Access to HE

View courses in Access to HE

Why Study an Access to HE course?

Are you looking to develop new skills to boost your prospects and gain entry to higher education or change your career direction?  Have you gained experience since leaving school and now wish to put it to good use.  Achieving an Access to Higher Education Diploma will set you off on your journey of academic success and a greater range of fulfilling employment opportunities.  Access to HE Diplomas are specifically designed to enable you to progress to higher education programmes within a year if you choose to study full time.  Take a look at the Access to Higher Education website by clicking here.  This will provide you with really useful information on the benefits of pursuing an Access to HE Diploma.

Our talented and inspiring team offer a range of Access to HE Diploma pathways which enable smooth progression to higher education, including Higher National Certificates or Diplomas, Foundation Degrees or full degree programmes across a range of disciplines.

Our teachers are highly-qualified and have vast experience of supporting students who are driven to achieve at higher levels of learning and progress to a range of professions.  We have high expectations of our Access to HE students: expect to be challenged to work hard and achieve well.  Students are provided with high-quality advice and guidance to make the right choice of HE programme, to plan progression routes and are supported throughout the process for applying to university or other HE courses.  We can also support you to find a vocationally-related work placement, which is requirement of some degree programmes.  The College provides a range of financial*, emotional, learning and study support through the Student Hub and our well-resourced study centres.

* Subject to eligibility criteria


How can I pay for my Access to HE Diploma?

It’s really important to consider how you will pay for you Access to HE Diploma, so you should research this well and be clear about the most appropriate to finance your study and your lifestyle.

Some students choose to pay for the programme themselves.  Our Access to HE courses are co-funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, so you may be eligible to access funds to pay some of your fees.

Advanced Learner Loans are available to students in England for students aged 19. If you are aged 19 or over you may be expected to pay full fees, but you will be able to apply for a loan under the Government’s Advanced Learning Loans scheme to cover the cost of these fees. Loan repayments start when you earn over £21,000 per year. However, if you complete a QAA-recognised Access to HE course and then go on and complete a degree or other recognised higher education course, you won’t have to repay the remaining loan for the Access to HE course: in effect, the balance of your Access to HE loan will be written off.

There is more information on Advanced Learning Loans and repayment arrangements on the Government website at, or you can ask our team for impartial information.


Student Spotlight

Catherine Muggivan

Access to HE Diploma (Science)

“I went back to work after maternity leave but was unhappy with my job as an HR Manager. I spoke to the College about going back into education to study and they suggested I combine this with my love of wildlife and nature by joining the Access to HE - Applied Science course. I gave two weeks’ notice to leave my job and I haven’t looked back since.

“The course was very intensive plus I had some personal challenges but the College and the tutors fully supported me throughout, even when I thought I was failing. During the course, I gained Merit and Distinction grades which enabled me to gain a place at my first choice university to study Conservation and Ecology.

“I would fully recommend anyone to do the same as the course has opened doors for me. I will now be able to pursue a career working in ecology or the environment which will suit me much better than an office-based role.”

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