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Access to HE Diploma - Health Professionals

This course is suitable for students aged 19 and over.

This nationally recognised Access to HE qualification is designed for students who have life experience outside of formal education and would like to study at university but don't yet have the qualifications to gain entry.

The Access to HE Diploma will enable you to accrue 60 credits (which transfers to UCAS points) for entry on to a chosen degree programme, including University Centre St Helens. It is also equivalent to 3 A levels.

If you are looking to pursue a career in microbiology, exercise, health and fitness, nursing, midwifery or other allied health professions, then this diploma is a great first step to achieving this.

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

The course will start in September and will take one year to complete. You will attend College for two days or two evenings per week, depending on the pathway chosen.

This course will take place at our Town Centre Campus, Water Street, St Helens, WA10 1PP.

What will I study?

Based on your chosen career path, you will have the opportunity to study the following topics:

  • Health Studies
  • Psychology or Microbiology
  • Human Biology
  • Developmental

Support will be provided throughout the Diploma, including progression advice and guidance.

Through collaboration with higher education establishments and the awarding body, the following pathways and unit combinations have been approved for progression.

Daytime Option

  • Microbiology Pathway: 8 human biology units, 3 microbiology units, 3 health studies units and 5 developmental units.
  • Psychology Pathway: 8 human biology units, 4 psychology units, 3 health studies units and 5 developmental units.

Evening Option

  • Psychology Pathway: 8 human biology units, 4 psychology units, 3 health studies units and 5 developmental units.

How is it assessed?

The course is assessed via a combination of coursework, controlled examinations, academic assignments, presentations, reports, academic posters, case studies and research projects.

Do I need any previous qualifications to start this course?

Daytime Option: Applicants must have achieved English and Maths GCSEs at grade A-C (or grade 9-4 or equivalent).

Evening Option: Applicants must have achieved English, Maths and Science GCSEs at grade A-C (or grade 9-4 or equivalent).

If you do not have these GCSEs, don't let this be a barrier to you realising your aspirations. We offer the Pre-Access Skills for Further Study programme as a stepping stone, where you can study GCSE English and maths, in preparation for progressing on to the Access to HE Diploma.

Functional Skills Level 2 in both English and maths may also be considered for entry criteria on to this Access to HE Diploma. Although, you would need to check and have written confirmation from your planned university that they will accept Functional Skills Level 2 instead of GCSEs prior to enrolling on the Access to HE Diploma - Health Professionals.

Is there any additional entry criteria?

There is an expectation for you to have significant life experience outside of formal education and in particular, within the healthcare field as this will underpin and enhance learning. Additionally, it would be advisable to have had voluntary experience relating to the degree you intend to progress on to.

Students whose first language is not English should have IELTS 5.5 or equivalent. Qualifications gained from outside the UK must be translated by NARIC. Please be aware that written confirmation from universities must be obtained to confirm qualifications are acceptable for progression to the chosen degree programme before applying for the Access to HE Diploma.

If you already have a degree, please check with the university's admissions department to see if you meet their entry criteria. If not, then please apply to study this Access to HE Diploma.

We highly recommended that you contact the universities you are hoping to progress on to to check that this qualification meets their entry requirements, as we cannot guarantee progression.

What are the course fees?

The course fee is £3,384. You may be eligible for funding depending on your personal circumstances and subject to a fee assessment during the enrolment process. For further details, please visit our financial support pages.

If you are aged 19 or over, you may be able to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover your course fees. An Advanced Learner Loan enables you to study now, pay later. Loan eligibility is not dependent on income or employment status and there is no credit check. Loan repayments do not start until you have finished your course and earn over £25,000 per year. For more information on the Advanced Learner Loan, please visit our dedicated pages.

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

Upon successful completion, you could progress directly on to FdSc Microbiology or FdSc Exercise, Health and Fitness at University Centre St Helens.

We recommend studying the Psychology Pathway for this Diploma if you are looking for a career in:

  • Nursing (General/Paediatric/Mental Health)
  • Midwifery
  • Child Health and Wellbeing
  • Counselling
  • Psychology
  • Environmental Health
  • Public Health
  • Health Studies
  • Health and Social Care

We recommend studying the Microbiology Pathway for this Diploma if you are looking for a career in:

  • Microbiology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Emergency Response (Paramedic)
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise, Health and Fitness
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Operating Department Practitioner (ODP)
  • Teaching (you may require GCSE Science in some circumstances)

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.

Are you ready to apply?

Are you

ready to apply?

Simply fill in our online form here.

However, if you still have questions in relation to this course and wish to receive further information, please submit your enquiry here.

Please note, we have taken our utmost care to describe and show course information as accurately as possible. St Helens College reserves the right to amend, remove and add courses in the future. This information cannot be considered contractual and advertised course fees are subject to change.

Ref: Imran Waheed

Inspiring Success

Picture of our student, Stephanie

“I have now secured a place at Edge Hill University to study Children’s Nursing and it just proves that anyone can start their education journey again at 30!”

Stephanie, Access to HE Diploma - Health Professionals

Read Stephanie's full story