This section aims to answer questions from potential Access Students and Learning Providers new to Access to HE.

Access FAQs
What is Access to HE?

The Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma is a qualification which prepares students for study at university.

It is designed for people who would like to study in HE but who left school without the usual qualifications, such as A levels.

Many Access to HE students go on to succeed at university and beyond, with a large number pursuing new careers and seeing changes in their lives that they had never thought possible.

How long does an Access course take?

Most Access to HE Diplomas can be completed in a year or less.

For one-year courses, you will typically study for up to 16 hours a week in college (though there is some variation between different colleges), as well as doing a certain amount of private study outside classes. However, many people with family or work commitments prefer to study over two or more years, and most courses allow you to do this.

There are also courses provided in the evenings or by distance learning if you need to continue with a full-time job while you study. You still have to accumulate the same number of credits, but if your circumstances change and you find that you can’t complete the course in the time you’d planned, you’ll be awarded the credits that you’ve earned. This gives you the flexibility to pick up where you left off at a later time and complete the course, if you’re able to.

What qualifications do I need?

One of the key features of Access to HE courses is that most don’t require you to have any particular previous qualifications to start – and it doesn’t matter how long it is since you last studied.

The Access to HE course will help you to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence you need to prepare you for university, without any assumptions about what you may have done in the past.

If you’re not certain which university course is best for you, your local Access to HE provider will be able to offer advice about the different courses available, as well as how to apply to university.

Although there are no specific entry requirement for the Access to HE Diploma, some HEIs may have additional requirements for some courses and you should check that you are able to meet these, either through existing qualifications or by taking some additional qualifications alongside your Access to HE Diploma.

Is Access to HE right for my learners?

Information to help you decide if an Access to HE Diploma is right for your learners – Read more.