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Access to HE Diploma: Health

This is a level 3 qualification that enables you to apply for health or health and social care related courses including degrees, higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships.

1 year
2 days or 2 evenings per week

Entry Requirements: Recommended: GCSE Maths Grade C/4 and GCSE English Language at Grade C/4 or above or a Functional Skills Level 2 equivalent

Course Info

This course is for you if you don’t have A-levels or the Level 3 qualification that you need to progress to higher education. It is particularly suitable if you have been out of education for a while and need to build your skills and confidence before doing a degree. This course is designed to meet the requirements for pursuing career opportunities in the Health and Care Sector. The course provides the required level and content that many universities will demand of students applying for degree courses in a range of professions, such as Nursing, Midwifery, Operating Department Practitioners, Paramedic Science, Physiotherapy, Radiography and Occupational Therapy. 

The Access to HE Diploma will support you to develop a range of essential and transferable skills in academic writing, literacy, critical and evaluative thinking, problem solving, research and reflective thinking. You will develop new knowledge and boost your confidence, preparing you for the next stage in your academic journey. 

The course provides you with 60 credits at Level 3. You can gain Distinction, Merit or Pass for 45 credits while 15 credits are ungraded. The credits you gain amount to a certain number of UCAS points on the UCAS Tariff.  

The graded units you will study are:  

  • Human Biology of Health and Illness 
  • Physiology 
  • Humans Against Disease 
  • Health Psychology 
  • Professional Practice 
  • Health Promotion 

The ungraded units are:  

  • Academic Skills 
  • Preparing for University  
  • Access Research Project 


In addition to your timetabled classes it is recommended that you undertake independent study and research for a minimum of 15 hours per week.

The teaching team is made up of a group of expert tutors with a great deal of vocational and academic experience. There is a high level of commitment and dedication to all students in their ongoing journey of lifelong learning. Tutors provide an incredibly supportive learning environment to ensure that your individual needs are met and to support you to achieve on the course.  

Course Leader: Angela SmithBSc (Hons), MSc, MBPsShas worked in further education and higher education for many years, with extensive experience of teaching on Access to HE. She herself completed an Access to HE course in 2007, and moved on to complete her BSc in Criminological & Forensic Psychology / Psychology and Counselling from the University of Bolton. She now has an MSc in Forensic Science and Criminal Justice from the University of Leicester, and with it a wealth of experience of what it takes to progress to and succeed at university. Currently undertaking a PhD, she remains an active lifelong learner as well as a teacher. 

Tutor: Lesley Larkin, BSc (Hons), MA, worked for many years in healthcare, as a staff nurse, a Health Visitor, a manager of a family assessment centre and a Senior Nurse in Child Protection. With nearly twenty years’ experience of teaching in various roles, and as an assessment associate with several awarding bodies for around 15 years, she has also been involved in developing new degree-level courses in Health in 2016/17. She has taught at the University Centre for 3 years, also lecturing on the Foundation Degree in Community, Public Health and Social Care alongside the Access to HE diploma. She has an MA in Child Protection from the University of Huddersfield. 

Tutor and progress coach: Deborah Scaife, BA (Hons), has a dual role on the Access to HE programme as a part-time tutor and part-time progress coach. Deborah has a varied background including project management, delivering nationwide training for several charities and working as an independent trainer and consultant to schools, colleges and local authorities on many topics. With a wealth of experience in the university application process, she has a first class Honours degree in Community Development from the University of Bradford and gained her PGCE at Calderdale College. She is also a qualified NLP practitioner and has qualifications in counselling and mediation.

Tutor: Bally Kaur, BSc (Hons) has been teaching for nearly a decade on Access to HE. She graduated in 2010 with a BSc in Psychology and Health Studies from the University of Huddersfield and completed her PGCE soon after. Since then she been successfully leading the University Centre’s Access to HE Social Sciences course, and is an established member of the University Centre team, with an impressive track record of supporting students to progress to degree courses. Her previous work has included working as an interpreter alongside the West Yorkshire Police and volunteering at the Citizens’ Advice Bureau. 

Entry Requirements & Interview Process

You are recommended to have GCSE Maths Grade C/4 and GCSE English Language at Grade C/4 or above or a Functional Skills Level 2 equivalent. However, you may undertake GCSE study alongside the Access to HE Diploma.

All applicants will have opportunity to discuss their application during an interview with one of the tutors, where any questions about the course can be answered.

You are highly advised to check, prior to enrolling, the entry requirements of any courses you wish to apply for at degree level.