Access to HE
Reading, RG1 4HJ
New and returning learners:
Please note that due to special measures we have put in place to make our sites COVID safe, we are asking all learners to enrol with us online. If you are unable to do so we can support you over the phone, simply call 0800 612 6008. Please do not enter our college sites without a prior appointment as we are managing the number of people on site at any time to comply with social distancing measures.
See information about the measures we are taking to keep learners safe while on campus.
This is the fast-track route to the profession you have always wanted! Get the skills and qualifications you need to get onto a humanities-related course at university next year and start on your way to a career in teaching, social work or journalism, to name just a few.
Are you looking to start a career related to humanities, but worry that a lack of time and qualifications could prevent you from taking that next step? If you are aged 19 or over and aspire to go to university to study a humanities-related degree, an Access to Higher Education Diploma is the route for you.
Access to HE qualifications are nationally recognised, one-year intensive Level 3 courses designed to prepare adult learners aged 19 or over to study at degree level but who do not currently have the relevant entry requirements or qualifications, or may have been out of education for a period of time and wish to return to education to change career.
Don’t let fees hold you back! Study an Access to HE Diploma for FREE with an Advanced Learner Loan! If you take out an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of your Access to HE Diploma and go on to successfully complete your Higher Education course, Student Finance England will write off your Advanced Learner Loan debt. Find out more here.
Each year, around 95% of our Access to HE students progress to university on completion of their programme, going on to over 100 different universities across many different degrees and disciplines.
The Access to HE: Humanities Diploma gives students the opportunity to progress onto degrees in humanities, social sciences, social work and teacher training.
Key programme features:
- one-year programme
- supportive personal tutor
- equivalent to three A Levels, which means you can achieve the UCAS points you need for university
- designed exclusively for adults
- widely recognised and accepted by UK universities
- funding options available
19+ Advanced Learner Loan: If you are aged 19 and over and want to study an Access to Higher Education programme, you are eligible to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover your tuition fees. Student Finance England will write off any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances you owe for an Access to HE programme, if you go on to complete a higher education/university level course. This means you do not have to repay it.
If you don’t go on to study a higher education/university level course you won’t need to start paying back the loan until you earn over £25,725 per year.
What I'll learn
The main aim of this course is to prepare students for study at university. Students will receive subject specific study skills, as well as tuition in subjects that are relevant to their chosen degree course.
You will study modules covering history, politics, English language and English literature.
As well as developing subject knowledge, you will improve your communication, personal and study skills through a core programme that also provides one-to-one tutorial support.
This course is designed for anyone wanting to progress into a career related to humanities. You can progress on to higher education to study for some of the various roles that come under the banner of humanities professions, including teacher, marketing professional, social worker and journalist.
Activate Learning has helped over 3,000 Access to HE students progress on to university. OFSTED rated us ‘good’ in December 2017, with many outstanding features for our Access programmes.
How I'll learn
The programme is one year in duration and is delivered at college. This is a full-time course with 13 hours tuition per week, however you will also need to make additional time available outside of classes for research and assignment work.
Teaching will take the form of lectures, discussions, group work and self-directed learning.
Although the programme is intensive, it is structured in a way that recognises the pressures on mature learners. Many students successfully balance the programmes with work, family, and childcare commitments.
Throughout your time on the programme, we will provide support through a personal tutor as well as our dedicated team of study support specialists who are on hand to give you extra support, if required. We will work with you to develop a study plan so that you can meet coursework deadline and schedule study time around your other responsibilities.
We will also guide you through the process of your UCAS applications. This includes checking your applications and personal statement as well as providing the support reference before they are submitted.
How I'll be assessed
Access to HE: Humanities Level 3 Diploma is a one-year course that is validated and moderated by Ascentis under licence from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. It comprises of 60 credits, of which 45 are graded. Students on the course study towards 3 credits in preparing to progress, 3 credits in academic writing and 21 credits in history (18 graded), 15 credits in politics (12 graded) and 18 credits in English language and literature (15 graded). It is a skills-based course with the academic content equivalent to A level standard (Level 3).
You will be assessed through essays, structured questions, projects, presentations and examinations (30% exams, 70% coursework). All assessments are internally and externally verified through a rigorous and robust process to ensure that all grading is consistent, fair and provides developmental feedback.
Applicants must be aged over 19 and have been out of full-time education for a year.
No specific qualifications are required, however a GCSE English or maths at grade 4 (C or equivalent) would be beneficial. Applicants are also advised to contact their university of choice to confirm the Level 2 maths and English criteria.
You will have a numeracy and literacy assessment to check your suitability to study at Level 3 and may have the opportunity to retake either a maths or English GCSE alongside this course.
Don’t worry, most students are successful in the assessment process. Take a look at these English resources and maths resources to help you prepare.
If you don’t meet the entry criteria don’t worry, we have a range of one-year Pre-Access courses available to help you get started.
There is a wide range of support available at the college for students, including financial support.
How to Apply
Applying for one of our programmes is easy.
You can apply for a vocational programme online. Simply follow the link to ‘Apply now’ on your chosen programme page. You will then be asked to register or log in to progress with your application.
As part of your application, you will be asked to provide us with your contact details, how your chosen programme fits with your future plans and if you require any extra support (for example because of a disability, medical condition, learning or language support needs).
Please contact our Careers team if you need advice and guidance to help you choose the right programme for you.