Access to Higher Education Diploma
A stepping stone to university level courses
The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a qualification designed to prepare students for degree-level studies, equipping them with relevant academic subject knowledge and essential skills to excel in university-level studies. Students from diverse age groups and backgrounds undertake Access to HE Diplomas, typically completing the courses within a one-year timeframe.
To confer the 'Access to HE' title, a course must receive recognition from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Successful completion of all course requirements results in the award of the Access to HE Diploma. It's worth noting that the 'Access to HE Diploma' is an exclusive designation, restricted to students enrolled in QAA-approved courses.
Access to HE Diplomas comprise 60 credits, with 45 of these being at level 3 and subject to grading. The remaining 15 credits are ungraded and can be either at level 2 or level 3. The attainment of all 60 credits is necessary to earn the Diploma.
Is it right for me?
Access to Higher Education Diplomas are primarily tailored for individuals who have experienced a prolonged absence from formal education, especially those who left school with insufficient qualifications to directly enter a university. Access to HE courses lay a solid groundwork in the essential knowledge and skills needed for university-level studies, ensuring that students feel self-assured and thoroughly equipped as they progress into higher education.
How does the Access to HE Diploma relate to other qualifications?
The Access to HE Diploma is a full level 3 qualification. Study on the Access to HE Diploma makes academic demands that are at an equivalent level to those of other level 3 qualifications.
Examples of other level 3 qualifications include A levels and Welsh Baccalaureate. This comparison relates to the level of the qualification: there is no standard measure of 'equivalence' that relates to the volume of the qualification.
Do universities recognise Access to HE Diploma?
The Access to HE Diploma enjoys broad recognition among UK universities, and many actively encourage applications from students who have completed this qualification.
Since 1989, a national framework has been established for Access to HE courses, and every year, over 20,000 Access to HE students successfully earn their Access to HE Diploma, enabling them to pursue university programs throughout the UK.
In the development of new Access to HE courses, universities play an integral role to ensure that the course content aligns with university expectations. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) oversees the framework for approving Access to HE courses. The presence of QAA's Access to HE logo on these Diplomas assures universities that a student has fulfilled the requirements of an approved Access to HE Diploma.
Annually, approximately 20,000 Access to HE students apply for various degree programs at UK universities, embarking on studies in diverse fields such as law, education, and business.
Access Validating Agency (AVA)
Our AVA is Open College Network South East Region, trading as Laser Learning Awards.
Open College Network South East Region was formed through the merger of Open College Network Kent & Medway and Open College Network Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Surrey.
Open College Network South East Region (UK)
OCN South East is proud of its history of supporting education and training providers for over 30 years and is approved by Ofqual, QAA and SIA. We promote widening participation, social inclusion, employer engagement and lifetime learning for all.
OCN South East is an awarding organisation with a difference – working nationally and internationally, we can trace our history back over 30 years to the unique concept of building accreditation structures from the sector, for the sector. Our organisation was created as a direct result of working with and listening to education and training providers wanting more than was available at the time.
Open College Network South East Region, England is trading as Laser Learning Awards in the UK.