Access to Higher Education

Course Code: 8000927

If you are considering advancing to higher education and do not have A level qualifications, or if those qualifications were a very long time ago or were not the grades needed for your proposed undergraduate studies then an Access to Higher Education Diploma may well be just the thing for you. It is completed in one year commencing in mid-September and ending at the beginning of June the following year, for anticipated commencement of undergraduate study in the following September. It is therefore a very condensed and intense programme of study indeed!

This diploma is designed for those people who have had some life experience outside normal formal education and is open to any age group. University admissions tutors will nevertheless expect those who are in the normal age range to study traditional A level qualifications, BTEC or equivalent to take that route rather than Access.

The Access to H. E. Diploma offered at Kidderminster College currently runs in the daytime, normally over 3 (or exceptionally 4) days a week. Every effort is made to accommodate the timetable to fit in with school hours to assist those with children in full time education, however it is sometimes necessary for lessons to be timetabled just outside these hours so it is essential if you have school aged children that you have considered how to manage the odd hour or so a week when it may be that someone else needs to either fetch them from, or take them to, school.

In September 2017 the college has plans to offer some distance on line provision for Access to H. E, details of this will be published as soon as they are available and this is certainly an option for anyone who finds it difficult to fit learning into a daily schedule. It must be noted however that distance learning cannot provide the full experience of college life nor would you have quite the comprehensive range of tutor support that is a fundamental part of the day time course. It is nevertheless a valid option for returning to study and we anticipate that this will be a popular choice for those in full time work who wish to pursue a career change. If you are interested in this route please let the college admissions team know and full details will be sent to you as soon as they are available.

The day time Access to H. E. Diploma currently running at Kidderminster College is aimed primarily at those aspiring for a career in the Health Care Professions such as nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, paramedical or forensic science and allied professions, but it is widely accepted for a range of undergraduate programmes such as social work, teaching and other subject specific modular degree programmes such as psychology. As part of a combination of day and distance learning it is anticipated in the future that subject topic areas specific to professions such as teaching and social work will be added to the programme. As soon as these are finalised full details will be sent to any prospective student who registers an interest. Currently however, those wishing to pursue a career in either teaching or social work have been successful in attaining relevant places on undergraduate programmes from the current programme of study.

How is the Diploma made up?

The Access Diploma is nationally recognized by most UK universities. It is based on a 60 credit system whereby 45 are graded credits at Pass, Merit and Distinction. There is a UCAS conversion table available which works out how the graded credits achieved in Access to H. E. Diplomas convert to the points attained by traditional A levels. The Diploma attracts 60 credits or which 45 are graded. Once you register with UCAS for your university courses you will start to receive offers based on the grades achieved in your course. Typically for nursing, midwifery and other very competitive courses you will be required to attain a fair number of merit and distinction grades.

Success Rates at Kidderminster

We are a very successful course. 95% of our students went on to their chosen career pathway in 2015-16 and we hope to emulate that success again this year. This is despite the very competitive nature of the courses our students aspire to. We are very proud of our students’ achievements and do everything we can as a teaching and administrative staff to guide and support them on their way. You can expect the highest level of support and advice from extremely well qualified and experienced staff. Teaching is conducted in small adult only groups and we aim to foster a keen sense of group cohesiveness and team spirit which transcends far beyond the classroom. Part of the success of our students is their ability to learn alongside others with empathy understanding for individual differences. These skills are transferrable to both further education and the work setting. Our student leave us with the confidence to succeed in life, on whatever pathway they have chosen.



  • What will be studied

    The expected break-down of units for 2017-18 is as follows, however this has not yet been formally ratified.

    Human Biology (18 Academic graded units)

    Psychology (15 Academic graded units)

    Health Studies (12 Academic graded units)

    Study Skills techniques (12 skills ungraded units)

    A Tutorial support programme and Progression to further education studies. (3 skills ungraded units)

    If you do not have GCSE Maths at a current grade C (new level 4) or above, then you will take this alongside your Diploma. No student is accepted onto the course without a grade C (new level 4) in GCSE English Language.

    Units are typically worth 3 credits each (exceptionally 6) You will study 5 topic areas in biology, 4 in psychology and Health, 3 in Study techniques and one as part of the tutorial programme which focuses on your application via UCAS and completion of your personal statement and preparation for university interviews.

  • What are the entry requirements?

    You will need to have GCSE English at grade 4 (formerly grade C) or above.

    All students who do not already have GCSE Maths at grade 4 will undertake GCSE Maths alongside the course.

    We expect learners to have a high level of motivation along with a reasonable standard of literacy and numeracy.

  • Where does this course lead to?

    Health related degree courses. The Access to HE Diploma may also be accepted as a suitable entry qualification for degree courses which are not related to health.

  • What qualifications will be gained?

    Access to Higher Education Diploma - you also have the opportunity to study GCSE Maths alongside the Diploma.

  • How will I be assessed?

    You will complete a range of tasks including essays, individual research, group presentations and timed tests.

  • Other Information:

    Units will be internally assessed and externally moderated. Assessment will include class assessments, written reports, presentations, visual displays and role play.


    Currently the programme runs over 3 days from 9.00 to 3.00, it may be that it is necessary to extend this to over 4 shorter days in the next academic year. However it cannot be emphasised strongly enough that this is a full time course, you will need to spend at least as many hours (if not many more) in private study at home in addition to the amount of time you are actually in college. Therefore expect the Diploma to take up to 30 hours a week of your time.

  • Exam Board:
    Open College Network West Midlands

    Nursing, Psychology, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Social Work, Teaching or other health related studies.


Start Date : Sep-16 End Date : Aug-17 Fee : N/A
Day : N/A Time : 9:00-17:00 Fee Description : N/A Duration : One year full-time
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Case Studies
Ben Cullen (Access to Higher Education)
Ben studied the Access to Higher Education course and secured a place at the University of Worcester studying for a BSc in Physiotherapy. Ben said “ My time at the college has given me the opportunity to grow, both academically and as a person. I’veread more
Debbie Preece & Max Carrington (Access to Higher Education)
Two Access to Higher Education students, Max Carrington and Debbie Preece, were awarded the Access to Higher Education Award in recognition of the way studying transformed their lives. Max went from being homeless to studying at University to become a clinical psychologist while Debbie, a formerread more
Max Carrington (Access to Higher Education)
Former Access to Higher Education student Max Carrington, who moved on to the University of Kent to study Psychology, has just completed his final examinations, and has expressed his thanks to Kidderminster College for getting him into university. During his time at Kidderminster College,read more

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