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Access to HE

Access to Higher Education Diploma: Medicine

Subject Area
Start Date
September 2023
Study Mode
1 Year
Entry Requirements
GCSE grade C/4 or above in English, Maths and Science – you must be aged 19+ as from the August before your course starts.
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.

The Access to HE Diploma (Medicine) is an excellent preparation for progression into studying Medicine at university. This exciting course aims to provide academic preparation for higher education study for adults who, because of social, educational or individual circumstances may have achieved few, if any, prior qualifications. This diploma is being developed by Skills and Education Group Access to meet a Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) defined Medicine subject descriptor so that medical schools can have a confidence in offering our non-traditional students a place on a higher education Medicine programme.

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 on a regular basis throughout the course to develop your presentation skills. Attendance in College is typically for three days per week plus an additional 10 to 15 hours personal self-guided study. Timetables and hours of study will be discussed at the interview.

A good level of student participation is expected throughout the duration of the course.

Reasons to choose this course

The NHS lists 29 pathways and specialisms in medicine, from emergency medicine, intensive care and anaesthetics, to cardiology, haematology, general practitioner (GP), dermatology, endocrinology and diabetes or research, and forensic psychiatry to name a few.

Course fees & additional costs

Course fees vary each year. Prospective students are advised to contact us for the latest fees.

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.


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

How you can progress

In the past students have progressed on to higher education and have studied a range of courses in the medical field.

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 3 (equivalent to A Level standard).

Studying the Access to HE Diploma (Medicine) will provide you with a sound understanding and knowledge in key subjects such as Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Study Skills and Professional Behaviours as an introduction to the higher education learning and assessment contexts that you may progress into at university. The course will provide you with an introduction to the requirements of a career in Medicine, as well as an overview of the potential routes into the medical field. You will be supported in developing your skills and attributes in professional behaviours, as well as preparation for any additional aptitude tests that may be part of an application to Medical schools.


Assessment may take the form of reports, assignments, controlled tests, logbooks and presentations. Assessment will take place both during and at the end of each unit as appropriate. Graded units are eligible for grades will be awarded as distinction, merit or pass.

At the end of the course you will be given a transcript listing all of the 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.

Advanced Learner Loan

If you are offered a place on this course, you will be able to apply for the new 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.


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).

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