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Access to HE Diploma Art and Design: Product Design

This course is ideal for anyone looking to pursue a future career within the Creative Arts industry, particularly in Product, Furniture or Interior Design Industries. The range of career opportunity in Creative Arts is diverse and the Access course at Richmond Upon Thames College is designed specifically to meet the needs of adult learners in preparation for progression to higher education.

NB: You must be 18 or over to apply for an Access to HE course.


Applications for September are now open.


  • Course details, fees and dates

    Course Code VF0PE / 10001

    Start Date Monday 24 Sep 2018

    How long is the course? 32 weeks

    What time does the course start? 10:00AM

    What time does the course end? 4:00PM

    When does the course run? 3 days per week

    How much does the course cost? All Fees £3,930

  • What will I study on this course?

    You will study a range of subjects in order to develop your creative thinking process including 3D, Wood, Metal, Glass, Photography, Fine Art, Graphics, Printmaking, Illustration and contextual studies. In addition there will be opportunity to develop Level 2 Maths and English skill, study skills, academic practice and relevant IT skills.

    The broad range of disciplines and subjects covered on the course will allow you to develop necessary skills relevant for progression in the Creative Arts Industry. The majority of students, on successful completion of all units do progress to higher education courses, including university and / or employment.

    There is a studio fee of £100.00 a year to pay upon enrolment that will help to subsidise the cost of the range of resources that you will use during the year including materials within the specialist workshops (e.g. screen printing, Photography and 3D etc.).

    It is an intensive one year programme and you will be expected to work hard on the course. Your life skills in time management, planning, prioritising and meeting deadlines will be key factors in ensuring success.

    The College works closely with a range of Employers, many of whom provide work experience as well as ‘Master classes.’ The majority of our Level 3, 4 & 5 students do progress into employment having successfully completed a period of study with us.

  • Are there any materials or resources that I need to bring to the sessions?

    The £100 studio fee will cover generic materials relevant to the course and also access to the workshops. However as the course progress you may want / need to purchase specialist materials and equipment based on your own preferred discipline.

  • What is expected of me at this level?

    This is an intensive course and you will be expected to have good attendance and complete independent study outside of lessons. At the start of the qualification you will be given a course calendar with a series of coursework submission dates which you will be asked to meet at regular intervals throughout the year.

  • What qualifications or experience do I need to start the course?

    You do not necessarily need previous qualifications, as we will take your life experience into account. Applicants for this course will be expected to have some artistic, creative or design experience and knowledge. Please note that this is a very demanding course, equivalent to an A-Level programme, so you will need to have a good level of literacy and numeracy (GCSE grade A-C standard) in order to succeed.

    You will have an initial assessment to assess your suitability for the course. If successful, you will be invited for an interview. If you are not quite ready for the Access course we may offer you another course that will prepare you for the Access course.

  • GCSE requirements for Access applicants

    In order to progress to certain Higher Education courses, you may require GCSE English and/or GCSE Maths to satisfy your university entry requirements. If you do not already have a grade C or above in these qualifications then please speak to the Access course leader about the option of taking these qualifications as an additional programme either before or during the Access to HE Diploma).

  • What experience would help me be suitable for the course?

    Experience of some practical work in the area or a personal interest in the subject would be beneficial. You would also be required to do some basic reading around the subject to ensure that the course is suited to you.

  • How will I be taught?

    You will learn about your subjects in a variety of ways including group work, independent research, take part in discussions, visits, external speakers and live projects. Through practical projects you will expand both your technical and creative skills. You will be encouraged to develop your study skills including research, analysis and presentation of your creative thinking process. You will have access to practical workshops and art studios but also classroom based activities and computer rooms.

  • How will I be assessed?

    There is no examination on this course. You will be assessed for each unit through assignments and coursework. The grading on the course is either level 2 (GCSE equivalent) or level 3 (GCE Advanced level).

  • What qualification will I get?

    On successful completion of 45 credits at Level 3 and 15 credits at level 3 or 2, you will be awarded the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Art & Design (Product Design).

  • What can the course lead to?

    An Access qualification is recognised by universities and other institutions providing Higher education courses as an entry requirement. The successful completion of the course will enable you to apply to higher education to study for a degree or professional qualifications within Creative Arts and Media. You will be supported through the UCAS process and guided towards selecting the appropriate course.

    Currently Richmond –upon-Thames College has links with London College of Communication, London College of Fashion, University Arts Bournemouth and Southampton Solent. The College currently runs a highly successful Higher National Certificate and Diploma course and would welcome Access students. Richmond upon Thames College was one of the first to successfully pass the Higher Education Review process – a review process that is applied to all HE providers (see our website Higher Education for further details).

    Career opportunities in the Creative Industry include: Product Design, Furniture Design, Branding, Interior, Visual Communication, Design in Digital Media, Fashion Design (accessories and footwear), Photographic Practice, Design Management, Print, Advertising, Marketing and Education.

  • How do I join the course?

    Please complete and submit the Access to HE application form. After submitting an application form, you will have an initial assessment to assess your suitability for the course and invited for an interview. At the interview you will be required to show evidence of relevant skills (eg any certificates) and a strong commitment to study.

To Apply or Enquire

If you are interested in applying please fill out an application form. If you require more information please do not hesitate in sending us your queries via our enquiry form. We will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

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