Access to Higher Education

Preparing you for Higher Education

If you’re keen to study at university but don’t have the necessary qualifications or experience, don’t worry. In just 12 months, our Access to Higher Education (HE) programme will get you ready for degree-level study.

What is Access to Higher Education?

An Access to HE Diplomas is a level 3 certification approved by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) which will prepare you for study at degree level. This course is run over 1 academic year and is designed for learners 19 years and over who are returning to study or left school without the essential qualifications for undergraduate study.

What are the entry requirements?

We usually ask applicants to have achieved GCSE English Language and Maths at grade C or above. Depending on your pathway you may also need to have achieved GCSE Science at grade C or above too.

If you don’t meet the entry requirements, don’t worry. You can apply for our Pre Access course which will prepare you for the Access to HE Diploma. You can also work towards achieving your GCSE English and Maths at the same time.

Funding and Finance

If you are required to pay for your Access to HE Diploma, you can apply for an Advance Learner Loan to cover the cost. If you progress to university and complete your degree, Student Finance England will ‘write off’ any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balance you owe.

Got a question?

Who can apply?

Aged 19 or over

GCSE in Maths Grade C/4 or above

GCSE in English Grade C/4 or above

GCSE in Science Grade C/4 or above (for Science, Healthcare and Diplomas only)

Is an Access Course Right For You?

With no exams to negotiate, you can progress step-by-step via structured assignments and coursework. We offer personal support in the University application process, so you can make your dream career choice come alive.

We are looking for applicants with:

  • a high level of motivation to be an independent student with a willingness for self study
  • the commitment to study a full time, challenging course
  • evidence of recent study is desirable
  • a clear idea of the university level programmes that you wish to apply for

Helpful Information

The Access to Higher Education Diploma is widely recognised by UK universities, and many actively encourage applications from Access to Higher Education students.

A national framework for Access to Higher Education courses has been in place since 1989 and, each year, over 20,000 students achieve the Access to Higher Education Diploma and progress to university courses across the UK.

Universities are involved in the development of new Access courses to make sure that course content is appropriate, and the framework for the approval of the courses are managed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). QAA’s Access to Higher Education logo appears on all Access  Diplomas, so that universities can be confident that a student has completed the requirements of an approved Access course.