Overview top

The Access to HE course is a Level 3, credit-based programme for adults aged 19 years and over. 

The primary aim of the Access to HE Diploma is to provide appropriate preparation and a recognised qualification to enable students to progress to Higher Education (HE). 

Access to Higher Education courses are designed for adults who would like to study at university but who don’t currently have the required qualifications to do so.

Course Details

South Tyneside College offers 2 Access to HE Diplomas. Before you start the course you will need to consider what sort of job, career or degree you eventually wish to follow. 

It is also advisable that you access university information regarding more specific entry requirements. This helps you to decide which diploma to study. Students will study a particular diploma. Diplomas are a combination of subjects which are tailored to fit careers/courses. 

Further information about the subject content of these diplomas can be discussed at interview. 

Within these diplomas, you will complete a range of units, successful completion will accrue credits.
To be awarded the Access to HE Diploma, students must achieve units totaling 60 credits, 45 credits are from graded units at Level 3 and 15 credits are from ungraded units at Level 2 or 3.

  • Access to HE Diploma Humanities

Units to be confirmed during interview but will involve Social Science based subjects like Psychology and Sociology to prepare learners for a range of degrees including Social Work.

If you are unsure which diploma is best suited to your aspirations, have a look at university websites and prospectuses for course entry requirement details and check with their admissions departments.

Course Structure

The course runs from September until June. All classes are delivered during the day (9am to 5pm) and
generally run over three days.

Entry Requirements top

Prospective students should have a GCSE in Mathematics and English at grade C or above (or equivalent Functional Skill at Level 2). Please note each university has different entry criteria for different courses and you need to check these e.g. some nursing degrees require a GCSE in Mathematics (not Functional Skill level 2).

To be eligible to study on the Access to HE course, you must have:

  • Had a significant break from study (which means you are aged over 19 years).
  • The ability to work at or above level 2 in English and Level 1 in mathematics
    with qualifications at Level 2 in these subjects
  • Commitment to the course; a clear goal and a robust back-up plan
  • Some evidence in an informal interview of:
    - Resilience
    - Working with others
  • The ability to use Microsoft Office software to a reasonable standard

Assessment top

The assessments within this programme are internally set. Assessment is conducted through a combination of written assignments, reports, practical investigations amongst other assessment methods. Units totalling 45 credits are graded Pass, Merit or Distinction to help students demonstrate to universities the standard they have achieved. The remaining 15 credits are ungraded.

Further Information top

Applying to University is a big focus at the start of your Access to HE Diploma. Your UCAS application must be completed by mid-November of the year before entry. It is a very competitive environment and to ensure the best possible chance of securing a place on your chosen degree course, you should start planning your application early. More information can be found at https://www.ucas.com/.

You can enhance your UCAS application by attending taster courses, open days or conferences and by talking to professionals in the field you want to work in. Please contact local universities for more information.

Almost all vocational degree courses demand either relevant work experience or voluntary experience, so bolstering your application with a variety of work placements will help you to stand out and compete for your place. https://doit.life/volunteer is a useful place to start if you are looking for help to organise voluntary experience.

www.do-it.org.ukPlease note that most voluntary roles will demand a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, which can take a number of weeks/months to complete. It is you responsibility to arrange this.

Dates & Fees

The course starts annually in September.
The Access to HE Diploma is funded for students aged 19-23 without a current level 3 qualification. Those aged 19 and above can apply for an Advanced Learning Loan to cover the course fees and, if students successfully complete their HE course, it will be written off. For further information on fees/funding please contact Student Services.