Access to Higher Education (Full-time)
The full-time Access to Higher Education course will prepare you to pursue a degree or diploma at university. You will develop your skills and confidence to enable you to embark on a successful higher education career. Access to Higher Education qualification is a QAA-recognised entry qualification for degree or diploma level studies at all universities in the UK, for a wide range of subjects. On this HE course, you will study English, Maths and study skills together with subjects related to your degree choice.
This is a full-time HE course completed over one year. If you would prefer to study part-time and spread the course over two years, we now offer a part-time Access to Higher Education course.
Access to HE Celebration of Achievement 2017 – Source Somerset Guardian 29.6.17
One Student’s Story:
Steph is in her 4th year at the University of Bath where she is studying for a Psychology degree.
See Steph’s Story here: lookfurther.bath.ac.uk
What topics are covered?
Within the course, we offer six diplomas:
- Health & Social Care – This popular diploma enables you to study a degree in a range of healthcare professions, including nursing, midwifery, radiography, paramedicine, physiotherapy and social work.
- Education – Designed for future educators, this diploma offers you the qualifications needed to pursue a degree in teaching.
- Science – The science diploma allows you to progress to a university degree in subjects such as physics, biology, forensics, psychology, ecology or biomedical sciences. Please ask for guidance.
- Engineering – This engineering diploma allows you to progress to a university to study a engineering related degree.
- Humanities – This diploma offers a broad range of progression possibilities; students have progressed onto degrees including history, literature, creative writing and international development.
- Social Science – This diploma offers progression opportunities including sociology, social policy and other social sciences.
- Medicine – This diploma offers progression to train as a doctor.
We will advise you on the right diploma to study. After you make your choice, you will be advised on the subjects you should take relating to your choice of degree/diploma. We offer English Literature, Education, Sociology, ICT, History, Psychology, Statistics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Mathematics.
Students will also study English and Study Skills.
Here is a subject taster from a presentation which one of our Biology students on the Health & Social Care Diploma put together:
Here are a couple of images to give you a flavour of what working in the Biology lab is like:
Here is a subject taster from a Sociology class activity on Crime & Deviance:
Who is the course aimed at?
This course is aimed at mature students who have been out of full-time education for at least a year and wish to go on to a degree/diploma course. You may have missed out on earlier educational opportunities and have few formal qualifications.
This is what one of our students, Emma-Jane Cook, had to say about the Access to HE course:
“When we were told at the beginning of the academic year that we would be doing presentations throughout this course and a 40 minute seminar in English near the end, I was absolutely terrified!
“One of the best things about this course, is that it does (absolutely!) take people as complete individuals and it develops them personally. Whether that’s from being ridiculously shy to being able to stand up in front of peers and talk about things that they are passionate about, or from being an introverted person to an outgoing member of a group.
“It’s been so wonderful to see so many people grow in confidence, myself included, and I’m pretty sure that it’s down to the encouragement that you and the rest of our lecturers and tutors give us. So thank you.”
Some Access students talk about the course:
This is from a student in their final year at University College, London who will be going on to do a Master’s and already has a graduate offer from a prestigious international financial institution:
“I couldn’t have been more grateful at the time for all your personal effort along with the wider Access team but I most certainly wouldn’t be sitting in the position I’m currently in without the course. I would like to extend my absolute gratitude to … the Access team and the college.”
And from a student in her first year of study at the University of Bristol:
“Just wanted to let you know that the essay writing skills you taught me resulted in a 94% for my first uni essay. I was gobsmacked when I saw that! Everyone had said the first pieces of work are always really bad as you need to learn what University wants. I had decided I would be really happy with anything around 50-60%. Access really did provide me with amazing tools, thank you.”
And from a student in his first year of university studying Law:
“Now semester 1 is finished and grades are finalised I’m pleased to say I’m achieving 2:1s, a little below what I’m aiming for but much higher than I could have achieved if I hadn’t utilised your feedback in all my Literary Studies assignments. The confidence that you gave me to express myself has very much shown in my essays and reports.”
And from a student who graduated 2 years ago and has landed his dream job through studying on the Access course:
“A few years down the line from passing the Access course (over 5 already!!), I wanted to say thank you for running the course and providing the support to allow the opportunity for students to develop themselves and pursue a different career path…
Upon reflecting back over the last few years and realising how far I have come and the extent of the change I have made in my life, I am left with an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness and appreciation for those that have given their support along the way.”
What are the entry requirements?
GCSE English and Maths at grade C/4 or better are required for the Access course. We also accept passes at GCE ‘O’ Level grade C and CSE grade 1. We do not accept Functional Skills.
We will need to see evidence of your GCSE grade achievement such as the certificate, results slip or letter from a school.
However, in some instances, it will be a requirement that students must have GCSE Maths at grade C/grade 4 or better before starting the Access course. This will usually be the case for students who wish to study science degrees, for example. We will advise you when you come for interview.
Only in very exceptional circumstances will we consider students without these entry requirements.
If you have overseas qualifications, we will check compatibility using the NARIC compatibility check system.
In some cases, a degree will require additional GCSEs such a science GCSE for some Physiotherapy courses or a higher grade in Maths. We advise students to check with us or with universities before the start of the course.
If you do not have GCSE English or Maths currently, we have fast-track GCSE courses starting in January 2018 – please contact the Student Advice Centre for details or click here for Maths or here for English.
We advise potential students to gain relevant experience for some degree courses such as health professions, social work and teaching.
Universities will also carry out a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service) for these courses.
We highly recommend that you make a careers advice appointment at the College before interviewing for the Access to HE course. Please phone 01225 328 720 to make the appointment.
When you have applied, you will be invited to attend an information session, an interview and to take a short assessment (information will be given with your invitation).
What qualifications will I gain?
You will receive a QAA-recognised diploma, validated by Ascentis, listing the credits achieved.
Who is the awarding body?Ascentis (www.ascentis.co.uk)
Who will be my tutor?
You will be assigned one of several personal tutors on the Access to HE programme.
How will I learn?
Study is classroom-based, with a strong emphasis on group work.
Access students talk about how they study:
How will I be assessed?
Assessment is based primarily on coursework and there are some exams. You must achieve a certain number of credits to pass the course.
What can I do after this course?
During the course we will help you to apply to university to study your choice of subject. We can give you lots of advice and guidance when you come for your interview and throughout your studies and 98% of students who applied to university gained a place on their chosen course in the last academic year. Students have gone on to study a variety of subjects at a variety of Universities. Students have studied subjects including –
Adult Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Children’s Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Paramedic Science, Emergency Care and Operating Theatre Practice, Diagnostic Imaging, Podiatry, Psychology, Cyber Security Management, Business Management with Economics, IT Management for Business, Real Estate, Software Engineering, Education, Law, Social Work, History, American Studies, Media Communications, Classical Studies, English, Conservation Biology and Ecology, Zoology, Environmental Conservation and Heritage Management, Forensic Computing and Security, Information Management for Business, Biology, Engineering and Physics.
These are some of the Universities our students have studied at –
Cardiff University, UWE, Bath Spa University, Bournemouth University, University of Gloucestershire, University of Bristol, Oxford Brookes University, University of Exeter, University of Brighton, University College, London-UCL, University of Brighton, University of Worcester, University of Southampton, University of Nottingham, University of Sussex, University of East Anglia, King’s College London, University of Law Guildford, Queen Mary London, Plymouth University, Sheffield Hallam University, Royal Agricultural University
Some Access students talk about applying to university:
“The Access to HE course was awarded a Grade 1 in the recent College SAR which was thoroughly deserved. Excellent work, team!” Stuart King, Head of English, Access and Maths
How much does this course cost?
These were the fees for 2019/20:
- If you are aged between 19-23 when the course starts and you do not have a full level three qualification the Access course is FREE.
- If you are aged between 19-23 when the course starts and you do have a full level three qualification you will need to pay the fee or take out an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of the fees.
- If you are aged 24+ when the course starts you will need to pay the full fee or take out an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of the fees.
- The Advanced Learner Loan is not means tested and at present this is ‘written off’ when you graduate from university.
- The fee is £3022 and 3384 depending on your diploma.
- If you withdraw from the course early, the College reserves the right to collect the total course fee from you. Students should ensure that they have financial arrangements in place before commencing the course.
Are there any additional costs?
Stationery (e.g. files, paper).
Where is this course?On your first day, please report to the Reception in the Roper Building at City Centre Campus.
What else do I need to know?
Maths and English language GCSEs, required for nearly all university courses, are no longer included in the Access qualification. If you do not have Maths or English language at this level we recommend that you enrol on our part-time GCSE courses starting in September. These run during the day and in the evening (contact the Student Advice Centre for further information). If you do not have both GCSEs, you can study for the one GCSE you do not have (either English language or Maths) alongside the Access course.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
- If a student studies Education Studies they will need to complete a school placement. They may need a DBS for this and the college can provide this at no charge.
- If a student chooses to do the Social Work Placement unit they may also need a DBS.
- We need to tell you that If the college supplies a DBS and a student does not complete the course they would be liable for the cost which is £44.
Where can I find out more information?For advice or more details please telephone 01225 312191 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit our Student Advice Centre.
If you have a learning difficulty or disability, please contact Additional Learning Support to arrange additional help.
How do I apply?Online: Click the "Apply" button and fill out an online application form.
By post: download the Full-Time Application Form and send to Student Advice Centre, Bath College, Avon Street, Bath BA1 1UP.
In person: Visit the Student Advice Centre in either of our campuses
To find out more about the application process, please go to the How to Apply page.