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!
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.
What is an Access Course?
Access courses are a fast-track route to degree-level study and are specifically designed for adults aged 19+ returning to education. They are the most widely recognised one year pre-university courses in the UK and have a very strong standing with all universities since they incorporate study skills, as well as subject and work specific theory for careers in many areas.
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.
What is the entry criteria?
You’ll find specific entry criteria listed on each course below.
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.
What are the study hours?
Although Access courses are full time, timetables are designed to suit your outside commitments such as work and family. Timetables will vary depending on the subject area chosen but you can expect 12 – 15 hours per week of timetabled sessions at college, which are typically spread over three days per week from 9am-4pm.
Depending on your starting point and if you’re available to attend longer days, two days per week may be possible.
We offer a variety of Access to HE Diploma and NQF Level 3 courses at Nottingham College.
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.
What can I study?
We offer Access Courses in 15 subjects. Some are tailored towards certain career areas like law or nursing and others cover broader areas including science, social sciences and business. You can find a full list below:
You're viewing all 14 courses
Access to Higher Education: Art and Design (Art, Design and Fashion) (19+) - Full-time
You are aged 19+ and want to build and develop your skills and interests in new areas, to prepare for further study. You will need to be able to commit to working in College 3 days a week.
Access to Higher Education: Business (19+) - Full-time
This course is perfect if you are aged 19+ and would like a good grounding in studying aspects of business to prepare you for university-level study.
Access to Higher Education: Creative Industries (Games and Development) (19+) - Full-time
This course is perfect if gaming is your thing, you are aged 19+, and you dream of creating the next best-selling game and seeing your name on the credits.
Access to Higher Education: Creative Industries (Photography) (19+) - Full-time
This course is perfect if you are aged 19+ 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: Criminal Justice and Policing Studies (including Law) - Full-time
A Criminal justice and Policing Access to HE Diploma is for you if you want to pursue a career in the Police for or to study criminology.
Access to Higher Education: Health and Social Care (19+) - Full-time
If you are aged 19+ and 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: Health and Social Care (Social Work) (19+) - Full-time
If you are aged 19+ and 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: Health Professions (Nursing and Midwifery) (19+) - Full-time
If you are aged 19+ and 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: Humanities and Social Science (19+) - Full-time
This course is perfect if you are aged 19+ and 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: Law (19+) - Full-time
This course is perfect if you are aged 19+ and would 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: Media (Media and Journalism) (19+) - Full-time
This course is perfect if you are aged 19+ and would like to prepare for university-level study in the exciting and ever-changing world of media and journalism.
Access to Higher Education: Science (19+) including a four week introductory course - Full-time
This course is perfect if you are aged 19+ and would like to develop your core science skills ahead of university-level study.
Access to Higher Education: Science (Life Sciences) (19+) including a four week introductory course - Full-time
If you are aged 19+ and 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: Sports Sciences (19+) - Full-time
This course is perfect if you are aged 19+ and want to progress to a higher level of study and ultimately to pursue a career in the sports industry.