Award Crest
York College

This one-year course will provide you with a thorough grounding in education practice and theory as well as equipping you with the academic skills required for success in higher education. In addition, the course, which usually runs over 15 hours a week, also includes elements of work experience in education as well a detailed exploration of the role of play.

The programme would suit students who wish to develop their practical and theoretical understanding of key teaching and learning concepts, educational theories and debates. You may be returning to education, studying for the first time at college or wishing to change career.

What You'll Need

Please refer to the Access page for entry requirements.

For entry onto HE courses leading to QTS you will be required to have up to 20 days' work experience in schools so we will check that you have already begun to build this up before starting the course in September.

Whilst there are no age limits 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.’

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

This course is due to commence in September.
Please register interest at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Timetables and hours of study will be discussed at the interview.

There may be some occasional twilight and evening sessions for public lectures and teaching observation.

A minimum attendance of 85 per cent is required throughout the course to successfully progress and achieve.

What You'll Do

The Access to Higher Education Diploma consists of a number of units which are built up to meet your proposed subject at HE. To achieve the Diploma students must achieve 60 credits of which 45 credits are graded and 15 are ungraded. A minimum of two examinations taken under invigilation conditions must be successfully completed though one of these will be a short micro lesson for students on this Diploma. All units are at Level 3 and need to be achieved.

The Diploma is taught as part of a combined course with Humanities, Social Sciences, Education Studies and Law.

This course is in three parts and you will:

a) Study two subjects for 4.5 hours each per week for 32 weeks from the following:

Education Professions

  • Education Theory and practice

and one of:

  • English Literature OR English Language OR Psychology
  • Sociology OR Law


  • Role of Play in Child Development or possibly other units to be confirmed

The College also offers a Child Studies option on this pathway. Students will study the Education and English Language subject sets and an additional unit in Social Policy or Family Issues. Students completing this pathway will be equipped to progress to a wide range of degree programmes in Education and Child Studies such as ; BA (Hons) Education Studies, BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work, BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies  and BA (Hons) Sociology. 

b) Have a tutorial session which will involve study skills and help with completing your UCAS application, be for three hours a week.

c) Take a specific extra unit for one and a half hours a week. Options for this year may include: the role of play, international relations and short stories.

Individual modules are subject to change.

The programme delivery method includes lectures and seminars and a good level of student participation is expected.

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. Level 3 units will be awarded as ‘Pass', ‘Merit' or ‘Distinction'.

To achieve the Access to Higher Education Diploma you must achieve 60 credits of which 45 credits must be at Level 3.

The course has a mix of mandatory and optional units.


An Access to Higher Education Diploma is validated and accredited through Ascentis, which is an Access validating agency, licensed and regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Details of the units to be studied can be found on its website.

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 that subject in the longer term.

There are various teaching, training, mentoring and coaching degrees run by the local universities in York, Sheffield, Leeds and Lincoln. Current students have all obtained offers at HE for courses ranging from primary education to counselling, youth or community work.

How To Apply

Applicants must apply online or complete a full-time application form, available from the Infozone (01904 770400) or from the website, and attend an interview. 

Course Fees

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.

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 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.



Education - Victoria Lightfoot

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