The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a year-long qualification which prepares people without traditional qualifications for study at university.

Admission and information sessions

If you are ready to apply for this course, or have any further questions, please come in to one of our Admissions sessions. They include a brief introduction to Access to HE courses, and are followed by an English and Maths assessment. The process usually takes about two hours.

Following the admissions session you will be invited for an interview with the main course tutor, to discuss further details. If you are not offered a place on an Access to HE course because you do not have the required prior qualifications, you will be offered a place on a Preparation for Access (Skills) course, which will help you brush up on literacy skills and enable you to progress onto the Access to HE Diploma course. The assessments will take place at:

City and Islington College
Centre for Lifelong Learning
28-42 Blackstock Road
London N4 2DG

The next admissions sessions are:
Thurs 03/05/2018    3:30-5:30    Room 3.12b
Thurs 07/06/2018    3:30-5:30    Room 3.03b
Thurs 12/07/2018   3:00 – 5:00 Room 3.03b

Should you have any further questions please contact

Funding and Advanced learner Loans:
Access to HE course are free for 19-23 year olds, providing this will be your first level 3 qualification. If you are aged 24 or over and want to study an Access to HE course, you will be eligible for an Advanced Learning Loan, which will cover the cost of the course, and will be completely written off should you successfully complete your university degree. Find out more by visiting our financial support section to register your interest in receiving information about the loans from the College. 

Health and Human Sciences - Access to Higher Education Diploma


About the course

Are you interested in studying Nursing or Occupational Therapy at Higher or Degree level, but currently lack the formal qualifications? This Access Course is the perfect bridge to University, and from there to a career in Health and Social Sciences. The course runs for 3-4 days a week, with an estimated 15 hours of self-directed study in addition.


There are no formal entry requirements, but you will need to have been out of education for at least a year. You will be expected to have GCSE Maths and English and work experience at an equivalent level. It would also be advantageous to have some work or voluntary experience in a relevant field, even shadowing a professional.

All applicants will be subject to a formal assessment and interview. The assessment will include a test of your maths and written communication skills. The course runs for 3-4 days a week, with an estimated 15 hours of self-directed study in addition, so you are advised to budget and think carefully about the time-commitment this course involves.

International students must also have Level 5.5 in the International English Language Training exam (with a minimum 5.0 in each skill).

You will study a number of core modules, such as Academic Study Skills, Psychology, Sociology Research, Maths and Study Skills, Tutorial and Professional Development.

You will also study specialist modules in Biology.

Assessment is by coursework and in-class assignments.

You can apply for Higher Education courses in Health Studies, Speech Therapy, or Occupational Therapy. Please note that to progress to University you must have GCSE Maths and English at Grade C (or equivalent qualification). Limited extra tuition is available in these subjects during the course.

Further Information 1

You may be entitled to support towards the cost of studies.

  • If you are aged 19 or over, you may need to cover the cost of your course, but you can get a government loan for this. What's more, if you then complete a Higher Education course, you won't have to repay the loan for the Access course. Find out more here

I would encourage others who want to study again, but feel afraid, to do it

Ivone Bailes

Ivone Bailes

Studied: Diploma in Health and Social Care

Now working as a Senior Nursing Assistant at Guy’s Hospital

Ivone was working as a chef in London and caring for her husband. At the age of 49, Ivone decided that she wanted to return to education and work in the health care sector.

Last year she enrolled on a Diploma in Health and Social Care at the College’s Centre for Health, Social and Child Care. Now she is working as a Senior Nursing Assistant at Guy’s Hospital.

She said: “The decision to come back to the College was completely life changing and the best I have ever made. I had lost my confidence and did not think at my age that I would get another chance to work in the health care profession. I am so happy and I would encourage others who want to study again, but feel afraid, to do it.”

Course information

Start date
(see other dates)
01 January 1970

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Centre for Health, Social and Child Care building

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