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We are looking forward to welcoming new and returning students for the new term. — See our latest COVID-19 guidance

Access to Higher Education and Employment

If you want to study for a university-level course but don’t have the necessary qualifications, then our Access to Higher Education (HE) courses could be a great choice for you!

Access courses are specifically designed for adults aged 19+ returning to education. We fully support and understand that people return to education for all kinds of reasons, which is why we have courses to suit a variety of needs.

At Nottingham College, our courses are a fast-track route to degree-level study and are tailored to specific careers like law or nursing, or cover broader areas including science, social sciences and business.

It is our goal to help you begin your journey to a new career and we do all we can to ensure that the transition to full-time education runs as smoothly for you as possible.

We create a relaxed environment for all our students, as we believe that this helps inspire learning. You will have the chance to join like-minded people on our Access courses, in a mature environment with supportive tutors.

On top of all this, when you do take the next step into higher education, we offer many degree-level qualifications right here at our College.

So, this means that if you choose to stay at Nottingham College, you’ll be learning in a supportive, familiar environment. However, if you decide to go to university instead we’ll help you with your application.

There’s no need to worry if do not meet the entry criteria as we may be able to offer you a Pre-Access programme. This allows students to study GCSEs in English Language and Maths as well as a relevant subject qualification, which will prepare you for an Access to HE course.

It’s also worth noting that most universities require GCSE English Language and Maths at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C) for entry. Additionally, a GCSE in Science is often required for primary education courses.


We offer a variety of Access to HE Diploma and NQF Level 3 courses at Nottingham College.

19+ Advanced Learner Loans

If you’re aged 19-23 and it’s your first full Level 3 course, then you may not have to pay fees for an Access to HE Diploma. If not, or if you are 24+, you may be able to get help with the cost of your Access to HE course fees through a 19+ Advanced Learner Loan.

You won’t pay anything back until your income is over £26,575 per year. What’s more, if you go on to complete a higher education course funded by Student Finance England, the outstanding balance of your Advanced Learner Loan will be written off.

You can find out more about Advanced Learner Loans here.

Not sure what you'd like to study?

Are you interested in Access to Higher Education and Employment but not sure which course is right for you? You can receive Careers Advice before you decide which course is best for you! Apply through our Application Portal using the link below and our Careers Advisors will help you find the perfect course that's suited to you!

Apply for Careers Advice

You're viewing all 14 courses

Access to Higher Education: Art, Design and Fashion (includes Pre-Access) - Full-time

This course is perfect if you want to hone your talents and develop your interests in new areas to prepare for future study.

Access to Higher Education: Business - Full-time

This course is perfect if you’d like a good grounding in studying aspects of business to prepare you for university-level study.

Access to Higher Education: Games Design - Full-time

This course is perfect if gaming is your thing, and you dream of creating the next best-selling game and seeing your name on the credits.

Access to Higher Education: Health and Social Care - Full-time

If you are interested in a career working with families, children and young people, the elderly or vulnerable people, this course could be the one for you.

Access to Higher Education: Law - Full-time

This course is perfect if you’d like to go on to study law or a related subject at university and want a good grounding to help you prepare.

Access to Higher Education: Life Sciences - Full-time

If you have an interest in biology and would like a career based on deepening our understanding of living organisms, then this could be the course for you.

Access to Higher Education: Media and Journalism - Full-time

This course is perfect if you’d like to prepare for university-level study in the exciting and ever-changing world of media and journalism.

Access to Higher Education: Nursing and Midwifery - Full-time

If you want to pursue a career in adult, child or mental health nursing, midwifery or other health professions, this course will put you on the right track.

Access to Higher Education: Photography - Full-time

This course is perfect if you want the techniques needed to take consistently high-quality photographs, as well as getting the skills and insight necessary for a career in the exciting world of photography or a related industry.

Access to Higher Education: Science - Full-time

This course is perfect if you would like to develop your core science skills ahead of university-level study.

Access to Higher Education: Social Science - Full-time

This course is perfect if you are interested in taking an in-depth look at human behaviour; crime and punishment; how crime and punishment are related to other social issues and why certain groups may be societally victimised.

Access to Higher Education: Social Work - Full-time

If you are passionate about helping people, and would like to progress towards a career in social work or similar then this could be the course for you.

Access to Higher Education: Sports Sciences - Full-time

This course is perfect if you want to progress to a higher level of study and ultimately to pursue a career in the sports industry.

Access to Higher Education: Teaching - Full-time

This course is perfect if you want to prepare for degree-level study, with the ultimate goal being to become a teacher or work in a related profession.

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