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Access to HE

Access to Higher Education Diploma: Health Science Professions

Subject Area
Health & Social Care
Start Date
September 2024
Study Mode
1 Year
Entry Requirements
GCSE English, Maths and Science - minimum grade 4/C is required. If students do not have a formal Level 2 English and Maths qualification, they would need to complete this before starting the course.
Validated by
Skills and Education Group

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.

Entry requirements

GCSE grade C/4 or above in English, Maths and Science.

Teaching methods/course delivery

The programme delivery method includes lectures and seminars, and a good level of student participation is expected. You will be expected to make presentations throughout the course to develop your presentation skills.

Under the guidance of our expert tutors, you will be encourage to explore different materials and techniques across our range of purpose-built workshops and studios. A good level of student participation is expected throughout the duration of the course.

Reasons to choose this course

The Access Health Science Professions Diploma is the ideal stepping stone for anyone wanting to gain the basic knowledge and skills that underpin a successful career in the health sector, whatever field of study you choose to take for your next steps.

Course fees & additional costs

Advanced Learner Loan

If you are offered a place on this course, you will be able to apply for a Advanced Learner Loan. The loan means that you will not have to pay any tuition fees up front and will only pay back the loan when your salary rises above £27,525. Repayments are made automatically if you are employed and are part of your tax return if you are self-employed.

If you are taking out an Advanced Learner Loan to study an Access to HE Diploma your Loan will be written off on successful completion of your higher education programme - so in effect your Access to HE Diploma programme could be free.

Please refer to the York College Advanced Learner Loan page for more specific information.


If you are aged 19 to 23, you may qualify for fee remission for an Access course depending on your circumstances. Eligibility for a free course is based on government guidelines and the most up-to-date information is available on our website or from our Funding Team. If you do not qualify for free tuition, you will be able to pay for your tuition fees in instalments and may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan.

Still have questions? Call 01904 770443 or email

Other costs

All materials are provided for you to complete the course. However, you may need access to a PC/laptop and suitable Wi-Fi to access additional teaching and learning from home as required for the additional guided learning hours.

How you can progress

Students will be eligible to apply to a range of degree courses in the health profession such as:

  • Nursing, Midwifery, Physiology, Occupational Therapy, Paramedic Science, Speech & Language Therapy, Operating Departments Practitioners

Or alternatively, a range of general health and wellbeing degrees such as:

  • Biomedical Science, Human Physiology, Human Biology or Sports Science, Food & Nutrition

Course modules

The course is divided into units of assessment. Each unit is broken down into learning hours and most of the units are worth three, six or nine credits (one credit equals 10 learning hours). To achieve the Diploma, you must achieve 60 credits, all credits are at level three (equivalent to A Level standard).

Course modules include:

  • Study 15 credits of Study Skills – this will include Academic Writing Skills
  • Study 30 credits of Human Physiology – this will include study of the major body systems, infection and immunity and an introduction to pharmacology.
  • Study 15 credits of Professional Health Care Practice – this will include study of communication, health promotion, mental health, and professional health care practice.

Units are designed to give an excellent foundation for progression to university to study nursing (all branches), midwifery and allied health professions such as paramedic practice and physiotherapy.


Assessment may take the form of written reports, essays, controlled tests, logbooks, and presentations. Assessment will take place both during and at the end of each unit as appropriate. Graded units will be awarded as Distinction, Merit or Pass.

At the end of the course, you will be given a transcript listing all units and grades awarded: there is no overall grade.

Universities will specify the grades they expect you to achieve in various units as part of any offer they may make.


Students have access to a fantastic range of College-wide facilities such as the Learning & Research Centre, study hubs, computer areas with accompanying multi-function printers and helpdesk advice.

Nursing bursary

If you choose to progress onto a nursing degree, you will also be eligible for a annual payments of £5,000 - £8,000, this bursary is available to all undergraduates nursing students from August 2020.


The Access to Higher Education Diploma is validated and accredited through the National Awarding Body Skills and Education Group which is an Access validating agency, licensed and regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).

SEG Access Logo Colour 002
QAA Access logo colour 002
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