Computing Access to Higher Education Diploma level 3 – C0176

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Course Overview

This is an intensive course for adults who do not have formal qualifications but want to study computing at university. You should have experience of and be enthusiastic about using computers. There will be a variety of assessment methods including practical labs, assignment submissions, group work, individual research, pair work, discussions and flip-learning.

You may apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover fees, and if you go on to complete a higher level qualification the government may write off the loan for this Access course.

If you are aged 16 to 18, you will be enrolled on a study programme. This will include retaking GCSEs or undertaking Functional Skills in English and maths if you haven’t already achieved a grade 4 or above.
You will take part in activities that help you to develop your personal skills, such as building your character and confidence. This will help you to live well and move into your chosen career.
If you are 16-19 years old these activities will be timetabled as will work experience and placement. You can also choose to take part in other activities.
For other age groups, activities will be tailored to your needs.

What You'll Learn

Year 1

This is a one year level 3 intensive programme that includes 15 modules which include:

1. Computer Systems
2. Database Applications
3. Systems Analysis and Design
4. Networks and Communications
5. Programming User Interfaces
6. Webpage Design and Production
7. Mathematics for Computing
8. Local Area Networks
9. Spreadsheets
10. Advanced Mathematics 1
11. IT for Academic Study
12. Presentation Skills
13. Producing a Written Assignment
14. Progression Skills
15. File Management and Security

You will also have a 1:1 tutorial to target set and support you with your work and assessment planning.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should be 19 plus by no later than 31 August prior to starting the course. it is essential to have achieved a minimum of a GCSE grade C (4) in English and maths. It would be desirable if you also have a qualification in computing but not essential. It is also important to have vocational experience at the beginning of the Access programme. One reference from your previous place of study or work will also be required.

To progress on to an undergraduate degree at a British university, it is essential to have achieved a minimum of a grade C in maths and English. It is your responsibility to check the GCSE grade profiles of the universities that you are interested in applying to and to attend a number of university open days.

How you will be assessed

Assessment will be in the form of formative activities and formal assignments throughout the academic year of the course. Several assignments per module on the course are assessed and graded to support and evidence successful completion of the course.

Course Fees

Tuition fees

Total Fees: £0.00

Tuition Fees (16-18): £0.00

Tuition Fees (19+): £3928.00

Additional Costs

If you are 24 or over and don’t already have a full level 3 qualification (2 A levels or equivalent) there will be no course fees for this course. Simply apply by clicking apply now at the top of the page

Material Fees



If the course is longer than one year the total fees are for the first year only and further fees may apply in future years. All fees are based on a ‘home’ learner status. Please contact us for information on overseas fees.

For more information, please see our course fee disclaimers page.

Learn more about fees

Course and Career progression

Successful students are encouraged to progress to university to study Computing at HNC, HND, Degree or Foundation Degree level. The progression route onto our HND programme provides a progression route to the top-up degree at De Montfort University or other higher education institutions.
Universities require prospective students to hold a GCSE grade C/4 in English and maths before enrolling in a degree programme. This course is for students wishing to access Higher Education only and not primarily intended to lead towards securing employment in the computing field.

What Happens Next

Apply online via the College website. You will need details of your qualifications and employment history, a reference, and a personal statement to complete your application. Once your application has been successfully processed, you will be invited to an interview at the College to meet your tutors, learn more about your chosen course of study and tour the facilities. You will then be offered a place on the programme, you need to confirm your acceptance of the course offered to you.

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