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Access courses are entry routes into higher education (HE) specifically designed for mature students (those aged 21+). These courses lead to a nationally recognised Access Certificate award, and are designed to help people develop the necessary confidence and knowledge for getting onto a degree or diploma course.

What do I study?

If you have an idea of what you would like to study at university or you have a particular career aspiration, then you may wish to choose a more tailored Access course, one which is more specific in terms of the skills you will learn. These include:

  • Access to Art and Design,
  • Access to Business,
  • Access to Health and Care Professions,
  • Access to Humanities,
  • Access to Social Sciences, and
  • Access to Teaching.

However, if you are really not sure of what you would like to study in HE then you can opt for a general course, like Access to Higher Education, and choose from a broad range of available subjects within that course to match your requirements.  

How long do they last?

These courses are normally one-year full time, but some may be available by part time study. Also, some courses are available in the daytime, some in the evening and some are a mixture of both. So hopefully you should be able to choose the option which best suits your own personal circumstances.   

How do I apply?

For entry to an Access course, apply direct to the college(s) you would like to attend early in the year you plan to start the course.

To find an Access course local to you either speak with your local further education college, or go to the Access to Higher Education website.  

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