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Our Access to Higher Education (HE) courses are designed to help you if you left school without formal qualifications or for those who have significant life experience outside of formal education and are looking to gain a formal qualification in order to progress onto a degree course.

Access to Higher Education diplomas are for adults aged 19 or over. It’s the perfect way to prepare yourself academically, and get the right qualifications to study at degree level, either at university or at our own University Centre St Helens.

By working towards a number of credits, you will gain a nationally recognised Access to Higher Education diploma. You will develop academic/vocational skills and gain confidence and understanding of studying at a higher level – all taught by expert tutors with extensive experience of teaching adult learners.

We offer a number of pathways including:

  • Access to Higher Education diploma: Art and Design
  • Access to Higher Education diploma: Teaching
  • Access to Higher Education diploma: Humanities
  • Access to Higher Education diploma: Social Work
  • Access to Higher Education diploma: Social Science
  • Access to Higher Education diploma: Nursing and Midwifery
  • Access to Higher Education diploma: Biological & Health Sciences

How to get started 

To undertake an Access to HE course you do not necessarily need any formal qualifications and you do not have to have been in education recently. We do recommend that you have a GCSE at grade C or above in Maths and English before you start your Access to HE course. However, don't let this be a barrier for realising your aspirations. We have a range of options available to help you gain these GCSEs and provide the stepping stones needed to get to university.

Financial Support 

If you are aged 19 or over, you can apply for an Advanced Learning Loan to cover the main course fees. It is not means tested and for Access to HE students only, this is written off when you have finished your degree. If you are under 19, you could be entitled to study the course free of charge. More information can be supplied upon application.