Access courses

If you thought that you had left it too late to enter Higher Education (HE), think again! Access to HE Diploma qualifications are designed with you in mind and have helped to transform the lives of thousands of adult students.

Access pathways lead to a diploma qualification at Level 3 (equivalent to A Level) and are intensive courses which allow you to study part-time, whilst still working or meeting other commitments.

Our QAA-approved Access diplomas at our South Downs Campus are fully recognised by universities and other Higher Education providers as sufficient to meet the entry criteria for a wide range of degree courses.

In 2017 58% of students completing an Access to HE Diploma at HSDC achieved ‘high grades’ comparable to ABB at A Level, 18% above the awarding body average.

Overall, HSDC students gain more Distinctions than at other providers, with 66% of students gaining the top grade in comparison with a national average of 54%. At HSDC, our part time Access to HE courses give you the chance to proceed to university with superb grades in just one year.

Access courses are suited to those who may have been out of education and include support with the development of academic study skills as well as subject knowledge. Tutors and our Careers department will also offer advice and guidance on the completion of your application to university (The UCAS process).

Access students come from a wide age range and varied backgrounds and are typically dedicated and hard-working, having made a conscious decision to return to education.  They have the advantage of life experience, and sometimes employment, to draw upon which can make them ideal candidates for a range of HE courses.

Few formal qualifications are required, but entry requirements will vary according to your chosen pathway. All courses will require you to have achieved GCSE grade C/4 or above in English Language, possibly Maths and at least one other subject. You can check the specific entry criteria for the pathway you are interested on the relevant course page.

The full cost of an Access Diploma course at HSDC is in the region of £3,400*, however there are many circumstances in which students can study for free or at a reduced rate.

Ages 19 -23 without a full Level 3 qualification
If you are in this age category and do not have a full Level 3 qualification such as two full A Levels, a BTEC National Diploma or equivalent there are no course fees payable. For further information please speak to a member of our admissions team for more information.

Advanced Learner Loans
These are available for individuals aged 19 or above to undertake Access Diploma courses. Loans are not means tested or subject to credit checks and any individual who meets the criteria will be able to apply for a loan regardless of their current employment status.

If you pass the Access Diploma qualification and go on to achieve a full degree, the loan is waived i.e. the loan does not have to be repaid. This offer is unique to Access to HE Diplomas. For further information please contact our Admissions department on 023 9387 9999 or see the government website.

* Course fees vary, please enquire for exact figures.

Nursing & Healthcare Professions
Two mornings a week (Tues & Thurs) 9.15am-1.15pm at Leigh Park Learning Centre
Two evenings a week (Tues & Thurs) 5.30-9.30pm at our South Downs Campus

Social Care Professions
Two evenings a week (Tues & Thurs) 5.30-9.30pm at our South Downs Campus

Teacher Education
Two evenings a week  (Tues & Thurs) 5.30-9.30pm at our South Downs Campus

Health Sciences
Two evenings a week (Tues & Thurs) 5.30-9.30pm at our South Downs Campus

Humanities (subject to validation)
Two evenings a week (Tues & Thurs) 5.30-9.30pm at the South Downs Campus

To apply for Access Diploma courses at HSDC please contact our Admissions department on 023 9387 9999.

You will be invited to an Access Open Evening where you will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn more about Access
  • Find out the costs of your course (according to your circumstances) and methods of payment
  • Receive information and advice about applying for the Advanced Learner Loan
  • Speak to a member of the teaching/tutoring team for your chosen course
  • Meet with representatives from local universities

You will also be asked to bring with you evidence of your achievement of relevant qualifications.

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