Access to Higher Education Website Banner

Access to Higher Education

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

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 mostly aimed at adult students who would like to study at university, but who currently don't have the qualifications they need, such as A Levels. Although most learners are above the age of 19, in exceptional circumstances it may be possible for a learner aged 18 to take the access course. Please be aware that if you are under the age of 19, you are not eligible for the Advanced Learner Loan (see section below for more information).

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.

Level 2 Pre-Access Course

We offer a part-time Level 2 Pre-Access course which starts in September at the Peterlee Campus.  This course is to prepare you for the Level 3 Access to HE Diploma; it is aimed at those who may have been out of education for a while and/or who want to gain a qualification prior to embarking upon the Level 3 Diploma. It is possible to study Level 2 Maths and English qualifications alongside the Pre-Access course.

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 and Health Care Professions.

From September 2018, we are planning to offer a new diploma in Animal Behaviour & Management (subject to validation). This land-based diploma will be delivered primarily at our Houghall Campus, in Durham, but some units will be delivered at our Peterlee Campus.

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

What is Access to HE?

The Access to Higher Education Diploma: Key Statistics 2015-16 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. The report below summarises that information for the academic year 2015-16 and highlights the latest trends. It provides an overview of the characteristics of Access to HE students, and their progression into higher education and beyond.

The Access to Higher Education Diploma: Key Statistics 2015-16 Report Document

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 and part time course(s) listed below: