Access to Higher Education | Selby College
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Access to Higher Education

A full Level 3 qualification recognised by UK universities.

If you’re 19 years old or over and interested in any of the following exciting careers, an Access to Higher Education course is a way of achieving your dream job.

Career Pathway
Lawyer / Solicitor / Criminologist - Criminal Justice
Nursing / Paramedic Science / Midwifery - Health Science Professions
Computer Programmer / ‘Ethical Hacker’/ Web Designer - Computing

About the Access to Higher Education (HE) Courses

Access courses allow students to progress to university degrees after one year of study at College. The Access programme provides you with the relevant knowledge and study skills you’ll need if you’ve been out of education and want to successfully complete a degree course.


  • Access to Higher Education Diplomas are full Level 3 qualifications recognised by UK universities that allow students over 19 to progress to university-level study. They are legally equivalent to A levels.
  • All of our Access to Higher Education courses are either free or can be financed through the Government’s Advanced Learner Loan but no ‘up front fees’ either way.
  • There is more good news, if you take out the tuition fee loan for an Access course and then go on to a degree the cost is ‘written off’ so you never have to pay anything back!
  • To study on this course, you generally need determination, commitment, and GCSE grade(s), depending on the Access course you choose. Some courses may have further entry requirements, so please check this before you apply.

90% of our Access students progress on to degree courses at university!

If you would like to find out more, contact our Course Information Team on 01924 789111 or email

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

An Access to Higher Education Diploma is a qualification which prepares students for studying at degree-level. It is designed for people who would like to study in higher education but who left school without qualifications such as A levels. The Diploma is recognised by by all UK universities and higher education colleges as the entry standard to a degree programme.

Access to HE students are from a wide range of backgrounds and ages. Students may have missed out on education and left school to get a job or have a family. Formal qualifications are not necessarily required to get onto an Access to HE course, and age is not a barrier. Your life experience will be valuable on the course.

You do not need any qualifications to enrol on an Access to HE course. However, individual colleges may have their own entry requirements (often English/Maths GCSE).

Most Access to HE Diplomas can be completed in a year or less. Selby College offer full-time courses over a year and part-time courses over two years.

Courses are often free for 19-24 year olds. Students over the age of 24 can obtain an Advanced Learner Loan which can be written off if the degree is completed.

For more information on how to apply visit, our how to apply page.

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