1 year (2 days per week)



Department of Digital

24,000 Access to HE students are accepted at over 140 universities every year*


90% of graduates with Diploma were employed or in further study six months after graduating (2017/18)

Do you have a strong interest in computing? Want to study this subject at university level, but don’t currently meet the entry requirements for a degree? Our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Computer Science) is designed to give adult learners an intensive introduction to this field, as well as boosting your study skills to prepare you for higher education.

The Access to HE Diploma is a Level 3 qualification equivalent to A-levels. It is designed for individuals who do not have traditional qualifications or a formal educational background, providing the necessary skill set to progress onto study at university and a subsequent career in a relevant field. As well as enhancing your academic skills, our one-year course lets you explore a range of areas in the field of information technology (IT), including programming and mathematics, web design, networking, cyber security, databases and systems.

By completing this Access to HE Diploma, you will be able to take your first step towards a wide variety of industry careers, from software engineer or IT technician to website content manager or database developer. You will also be ready to embark on a range of degree-level courses within the computing sector.

Why choose this college course?

  • RECOGNISED QUALIFICATION – This Access to Higher Education Diploma will give you a nationally-recognised qualification to help meet the entry requirements for university
  • BOOST YOUR SKILLS – Gain the necessary study skills and key knowledge for your chosen subject or career, as well as the independent learning skills needed for university study
  • GREAT LEARNING SUPPORT – Enjoy a positive and supportive learning experience that will develop your skills and confidence to progress onto higher education
  • MOVE UP TO UNIVERSITY – Continue your learning journey to the next level at University College Birmingham, such as on our computing degree.
Student Finance England will ‘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.)

Our facilities

Students on our computing and ICT courses at University College Birmingham have access to new computer labs on campus, as well as our new Digital Creative Studio featuring industry-standard media equipment.

Course breakdown

Topics you will study

  • Study Techniques
  • Mathematics for Computing
  • Cyber Forensics
  • Computer Systems
  • Database Development
  • Networking
  • Installing, Configuring and Maintaining Systems
  • Software Design and Development
  • Event Driving Programming
  • Designing and Developing a Website
  • Network Security
  • Cyber Threats and Legislation

Please note: Units/topics of study are subject to change

Entry requirements

Our Access to Higher Education Diploma course has been designed for students who have not had the opportunity to access higher education. 

Academic requirements

  • GCSE English (Language or Literature) and Maths at grade 4 (grade C) or equivalent
  • If you are unsure if your qualification is equivalent or if you wish to check if you meet the entry requirements for this course, please call 0121 214 2919 or email

Supporting documents required

Applicants will also be required to submit a reference from a previous or current employment role. Please where possible submit this with your application by emailing your reference to

Guaranteed progression

Students who achieve 56 UCAS points or more from this qualification will automatically be guaranteed a place on a degree course at University College Birmingham. Some undergraduate courses require additional entry requirements, so applicants are advised to check entry requirements before applying.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

You will be assessed through coursework assignments and projects.

Please note: This course requires attendance of two days per week.

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.


The fee for this course is £3,022. Please click here for more information.

Please note: Student Finance England will '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).

Career opportunities

This course is designed to enable your progression onto higher education. Depending on entry requirements, you could continue onto a degree at University College Birmingham, such as Computer Science or Cyber Security.

With further study, possible future career options open to you include:

Network administrator

Average salary: £25,000 – £31,000

Systems analyst

Average salary: £30,000 – £40,000

IT project manager

Average salary: £32,000 – £50,000

IT consultant

Average Salary: £28,000 – £60,000

IT support technician

Average salary: £19,000 – £29,000

Database developer

Average salary: £34,000 – £48,000

Note: The example roles and salaries are intended as a guide only.


We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 


Find out more


Kanwal’s Story

Kanwal brings vast expertise to this new course and is dedicated to promoting learning strengths across diverse groups of students.

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