Awarded by Open College Network West Midlands


1 year (3-4 days per week)




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Department of Health
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Opportunity to progress onto our Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diploma

Study subjects such as essay writing, nutrition and exercise

Are you interested in the health sector and keen to return to study? Have you been considering courses such as our Access to Higher Education Diploma, but don’t yet meet the entry requirements for Level 3 study? Our Level 2 Pre-Access to Higher Education Certificate is designed to help you progress by developing the learning skills you need and demonstrating you can study for a sustained period at an appropriate level.

This college course features a combination of subjects to improve your study skills and give you a background in areas related to health and social care in order to prepare you for future learning and careers in this field. You will study areas such as diet and nutrition, human health and disease, physiology and psychology, as well as group working skills and plagiarism issues. There may also be the opportunity to study GCSE English Language/maths or Functional Skills English and maths alongside your Level 2 course.

By completing the Pre-Access to Higher Education Certificate, you will be able to progress onto a Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diploma (as long as you meet the remaining entry requirements). This will open a wide range of possible future study and career options for you, including childhood studies, nursing and midwifery, paramedic practice, public health, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social work or psychology. (Please note many of these career pathways do also require GCSE English, maths and – in some cases – science at grade 4/C or above.)

View timetable for the course

Why choose this college course?

  • 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 – Completing this certificate will help you progress onto a Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diploma, opening the way to applying for degree level courses. 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.)

Course breakdown

Topics you will study

  • Barriers to Health
  • Diet and Nutrition
  • Physiology and Exercise
  • Human Health and Disease
  • Psychology
  • Plagiarism
  • Working in a Group
  • Setting Learning Goals
  • Introduction to Health Studies

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

Entry requirements

Our Pre-Access 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 formal education. Experience does not need to be in a subject-related field.

Academic requirements

GCSE English Language grade 3 (grade D) and Maths at grade 3 (grade D) or equivalent.

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

Key information

Teaching and assessment

Learning will be assessed through a variety of methods to prepare you for study at university – these may include essays, report writing, online assessment and presentations. You must achieve 25 credits at Level 2.

In order to successfully complete the Level 2 Pre-Access to Higher Education Certificate (Skills in Health), you must achieve a total of 25 credits through studying a variety of units and subjects.

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


View timetable for the course

Please note: small changes to the timetable may occur and the provided document may be updated

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.

This qualification supports individuals to develop essential and transferable skills that will help them progress to, and succeed in, further vocational learning, including Access to Higher Education Diplomas in Health. It gives learners a real grounding and foundations to build upon for their future studies and careers in the health sector.

Helen Waters Acting Assistant Dean for Health and Social Care

Progression and career opportunities

This course is designed to enable your progression onto higher levels of study, such as our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science and Health), which in turn will enable you to move into degree-level education.

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


Average Salary: £25,794

Adult nurse

Average Salary: £33,834

Social worker

Average Salary: £29,624

Learning disability nurse

Average Salary: £24,905


Average Salary: £28,803

Mental health nurse

Average Salary: £33,951


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


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Nicole’s Story

Experienced as both a support worker and a lecturer, Nicole now manages this course to get students’ careers off the ground.  

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