Access to Higher Education

Should i choose a higher education course?

The Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma is an alternative qualification that prepares people for study as an undergraduate at university. Usually, it's favoured by those who left school without A-Level qualifications (or any equivalents).

It's a great way to bridge the gap between high school education and undergraduate study, especially if you're a mature student looking to get back into education.

Each year, around 20,000 Access to HE students are accepted into university courses across the UK. Depending on the education providers located in your area, the courses you'll be able to take will vary. However, many offer qualifications in a broad range of study areas, including:

 - Nursing and Midwifery
 - Engineering
 - Science
 - Mathematics
 - Art and Design
 - Music Business

How can i get into higher education?

A full-time Access to HE Diploma course will typically last a year, starting in September as with most other college-based courses. Typically, the cost of the course will depend on where you choose to study.

Course providers are entitled to set their own fees, but it’s possible that you may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan if you are aged 19 or older. Bear in mind, however, that choosing to undertake a loan at this point in your educational journey will add to the debt you may also incur whilst studying at University.

For many, choosing to study an Access to HE Diploma instead of A-Levels is a choice based on their lifestyle.

A-Levels tend to be taught in school environments, which aren’t always accessible for mature students or those with prior commitments.

You can study an Access to HE Diploma full-time, part-time; for one year, or more. Many providers also offer distance learning or evening classes to best meet the needs of their students.

Plus, Access to HE Diploma Courses are widely recognised by most UK universities, and offer you a fantastic opportunity to further your education without resorting to “going back to school”.