Award Crest
York College

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.

Entry Requirements

Level 2 qualifications in Maths and English.

What You'll Need

Please refer to the Access page for entry requirements.

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. 

Duration and Attendance

This course is due to commence in September.
Applications will open on 1st December – 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. Attendance in College is for two to 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 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 you 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. 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:

Social Science

  • Criminology
  • Sociology OR Law
  • Psychology
  • + an additional unit (to be confirmed)

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 distinction, merit or pass.


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 their website at

How You Can Progress

In the past students have progressed onto Higher Education and have studied a range of degree courses. These have included social work, social policy, social science, criminology, education studies and youth and community work.

How To Apply

You must apply online or complete a full-time application form, available from the Infozone (01904 770400) or from the website, and attend an interview. Applications will continue to be taken until 3 weeks after the course has started.

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.


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