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

2019 Dates TBC

Monday - wednesday

Timetables and hours of study will be discussed at the interview. Attendance in College is for three days per week plus an additional 10 to 15 hours' personal self-guided study.

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

What You'll Do

The course is divided into units of assessment. Units cover a range of topics including Academic Skills Development, Human Physiology and Sociology.

Each unit is broken down into learning hours and most of the units are worth three to six 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).

The programme delivery method includes practical work, seminars, lectures and workshops.

Please note that individual modules are subject to change.

Health and Social Care Professions

The course will prepare you for degree level study on a variety of Health and Social Care courses such as Bradford University’s Health, Wellbeing & Social Care degree or York College’s Foundation Degree in Applied Social Sciences or HNC in Health and Social Care.

Exams and Assessments

Assessment may take the form of reports, assignments, experiments, logbooks and presentations, as well as two compulsory exams in June. Assessment will take place both during and at the end of each unit as appropriate. Units 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.


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.