Access to Higher Education courses

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Achieve your career aspirations, with an
'Access to Higher Education' course 

Our ‘Access to Higher Education’ courses are a great option for anyone over 19 who wants to return to education and progress on to a university level course; but does not have the right qualifications to do so.

Access to HE courses are one-year long, and very flexible. And with the Diploma you receive, you can apply to various universities, around the country. We understand that being out of education for a while can be a little (or a lot!) daunting too. So, these courses aim to make the transition to university, a smooth one. With small classes and a focus on tailored support – we are committed to helping you reach your end goal.


Access to HE students are accepted at over 140 universities every year

What Access to HE courses do we offer?

Take a look at the individual course pages for more information on the teaching and assessment setup for each of the courses.

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Nursing)

Really want to get into nursing, but don’t currently meet the entry criteria to start on a university course in this field? 

This intensive course allows you to gain the equivalent of three A-levels in health studies, biological science and skills for learning to prepare you for the next level of study.

Find out more

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Business)

Want to study business at university but don’t currently meet the entry requirements for higher education?

This one-year course will supply you with a foundation of business-related knowledge, alongside essential academic skills to prepare you for the next level of study.

Find out more

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Computer Science)

Are you an adult learner looking to take your first step towards a career in the world of IT and computing? 

This one-year Diploma will give you an intensive introduction to Computer Science and a qualification equivalent to A-levels; opening the doors to university study.

Find out more

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science and Health)

Considering nursing or working within the health sector?

The Access to Higher Education Diploma combines building your learning skills, with studying topics related to careers in the health and social care fields.

Find out more
"My teachers have the time and patience to explain any questions raised. What I have learned has helped me organise my assignments, learn how to research essential information on the internet and in text books, and given me a fair idea about what I will be studying at the University."

Gifty Adubea Darko Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science and Health)

Answers to FAQs on Access to HE courses:

Is an Access to HE course right for me?

An Access to HE course is right for you if:

  • You look back in time and regret not going to university. Or feel like you missed the opportunity to further your education, because of having to prioritise other things.
  • You want to progress on to a university course, but do not have the traditional qualifications needed, to apply to one.
  • You need greater flexibility to complete your course, but also want to get things moving and gain your qualification within a year’s’ time.

What is an Access to HE Diploma equivalent to / what can I do with one?

  • Access to HE courses are equivalent to 3 A-levels; and between 48 and 148 UCAS points.

  • These courses have been around for a long time, and over 20,000 Access to HE students apply for a degree course at a UK university, every year

  • We offer progression opportunities onto our Undergraduate courses, here at University College Birmingham; for all Access students – subject to individual course entry requirements.

Take a look at our specific course pages above!

What are the entry requirements for starting an Access to HE course?

GCSE English Language and Maths at grade 4 (grade C) or equivalent.

What if I do not meet the entry requirements for an Access Course?

Our Pre-Access to HE course is suitable for anyone that wishes to develop their English, Maths and general study skills; in order to progress on to an Access to HE course.

Open days

We believe the best way to experience University College Birmingham is by visiting one of our college open days where you will get to meet subject tutors and view our first-class facilities for yourself. Can't make it? Why not attend our campus tours?

Find out more Campus tours

Fees and tuition

  • If you are aged 19 – 23 and studying your first full Level 3 qualification, you will not need to pay the course fee for your Access course.
  • You you find a full list of who is / isn't expected to pay for their course fees, on our fees and tuition page. And you can access our college course fees pdf for a list of tuition fees, by course.
  • If you are aged 19 and over on the first day of your course, and are expected to pay for your fees, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan. This is a non-means tested loan available from the UK Government to pay the tuition fees of full level 3 qualifications. The loan is paid directly to UCB to cover the cost of your tuition and does not have to be repaid until you are earning over £27,295 a year.
  • Student Finance England will also ‘write off’ any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances you owe for an Access to HE course once you complete a higher education course. This means you do not have to repay it. The higher education course must be eligible for student finance.

Request a prospectus

Our prospectuses are available to view online and can also be ordered as a printed version.

Request now

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