Emmalyne Holgate, Access Diploma. UCA Farnham

Access to Higher Education Diploma in Art & Design UCA Farnham

Access to Higher Education Diploma in Art & Design

Farnham | 1 year part-time | Pre-degree and Foundation Studies

Course overview

On our largest campus in the World Craft Town of Farnham, you can reignite old creative passions and spark new ones on our part-time Access to Higher Education Diploma – Art & Design course.

This one-year course, open to anyone over the age of 19, is an ideal choice if you're looking for a springboard to a degree course, or want to make a career change or progress in your existing career.

You’ll study with us for two days a week, normally experimenting in five disciplines – Fine Art, Fashion and Textiles, 3D Design, Lens-based Media and Visual Communications.

Specifically tailored to those entering education after a break, our Access Diploma gives you the chance to explore a range of art and design subjects, whilst balancing other work or family commitments.

You’ll be supported through individual tutorials, educational visits, a range of lectures, and opportunities to partake in live briefs and competitions.

All staff members teaching this course are either active art and design practitioners or involved in research in their specialist fields, offering you a great opportunity to build relationships and learn directly from experts.

And because our Access Diploma is fully integrated with the other pre-degree and foundation courses, you’ll be working within a wider creative community where you can share ideas, techniques and project concepts.

Course details

Course details

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

The first part of your year will be spent delving into different areas of art and design, identifying your strengths and interests.

Introductory Stage
You’ll work on a project that covers a variety of disciplines across five pathways – Fine Art, Fashion and Textiles, 3D Design, Lens-based Media and Visual Communication. The aim of this stage is to develop your practical and conceptual skills, as well as introduce you to the broader area of art and design – helping you to identify your areas of strength and interest.


As the year progresses, you'll have more freedom to specialise. This helps you to grow as an artist and determines which creative direction your academic path and future career may lie in.
Specialist Studies
Engaging in a single project theme, you’ll specialise in one of the pathways explored in Stage 1, which will further nurture your skills and idea development. You’ll also acquire the verbal and written skills needed to present your ideas effectively and to engage in critical debate.

Final Project
Your creative and personal development will be realised by undertaking a final major project of your own choosing, culminating in a final exhibition.

Tuition fees
Currently, if you are an UK student between 19 and 23 years old on the 31 August before your course starts, and studying for your first full level 3 qualification, you don’t have to pay any tuition fees.

If you do not meet the above criteria you will have to pay a tuition fee, the fee for 2022 entry is £3,928.

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials. These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make.

Further information
Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

See our Student regulations

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.


At UCA Farnham there are studio spaces for all pathways of the pre-degree and foundation courses; 3D workshops with machines for working a in range of materials with dedicated technical support; digital media suites with both Macs and PCs loaded with design software; and open access print studios.

Pre-degree studios, UCA Farnham

Pre-degree studios, UCA Farnham

3D workshop, UCA Farnham

Print studios, UCA Farnham

Course connections

Course connections

After completing this course, most of our students progress to a degree course at UCA.

View all of our undergraduate degree courses


This course is part of our Diploma 2 Degree scheme which guarantees you a place on one of our undergraduate degrees after you have completed this course.

The process is simple and stress-free, letting you bypass lengthy application processes and avoid UCAS fees. There’s also no need for you to attend an interview.

More details about the scheme can be found on the Diploma 2 Degree pages.

Instead of further study you may also choose to progress directly into employment or do an apprenticeship in the industry.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

No formal qualifications are required. Entry is by interview and evidence of ability and commitment, in the form of a body of work or non-traditional portfolio.

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

Pre-sessional English courses

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

For this course, we’ll need to see your portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. If you would prefer to upload a portfolio digitally, there is also the option to submit it online via your UCA Applicant Portal. Further information will be provided once you have applied.

This course is designed to support anyone returning to education after a break. You may not have a traditional portfolio, or any previous formal art and design education, but wish to progress to higher education. We look for evidence of an interest in art and design and drawing skills.

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