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Higher Education → Access to HE

What is the Access to HE Diploma?

These courses provide a recognised route into higher education if you don’t have the necessary qualifications or experience to start a university course. Access to HE Diploma courses are one year, intensive courses aimed at mature students (19+) to build the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to progress on to a university course in a subject area you are interested in.

We support students with few formal qualifications but with life experience and help to create pathways to life-changing opportunities and career avenues.

We offer Access to HE Diploma courses in the following areas (course details can be found by scrolling down the page):


Do universities recognise the Access to HE Diploma?

The Access to HE Diploma is widely recognised by UK universities, and many actively encourage applications from Access to HE students.

Each year, around 20,000 Access to HE students apply for a degree course at a UK university. They go on to study a wide range of subjects, including law, education, and business.

Considering an Access to HE Course?

If you’re thinking about studying an Access to Higher Education course but you’ve not yet made up your mind, here are five reasons why we think you should go for it!



Case Studies
Cara Russell - HE

Access to Higher Education

“I lived in Germany for a number of years but I’ve always had an ambition to go to university and I wanted to gain a qualification that would help me to get there. When I moved back to England, I decided to follow-up my interest and signed up for the Access course here. I had been out of education for a long time and I wasn’t sure how I would cope but the course has been ideal for me. The people on the course have the same aspirations as me and working with slightly older students made it much easier for me. I want to go into Law as a career so I’m going on to study the Law degree course at South Cheshire College next which I’m excited about. Coming back to college has really given me a purpose and the desire to achieve what I want to achieve in life.”
Selina Woodward - HE

Access to Higher Education

“I came to South Cheshire College years ago to study a Media course but I had a daughter and was out of education for a long time before I returned here to do the Access course. I want to go into a career in Law and this course is great preparation for the Law degree course that I’m planning to study next at South Cheshire College. The tutors here help you along and I’ve learnt lots of new skills, particularly writing and essay techniques that will be a big help to me in the future. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Access course and I think that if you are keen to return to studying after a long absence and want to head to university this is the perfect choice.”
Vicky Morris

Access to Higher Education

“I’m a mother-of-three and had a ten year gap from education when I came back to college to study the Access course. I work at Leighton Hospital as a Health Care Assistant but I’ve always wanted to go into nursing and knew that I would have to go to university to help me progress with this career path. The Access course has been fantastic and although I was apprehensive at first and didn’t know what to expect I’ve absolutely loved it. Being a mature student certainly hasn’t been a barrier to my learning. The tutors here are extremely supportive and you are with like-minded people who also want to progress to university. The course has been very flexible which has fitted in with my family commitments and I’ve been accepted to study nursing at several universities which I’m really looking forward to.”

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In partnership with The University of Oxford.