An Access to Higher Education course is a different way of getting to university. We all take different paths in life and it is never too late to make a change, achieve your goals and reach your potential.

Funding Support

  • If you are unemployed or earning less than £17,004 annual gross salary – your level 2 course could be free
  • If you are aged 19-23 and do not hold a full level 3 qualification – your level 3 course could be free
  • If you are aged 24+ and wish to undertake a course at level 3 or above you could take out a 19+ learning loan. You’ll only repay when your income is over £511 a week or £2,214 a month
  • If your household income is less than £30k per annum you could receive support to help with associated learning costs e.g. books, travel, childcare, laptop and wifi

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Video presentation webinar

Recorded August 2020

Our new Access to Higher Education courses start in January! We have webinars on 17 and 25 November to help you make an informed decision about our courses and decide which one is right for you. Our tutors will dive into the course modules, talk though pathways to certain careers and future opportunities, and answer any questions you may have – Register here

 

Why choose this course?

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be in a position to apply to university. Regardless of your past achievements, grades or personal circumstances, an Access course could help you find the career you have always wanted.

Successfully complete your degree and you may not have to repay the amount borrowed through your 19+ advanced learner loan.

Welcoming a representative into your home

Courses starting in January!

We’re delighted to announce the launch of our new Access to Higher Education courses starting in January. We’re the only further education provider in Essex to offer a second start point for this academic year.

These courses support applications to degrees and further studies in:

  • Nursing
  • Early Years
  • Social Work
  • Healthcare
  • Law
  • Policing
  • Pharmacy
  • Teaching
  • And many more opportunities

Learn in a virtual classroom where you can interact with other students and receive one-to-one support from experienced tutors.

An Access to Higher Diploma is equivalent to A-Levels or Foundation Degree. Funding options are available meaning courses could be free! To enrol on this course, you will need to book an assessment in November and December.

View all courses

Access to He
ACL Colchester on Wilson Marriage road

Courses and locations

All courses are currently delivered online in our virtual classrooms. Our experienced tutors will support you whilst you complete you studies and work with other learners in a supportive environment. To test out our virtual classroom (Big Blue Button), please click here.

gateway qualification

Gateway Qualifications Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science) covers biology, chemistry and physics, and learners will have the opportunity to study all three subjects equally to give a balanced view of skills to enable progression to science based degree programmes. Practical laboratory work will be undertaken throughout the course.

Minimum entry requirement for Access to HE Diploma: Functional Skills Level 2 Literacy & Numeracy although your chosen degree course may require GCSE’s.

Locations:
Online

Gateway Qualifications Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science) provides the opportunity to develop skills which will enable progression to a range of degree level programmes including a focus on sociology, psychology and criminology which underpin most social science degrees. You will be able to research an area of interest in more depth and complete units which will support study and personal skills.

Minimum entry requirement for Access to HE Diploma: Functional Skills Level 2 Literacy & Numeracy although your chosen degree course may require GCSE’s.

Locations:
Online

This is an introduction course.

Gateway Qualifications Level 2 Certificate in Preparing for Further Study in Health, Social Care and Social Work prepares learners to move on to an Access to HE Diploma. If you have aspirations to enter higher education but do not yet meet the entry requirements for an Access to HE course, then this qualification will build the relevant knowledge and understanding in psychology and sociology. You will also develop and practise study skills for successful progression onto Level 3 courses.

No minimum entry requirement although you will be encouraged to achieve Functional Skills Level 2 or GCSE’s if you haven’t already done so.

Location:
Online

Long shot of the ACL Awards ceremony

Events, Information & Resources

University of Suffolk: Never Too Late: Mature Student Conference

Never Too Late is a virtual conference specifically designed for those students who would be over 21 at the start of their course and/or those who are studying an Access to Higher Education Diploma. The conference is open to all – you do not need to be studying at college or have a certain set of qualifications to attend. You’ll hear from lecturers about the degrees on offer and from our current mature students about their experiences. There will also be plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

Register for the virtual conference here

 

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.

Go to website

Group of students holding their caps in the air after graduating

How to enrol

You have two options:

1) Attend an Assessment and Enrolment Session (Access to HE & Preparing for Access). This session provides the opportunity for information, advice and guidance regarding our Access to HE Diplomas, and our Preparation for Access courses. During the session, you will be able to speak to an Access Tutor and complete assessment tasks in preparation for enrolment. ​Please enrol here.

2) We are happy to provide you with more information about our new Access courses before you make a decision. Fill out the contact form below and one of our tutors will get back to you.

3) You can view feedback from learners who have previously attended our courses. View all feedback

Woman booting up a laptop

Learner Feedback

I AM COMING TO THE END OF MY ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION COURSE AND EMMA, MY TUTOR, HAS BEEN A GOD-SEND WITH HELPING ME TO COMPLETE THIS COURSE. I AM NOW GOING TO UNIVERSITY IN THE HOPE TO BECOMING A PARAMEDIC.

SAMANTHA

I JUST WANTED TO SAY A MASSIVE THANK YOU FOR THIS PAST YEAR. I HAVE ACHIEVED SOMETHING I DON’T THINK I WOULD HAVE ORDINARILY ACHIEVED IF I HAD STUCK WITH THE ‘CONVENTIONAL’ ROUTES TO UNIVERSITY AND I WILL BE FOREVER THANKFUL THAT I CAME TO ACL. THANK YOU SO SO SO SO MUCH!!!

EMILY