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How to get into University without A-Levels

Adult English at Bedford College (2021 Photoshoot)

A-Levels were traditionally seen as the be all or end all when it came to getting in to university, but they aren’t suited to everyone.

All too often we hear people talking about how they wish they had stayed on at school or that they had worked just a bit harder when at school.  The good news is that there are other alternatives for those who are over 19 and looking to return to education.

An Access to Higher Education (Access to HE) course is one such way and provides a flexible programme designed to prepare students for that next big step.

We’ve outlined everything you need to know about studying an Access course here and we hope you will feel reassured that there is always a way to reach your goals.

What is an Access to Higher Education Course?

Access courses offer a route to higher education if you have been out of education for some time or if you left school without the grades you needed for university. They provide a good foundation building on the knowledge and skills required for studying at university level, so that you are confident and well prepared for a degree and they are widely recognised by UK universities for entry on to degree-level courses. Last year, over 20,000 Access students achieved their Diploma and progressed to university courses across the UK.1

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What are the benefits of studying an Access to Higher Education course at The Bedford College Group?

Studying with us means you can choose from a wide range of subject pathways, which can be studied from as little as 12 hours per week for one year. At the end of the year you’ll be able to access a course that will lead to a full degree. We are the largest provider of Access courses in the region and each year 85% of our students progress on to higher education.

With small class sizes compared to universities, and all the individual support you need to get back into education, we will help you succeed and reach your goal. Our experienced tutors have been teaching Access and developing the programme over a number of years. Many of our tutors are industry professionals, helping to inspire your learning.

You will gain a good introduction to your chosen subject, develop your study skills and increase your confidence and ability with this level of study. All pathways will include compulsory English & maths, as well as research skills units. You will also need to have good IT skills as all of your assignments will be carried out using either Word, Excel or PowerPoint. You can undertake IT Skills classes at our Learning Centre, if needed.

Do all universities accept them?

Many universities accept an Access to Higher Education course and for some courses, universities actually prefer them because of the way they prepare learners for university. However, you must check if your chosen university will accept the course before you enrol onto your chosen Access to HE course.

What subjects does The Bedford College Group offer?

At The Bedford College Group we offer a range of part-time and full-time Access to Higher Education Courses across our Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire sites: