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Gaining the qualification you need to get into university

If you are aged 19+ and are considering a second chance at education, then this is the course for you. We have various pathways available for you to go into your chosen degree course at university in order to achieve your dream career.

Help with finances

Don't be put off by the cost of the course, as an Advanced Learning Loan is open to anyone aged over 19 studying a Level 3 or above qualification, is not means tested or subject to credit checks. If you successfully complete your Access to HE course, progress onto and complete a degree, you do not have to pay back your Advanced Learning Loan.

If you're aged 19-23 and studying your first full-time Level 3 programme your course will be completely free.

Nursing Bursary

If you're thinking of a career in healthcare, starting in September 2020, all nursing students on courses will receive a payment of at least £5000 a year which they will not need to pay back to help cover study costs. Qualifying students could also receive up to £3000 further funding available for eligible students. For more information click here.

Which pathway is for you?

  • Access to HE Diploma (Health) - 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 Humanities) - nationally accepted at universities for courses such as counselling, teaching, psychology, law, history, social work, social policy, english, geography and many more.

What can I expect?

The Access to HE course is a course which runs over one year (September to May). Students should expect to be in College for 15 hours per week over 3 days and to undertake 15 hours private study per week.

I left college at 18 to start working but after a few years I realised that I wanted a meaningful career. I wanted to go to university and I knew coming back to college would help me get there. The Access to HE Diploma is a huge commitment and there is a lot of independent study time in addition to the time at college but the tutors are very supportive. The biggest reward for me was being accepted at Keele University to study a degree in Psychology.

Sophie Yeomans, Access to HE Diploma (Health)

What will I learn?

All students will study three subjects at Level 3 relevant to their chosen progression route.

Dependent on which pathway you are studying, you will gain knowledge and understanding in areas such as:-

  • Psychology – understanding behaviour, social influence, development over the lifespan, abnormal behaviour, social relationships.
  • Biology – cells, nutrition and digestion, respiration and circulation, reproduction and growth, endocrine system.
  • Sociology – crime and deviance, family structure, history of the NHS, gender, education, sociology of roles and responsibilities.
  • Childhood Studies – intellectual development, language development, play, disability.
  • Education Theory – cognitive development, sociology of education, child development.
  • Education Practice – influences on achievement, realities of teaching, communication and practice, behaviour problems.
  • Historical Studies – British social history, the development of women’s rights, twentieth century dictatorships
  • Literature & Language – how language use changes over time, the links between literature and national identity, and analysing poetry
  • Health Studies – safeguarding, roles of responsibilities of a healthcare professional, communication within healthcare, ethical issues within healthcare.
  • Study skills – preparing for higher education, health promotion and extended essay.