Diploma in
Access to Higher Education - Health and Science

Delivered at Accrington and Rossendale College University Centre
Start Date September 2021
Mode Full-time
Duration 34 Weeks
Cost £3380* - Eligible for Advanced Learner Loan

* The fees charged on your course will not rise by more than inflation during your studies but the College reserves the right to increase fees annually by not more than RPIX (Retail Prices Index excluding Mortgage Interest).

If your studies are to be funded by your employer or as part of an Apprenticeship then different rates may apply, please enquire for details.

Course overview

The Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma is a Level 3 qualification that prepares 19+ students who are returning to education or who left school without the qualifications needed to progress to university.

The Access to HE Diploma (Health and Science) consists of 60 credits of which 30 credits are in Biology. This allows you to progress on to health related as well as various science related degrees.

What will I learn

  • Academic Writing
  • Academic Research
  • Preparing to Progress
  • Biology
  • Science
  • Professional Healthcare Practice

The Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diploma is an intensive course requiring hard work and dedication. To achieve the best possible grades, we expect you to:

  • Attend every timetabled lesson. We understand that occasionally you may need to miss a lesson, but we expect you to have at least 95% attendance
  • Submit all assignments on time
  • Ask for help if you are struggling or unsure, we are here to support you to achieve the best grades possible
  • Undertake your College work, including additional reading.
  • Research your next steps. It is important that you start researching your degree options as soon as possible. A good place to start is www.ucas.com
  • Treat staff and fellow students with respect

In return, you can expect of us:

  • Experienced, dedicated teaching staff
  • Lessons that will stretch your thinking and help you achieve high grades
  • Online resources to help you complete your assignments
  • Support to develop academic skills for progression
  • Support with helping you decide your future plans
  • Support with UCAS applications
  • Additional workshops
  • To be treated with respect

How will the courses be assessed?

You are expected to attend all timetabled classes (2.5 days per week) and in addition you are required to do some independent study. Most sessions are scheduled in a biology laboratory, regular classrooms, and computer rooms. There will be some ‘live’ on-line teaching and learning depending on the subjects.

Entry requirements

You should have GCSE/ Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths and English in place before beginning the course. On occasion, we may consider applicants without Maths or English as long as they are willing to work towards them alongside the Access to HE Diploma.

Please note, some universities require specific GCSE/ Level 2 Functional Skills qualifications and grades. It is a good idea to check with your chosen universities before beginning the Access to HE Diploma.


Students on this pathway typically progress on to Degrees and other Higher Education programmes in the fields of Health and Science.

Popular progression routes are: Nursing, ODP, Midwifery, Podiatry, Paramedics and other Health related studies.

This pathway will also allow you to apply to Science related Degrees such as Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, Human Biology, Animal Behaviour and much more.

Nelson and Colne College Group offers exciting Degrees and other Higher Education programmes related to this Access to HE diploma such as:

  • CertHE and FdA Professional Healthcare Management
  • BSc (Hons) Sport Coaching and Performance, including BA (Hons) Health and Applied Social Studies
  • FdA Mental Health Work
  •  FdA Alcohol and Substance Misuse Work