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Higher Academic Study Access to Higher Education Advanced (Level 3)

Access to University students at Bedford College


Humanities & Social Sciences Access to Higher Education Advanced (Level 3)

Our Access to Higher Education courses build the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to progress on to higher education in the subject area you’re interested in. They are recognised as entry qualifications by universities across the UK.

This course has a range of subjects with a wide range of progression options so it is a really good choice if you want to keep your university options open. If you are not yet sure what university course you wish to progress on to you should choose this Access to HE Diploma. It is the adult equivalent of studying 3 A-Levels.

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Course information

Need to know

Entry requirements

You must be aged 19 or over to apply and you will need to have English Language and maths GCSE at grade 4 (GCSE Grade C) or above or equivalent Level 2 qualifications. Applicants may be accepted on the Access Diploma with one of these, subject to a successful interview and entry test to show you are working at level 2. You will have to gain the other level 2 during the same year to progress to university. If your first language is not English will need an IELTS score of 5.5 or higher.

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 Centres.

It is very important to research the entry criteria of the universities you would like to apply to. You will need a minimum of GCSE English and maths, in addition to your Access qualification, for entry onto degree-level courses. We currently offer GCSE and Functional Skills which you may be able to enrol on alongside your Access course to gain these qualifications. Many university courses can be very competitive and it’s important to understand and fulfil the entry requirements prior to applying.

What Qualification will I gain?

You will gain: Access to HE Diploma Social Sciences

How will I be assessed?

Course assessment is carried out through a variety of methods, including essays, seminars, projects, presentations and exams.

Course content

What will I study?

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. The course takes one year and, on completion, you will gain an Access to Higher Education Diploma. You will also need to have good IT skills as all of your assignments will be carried out using either Word, Excel or PowerPoint. The Humanities and Social Science pathway includes the study of English Literature, History and Social Studies

Next steps

This programme is recognised by all UK universities and higher education establishments as an entry qualification for degree level study. Previous students have progressed on to degrees and Higher National Diplomas both at Tresham College and other universities in a wide range of subject areas.

Course progression includes:
University courses in a wide range of different subjects, such as: English Literature, English Language, History, Sociology, Social Work, Criminology, Journalism, Law and Politics.

Career progression includes:
Through a degree this course can be the route into a wide range of careers including: Management, Teaching, Legal Professions, Social Work, Media and Journalism, Heritage, Entertainment and Service industries.

Additional information


In order for learners to progress on to an undergraduate degree at a British university, it is essential that learners have achieved a minimum of a grade C (4) in GCSE maths and English (and Science if they wish to train as a Primary School teacher).

Any learner who has not achieved these qualifications prior to enrolling on to the Access to HE programme should enrol on to our Pre-Access programme, which consists of maths and English Functional Skills as well as the academic study skills package.

Please declare if you have English and maths GCSEs and/or Functional Skills qualifications this information is required (note: you will need to provide evidence prior to enrolment). Once we’ve processed your application you will be contacted by email.

Funding information

If you are aged 19 or over, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. Alternatively, you can pay by instalments to help make the cost more affordable. Find out more about your payment options here

If you complete one of our Access to Higher Education courses and use an Advanced Learner Loan to pay for your tuition fee, the Student Loans Company will write off the balance on the Advanced Learner Loan if you then go on to complete an undergraduate course.

Any questions?

If you would like to find out more about this or other courses, please use our Livechat below, or  contact

Available Courses
Tresham College Kettering Campus
Starts: 02/09/2024
Type: Full Time
Length: 1 year
Day(s): Monday, Tuesday
Time(s): 9:30am - 4:45pm
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Fees: 16-18 Yrs: N/A 19+ Yrs: £3022 Fee notes: The fee indicated is for each year of the course.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information on the Website is correct, some details may be subject to change. The Bedford College Group reserves the right to make amendments to the courses, dates, fees or other details, and to make cancellations or changes if numbers are insufficient. In the unfortunate situation that we have to cancel a course we will refund your fees in full, but we regret we are not able to offer any refund if you withdraw from your course or fail to start, and you will be liable to pay any outstanding fees that may be due.

Additional Learning Support

If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.


Any questions?

If you would like to find out more about this or other courses, please use our Livechat below, email or call us on 0345 658 8990.


We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 or 01536 413123 for more information.


Additional formats

Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on 01234 291000 to order your copy.