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Humanities Access to Higher Education Diploma level 3 – C0104

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Course Overview

Access to Higher Education courses are designed for mature, motivated, and academically-focused students an opportunity to return to study and apply for higher education (HE) courses. Access courses are very demanding but very rewarding; you will need lots of commitment and a positive attitude to learning new skills and gaining knowledge. The course has a strong tutorial system and you will receive full guidance and support for your HE and career plans. Your personal tutor will help you manage your learning effectively and provide friendly, confidential support through any problems you may have during your time at college. Access courses are validated by the QAA and are considered to be the equivalent of A levels.

What You'll Learn

Year 1

You will study a range of topics linked to your university progression plans, taken from history, English literature, and human geography. All students will develop their study skills in preparation for university and these are included as separate units within the course. It may be possible to take an additional GCSE alongside the course if this is needed for progression onto particular university courses, but you would have to pass a pre-entry assessment first. More information will be provided at interview, alternatively you can attend one of our open days or contact the department directly.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should be aged 19 plus by no later than 31 August prior to starting the course.
You will need to hold English and maths GCSEs at grade 4/C or above. In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to study for one of these qualifications alongside your Access course.
One reference from your previous place of study or work will also be required.
In order for you to progress onto an undergraduate degree at a British university, it is essential to have achieved a minimum of a GCSE grade C (4) in English and maths. 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.
Consideration will be given to applicants who do not have both English and maths GCSE as it may be possible (subject to a pre-entry assessment) to take one GCSE alongside the Access course. We also offer a full-time pre-access course where students can study up to six GCSEs in one year before moving on to the access course. Very good communication skills are essential for this course, particularly in written English, as extended essays, controlled assessments and presentations are the main forms of assessment.

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by both coursework and examinations and will compile a portfolio of evidence throughout the course for external moderation purposes.
We utilise a range of assessment methods that mirror the types of assessment you will expect to get at University; for example, essays, presentations, reports, seminars, and exams.

Course Fees

Tuition fees

Tuition Fees (16-18): £0.00

Tuition Fees (19+): £3022.00

Additional Costs

You will need to supply your own stationery and will be advised about certain texts/books which may be integral to your course.
On completion of your access course if you wish to apply to university there will be a fee for your UCAS application

There are no course fees if you are under 24 on 31st August of the year in which you start the course AND you do not possess a full Level 3 qualification.

If (a) you are under 24 and already have a full level 3 qualification, OR (b) you are over 24 (irrespective of any qualifications you have achieved), then course fees are applicable. However, you may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover these.


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

Students may progress onto a range of university courses, both locally and nationally. Examples include English literature and language, creative writing, media, journalism, education studies degrees leading to primary teaching, history, law, geography, philosophy, international relations, politics, media and film, linguistics and archaeology.
This course is very successful in preparing students for further study and the humanities team has links to a number of universities to further support your progression aims.

What Happens Next

Apply online via the College website. You will need details of your qualifications, a reference and a personal statement which sets out your university and career plans, to complete your application. Once your application has been successfully processed, you will be invited for a formal interview, learn more about your chosen course of study and tour the facilities. You will then need to confirm your acceptance of the course offered to you.

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