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Access to Higher Education Diploma


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? Just get in touch. or phone 0161 419 3620


Course title: Topics Covered For students wanting to pursue careers in the areas such as:
Health Professions Human Biology & Psychology Nursing, midwifery, radiography, paramedic science, physiotherapy and related health professions.
Psychology & Criminology Psychology & Criminology Social work, police and prison services, psychology, counselling, youth work.

Access to Higher Education Diploma?

Are you looking for a fast-track route to university? Our Access to Higher Education (HE) courses allow you to get to university in one year

Our Access programme is a one-year part-time course. It is designed for over 19’s who may have been out of education for a while and would like another opportunity to study.

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 Health Professions 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.

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?
    • Applications for the Access to HE Diploma are made online from March to the end of August for a September start. Contact us to register your interest.


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

      Classes are held on Monday and Tuesday evening from 6.00pm to 9.00pm. Attendance is required on both evenings.

      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?
    • Healt Profession 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
  • 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

      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

      Bridie Kelly

      Head of Adult Education

      Emma Bradbury

      Adult Education Manager

      Alison Hesford


      Tel: 0161 419 3620 or 0161 483 3237