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Access to HE (Nursing & Healthcare Professions)

Access to HE Diploma

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Availability & Details

Access to HE Diploma (Healthcare Professions) AP-ACNHL3-D(0000)000

Alton Campus

Type of study
Adult Learning, Part Time

Academic Year 2023-24 (35 weeks)

Examination board


The Access qualification is a popular, nationally recognised qualification designed to provide adult students with the skills needed to apply for courses at universities.

This course is for you if you want to enter a wide range of health and care professions or subject-specific degrees such as: Adult/Mental Health/Child Nursing, Midwifery, Allied Health Sciences, Occupational Therapy, ODP and many more, including specific subject degrees such as Psychology or Human Biology. Core subjects will include Health Psychology, Human Biology and Health Studies. (Note: All pathways also include modules in Study Skills, preparation for university and an independent project unit).

If successful, you will receive an Access to Higher Education Diploma which is currently validated by a regional Access Validation Agency (LASER). This is a national validation indicating a common level of academic achievement, recognised by universities. In addition, grades achieved through completion of Level 3 units will be shown separately on the certificate to indicate individual subject achievement/ability.

HSDC Alton has an excellent reputation for the support of Access students going back to the 1990s and for the successful progression of students to Nursing and Healthcare Professions.

You are required to possess a minimum of grade 4/C in GCSE Mathematics and English. You are also required to carry out your own research into the specific entry requirements for your chosen university courses prior to application.

HSDC Alton also offers Mathematics and English GCSE courses. Other GCSEs, such as Biology, are available at our other campuses. For nursing/midwifery/social care and other vocational courses, relevant work experience is also required prior to the university application. HSDC Alton has its own work experience department that can offer advice with work placements. You will also need a clear DBS in order to pursue careers in health care. You will be asked to declare any criminal record on your application.

All QAA Access Diploma qualifications require you to achieve a total of 60 credits, including 45 graded credits at Level 3. All credits on the Access to HE (Nursing and Healthcare Professions) course will be at Level 3 and will comprise of the following:

  • Academic Study Skills
  • Biology
  • Health Psychology
  • Health Studies
  • Independent Academic Study in Professional Studies

Access courses are taught by specialist subject lecturers. You will also be given help and advice on applying for Higher Education in specific sessions from tutors and also by the HSDC Careers Team.

Classes incorporate a variety of teaching and learning methods e.g. discussion, lectures, group work, practical sessions and e-learning sessions.

You will be assessed through completion of activities, essays, course work, independent study and research, practical work and class-based tests. In order to achieve an overall Pass, you must achieve 60 credits, of which at least 45 must be at Level 3 and up to 15 at Level 2. All Level 3 credits will be graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction.

On completion of this course, you could go on to Higher Education (university), application to a variety of undergraduate courses in vocational areas or single subjects. You will also be given considerable help and advice on applying for Higher Education.

Local Nursing Schools work closely with Laser in the design of their courses.

I’m very, very happy, I didn’t expect to do so well. The College has been helpful and supportive. I loved my courses, and the teachers were really good – every single one of them. The facilities are great, but it’s the staff that really make this place.

Matthew Randell, A Level student

There are lots of people at the college, each studying a diverse range of courses, people from all different areas come to study here, it creates a sense of community, there is a huge social aspect to college life across all courses.

Lee Backhouse, BTEC student

My experience at the College was great, it’s very different to school, and I think it’s a good step to going to university. The support was amazing, I loved all of my teachers, they helped me through everything. The College is friendly and you will succeed.

Heidi Adamson Brattland, A Level student