What is an Access course?
What can I study and how do I choose?
There are Access courses to suit entry to all higher education pathways. Some Access courses prepare learners for particular degree courses; for example Access to Art and Design, Access to IT, Access to Health Studies or Access to Biological Science. Other courses such as Access to Humanities provide a general preparation for entry to higher education.
The table here gives a list of ways to contact the colleges; you can email, phone, write or visit the website and find out about college open days and Access courses offered at the college.
When you contact your local college they will advise you on the courses they offer and will help you decide which are most suited to your hopes and plans.
What is included in an Access course?
Every Access course is made up of a variety of academic subjects supported by a compulsory core element. The academic subjects are related to the course you hope to study at university. While you may have experience in life and in work, you may have little or no recent experience of studying. To help
you with this the core element will include study skills and will give you the essential skills you need to become a confident student and problem solver. Examples of some of the subjects covered in different pathways can be found in the table below.
Study skills, Numeracy/Mathematics; Literacy/English/Communication Skills;
Access to Nursing
Access to Business Studies
Law, Customer Care
Access to Humanities
Units of study
The courses are built up from units which may represent five or six weeks of study and enable you to learn in manageable bites. The way in which the Access course is delivered will be suitable for your needs and level of confidence.
Each unit successfully completed gains a number of credits. When you have achieved sufficient credits at the appropriate level in a course of study you will be awarded the QAA Access to Higher Education Diploma. This qualification is recognised by universities and higher education institutions nationally. You will receive credits for the learning you achieve throughout your Access course. You will achieve these credits even if you have to leave the course early for some reason. This also means that you can accumulate credits over a longer period if that is the path that is most suitable for you.