As part of the course there are study trips to galleries and museums.

Your work will be assessed throughout the course, both internally and by an external moderator. At the end of each studio module you will present a folder of work for discussion and grading. The final major project is exhibited as part of the Universities Arts Festival in June/July which is open to the public. In order to gain a full Access Certificate, you must pass all the course units.

A studio fee will be payable on induction of £35 that contains a Studio Kit, Printing Credit and Materials Credit.

You can progress onto a HND, BA or MA Art and Design course. Others aiming at self-employment can set up their own studios. Some students could use the course to enhance their employment prospects in the creative industries.

See what careers are available in the Art Graphics and Fashion sector. Use our online careers tool, Career Coach, to find out what your next steps could be.

How much does the course cost?

This course costs £3,928. You can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to pay for this course. If you are aged 19-23 and this is your first full level 3 qualification then you may not have to pay for the course.

19+ Students

Aged 19 or over and thinking about further education?

You may be eligible for free or reduced course fees . Please refer to our page ‘paying for your course.’

Extra information

This course may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan. Contact our friendly Information Team on +44 (0)1226 216 123 or email info@barnsley.ac.uk. about eligibility and how to apply. You can also visit the Advanced Learner Loan page.



If you’re undertaking an Access to Higher Education (HE) course and then go on to complete an HE qualification, the outstanding balance of your Advanced Learner Loan will be written off, once you have fully completed both courses.

For further information please contact our friendly Information Team on +44 (0)1226 216 123 or email info@barnsley.ac.uk

Barnsley College has a range of sports opportunities for all students to take part in, gain professional training and compete nationally and internationally. We also have a state-of-the-art fitness village, Honeywell Sports Village where students can make use of our fitness suite, spinning studio and classes for competitive rates. You don’t have to be studying sport to get involved in the Sports Academy.

Our Additional Learning Support team can provide you with the support you need. Please contact them on +44 (0)1226 216 769.

Please note we reserve the right to change details without notice. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Access to Higher Education: Creative Arts Level 3 Full-time

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