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How to Start a Creative Degree Without A-Levels

21st April 23

Are you someone who has always had a passion for creativity and has big dreams of becoming a Fashion Designer, Cinematographer, Graphic Designer, Animator, or pursuing another creative field? If so, keep reading!

photographs and sketches on worktopIntroducing the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design). This is the perfect first step for you to achieve your goals and launch an exciting and fulfilling career in the creative industry. With this diploma, you can gain the knowledge, skills, and qualifications necessary to kick-start your journey towards higher education and ultimately your dream career.

You may have come across some obstacles on your journey towards your dream career, such as not knowing how to get started or not meeting the entry requirements for a university-level qualification. However, don't worry because all is not lost!

The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design) is designed specifically for individuals who have a passion for creativity but may not have the necessary qualifications or experience to enrol in a university-level program.

During the course, you'll have the opportunity to study a range of subjects and develop essential skills. Your new-found knowledge and skills will not only help you succeed in your studies but also in your future career.

So, if you're someone who has a dream career but is unsure where to start, the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design) could be your answer.

What is The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Arts and Design)?

So, what exactly is the Access to Higher Education Diploma, and how can it help you

pursue a creative career? Firstly, the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design) meets the entry requirements for many universities and gives you the relevant skills and qualifications you need to enrol on a university course without needing A-levels.

That’s right! You don’t need A-levels to pursue your creative passion.

The learndirect Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design) is specifically created to prepare students for higher education in creative subjects. It covers 16 expertly developed and supported units spanning a range of topics such as drawing, painting, 3D designs, graphic design, illustration, and much more.

This diploma will even allow you to create your portfolio before opening the door to studying university-level courses.

multicoloured notebook with label reading creativityModules included in the learndirect Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design):

  • Unit 1: Academic Writing Skills
  • Unit 2: Colour Theory and Design
  • Unit 3: Preparing a Written Assignment
  • Unit 4: Perspective Drawing
  • Unit 5: Presentation Graphics
  • Unit 6: Sketchbook
  • Unit 7: Visual Studies – Drawing
  • Unit 8: Visualisation Design Techniques
  • Unit 9: Digital Photography and Printmaking Processes
  • Unit 10: Painting – Mixed Media
  • Unit 11: History of Art and Design
  • Unit 12: Signs and Symbols Design
  • Unit 13: Exploring Ideas Through Processes
  • Unit 14: Working to a 3D Art Brief
  • Unit 15: 3D design
  • Unit 16: Portfolio and Progression

Do I Need Any Qualifications To Study for The Access to HE Diploma (Art and Design)?

You might be wondering; can I enrol on the Access to HE (Art and Design) without GCSEs or A-levels? The answer is yes! However, whilst there are no specific qualifications required to enrol on the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design), please note that each university will have its own set of entry criteria which must be met, such as grade C/4 or higher GCSEs in Maths and English or an equivalent Level 2 such as Functional Skills/Key Skills. Therefore, it’s essential to check with your chosen university to see their entry requirements and confirm that an Access to Higher Education Diploma will meet these requirements.

Creating Your Portfolio

One of the most significant benefits of the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design) is that it will allow you to build a portfolio of work, which is a requirement for many universities.

A strong portfolio is essential in creative fields, and the diploma will help you develop the necessary skills to showcase your work.

paint palette and brushes on tableWhat Is The Access to HE Diploma Equivalent To, And How Long Does It Take To Complete?

Simply put, the diploma is equivalent to A-levels and takes, on average, 12 months to complete due to the level of artwork required; however, when studying through learndirect, you are given 24 months to complete the course.

Can I Study for The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design) Online?

You may be wondering if you will need to attend live classes or if you will be able to complete the Access to HE course from the comfort of your home. The answer is yes! Flexibility is key to our learning delivery, and it’s important to us that our learners have the ability to study online at their convenience.

Your online learning portal will give you the freedom to log in from almost anywhere and become qualified at your own speed.


What University Courses Can You Study With An Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)?

By achieving the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design), you will open the door to studying a number of creative degrees that would have otherwise been inaccessible to individuals without A-Levels.

The options available for further education upon completion of the diploma are wide and varied, with many universities using different titles for a lot of their course, however, some of the most popular university courses lead to careers in:

  • Interior design
  • Fashion design
  • Graphic design
  • Motion Design
  • Animation
  • Cinematography
  • Fine art
  • Photography and much more

Getting Started On The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)

If you feel like you are finally ready to take a big step towards achieving the qualifications you need for your dream career, we can help.

If you’re ready to reach the next stage of your career through university-level study, our team are happy to help you start your learning journey.

Learn more today by speaking with one of our Course Advisors. They’re happy to answer any other questions and guide you through the process of becoming an online student and getting university ready with learndirect.

Call us now on 01202 006 464 or speak with us online, or click below for more information on our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design).

start your journey today cta

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