Start Date: Duration: Level: Study mode: Course Location: Course Type:
September 32 Weeks Level 3 Part-Time - Day Bede Campus Access to Higher Education Apply Enquire

What’s it all about?

Are you passionate about making a difference in people’s lives? Our Access to HE Diploma in Health Professions is your stepping stone toward a rewarding career in healthcare.

At Sunderland College, we are dedicated to empowering students to achieve their academic and career goals. Our Access to HE Diploma in Health Professions is designed to provide a pathway into higher education for those aspiring to work in various health-related fields. Whether you dream of becoming a nurse, midwife, physiotherapist, or other healthcare professional, our course will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in university and beyond.

At least 5 GCSE’s at Grade C/4 or above or Level 2 equivalent (including GCSE English and GCSE Maths or Level 2 equivalents)

There is an expectation that all fast-track students complete Get into Access prior to their enrolment.

All applicants will need to take part in a formal discussion with the programme lead and carry out an initial diagnostic assessment to confirm suitability for the course.

Study level Cost
19+ please enquire

By combining a variety of teaching methods and assessment types, the Access to HE Diploma in Health Professions ensures that students gain a thorough understanding of the subject matter and are well-prepared for further education and careers in the field.

On the course, students will experience learning through seminars and workshops exploring core concepts, theories, and frameworks in Health.

Sessions are interactive and delivered by skilled professionals either in person or remotely. All students will have the opportunity to gain support through small groups and one-to-one discussions with lecturers and access to digital learning materials, including video tutorials, interactive simulations, and e-books.

Units will be assessed throughout the year with ongoing feedback on coursework and projects to help students improve and learn continuously. Assessment methods are varied and include, portfolios, projects, essays, presentations and reports to name a few.

It is expected that you hold GCSE Maths and English at grades 4 or above, or a Functional Skills Level 2 Maths and English qualification.

You may have the opportunity to attend some virtual events with industry experts. In addition to this you may also have the opportunity to listen and interact with guest speakers.

When studying you will be expected to spend time outside of lessons working on coursework and studying. You will also have access to study areas in college to support your learning and development.

Monday - 9:30am until 4pm
Thursday - 9:30am until 3pm
Friday - 9:30am until 3pm

Access to HE Diploma in Health Professions offers a comprehensive curriculum exploring core subjects enabling students to gain a solid foundation in health.

The course is meticulously designed to achieve several key aims, ensuring that students are well-prepared for further education and careers in the healthcare sector.

Prepare for Higher Education - Equip students with the academic knowledge and skills necessary for successful progression to health-related degree programs.

Bridge Educational Gaps - Provide an inclusive pathway for mature students and those without traditional qualifications to access higher education in health professions.

Develop Core Knowledge and Skills - Foster a deep understanding of essential subjects such as biology, biochemistry, health studies, and psychology.

Enhance Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving - Cultivate analytical skills and the ability to solve complex problems, which are essential in healthcare settings.

Promote Lifelong Learning and Professionalism - Encourage a commitment to continuous learning and professional development within the healthcare field.

Build Confidence and Independence - Develop students’ self-confidence and independence, equipping them to handle the demands of higher education and healthcare careers.

Developmental Units:

- Communication: Report Writing
- ICT: Word Processing
- Numeracy in a Health Context
- Personal Development: Study Skills
- Professional Behaviours: Nursing and Health Professions.


- Body Systems
- Coordination and Control
- Exchange and Transport of Gases
- From Cells to Organ Systems


- Biopsychology of Stress
- Cognitive Development
- Concept of Normality and Mental Health
- Psychological Perspective in Mental Health
- Social Perspectives in Mental Health

Context of Health:

- Life Style Choices and Health
- Sexual Health in the UK


- Health Promotion
- Social Roles in the Caring Profession

Open Awards

The Access to HE Diploma requires 60 credits for achievement. Of these, 45 credits come from graded Level 3 units focused on academic subject content. The remaining 15 credits are from ungraded Level 2 or Level 3 units.

What’s next?

Graduates of the Access to HE Diploma in Health Professions have a wealth of opportunities awaiting them. This diploma is designed to open doors to higher education and exciting careers in the healthcare sector. Here’s a glimpse of the potential pathways:


Foundation Degrees

Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care

Higher National Diplomas (HNDs)

HND in Healthcare Practice

Undergraduate Degrees

Nursing (BSc Nursing): Adult Nursing, Child Nursing, Mental Health Nursing

Midwifery (BSc Midwifery)

Physiotherapy (BSc Physiotherapy)

Occupational Therapy (BSc Occupational Therapy)

Paramedic Science (BSc Paramedic Science)

Health and Social Care (BSc Health and Social Care)

Specialized Health Degrees…

Public Health (BSc Public Health)

Biomedical Science (BSc Biomedical Science)

Radiography (BSc Radiography)

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(*Based on 16-18 year olds destination data, 2019/20 academic year)

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Summer 2021

97.4% of our apprentices progressed to employment or further study.  

Destination data for Sunderland College 2019/20, Apprentice completers. 

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