York College

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York College Access courses are validated by Certa.   CERTA ACCESS - FULL COLOUR PNG

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

Delivery for 2020 -21: Due to Covid-19 Classroom-based classes will be delivered remotely and undertaken at home. Seminars and tutorials will be attended on site when possible.

Entry Requirements

GCSE English Grade 4 or C (or better).

If students have a Level 2 English qualification then they can be invited to interview and we can advise on their best course of action.

If students do not have a formal Level 2 English qualification, they would need to do this before starting the course.

Duration and Attendance

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

What You'll Do

The course is divided into units of assessment. Each unit is broken down into learning hours and the units are worth three to six credits (one credit equals 10 learning hours).

The Access to Higher Education Diploma consists of a number of units which are built up to meet the students proposed subject at HE.

To achieve the Diploma, you must achieve 60 credits of which 45 credits are graded and 15 are ungraded. A minimum of one examination taken under invigilation conditions must be successfully completed. All units are at Level 3 and need to be achieved.

This course is in three parts and you will:

  • Have a tutorial session which will be for three hours a week and you will complete units in academic writing, Higher Education Tool Kit and reflective practice.
  • Study two subjects for 4.5 hours a week each. Possible subjects are English Literature, History, Sociology, Criminology and law. Individual modules are subject to change.
  • Study a smaller unit for 1.5 hours a week. Possible subjects are Politics: Theory and Concepts, Short stories and Education, Teaching and Learning.

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, essays, examinations and presentations. Assessment will take place both during and at the end of each unit as appropriate and the graded units are eligible for grades distinction, merit or pass.


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

How You Can Progress

Previous students have progressed to higher education and have studied a range of courses such as BA (Hons) Sociology and Social Policy all at University of York, BA (Hons) Psychology at University of Wales, BA (Hons) History at University of Newcastle upon Tyne, BA (Hons) Literature at the University of Leeds, BA (Hons) Philosophy at University of St Andrews, BA (Hons) Media at Thames Valley University London and BA (Hons) Primary Teacher Training at York St John University.

How To Apply

You must apply online or complete a full-time application form (available from the Infozone team (01904 770770) 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 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.

Students Under The Age of 19

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 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.

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

Contact Us

If you would like to enrol, you can do so via our Enrol Now page.

If you have any further questions about York College please email info@yorkcollege.ac.uk 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.


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