Medicine - Access to Higher Education Diploma

Start Date: 12 September 2022
Duration: 2 years
Attendance: Full Time
Suitable for: Adults
Location: Centre for Applied Sciences, Angel

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If you would like to study Medicine, Dentistry or a Medical related degree at university, but left school without the qualifications you need, then this Access to HE course could be for you.

This is the new qualification recently recognised by QAA as the only recognised route to medical school but is also accepted on other medical related degrees.

Julie Mizon, Access Manager, QAA, said: 'What we’ve done, with the help of the Medical Schools Council and medical schools themselves, is to develop a national framework that better prepares Access to HE students for a medical degree and career.

'The new framework will give medical schools greater confidence in recruiting students with an Access to HE Diploma in Medicine, and that means better access to the profession for adults and those without traditional qualifications. It’s an exciting step forward, and I can’t wait to see the impact it will have in the coming years.'

Each year, over 20,000 Access to HE students apply for a degree course at a UK university; if you go onto complete a relevant degree at university, your Advanced Learner Loan will be written off by Student Finance England.

This course will help you get the qualifications you need to study medicine, dentistry or a medical related degree at university.

You will learn study skills such as note taking, essay writing, reading and research, preparation for exams and professional behaviours.

You will also have a personal tutor who will support you during the year and who will advise you on your applications to higher education institutions


For this Access to Medicine programme, we complete a total number of 60 credits:

45 credits from graded academic subject content units at Level 3

15 credits required from ungraded units at Level 3

Topics covered can include:

  • Biology / Human Biology – 15 graded Level 3 credits
  • Chemistry – 18 graded Level 3 credits
  • Physics & Maths – 9 graded Level 3 credits
  • Experimental and Practical Work – 3 graded Level 3 credits
  • Study skills – 15 ungraded Level 3 credits including Professional Behaviours

The course is taught as a Blended programme with both on-site and online learning. Typically, this will require you to attend College 3 days a week, each day is ~4.5 hours:

  • 2 days are online teaching & learning via Teams
  • 1 day is on-site in our specialised laboratories at the Angel Campus


You will need:

  • To be aged 19 or older
  • GCSE English Language and Maths at grade 4 or above (or A*-C); depending on your choice of degree. You may require higher grades in GCSE English Language and Maths. If you wish to study optometry, you will need GCSE Maths at grade 6 or above (or A*-B) or higher. If you wish to study Medicine or Dentistry, you will need GCSE English Language and Maths at grade 6 or above (or A*-B). IELTS at grade 7 or above would be acceptable.
  • If you are looking to study Medicine or Dentistry at university, you must take a UCAT at an independent centre before starting the course (this is required for the 4, 5, and 6-year options), with a score of at least 630, with a minimum of 550 in each section, equating to a total score of 2520 (achieving band 1 or 2 is highly recommended).
  • If you are applying to a university that is asking for a BMAT, you would need a BMAT score of 15.5 out of 28 in addition to the UCAT.
  • If you are a graduate, you may also be required to sit a GAMSAT. It is essential that you check with your chosen universities that you will be accepted onto their programme with this Access course as well as all their specific entry requirements before applying.
  • A minimum of 2 weeks of work experience relevant to your career

All applicants must have an interview to confirm that the course is suitable for them.


This course is assessed through coursework assignments, tests, and examinations throughout the course, which are set and marked by your teachers and externally moderated by OCN London. The science units are graded to pass, merit or distinction; you cannot resit units to achieve upgrades.

Assessment is continuous over the whole year and is based on a number of set pieces of work such as essays, projects, presentations, and tests.

Please be aware that the course is demanding, and it is expected that a similar number of hours of independent study per week is required to complete course work and revise for in-course exams.



If you will be aged 19 or older on 31 August in the year you begin your course, and have been resident in the UK/EU/EEA for the past 3 years, you may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of your course. Some courses will have other costs associated, such as for materials and trips. Many of our students are eligible for financial support when studying at college – please click here for more information.


Once you have completed your Access to HE course, you can progress to a Higher Education degree at a university or college.

You should check requirements for specific degree courses - different Higher Education institutions may have different entry requirements for similar courses. We recommend that you check you have completed relevant work experience, such as work placements in clinics, surgeries, hospitals or residential homes etc. in preparation for your personal statement.

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