York College

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 “The Access course gave me a new start, bringing new opportunities."

- Access to Higher Education Diploma: Art and Design

Access your degree or higher-level qualification with us and find your way to a prosperous career. The Access to Higher Education (HE) diploma is designed for people who do not have “traditional” qualifications, such as A levels, and for those who have been out of education for some time. If you want to go to university, but feel you might lack the entry qualifications, or you are worried that you might not be able to cope with the demands of degree-level study, then an Access course can help. Our pathways cover a range of vocational areas from Healthcare and Nursing, to Science and Humanities. These courses are all studied for around 14 hours a week over 32 weeks and involve a range of activities relevant to the pathway being studied.

Last year 81% of York College Access students progressed onto Higher Education, a statistic well above national average. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is validated and accredited through the National Awarding Body Certa, which is an Access validating agency, licensed and regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.

York College Access courses are validated by CERTA.   CERTA ACCESS - FULL COLOUR PNG

Access to Higher Education Diplomas

Art and Design

Health Science Professions

Humanities and Social Sciences


We are pleased to announce the development of several new Access to Higher Education Diplomas coming soon to York College! We have a number of courses launching in September 2021, as well as others in development for launch Autumn 2022.

Courses launching September 2021

Access to Higher Education Diploma: Medicine*

Access to Higher Education Diploma: Policing*

Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills for Further Study (Humanities and Social Sciences/Health Science Professions)*

*Subject to Approval

In Development for September 2022

Level 3 Access to HE Diploma: Social Work*

Level 3 Access to HE Diploma: Creative Performance*

*Subject to Approval

Although we are unable to take applications for these courses at present, please do keep checking the website for the latest updates, or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions.

York College's Access and Participation statement is also available for those who would like to view it.

For more information please contact the InfoZone on 01904 770770 or via email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NHS Learning Support Fund

Following successful completion of an Access to Higher Education course at York College, students starting and continuing their degree course from September 2020 can apply for the NHS Learning Support Fund (NHS LSF) if they’re on one of the following pre-registration Undergraduate or Postgraduate courses:

  • Dental therapy/Dental hygiene (level 5 and 6 courses)
  • Dietetics
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing (adult, child, mental health, learning disability, joint nursing/social work)
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Operating Department Practitioner (level 5 and 6 courses)
  • Orthoptics
  • Orthotics and Prosthetics
  • Paramedics (bachelors and masters courses are eligible, DipHE and FD courses are not eligible for NHS LSF)
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry/chiropody
  • Radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)
  • Speech and language therapy

NHS LSF offers support for:

  • A Training Grant for all eligible students of £5,000 per academic year – You need to be actively studying one of the courses from the list above, and receiving BOTH Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan. The eligibility criteria is on this page: NHS Learning Support Fund | NHSBSA
  • Parental Support of £2,000 for students with at least one dependent child under 15 years, or under 17 years if registered with special educational needs (this used to be called Child Dependants Allowance)
  • Reimbursement of excess costs incurred on practice placement for travel and temporary accommodation costs (Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses)
  • Students experiencing financial hardship (Exceptional Support Fund)

Please visit the NHS Learning Support Fund website for full details.

HE Levels of Study

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