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We are looking forward to welcoming new and returning students for the new term. — See our latest COVID-19 guidance

Access to Higher Education: Art, Design and Fashion (includes Pre-Access) - Full-time

Course outline

This course is perfect if you want to hone your talents and develop your interests in new areas to prepare for future study.

You’ll be studying right in the heart of the city’s Creative Quarter in the historical Lace Market, where you'll hone your talents and develop interest in new areas which will stretch you as an artist.

You will be given the opportunity to develop your own creative practice through being introduced to and exploring a variety of techniques and processes such as:

  • Fine art
  • Graphics
  • Fashion and textiles design
  • Applied arts
  • Photography
  • Product design and interiors
  • Illustration

You’ll gain an awareness of contemporary visual practice and develop a portfolio in your chosen specialist field.

You’ll have the opportunity to take part in one of our brilliant end of year showcases where you’ll be able to exhibit your work to the public.

All our tutors have many years of experience in the industry and will be able to advise you on your potential career paths and university courses.

You can view some of the fantastic creative works of our students on our Creative Showcase website below.

View showcase

How to apply for this course

Apply online now for 2021/22.

Want to find out more first?

Get in touch by hitting the button below and filling out our enquiry form.

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Location Date
25 Stoney Street

Start: 8th September 2021

Course code: C000280 / Q001619


CAVA Level 3 Access to HE Diploma


1 year

Level Level 3
Entry requirements

As the majority of our Access students are returning to learning as adults, we consider a range of experience when accepting students onto an Access programme.

All students will be assessed to see what level they are learning at, particularly the level of English and maths skills, as these will be key to success whilst on a programme at Nottingham College.

Your experience and level of study will be assessed at interview and this will determine your offer of a place at College.

You’ll need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 – 4 /A* –C including English and maths (equivalents may be considered), or Level 2 BTEC Diploma in a related subject at Merit. Plus a relevant portfolio of work or a demonstrated passion for the subject area. A GCSE in Maths and English is preferable.

All students will start on a 2-week Pre-Access Course that will introduce the course, creative practice, theory and study skills. At the end of this 2-week Pre-Access Course tutors will assess each students’ abilities and tutors will be able to decide if progression onto the full Access course is the right choice in terms of student’s commitment and intentions to progress to Higher Education.

If progression to Access is not suitable, alternative options will be discussed with tutors and the Careers Team. Pre-Access starts in early September.

Additional Pre-Access Courses will run throughout the year to support 19+ student’s skills onto a full-time Access Course in 2022.

Access starts late September/October and all 19+ students will need an approved Learning Loan to enrol.

It is not possible to study both GCSE English and Maths while on this course.

You will also need a relevant portfolio of work or a demonstrated passion for the subject area and must upload evidence of this with your Online Application.

Artwork can be any creative work you have previously produced.

You are encouraged to showcase your interests and strengths.

Minimum Requirement:

Five examples of observation drawing in any media.

Ten separate images of any of the following: drawings, paintings, photographs, textile and fashion designs, 3D work, digital designs, photography, 3d models/sculptures. You may also want to include sketchbook pages if you have any.

Individual files can be no more than 10mb, but there’s no limit on how many you can upload. Uploaded images can be a PowerPoint, PDF, jpg or gif.


You will undergo continuous assessment as you progress through your course modules and you’ll also need to produce a portfolio of evidence for your work.


There are a whole host of exciting careers and degrees open to you including: graphic design, textile design, fashion design, interior design, fine art and illustration or other creative subjects.

You can even go on to university-level study here at Nottingham College, including:

  • Graphic design
  • Textiles
  • Fashion
  • Interior design
  • Fine art
  • Illustration
  • Another creative subject area
Additional information

You may be eligible for funding for this course. Check out our Financial Help pages to find out more!

If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss National, please visit our EU Settled Status scheme page for more information.

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