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Entry Requirements

Minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above including English and Mathematics.

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Study Mode

Full time

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1 academic year

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Key Features & Benefits

  • Get an Advanced Learner Loan - pay nothing upfront for this course
  • Get onto University courses with just one year of study
  • You can get help with childcare costs

  • Overview

    The Access to Health Care Professions is excellent preparation for people who wish to study science-based courses such as Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Radiography, Dietetics, Occupational Therapy and a range of other disciplines at University level. This course is especially designed for mature students who do not currently have the necessary academic qualifications to apply for University level study. If your role involves working with children, young people or vulnerable adults, you will have to undergo background checks.

    We strongly advise you to check the entry criteria for the degree you wish to progress to at University to ensure you meet all the requirements.

    Please note. This diploma is not suitable for people who wish to apply for degrees in medicine or pharmacy.

  • What will I study?

    You will study on this programme for 12 hours per week, completing three subjects at Level 3 (the equivalent of A-levels). In addition you will attend a tutorial session where your study skills will be developed and you will receive excellent preparation for University level study with our 'Study Skills' module. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a modular course which involves you studying a combination of units. All units are compulsory and must be completed by all students who wish to achieve this award.

    You will study the following subjects at Level 3:

    • Psychology Level 3
    • Biology Level 3
    • Further Biology Level 3

    All students on the Diploma will then complete the following mandatory units in a weekly tutorial:

    • Academic Writing
    • Preparing to Progress
  • Entry Requirements

    As this is a demanding A-level equivalent programme, you should have a minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above including English, Mathematics and Science. You should also have evidence of study within the last five years.

    Applicants who do not have recent experience of study but have relevant work or life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview, you should still apply in this case. The interview will consider prior formal qualifications, and evidence of experience gained through employment or other verifiable sources.

    You must have relevant work experience for this course. The type of work experience you need will depend upon the degree you wish to pursue at university.

    • If you are interested in Midwifery as a career, you must have some experience which demonstrates your understanding of the role of a Midwife, for example as a volunteer of HCA in Ante/Post-Natal or clinics
    • If you are interested in physiotherapy as a career, you should have some experience of 'shadowing' a Physiotherapist
    • If you are interested in radiography as a career, you must undertake some voluntary work in a Radiography department

    If you would like advice on what type of placement would be suitable, please call The Hub on 01254 292929.

  • How will I be assessed?

    You'll be assessed by examinations and essays throughout the course. Please see the individual course leaflets for details of all assessments you will complete. Successfully gaining a place on a degree course in one of these academic disciplines involves:

    • Having excellent attendance on your Access Diploma
    • Completing all work to a very high standard (Degrees will usually expect Distinctions in all your work)
    • Having some relevant work experience to ensure you have detailed knowledge of the day-to-day role involved in the career you wish to progress onto
  • Teaching and Learning

    The learning environment and facilities could include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

    You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.

    In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.  

    You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.  You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.


    We endeavour to make timetables available one month before you start your course.  Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.  Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week. 

    Overall Workload

    Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity and any field trips which may take place.


    Academic Support

    We have a dedicated Student Engagement Team who will be able to provide support in the following areas;

    • Study Skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
    • Written English
    • Academic Writing (including referencing)
    • Research Skills
  • What can I do next?

    This programme is designed to prepare you for study at Degree level.

  • Your Study Programme

    Your Study Programme

    Your Study Programme