Access to Higher Education

Part Time

This course is for people who would like to enter higher education and need to gain the qualifications for university admission.

Are there any additional costs involved?

All students pay the registration fee with Ascentis, the exam board, themselves.  This fee is currently £200.

Entry requirements

A GCSE grade C or above is required in both English and Maths. If English is not your first language then an IELTS score of 6.5 or above is required. You will be asked to come for an interview to make sure the course is the right one for you.

Why is this course right for me?

This course is right for you if:

  • You feel envious of people who have just graduated from university or are mature students at university
  • You are in a dead end job or have no job at all and the future looks bleak
  • You have reached a turning point in your life and you need to change direction
  • You have time on your hands now and want to use it purposefully, enjoyably and increase your career prospects at the same time.
  • You are over 19 and do not already have qualifications for university admission
  • You want to join the increasing number of mature students on degree courses

What does the course involve?

This Access course involves studying four modules. 

Modules available are:

  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Social issues in healthcare
  • British history

Pathways dictate your modules. Access to Higher Education pathways offered at Itchen are:

  • Access to Higher Education Social Science
  • Access to Higher Education Health and Social Care Professions
  • Access to Higher Education Primary Teaching

Each module is studied for one session per week – so you do not have to be in college every day.  We cannot guarantee that all of these modules will be available.

How will I be taught?

The sessions will reflect the fact that adult students bring a great deal of information and experience with them to the course.  There will be lively discussions and student presentations - an essential preparation for university life.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is through a variety of coursework essays, in class tests, research projects and presentations. It is a credit based course, each module worth 15 credits at Level 3. All Access Diplomas generate 60 credits at Level 3 which all Higher Education institutions accept.


As most of our students are returning to study after a break we give extensive support in how to make the most of your studying.  A two hour tutorial/study skills session is offered once per week. College hours are from 9:15am - 12:15pm so you can fit it in around family and work commitments.  The college has an on-site nursery for students who require childcare.


Students go from this course to universities all over the country, but obviously most of our students go to local universities because of family commitments and other reasons. Universities welcome applications from Access students and we have a very good relationship with the local higher education institutions.

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