Access to Higher Education Diploma (Design)

The course is aimed at adult learners returning to education with a view to studying for an honours degree. If you have a broad interest in design, but are not sure which subject to specialise in, then this course is for you.

You will experience the full range of design activities to help you assess your strengths, and confirm aspirations for your next step into higher education. This course will teach you key design principles, followed by a combination of practical studio projects, workshops and traditional academic learning that will encourage you to experiment with design and digital technology.

You will build up sketchbooks that demonstrate how you develop your ideas and record information. This will support your exploration and practical application of the design process.

You will examine how to apply research and academic rigour to underpin your studio practice. Additionally, you will learn to critically evaluate and understand your own developing skills, abilities and practice.

Practising industry professionals will introduce you to new ideas in design and digital media. You will receive practical guidance throughout your diploma and help in directing you to the right degree, including interview preparation and how to best present your portfolio.

About this course


1 year part time


Tuition fee and Scholarship/bursary information

Entry requirements

Please visit our how to apply page for submission details.

The deadline for submissions is the 31 August 2016.

The course is taught Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6-9pm. And, Saturdays from 9am-5pm (subject to change).

No formal qualifications are required. Applications will be considered on a case by case basis through an interview, to assess applicants’ skills and enthusiasm to return to education.

Please note: There is a fee payable by under 19s on this course. 

Download the full course information 

Course structure


The majority of students on this course progress onto broadcasting and media-related degree courses at Ravensbourne.

Stage 1 – Introductory

Your first stage focuses on the core disciplines of design through:

  • Conceptual drawing and technical drawing
  • Contextual studies
  • Digital image production
  • Life drawing
  • Media experimentation
  • Observation skills
  • Recording and research techniques

You will explore the following subject areas:

  • fashion (fashion, textiles and promotion)
  • graphics (graphic design, illustration, and web design)
  • lens-based media (animation; broadcasting; film and video; digital photography; sound design) • 3DD (architecture; interior; product; set and interactive design)

This will help you develop a sense of where your skills and interests lie so that you can confidently choose the next stage of the course.

Stage 2 – Developmental

You will deepen and develop your knowledge of design practice culminating in working exclusively within your chosen subject area. This will enable you to plan your next steps in entering higher education developing a specialist portfolio for honours degree interview or your chosen career path. We will encourage you to look and work beyond narrow definitions, and to collaborate with staff and students from other disciplines. During this stage you will also develop a proposal for a final specialist project of study.

Stage 3 – Specialist

During the final stage, you will undertake and complete a major seven-week project, reflecting on your chosen specialist area and your planned progression path. This project will culminate