Access Courses

What is it?

The Diploma for Progression and Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma are qualifications which can help prepare you for study at university. 

The Diploma for Progression is often referred to as a pre-Access course. The course is ideal for those who have no formal qualifications and have not been in education or training for some time, but are interested in pursuing a new career or working towards a higher education qualification. It is a stepping stone to the Access to HE programme or other Level 3 courses.

Many people go straight into an Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma which is aimed at people who would like to study in HE but who left school without the usual qualifications at Level 3, such as A levels. Access to HE Diplomas are available in a range of different subjects, such as Nursing, Art and Design, Business Studies and a range of others, so you should be able to find a course that caters for your interests or career ambitions.

Where could I study?

Access to HE Diplomas and Diploma for Progression courses are usually offered at further education colleges.

How long will it take me?

Most Access to HE Diplomas and Diploma for Progression courses can be completed in a year or less. For one-year courses, you will typically study for up to 16 hours a week in college as well as doing a certain amount of private study outside classes. However, many people with family or work commitments may prefer to study over two or more years, and most courses allow you to do this. There are also courses provided in the evenings or by distance learning if you need to continue with a full-time job while you study. 

Options after the course?

  • Diploma for Progression students usually progress on to Access to HE Diploma courses.
  • Many Access to HE students go on to succeed at university and beyond.