Access to HE

Access to higher education logo

We offer a range of Access to Higher Education (HE) courses that are designed to prepare adults for study at university level.

Access courses are designed for adults over the age of 19 who want to study a degree in order to further or change their career, but do not have the necessary formal qualifications.

These courses are ideal if you have been out of education for some time, especially if you left school with too few qualifications to be able to go straight to university. They provide a good foundation in the knowledge and skills required for studying at university level, so that you will be confident and well prepared to go on to higher education.

Access students come from all walks of life.

Our courses are filled with return-to-work mums, mature people looking for a more meaningful career and adults who maybe weren’t sure what they wanted when they left school, but now want to train for a profession.

These courses will provide you with the solid foundation necessary to study at university level and will ensure that you are both confident and prepared enough to go on to study a degree. The Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma is widely recognised by universities as a full level 3 qualification, equivalent to studying three A-Levels.

Case study: Josh

Case study: Rosie

Access courses

Our Access programmes will allow you to progress on to a range of degrees in relevant subjects, including but not limited to:

  • Art and Design
  • Business Management
  • Health and Social Care (Bursary opportunity available)
  • Nursing and Midwifery
  • Psychology and Sociology
  • Science
  • Sport Science
  • Teaching

View Access courses

They will also enable you to progress directly to our HE provision here at University Centre South Essex. You will need grade C/4 or above in GCSE English and/or Maths, or a Level 2 in Functional Skills. If you don't currently have the entry requirements needed, don't worry, you could study GCSE at the College. Find out more about studying an adult GCSE.

Chat to one of our students


What about funding?

You may be entitled to an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the costs of your Access course.

Loan eligibility does not depend on your income and there are no credit checks. Student Finance England, who are responsible for student loans will ‘write off’ any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances for your Access to HE course as soon as you complete a higher education course. This means you do not have to repay your Advanced Learner Loan if you progress to higher education and complete your degree programme.

This means you do not have to repay your Advanced Learner Loan if you progress to higher education and complete your degree programme.

Contact us

 If you have questions about our Access courses please contact or call 0345 52 12345.