Access to HE (Public Health and Exercise)

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 full-time 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.

The Access to HE Public Health and Exercise course is designed to help mature students gain suitable academic skills and key basic skills relating to public health and the sports and exercise industry. These skills will enhance both your confidence in utilising academic skills in readiness for completing additional university courses and give you a solid understanding of the basics involved within your desired disciplines.

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

This course starts in September. You will attend College for one and half days per week on Wednesdays and Thursdays for one year.

What will I study?

During the course, you will study the fundamentals in basic human biology/physiology/anatomy along with some introduction in to some basics of psychological understanding relating to public health and exercise. These fundamental units will allow students to gain the basic understanding to allow them to pursue additional university courses in Public health, exercise and sport.

A key focus will be to develop the basics of independent academic study skills related to higher education learning with a focus on applying these skills in relation to the subject area being studied.

This is a modular course consisting of individual units:

  • The Musculoskeletal System
  • Diet and Digestion
  • Human Cardiovascular System
  • Coordination and Control
  • Practical Scientific Project
  • Exchange and Transport of Gases
  • Cell Metabolism
  • Biopsychology of Stress
  • Psychological Perspectives
  • Personality Theory
  • Delivery of Health Care in the UK
  • Health Promotion
  • Social Roles in the Caring Professions
  • Anatomy and Physiology of Movement
  • Communication: Academic Essay Writing
  • Study Skills: Using Research Skills
  • Personal Development: Study Skills
  • Study Skills: Developing Research Skills
  • Study Skills: Critical Analysis

How is it assessed?

Assessment methods include presentations, written reports, exams and scientific investigations. All assessments are designed to prepare students for study at University.

You will need to have achieved 60 credits in order to successfully complete the course.

Do I need any previous qualifications to start this course?

To undertake this qualification, you do not need to have been in education recently. However, it would be an advantage if you have previously studied a level 3 qualification in a related subject.

We do recommend that you have GCSEs at grade C or above in English and maths (or equivalent). It would be desirable for you to also have a science GCSE.

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.

We may consider level 2 equivalent qualifications in English and maths providing that the university you wish to progress onto accept this qualification too. You should check this directly with them before applying to us and provide evidence.

What are the course fees?

Course fees are dependent on your personal circumstances and you may be eligible for funding. If you are aged 19 - 23 and this is your first full level 3 qualification, 100% of your course fees will be covered. More information can be provided upon application.

If you are aged 19+ you could also choose to apply for a 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.

If you successfully complete your Access to HE course and progress onto a degree course, your Advanced Learner Loan will be written off and you do not need to repay the loan.

For more information on the Advanced Learner Loan, please click here. For more information on the financial support that may be available, please click here.

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 sports science, social care, strength and conditioning or health based fields. You could also progress directly onto our foundation degree in Exercise, Health and Fitness at University Centre St Helens.

Depending on your chosen progression route, some universities may expect you to have gained experience working in a relevant setting. You are strongly advised to check the entry requirements for your preferred universities. If you wish to move into teaching, you are required to possess GCSEs at grade C or above in English, maths and science. Some institutions may require a higher GCSE grade than C so please check directly.

As with all qualifications, the award of this Access to HE diploma does not guarantee progression onto higher education. This will be dependent on students meeting conditions set by individual universities for specific degrees.

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. or drop into our next Enrolment and Information Event. Alternatively, submit an application form to secure a place.

Ref: Andy Bardsley