Access to HE Diploma (Nursing/Midwifery)

The aim of this Access to HE qualification is to provide appropriate preparation and a recognised qualification for progression to university. This is ideal if you have missed out on an opportunity to study previously; whether you are looking to develop new skills to boost your career prospects, you want to gain entry to university or change your career direction.

This part-time, evening course is designed for mature students who want to access university. It is the equivalent of three A levels, completed in one academic year. It is an intensive programme but will assist you with study skills, confidence building and applying for university. Your learning will take place alongside like-minded people in a supportive environment with experienced, friendly tutors.

Nursing and midwifery are incredibly rewarding careers which are perfect if you have a caring nature and you are committed to supporting people through some of the most joyful or difficult times of their lives. You'll get a fantastic overview of how the human body works, as well as exploring the sociological and psychological aspects of health.

This diploma is designed to give you the knowledge, core skills and confidence to progress onto degree courses in nursing, midwifery and allied professions.

When will I start the course and how long will it take?

The course will start in September. The course will last for one academic year, with attendance being for two evenings per week. There are a mixture of learning methods including attendance at college on a part-time basis, online tutorials and 20 hours of independent study.

The course takes place at St Helens College, Town Centre Campus, St Helens, WA10 1PP.

What will I study?

The Access to HE Diploma in Nursing and Midwifery covers units drawn from a range of topics as well as core study skills.

This diploma consists of four modules:

  • Health Studies
  • Psychology
  • Human Physiology
  • Study Skills

You will study alongside like-minded people in classes delivered by friendly supportive tutors.

How it is assessed?

The course is assessed via a combination of coursework and controlled examinations. Each subject offers five units; each unit is worth three credits. To achieve the full Diploma 60 credits must be achieved.

Do I need any previous qualifications to start this course?

To undertake this qualification, you do not need to have been in education recently.

We do recommend that you have a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 or above (equivalent to grade C or above), including English and maths. Unfortunately we cannot accept equivalent qualifications such as functional or key skills.

However, if you don't have these GCSEs, don't let this be a barrier for realising your aspirations. We have a range of options available to help you gain these qualifications and provide the stepping stones needed to get to university.

All applicants will need to undertake, and pass a diagnostic exercise followed by interview to successfully secure a place on the course.

Application Procedure

All applicants who meet the entry criteria should complete our online application form.

You will then be invited to undertake a diagnostic exercise, upon successful completion of this, you will be invited to interview. Candidates who successfully pass the interview will be offered a place on the course.

Applicants who are not already working in a health delivery environment are strongly advised to seek voluntary work within a healthcare setting.

What are the course fees?

Course fees are dependent on your personal circumstances and you may be eligible for funding. For more information on the financial support that may be available, please visit our dedicated Adult Financial support page.

If you are aged 19 or over, you could also choose to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover your course fees enabling you to study now, pay later. Loan eligibility isn't dependent on income or employment status and there is no credit check. Loan repayments don't start until you have finished your course and earn over £25,000 per year. For more information, please visit our dedicated Advanced Learner Loan page.

What can I go on to do once I have completed this course?

Upon successful completion, this qualification will prepare you to undertake a degree in a variety of fields including:

  • Nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Paramedics
  • Speech Therapy
  • Operating Department Practitioner

You are strongly advised to check the entry requirements for your preferred universities. Whilst our Access course prepares you for study at undergraduate level and the majority of our students gain places on their chosen degree course, we cannot guarantee university places.

I'm interested in this course, what do I do next?

If you would like any further information in relation to this course, please contact our enquiries team directly on 0800 99 66 99 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You could also drop into our next Enrolment and Information Event. Alternatively, submit an application form to secure a place.

Ref: Karen Mutch