The course aims to prepare you for entry into higher education and to provide the underpinning knowledge and skills needed to progress on to a degree or diploma course at a university or college.

We urge prospective students to check the admissions criteria and entry requirements of the undergraduate degree programme you wish to progress to after this course and ensure that this is the right programme for your academic needs.

Entry Requirements

GCSE grade C/4 or above in English Language, Maths and Science for Allied Health Professions and Primary Teaching.

Level 2 Functional Skills in English and Maths for Health and Social Care Professions.

What You'll Need

In addition, you must show the motivation, commitment and life skills to cope with the requirements of the course and of Higher Education. Whilst there is no upper age limit on the programme, there may be external factors from the awarding institution which need to be taken into account before progressing onto Higher Education.

The current agency guidance states; ‘Access to HE programmes are designed to support adults seeking entry to HE and the EFA funds any young people on these programmes by exception.’

At the interview stage you will be required to demonstrate a strong interest in; and vocation for, a relevant health and social care profession, or for Primary Teaching. You must also show the ability to work towards entry to Higher Education courses. Any student under the age of 19 must contact Student Services to discuss alternative options available at York College, and whether or not you have a case, which may make you an exception.

Duration and Attendance

17th September 2018 - 14th June 2019

The course is full-time over an academic year. Timetables and hours of study will be discussed at the interview.

What You'll Do

In September, the Diploma is taught as part of a combined course with Social Sciences and Humanities. This course is in four parts and you will:

Study an optional unit for 1 session a week all year.

You may be able to study other subjects if the timetable allows. This will be discussed at interview.

In January, the Diploma is taught as part of a combined course with Health and Social Care. This course is in three parts and you will:

How you can progress

The main purpose of the course is to provide a route into a range of Education and Teaching degrees, but it is also possible to apply to courses with other subject specialisms with a view to teaching or training in that subject in the longer term.

Students completing this pathway will be able to progress to a wide range of degree programmes in education and child studies subjects such as; BA (Hons) Education Studies, BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work, BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies and BA (Hons) Sociology at York St John University.

There are various teaching, training, mentoring and coaching degrees run by local universities. Many past students are training as Primary or Secondary Teachers or Social Workers and past students have all obtained offers for courses ranging from primary education to counselling, youth or community work.

Exams and Assessments

Assessment may take the form of reports, research projects, assignments, examinations and presentations. Assessment will take place both during and at the end of each unit as appropriate.


The Access to Higher Education Diploma is validated and accredited through the National Awarding Body Ascentis, which is an Access validating agency, licensed and regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Details of the units to be studied can be found on their website.

How to Apply

You must apply online or complete a full-time application form, available from the Infozone (call 01904 770770) or on the website, then attend an interview. Applications will continue to be taken until 3 weeks after the course has started.

Course Fees

£3384 for 2018/19. Course fees vary each year. Prospective students are advised to contact us for the latest fees.

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 £21,000. Repayments are made automatically if you are employed and are part of your tax return if you are self-employed.

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.

For more information follow this link.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this course or any aspects of studying at York College please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (01904) 770770.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this webpage, the content is subject to change where necessary.