Access to Higher Education Diploma

Applications for September 2021 have now closed. Applications for September 2022 will be taken from Monday 9th MAY 2022

Are you interested in finding out more information about the Access to Higher Education Diploma?

Do you have questions you need answering before you can make your application? No problem, we are happy to see people for one-to-one chats. or phone 0161 419 3620


Course title: Subject award in:
Human Biology & Psychology (Health & Social Science)
Criminology & Psychology (Humanities & Social Science)

Access to Higher Education Diploma?

Applications for the Access to HE Diploma will be taken FROM Monday the 9th May 2022 onward.

Our Access programme is a one-year part-time course, designed for over 19’s who may have been out of education for a while and would like another opportunity to study. If you are from a forces background you could be very well suited to the structure and focus required for Access to HE especially if you have had to leave the forces early and need a new direction plus new qualifications to achieve that.

Access to H.E Diploma is an accepted alternative to ‘A’ levels and is recognised by universities for admission onto a range of degree courses.

Former learners studying the Access to Higher Education Course have progressed onto careers into nursing, physiotherapy, or have been accepted onto degree programmes.

Our programme offers pathways in Human Biology & Psychology (Health) OR Criminology & Psychology. In addition, you will study Core Skills units, designed to make the return to education less stressful and more enjoyable.

NHS Bursary and funding in England:   Health students applying for eligible degrees will be able to claim for financial support.  Please go to for further help on this and to check which degree courses are considered.    Nursing students will benefit from guaranteed, additional support of at least £5,000 a year to help with living costs. The funding will be given to all new and continuing degree-level nursing, midwifery and many allied health students from September 2022.

Comment from MMU re their Criminology degree programmes and students applying following the completion of an Access Diploma:

We are quite flexible in the subjects we accept from applicants – almost anything where an applicant can provide a convincing case for relevance! Our advertised preference is for at least some L3 study in a humanities or social science subject area so the course presented here fits the profile well.

We’re happy to develop relationships with colleges who provide courses that prepare students in subjects we deliver at degree level. Visits to colleges by lecturers and/or visits to University will be arranged.

PLEASE NOTE: The Award of the Access to Higher Education Diploma does not guarantee entry into University.

  • How can I apply for this course?
    • Please read the following course information and then if you are happy that this is the course for you, you will find a link in the download section at the bottom of this page for an an application form. (The form is only available from 9th May 2022 through to the end of August 2022). You will also find an information booklet which gives full details of the course and the units you will be taught.

  • How much time do I have to put in?
    • Subject attendance

      We run 144 subject classes per academic year held on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 5.30pm to 9.00pm. The first half-hour of each class is devoted to ‘one-to-one’ tutorials with personal tutors. These are arranged on an appointment basis. So effectively, unless you have a tutorial appointment, you need to attend from 6pm -9pm each week.

      At least 80% attendance is required to achieve the Access Diploma, though we would expect very little absence from class. As well as attending classes you are expected to put in at least 6 to 8 hours of private study per week. This is very often taken up with reading.

  • What are the entry requirements?
    • Human Biology Pathway:  Grade ‘C/4’or above in GCSE English, Maths & Science, particularly if going into nursing or midwifery – Manchester and Salford Universities require you to have Grade C/4 in English Language and Maths).

      Criminology Pathway:  Grade ‘C/4’ or above in GCSE English Language & Maths and preferably Science but Science not essential.

      You are required to do provide copies of your GCSE certificates prior to enrolment to help us check your skills in order to receive the correct advice and guidance. Also, you will need to demonstrate to the course tutor/advisor that you have the commitment and skills necessary to successfully complete the course.

      Applicants wishing to progress into higher education need to be aware that some higher education institutions (HEIs) may have additional entry requirements (e.g. for nursing at the University of Manchester or Salford you will need: GCSE English Language, Maths and Science – grade C/4 or above. Also you must achieve on your Access to HE Diploma 45 credits at level 3; 30 credits at distinction grade, 15 credits at merit grade and 30 of the credits must be in Health Science). It is advisable to check with the HEIs to which you intend applying to for their entry requirements, as this may require a longer period of study before you go to university.

  • Applying for Access if English is not your first language
    • For students whose first language is not English, you will be asked to complete Initial Assessments in literacy and numeracy which will help us to place you on the correct course and identify any possible support needs that you may have. It is possible we would recommend you enrol onto an IELTS course prior to commencing Access.

  • Fees (Ages: 19-23)
    • You will not have to pay course fees if you are:

      • Aged 19 – 23 (based on the date you start your course) and do not have a full level 3 qualification (i.e. 4 x AS levels or 2 x A levels).

      If you are aged 19-23 and you do already have any level 3 qualification, you will have to pay your own fees; there will be the option of paying by instalments* or you may be able to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan. The fees for the 2021 academic year was £2525 for both pathways.

  • Fees (Age 24+)
    • If you are aged 24+ (based on the date you start your course), there will be the option of paying by instalments* or, you may be able to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan from the Student Loan Company – further information about the Advanced Learner Loan is available upon request or go to The fees for the 2021 academic year was £2525 for both pathways.

      You are not able to take out an Advanced Learner Loan until you have applied, had your interview and have a confirmed place with a letter from the college (see below):

      1. Once you have been offered a place and you have a ‘learning and funding letter’, you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan via the Student Finance England website: Full details will be in the letter given.
      2. If your application for a Student Loan is accepted, your repayments are linked to income, so there will be nothing to pay until you earn more than £25,000. Rates of interest will vary depending on how much you earn but are generally lower than a high street loan, and any outstanding balance will be written off after 30 years.

      If you use a Advanced Learner Loan to fund your Access to HE course, and progress onto HE (a degree) and complete your programme, the Student Loan Company will write off the amount outstanding on the loan taken for the Access course.

      *If you choose not to take out a loan, you have the option to pay fees in instalments or in full directly to the college – a deposit and up to 5 monthly payments by standing order will be required (details available on request).

      Other costs/resources you may need to find:

      Writing paper, pens, A4 ring binders or pocket wallets to store your assignments and other documents handed out by your tutor. All course textbooks are available to borrow as required from the Learning Centre in college. You may prefer to buy a small number of low cost textbooks. In addition, you will benefit from the use of a personal computer with word processing software and an internet connection.

  • Contact details
    • Access Co-ordinator

      Head of Adult Education

      Emma Bradbury

      Tel: 0161 483 3237

      Adult Education Administration Manager

      Alison Proudlove

      Tel: 0161 419 3620 or 0161 483 3237