Ravensbourne University London
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Access to Higher Education Diploma

Access courses are aimed at adults returning to education with an interest in design or digital media. Students join this course with a view to continue on to an honours degree.

This course will give you the opportunity to consider your creative specialism and develop the skills, techniques and confidence you will need for degree level study.

You will learn design principles through practical studio projects and workshops, lead by teaching and industry professionals. You will experiment with ideas and technology in order to create a unique portfolio of work that is interview ready. As well practical design skills you will develop work and study skills that will set you on the right track for higher education.

You will have the advantage of studying in a higher education environment with access to industry standard equipment and software.

You should consider this course if you have a broad interest in film, production, animation, sound design, graphics, illustration, animation or 3D design. Most of our students go on to study a degree course, with many staying on at Ravensbourne.

What you
need to know

Entry requirements

No formal qualifications are required.

Please note Access to HE courses are not available to International Students requiring a Tier 4 visa.

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

Selection criteria

Applications will be considered on a case by case basis through an interview, to assess applicants’ skills and enthusiasm to return to education.

Course structure


The majority of students on this course progress onto broadcasting and media-related degree courses at Ravensbourne. If you decide to go directly into work, we’ll help you to find opportunities.


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. 

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