Why Access to Higher Education Diplomas?

If you are looking to progress to University but have been away from formal education for a while, the Access to HE Diplomas will provide you with an opportunity to develop the skills necessary to progress to university.

The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a nationally-recognised Level 3 qualification (equivalent to A Levels) and are designed to prepare adults to study in higher education. The Diploma could help you to get into higher education or give you a second chance at a graduate career by giving you an introduction to a different subject area.

Find out more about our Access to Higher Education courses

Read about Charlene’s journey

I had children at a young age and that meant putting my career on hold for a while. College has given me the opportunity to learn while having children, to further my career and open doors.

I found learning at college easier than school – it helped that I had more life experience and knowledge to bring to my studies. Tutors gave me praise and encouragement and helped me learn in a way that suited me. They offered me support, guidance and knowledge with anything I asked. My tutor, Fiona, has given me inspiration in life and in my career path. She motivates me and understands the person I am and how I work. She never knocks me down and gives appraisals which boost my confidence a little bit more every time.

I’m achieving distinctions on the course and my next step is to study Children’s Nursing at university. I feel excited, a little nervous, and determined about the future. I want to save lives as a paediatric nurse, working with children that need help, support and care. There are so many lives out there that need that little bit more and I want to help achieve that for them.

Charlene Spooner, Access to HE Diploma (Health)

Entry Requirements

You should have a Grade C/4 or above in GCSE English Language & Maths or a Level 2 in Functional Skills. You will also be asked to complete a pre-induction statement on intent to make sure this is the right level for you.

In addition, students will need to check the entry requirements for their chosen degree programme. You need to be aware that GCSE Maths at grade C (new grade 4), is essential for progression to Higher Education for many university courses.  Some universities will accept alternatives to GCSE, such as Functional Skills Level 2, but it is essential that you find this out yourself before starting the Access to HE Diploma.

We have several Access to HE courses for you to consider :

  • Access to HE Diploma (Health Professionals) – nationally accepted at universities for courses such as nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, paramedics, dental work, ODP, and many more health related careers.
  • Access to HE Diploma (Science) – nationally accepted at universities for courses such as biology, chemistry, environmental science, pharmacy, chiropractic science, radiotherapy, biomedical science, biochemistry, microbiology and other science related degrees.
  • Access to HE Diploma (Social Sciences and Law) – nationally accepted at universities for courses such as counselling, teaching, psychology, law, history, social work, social policy, English, geography and many more.

Get the Loan, Get Qualified, Get the Job

Are you aged 19 or over? Thinking of starting an Access course this year? Then apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover your course fees and pay nothing upfront!

You don’t pay anything back until you are earning at least £25,000 a year AND if you progress to a degree-level course and complete it successfully, your Advanced Learner Loan is written off!

University taster days and events are arranged throughout the courses to provide seamless progression to Degree programmes.  What’s more, our award winning virtual learning environment is available for all students and provides a wealth of resources to support your studies.

UCAS applications are supported by the college Careers Team. A recent report stated that students felt the support afforded them whilst completing their UCAS forms had been fantastic and most already had offers from their first choice University.

Access to Higher Education Facilities

Students studying on the Access to HE Diploma (Science) and (Health Professionals) programme will be taught in our purpose-built industry standard laboratories at the Burslem Campus. The Access to HE Diploma (Social Science and Law) programme will be taught at our Cauldon Campus in the Enterprise Hub building, equipped with the up-to-date technology you would expect when preparing for higher education. The Enterprise Hub also hosts our Costa Coffee outlet, Learning Resource Centre and all student services