Access to Higher Education
Seven Reasons to Study an Access to Higher Education Diploma
Whilst A Levels are commonly thought to be the main route to university, an Access to HE Diploma can get you there too. The diploma is equivalent to three A-Levels and is worth between 44 and 148 UCAS Tariff points that can be used towards your university application.
Specialist support and guidance is on hand to support learners throughout the application process and to ensure you arrive at fresher’s week fully prepared for university life.
Access to HE Diplomas are available in a range of subjects, including science, social science, forensics & criminology, and education & childhood studies. The variety of options means that there is an Access to HE diploma for you, depending on the subject you would like to study at degree level. Not only will you build knowledge in your specialist subject, but you’ll build skills and confidence, ready for university.
Unlike other post-16 qualifications, an Access to HE Diploma is designed specifically for those returning to education. Students learn in a supportive environment and have access to additional writing tuition to make sure that they’re ready for degree-level study.
Many Access to HE courses offer part-time and full-time study options, meaning that you can fit it around your schedule and commitments, making university accessible to everyone.
Results day can be stressful, especially if you don’t get the grades you were hoping for. However, all is not lost! An Access to HE Diploma takes one year to complete full time and gives you another opportunity to get into university without having to retake A-Levels.
Most of us don’t like the thought of end of course tests and the pressure that comes with them, however, by studying an Access to HE Diploma, you will be assessed by a number of assignments throughout the course.
Learners on an Access to HE Diploma course have access to an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of the course. The bonus is that Student Finance England will write off any outstanding balance on an Advanced Learner Loan for an Access to HE diploma once you graduate from university. A great reward for all your hard work! If you are 19-23 years old and have not already achieved a full level 3 qualification, your Access to HE diploma may be free.
You may only need level 2 qualifications in English and maths to join an Access to HE Diploma. Please note that some degree courses may require GCSEs rather than Functional Skills qualifications.
Subject Areas & Career Pathways
- Social Science
- Medicine & Medical Sciences
- Forensics & Criminology
- Education & Childhood Studies
Study all three science disciplines equally to give a balanced view of skills to enable progression to science based degree programmes.
- Laboratory Technician
- Environmental Scientist
Progress onto a range of degree level programmes including a focus on sociology, psychology and criminology which underpin most social science degrees.
- Social Worker
- Equality & Diversity Officer
- Support Worker
- Probation Officer
The Diploma has a strong emphasis on both biology and chemistry and learners will have the opportunity to study both equally to give a balanced view of skills to enable progression to medicine based degree programmes.
- Medical Laboratory Scientist
- Clinical Scientist
- Research Scientist
Study key skills within biology and chemistry which underpin the two subject areas of Forensics and Criminology.
- Police Officer
- Forensic Scientist
- Crime Scene Technician
- DNA Analyst
Develop skills which will enable progression to a range of degree level programmes including a focus on education and learning and development.
- Education Consultant
- Family Support Worker
- Play Therapist
- Learning Mentor
- Social Worker
- Teaching Assistant
Events, Information & Resources
Access to Higher Education Career Coach
Career Coach can help you search for Access to HE courses linked to your future career goals, highlighting the skills and knowledge you need to enter particular job roles and industries. This interactive tool is a great way to browse up-to-date information on average and potential wages, and latest job vacancies, and to find the best career opportunities for you. It also highlights the current demand for jobs and professions in your region.