▼Who can do Access to Higher Education Courses?
Access courses are open to anybody 19 years or older, with no upper age limit. You will need a grade A*-C in GCSE English and maths which are also offered at the College.
▼How intensive are Access to Higher Education courses?
As the courses are designed to get you prepared for university, they cover a wide range of skills including how to form ideas, note taking and essay writing alongside the specific subject you are studying. Access to Higher Education courses take place at Level 3 - the equivalent of a BTEC or the second year of A-Levels - however the approach to teaching is quite different.
While Access courses can be challenging, classes are often smaller and more informal than students expect, providing a flexible approach to learning. Our tutors provide plenty of 1 on 1 help and support and are there to provide you with the best learning experience possible.
▼How are Access courses graded? Are there exams?
Your work is assessed throughout the course with a mixture of written and practical assessments which earn you credits towards your qualification throughout the year. All Access Diplomas are made up of 60 credits, including 45 graded credits covering your subject and 15 covering study skills. They are structured to meet the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education’s (QAA) Access to HE Specification requirements.
While some courses include tests and assignments held under exam conditions, there is no one big exam at the end of the year which decides whether you pass or not. .
▼Will I get a place at University if I finish the course?
Yes! Access Courses have been specially designed with the help of universities to prepare you for Higher Education. If you pass your courses, you are guaranteed a conditional offer at university.
Our Access to Higher Education Diplomas are extremely successful with approximately 80% of students going on to higher education.
▼Should I be doing my A-Levels instead?
No - A-Levels are targeted at 16 to 19 year olds taking an academic route and require specialisation in at least three subjects across two years with exams at the end.
If you are in your twenties or older, an Access course allows you to get into university in just one year while focusing on the subject you are really interested in. It is often assumed that you have to have A-Levels to go to university, but this is not the case.
▼What extra support is available?
As well as regular help from tutors on your course, we aim to provide everything we can to help you achieve your best. Our Additional Learning Support Team are always on hand to help with any extra support you need with dyslexia, physical or mental health during your time at College, while our Student Services team provide regular information, advice and guidance on a wide range of student concerns.