Are you aged 19 or over and thinking about changing your career? An Access to Higher Education course may be for you

Access to Higher Education (HE) programmes are one-year courses that will allow you to access your chosen degree, or an apprenticeship. They are designed to provide a progression route for those who have been out of formal education, or who do not have the qualifications to progress straight to Higher Education. We have a range of courses available, including Computing, Health and Nursing, Law/Criminology and Humanities subjects. 

Your course could be free!*

If you do not already have a full Level 3 qualification and are 19-23 years old, your Access to HE course will be free! When you graduate, your Advanced Learner Loan for your Access to HE course will be completely written off so you won't have to pay back your fees! This does not relate to a similar foundation year course at University. A student who takes out an Advanced Learner Loan for their Access to HE course will study for free, if they go on to complete their higher education studies, as the government will write off their loan.

*If you are aged 19-23 and have not already achieved a full Level 3 qualification, you may be entitled to full funding for a Level 3 course.

Student at Sunderland College Washington Campus working on a laptop

What do I need for an Access to Higher Education course?

Entry requirements for an Access to Higher Education course are at least 4 GCSE's at 4/C or above, including Maths and English. A Pre-Access course is available for those who do not have these qualifications

Can I access financial support?

Some students can receive financial assistance for their courses through a loan, which becomes repayable once their income surpasses a certain amount. For more information on financial support you can receive as an adult student Click here. For more information on how to fund your study, and on the Advanced Learner Loan Click here.

Your course could lead to degrees such as:

  • Adult nursing
  • Children's nursing
  • Mental health nursing
  • Theatre nursing (Operating Department Practitioner - ODP)
  • Learning disability nursing
  • Occupational health
  • Science teaching¬†
  • Science teaching
  • Biomedical science
  • Physiotherapy
  • Radiography
  • Dental hygiene therapy
  • Podiatry
  • Physiotherapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Teaching
  • Counselling
  • English
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Social work
  • Criminology
  • Law

Find the course for you:

See what former students have said about Access to HE: