Designed especially for mature students who have had a break from their studies (of 1 year or more), an Access to Higher Education Diploma will enable you to bridge the gap between your current qualifications and a degree-level course or develop the skills and knowledge for a new career.
A career in science, engineering or medical specialism such as Radiotherapy, Radiography, Dietetics, and Physiotherapy. Degrees in Mathematics, Science, Medical Science, NHS degrees related to career choices.
Aged 19 or over
Had at least a one year break from education
Either GCSE Maths or GCSE English Language at grades A*-C (or grade 9-4)
This Access Diploma = 60 credits (45 graded and 15 ungraded) You will choose 3 of the below subjects.
Level 3 academic graded subjects
Taking this course will prepare you for all health related careers. Its focus is on the structure, development and control of the human body. Units include: Nutrition, Digestion and Diet, Human Health and Disease, Cells and Molecular Biology and Contemporary Issues.
A useful subject which helps develop theoretical understanding as well as practical science skills. Useful for many careers linked to medicine or paramedical science. Units include: Medicine Analysis, Core Chemistry and Organic & Thermo Chemistry.
Level 3 physics will help develop practical and theoretical proficiency and cover fundamental skills within this subject. Units include: Core Physics, Radiotherapy, Thermal Energy & Electricity and Physics, Mechanics & Motion. This unit is useful for engineering as well as some paramedical careers.
Mainly focuses on statistics and mathematical skills needed for progression to University. Units include: Algebra, Graphs, Trigonometry and Statistics. This is a useful subject in combination with Science.
The overall theme of this subject is understanding human behaviour. Units include: Introduction to Psychology and Research Methods, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology and Atypical Psychology.
Mandatory ungraded subjects
Study Skills & Basic IT
All students must attend a Study Skills class for one hour a week; this is normally followed by your Tutor Hour and you will have the same tutor for both.
Basic IT will allow you to update your computer skills while adding credit towards the Access Diploma. All units in this section are compulsory.
Plus two or three other days depending on subject choices (Usually finish before 2pm)
Costs and Resources
Paying for your Access Diploma with the Advanced Learner Loan
Advanced Learner Loans are for people aged 19 or over who want to complete a qualification course at level 3, 4, 5 or 6 (Including the Access to Higher Education Diploma). Loan eligibility doesn't depend on your income and there are no credit checks.
You can apply for a loan to pay your tuition fees. You will pay nothing back until you have finished your course and are earning over £27,295 per year.
Get your Access Diploma for free if you go on to complete a higher education course!*
Student Finance England will "write off" any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances you owe for an Access to HE course once you complete a higher education course. This means you don't have to repay it.
* The higher education course must be eligible for student finance.
Click here for more information or to apply for the Advanced Learner Loan.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 01793 732826
How to apply
Complete an application form Apply online
Apply by Post
Return postal form to:
New College Swindon New College Drive Swindon
Wilts SN3 1AH
Hand in an application form at the New College reception
Hard copies of the application form can be downloaded here, picked up from the New College reception or you can request a form using the contact details below.