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Access to Higher Education - Health Professions

Access midwifery students Bedford College


Nursing & Healthcare Professions (Midwifery) Access to Higher Education Advanced (Level 3)

This is a one year Level 3 intensive course aimed at mature students (19+) without the standard qualifications to enter higher education. You will focus on developing core skills and knowledge in health, social sciences and science.

At the Bedford campus those wishing to study a nursing career will be in college on a Monday and Thursday; those wishing to study midwifery will be in college on a Wednesday and Friday.

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Course information

Need to know

Entry requirements

You must be aged 19 or over to apply and 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. Work experience (paid or voluntary) in a health care setting will improve your chances.

What qualification will I gain?

You will gain:

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Healthcare Professions
How will I be assessed?

You will be regularly assessed throughout out the course via a range of methods, including written, practical and oral assignments, as well as project work. To enable you to be successful on the course you will need to be able to use IT to produce essays, reports, presentations and statistical data.

Course content

What will I study?

During the course you will study the following units:

Core Skills

  • English
  • Maths
  • Research Project
  • Study Skills

Health and Social Science Units

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Sociology of Health
  • Developing Professional Practice
  • Health Promotion
  • Understand Mental Health

Specialist Nursing & Midwifery units:

  • Cells, tissues and organs
  • Blood and Circulation
  • Homeostasis
  • Nutrition and digestion
  • Reproductive biology
  • Disease and defence
  • Mendelian and genetics
  • Drugs and food additives

NB: units subject to change.

Next steps

You will be required to attend College for two days a week. 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 the Bedford College Group and other universities in a wide range of subject areas.

Course progression includes:

University courses in a wide range of different subjects, such as: Nursing, Health and Social Care Practice, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Midwifery.

Career progression includes:

Through a degree this course can be the route into a wide range of careers including: Nursing, Midwifery, Health Promotion, Health and Social Care and Mental Health.

Additional information

On successful completion of this course you can apply to university to study nursing or midwifery and a range of other healthcare courses. The College has especially good links with the University of Bedfordshire. We will also support you while you complete your university application.

Please declare if you have English and maths GCSEs and/or Functional Skills qualifications – this information is required (please note: you will need to provide evidence prior to enrolment).

Pay by instalments

The College offers an instalment plan for Further Education and Higher Education courses to students where the total amount payable at the point of enrolment is £200 or more. Within the scheme there is an ability to pay up to 6 instalments, depending on the length of the courses and the final payment must be paid at least a month before the end of the course.

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.

Available Courses
Bedford College
Starts: 09/09/2024
Type: Full Time
Length: 1 year
Day(s): Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Time(s): 9:15am - 4:45pm
Apply now
Fees: 16-18 Yrs: N/A 19+ Yrs: £3384 Fee notes: The fee indicated is for each year of the course.
Tresham College Wellingborough campus
Starts: 10/09/2024
Type: Full Time
Length: 1 year
Day(s): Tuesday, Thursday
Time(s): 9:30am - 4:45pm
Apply now
Fees: 16-18 Yrs: N/A 19+ Yrs: £3384 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.

Tresham College Access to University Health Professions
Access to University


As a housewife with four children I was looking to do something for myself. While it was scary coming back into education after 22 years, this Access course has already opened doors for me in the healthcare industry.

Since starting the course I have begun a Rehabilitation Assistant job in Northampton, working with people who have suffered brain injuries and helping them to live independently again. I wouldn’t have got this job without the Access course on my CV, and my tutors were a great help in sorting references for me.

I am fascinated by the biology elements of the course, such as how cells form, how they’re affected and why things can go wrong. My future goal is to study Forensic Science at university following the course, and I know everything I am learning will help me with my ongoing studies.

You get out what you put into the course and I would encourage other mature students who think it’s too late to give it a go; it really is never too late. I put it off for years but I’m so glad I’m here now.

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.