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International Access to Higher Education Programme in Business


Course outline

The International Access to Higher Education Programmes are designed for students whose school leaving qualifications gained in their home country are not suitable for direct entry to a British university undergraduate degree.

Our Access to Higher Education Programmes are accredited by CAVA - Access to Higher Education Diplomas.

Nottingham College is one of England’s largest government-funded colleges, with over 30 years experience of delivering International Pathway Programmes and has successfully helped many to achieve their dreams of gaining a place at one of the top British universities.

Accredited by the British Council for teaching English as a Foreign Language, which means students can be sure of a high standard of teaching and welfare support.

Course structure:

This course prepares students for successful study on a wide range of business related degree programmes.

September Intake

  • 15 hrs per week teaching
  • 1 hr per week tutorial
  • 8 hrs per week English Language support

Total - 24 hrs per week

January Intake

  • 20 hrs per week teaching
  • 1 hr per week tutorial
  • 8 hrs per week English Language support

Total - 29 hrs per week

How to apply for this course

Find out how to apply for an international course.

How to apply for this course

Find out how to apply for an international course.

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Level 3 - Access to Higher Education Diploma in Business (Equivalent to NQF Level 3)

  • September 3.0 terms - 36 weeks
  • January 2.5 terms - 27 weeks
Level Level 3
Entry requirements

The general entry requirements for our Access to Higher Education Programmes are as follows:

  • To have completed 11 years of high school with good school leaving qualifications, including relevant subjects (please ask for the specific entry requirements for your country)
  • For September start: English language at IELTS 5.0 overall, with a minimum of 4.5 in each element
  • For January start (2½ terms): English language at IELTS 5.5, with a minimum of 5.0 in each element

English language qualifications that are on the UK Visas and Immigration list of approved Secure English Language Tests are accepted.


Each module subject and core subject is assessed by examination or coursework or a combination of both.


  • HE Study Skills
  • Business Environment
  • Business Awareness
  • Accounts
  • Accounts 2
  • Marketing an Organisation & Applied Business Marketing
  • Business Information Technology Skills
  • Economics & Economic Development & Resources
  • Maths & Pure Maths


Numbers of credits at specific levels which comprise the Access to HE Diploma:

60 credits, of which 45 must be at level 3 from graded units concerned with academic subject content, with the remaining 15 to be achieved at level 2 or level 3 from ungraded units.

Credit value and level of mandatory units:

Mandatory units must be achieved for a student to gain the Diploma. 60 credits at level 3 must be achieved through the units specified.

At the end of the course you will receive an overall grade of ‘Pass’, ‘Merit’ or ‘Distinction’, based on the percentage contribution of each subject.

English Language Support:

HE Study Skills

Every opportunity will be taken to further develop English skills within the vocational context. This will include highlighting the spelling of key vocabulary, correcting spelling, punctuation and grammar on written work.

All students study this module to level 3 (University entrance standard) and attain 9 credits in total where a credit is the equivalent of 10 hours of study (both in and out of the classroom).

In completing this module students will focus on range of techniques and strategies to prepare them for study at university including:

  • Research Skills
  • Planning
  • Referencing (using the Harvard System)
  • Presentation skills
  • Group Work (seminar skills discussions)
  • Improve your grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • Develop communication skills


In their IELTS sessions students focus on the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking within a given topic set down by a course book which is an integral part of their studies.

All students are working towards an IELTS 6.5, which is the minimum level expected by most universities.


To progress onto a university degree programme students are usually required to achieve 60 credits with 45 graded at level 3 and 15 ungraded at level 2 or 3.

As a guide, most universities will require a Distinction grade and a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 for entry to their degrees.

Students could then progress on to an undergraduate degree in:

  • Business Finance
  • Marketing
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Analytics
  • Statistics
  • Fashion Business
  • Sports Business

Our Access to Higher Education Programmes are accepted by most universities in the UK, including, Aston, Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Coventry, Durham, Edinburgh, Lancaster, Leeds, Lincoln, Loughborough, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham Trent, Oxford Brookes, Portsmouth, Sheffield Hallam, Southampton, UCL and York.

Additional information

Hours per week:

September Intake - 24 hrs per week
(15 hrs teaching, 1 hr tutorial, 8 hrs English Language support)

January Intake - 29 hrs per week
(20 hrs teaching, 1 hr tutorial, 8 hrs English Language support)

  • Taught between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday
  • An example of a teaching week: Monday 10.45 – 12.45, Tuesday 9.00 – 12.15, Thursday 9.00 - 12.15


You can find out more about Course Fees here.


You can find out more about Accommodation here.

International Students' Social Programme

There is a full social programme for international students. This will help you make friends, practice your English and visit interesting places. Many activities are free and some have a small charge. You can see our Student’s Social Programme here.

Term Dates:

You can find out more about Term Dates for International Students here.

Additional costs:

In addition to course fees, students may have to pay for course books at around £20-£30 each.

Note: Standard IELTS tests can be taken in a designated centres in the UK at a cost of approximately £170 per test, or IELTS for UKVI at a cost of approximately £200 per test (depending upon current IELTS rates).

Other course information:

  • Maximum 15 students per class
  • Minimum age 16
Accreditied by the British Council and CAVA
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