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

For information on the next enrolment, open evenings, and admission sessions please e-mail  

For further information about this course please email  

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. 


Media Studies - Access to Higher Education Diploma


Mixed Media - Access to Higher Education Diploma

About the course

Interested in the Film industry, Journalism, video and radio production? This course will provide you with the historical grounding that has made an impact on present and future forms of media. This is the ideal preparation for entry to higher education on a media focused degree course. 

As a learner on this qualification in Access to HE Media Studies you will be offered a coherent, integrated and supported year of study through which you will gain the knowledge, awareness, skills and confidence necessary for successful undergraduate study in a range of media related progression routes.

The qualification aims:

• To provide HE progression opportunities for adults who, because of social, educational or individual circumstances, do not have the necessary qualifications;

• To give learners a general introduction to the key media concepts, production skills, and key areas of knowledge within the media subject. Also to offer a coherent and stimulating framework within which they can broaden their intellectual and practical outlook and make connections between subject areas;

• To help learners to develop and consolidate the various skills required to enable them to cope successfully with the demands of undergraduate study and to become independent, self-directed learners;

• To establish a positive and supportive learning environment within which learners can build their confidence through successful learning and the sharing of their experience.

If you successfully complete the qualification you will achieve a QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma.


No formal qualifications are required, but you need to have good communication skills - written and oral - and show interest and enthusiasm for media. You also need to be clearly committed to an intensive year of study. The course moves quickly and University applications begin as soon as you start your programme.

The course covers print journalism (producing features, reviews and news stories), photography (portraits, documentary and still life), video production, page layout and design, and radio.

You will study media theory, covering issues such as black and avant-garde cinema, realism and cultural studies, as well as semiotic and psychoanalytical approaches to understanding of the media.

You will also be taught study skills, including how to structure essays, how to plan and deliver successful presentations and seminars, and how to organise your study time.

Assessment is continuous, and will focus on written and creative work.

On completing the course, you will achieve an Access to Higher Education certificate or credits. This qualification is recognised by all UK universities, and will allow you to progress to a media-based degree (BA Hons) or FdA/HND course.

 Former students have progressed to Cambridge University, Goldsmiths University, City University London, London College of Communication, Brighton University and Westminster University.

Course information

Start date
(see other dates)
14 September 2020

Select your preferred start date

Course level
Level 3
Course code
Start date
End date
35 Weeks
Lifelong Learning
Class Type
Full time
Student Type
Adults (19+)

If you are aged 19+ and looking to study a Level 3 or above course, you may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover your course fees.

£9500.00 per year
£3384.00 per year
£15.00 per year
Fully Funded
£15.00 per year
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