Silhouettes of students throwing mortar boards into the air

Access to Higher Education

Do you dream of a career change or going to university?

Choose your Course

If the answer is yes, then our Access to Higher Education Programme could be the ideal route for you!

The QAA Access to HE (Higher Education) programmes are aimed at adult students (19 and over) who would like to study at university, but who currently don't have the qualifications they need, such as A Levels.

The Access to HE Diploma is accepted as an entry qualification by universities throughout England, Wales and Scotland. Access to HE Diplomas at East Durham College are validated and certificated by awarding body Ascentis.

Watch Our Access to HE Video!

Want to know what Access to Higher Education is all about? We've put all the information you need to know in this useful video; give it a watch and find out how you can unlock your path to university!

Level 3 Access to HE Diploma

At the Peterlee Campus the Level 3 Access to HE Diploma is available on an evening basis and a number of career pathways are available, including Science, Humanities, Education Professions, Nursing and Midwifery.

Timetabling on Access courses allows students to attend on a flexible basis to fit around work and family commitments. Our evening classes usually run on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

So whether you’re looking to change job, return to work, boost your career prospects or gain a full Honours degree our courses offer a route into higher education for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Degree Courses EDC Access to HE Students Recently Went On To Study

Ancient History - Applied Psychology - Biology - Biological Sciences - Childhood Studies - Computer Science - Computer Game Design & Production - Criminology - Early Childhood Studies - Electronic & Electrical Engineering - English & Creative Writing - Midwifery Studies - Nursing Studies (Adult) - Nursing Studies (Child)- Nursing Studies (Learning Disabilities) - Nursing Studies (Mental Health) - Paramedic Science - Pharmacy - Podiatry - Primary Education - Psychology - Psychology with Counselling - Social Work - Sociology

The Access to Higher Education Diploma: Key Statistics Report

Every year the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) collect data about the Access to HE Diploma and students that complete the qualification. Check out the latest details at

Funding & Advanced Learner Loan 

The Access to HE Diploma is funded for students aged 19-23 without a current level 3 qualification. Those aged 19 and above can apply for the Advanced Learner Loan to cover the course fees and, if you successfully complete your subsequent HE course, the loan will be written off.

This film, by Student Finance England, shows the journey that a learner may go on if they choose to study an Access to Higher Education Diploma funded by an Advanced Learner Loan.

Please visit the Advanced Learner Loan page of our website for more details.

Details on all our Access to HE pathways, run at the Peterlee Campus in County Durham, can be found below.

Available full time and/or part time course(s) are listed below:

The full time and/or part time course(s) listed below are available to apply for to be studied during the academic year 2022/2023. Please note some courses are now full for September 2021 starts.

Employment Stats & Facts In This Sector