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Access to HE

Access to Higher Education Diploma: Clothing & Textiles Manufacturing

Subject Area
Art & Design
Start Date
September 2023
Study Mode
1 Year
Entry Requirements
Level 2 English qualifications and evidence of ability in art and design/portfolio.
Validated by
Skills and Education Group

Access your degree or higher-level qualification with us and find your way to a prosperous career. The Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma is designed for people who do not have “traditional” qualifications, such as A Levels, and for those who have been out of education for some time. If you want to go to university but feel you might lack the entry qualifications, or you are worried that you might not be able to cope with the demands of degree-level study, then an Access course can help.

This one-year course provides you with a thorough grounding in fashion and textiles. The course is run over two days each week for one year. The programme would suit students with some experience of creative fashion design or textiles who may be returning to education, studying for the first time at college or wishing to change career. The range of units studied ensure you have a strong portfolio of creative ideas to show your potential for the next stage of your career.

Entry requirements

Level 2 English qualifications and evidence of ability on fashion and textiles/portfolio.

Teaching methods/course delivery

Under the guidance of our expert tutors, you will be encouraged to explore different materials and techniques across our range of purpose-built workshops and studios. A good level of student participation is expected throughout the duration of the course.

The course will run for 1 year and you will attend for 2 days per week.

Reasons to choose this course

The Access Clothing & Textile Manufacturing course provides you with specialist knowledge within these areas. We offer a supportive atmosphere in which to develop your skills and interests, and to build your confidence. We offer flexible learning and will provide you with support and guidance with your next step towards your choice of further study, including your UCAS application, plus support in putting together a strong portfolio of work.

Course fees & additional costs

Course fees vary each year. Prospective students are advised to contact us for the latest fees. You are provided with a broad range of basic art and design materials.

All materials are provided for you to complete the course. However, you may need access to a sewing machine to access additional teaching and learning from home as required for the additional guided learning hours- a PC/laptop and suitable Wi-Fi would also be advantageous.


If you are aged 19 to 23, you may qualify for fee remission for an Access course depending on your circumstances. Eligibility for a free course is based on government guidelines and the most up-to-date information is available on our website or from our Funding Team. If you do not qualify for free tuition, you will be able to pay for your tuition fees in instalments and may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan.

Still have questions? Call 01904 770443 or email

How you can progress

Successfully completing the course will enable you to apply for the BA Fashion degree course at York College or at any other higher education institution.

Course modules

The course begins with an introduction to clothing and textile units through working with a variety of fashion and textiles materials and construction processes. You will go on to complete projects in manual and digital pattern cutting/drafting, garment construction/production alongside self-directed projects that support your individual development.

In the early stages of the course, you will be shown how to explore materials and approaches to develop your own response to a series of assignment briefs. You will learn how to research a range of starting points, relate your ideas to the work of Fashion Designers and reflect on your practice as a Fashion/Textiles Designer - over time, you will begin to find a direction within this area.

At all stages, you will be encouraged to adopt an innovative, creative, and personal approach to your work to build an individual portfolio. You will be asked to work on self-directed briefs, which will prepare you for developing your own practice or further study at degree level. To support this, there will be the opportunity to visit the UCAS fair and will receive support with your UCAS application.


All coursework is project-based and assessed in relation to a set of assessment criteria.


Much of the learning will take place in our well-equipped studio, sewing workshop and students will have access to the digital suite designing on Apple Macs as well as the Gerber Digital Pattern making software. Students have access to a fantastic range of College-wide facilities such as the Learning & Research Centre, study hubs, computer areas with accompanying multi-function printers and helpdesk advice.

Advanced Learner Loan

If you are offered a place on this course, you will be able to apply for the new Advanced Learner Loan. The loan means that you will not have to pay any tuition fees up front and will only pay back the loan when your salary rises above £27,525. Repayments are made automatically if you are employed and are part of your tax return if you are self-employed.

If you are taking out an Advanced Learner Loan to study an Access to HE Diploma your Loan will be written off on successful completion of your higher education programme - so in effect your Access to HE Diploma programme could be free.

Please refer to the York College Advanced Learner Loan page for more specific information.


The Access to Higher Education Diploma is validated and accredited through the National Awarding Body, Skills and Education Group, which is an Access validating agency, licensed and regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).

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