Awarded by Open College Network
This course is subject to validation



1 year (3-4 days per week)


September (2021)

School of Business, Tourism and Creative Industries
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Thursday 10 December 2020

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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 in 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 course is a Level 3 qualification equivalent to A-levels. It is designed for adult learners (aged 19 and over) 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 computer science diploma 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 our computer science course, 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

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

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

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

  • Applicants must have at least three years’ life experience outside of formal education gained since completing compulsory schooling.
  • Applicants must have a minimum of GCSE English Language at grade 3 (grade D) and maths at grade 4 (grade C) or equivalent.
  • Applicants will be required to also achieve a Level 2 Numeracy and Level 1 Literacy initial assessment. These assessments will take place on campus for candidates who have been successful at interview.
  • Applicants will also be required to submit a reference from a previous or current employment role.

Additional Information

There may be the opportunity to study GCSE English Language/maths alongside the course as part of your studies.

For applicants who need to retake their maths and English alongside studying the Access course, please note that we cannot guarantee these lectures will fall between 10am and 3pm.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

You will be assessed through coursework assignments and projects.

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2015-2020.

Need some advice?

Our Schools Liaison team deliver drop-in sessions for you to ask any questions you have about college. Find out more here.

The Access to HE Diploma in Computer Science is a fantastic opportunity to help you achieve the career you’ve always dreamed of. By completing this course, you can progress towards a wide range of careers in the industry or move onto studying a degree in this field.

Kanwal Rauf Lecturer in Computing

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 Computing.

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.

Read story

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