Study With Us FAQS

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  • I can’t decide between A Levels
    and Access. What should I do?
  • Is it sensible to put all my eggs in one basket by choosing Access?
  • But will your courses prepare me for uni?
  • What about careers? What do your courses lead on to?
  • What happens if I don’t get the grades at GCSE?
  • I haven’t got any previous experience but I’d love to do a creative course. What can I do?
  • How many days will I be in college?
  • Do you have a dress code?
  • What equipment do I need to bring in?
  • Will it cost me anything?
A-Levels or

It can be a difficult choice whether to stay on at 6th form and do A Levels, or opt for something different.

If you’re looking for a different type of learning experience which is more creative, practical and more focused around career skills, then Access is for you.

We are specialists in creative learning at a time when many schools and colleges are dropping options for creative subjects.

A Levels tend to be more academic and will be assessed via exams. At Access you will be assessed via the work you do during the course.

You can progress onto university from Access Level 3 courses in the same way as A Levels. There is more on this in the next question.

Lastly, you can be yourself at Access – you won’t have to wear a school uniform!

Put yourself
ahead of the game

At A Level you will probably take three or four subjects, but you will soon have to decide on one subject area if you want to go to university, or start training for a career.

At Access you are just making that key choice a little earlier, but that can have many advantages.

It can put you ahead of the game in gaining the skills for your chosen subject/career and it can make you a favoured candidate when applying for your next steps.

You are also likely to be more confident and knowledgeable. Let us not forget that our creative courses generate loads of transferable skills which can be put to great use whatever you decide to do afterwards. Things like teamwork, communication skills, confidence with people and IT skills.

you for university

We might do things a bit differently at Access, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get a high-quality education which can send you off to university.

We run Level 3 BTECs and RSL creative qualifications which can generate the same UCAS points as completing 3 A Levels.

This means you can follow your heart and choose a creative subject and still go on to take a degree. There’s no need to study subjects you’re not interested in!

for a career

Some people might joke that a creative course is not a ‘serious’ subject. They probably think this because they can’t believe that a course can be fun and prepare you for work.

But that is exactly what our courses do. You get to follow your passion, but you will also be picking up vital employability skills.

They’re probably unaware that the creative industries are one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK which are worth £84 billion to the economy and generate 2.9 million jobs.

You can find out lots more about the world of work in our Careers section.

No grades?
No worries!

Firstly don’t worry. We want you to come to Access. If you are not predicted, or don’t get enough, GCSEs at grades 4-9 then we can chat to you about your options.

That may mean putting you on a Level 2 course where you can study with us for a year, while retaking your maths and English GCSE if you need to. After you do that you will be well prepared to start Level 3 work with us.

We're looking
for a passion
for your creative future

We take students onto our courses with no previous experience in a subject, as long as you are able to show that you can work at the intended level and that you have a genuine passion and commitment to learn that subject area.

This is the case in games, media, music technology and music management.

However, if you apply for a performance course, such as Music Performance, Vocal Artist or Acting, then some previous experience will be necessary for you to complete the coursework and work with others.

For example, you will need to be able to play an instrument or sing to a reasonable standard to undertake a Level 3 Music Performance course. There is more on this in the information on each course.

weekly timetable

Access is different to school – you won’t be attending every day.

Instead you will be coming in usually between three to four days per week. In the time you are not in college you will be expected to undertake your own study and complete assignments.

However, you may want to do this around occasional or part-time work to help support yourself and gain employment skills.

Our terms usually follow the standard schools schedule, although there may be some regional variation.

It's all
about expression

We believe that creative people should be able to dress how they like as an expression of who they are. So there is no uniform here.

Instead you can dress in whatever makes you feel comfortable, be that a bat cape or a velvet cloak. We also have no restrictions on hair, so you can have a mohican or long green locks if you wish.

If it's portable,
please bring it with you

Some of our courses don’t require you to bring in anything at all. We have all the things you need in our centres.

However, if you are on a Music Performance course and play an instrument which is portable (we’re not expecting you to fit the drum kit on the bus!) then you will be encouraged to bring it with you.

If you do bring in equipment, please make sure you have it properly insured as we cannot be liable for damage and loss.

Course Fees

Our courses are completely free for 16-18s. You can also get means-tested assistance for travel, equipment costs and meals.

If you are 19 or over then you will usually have to pay fees, unless you are applying for a first full Level 3 in Games Design or Digital Media.

However, those over 19+ can now apply for an Advanced Learner Loan and you won’t need to pay anything back until you start earning over £21,000. You can find out about these under Course Fees.

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