Do universities recognise this qualification?
The QAA Access to Higher Education Diploma is recognised by all universities and Higher Education institutions (HEIs) in Wales and England. In a university prospectus you will find that relevant Access courses validated by an approved validating body are listed under appropriate qualifications for entry alongside 'A' levels, the Welsh Baccalaureate, Edexcel National Awards, and other acceptable qualifications.
HEIs select their entrants on the basis of a number of criteria, of which a suitable qualification may only be one. Many HEIs will also require learners to attend for interview before deciding whether to offer a place. In 2011, nearly 21,000 Access to Higher Education Diploma learners registered on full time degree and diploma programmes; over 1000 of these were from Wales.
Important information for AHE learners applying to university in England.
The Access to HE Diploma is included in the list of qualifications published by the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) to be considered ABB+ equivalent for the purposes of HE student number controls in 2013-14.
Access to HE students recruited to HE who have achieved the Diploma at the grades required will not count against the student number controls set for HEIs by HEFCE. For the Access to HE Diploma, the required grade achievement for inclusion in the ABB+ population is ‘Overall pass – must include 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher’.
The full list of qualifications is available on HEFCE’s website:
How do I apply?
No formal qualifications are required to be accepted on Access courses, but you should be committed to developing your ability to study. At an informal interview, the college you chose will assess what help you will need to complete the Access programme of your choice and advise you about a programme of study that is appropriate to your needs. You can apply at any time but it is advisable to apply early. Colleges hold open events for many of the programmes. At these events you can find out more about the programmes and meet tutors and current learners. Contact the colleges of your choice or visit their websites for more information about entry requirements, open events and how to apply. Details here.