Access to HE Diploma - Healthcare
This course is for people aged 19 or over
Faculty of Maths and Science
Level Location Start Date End Date Day Time Fee Reduced Ask Apply
Level 3 Maths and Science Centre September 2018 July 2019 3 days per week TBC 9.00am-4.30pm (hours may vary) See below* See below

What is it like to study this course and how will I be assessed?

The Access course has been designed for those adults who feel they missed out on higher education when they were younger.  The programme aims to provide a firm foundation for study at degree level.  Study skills and educational guidance form essential parts of the course.

Tutorial sessions support learners and offer guidance with the UCAS process and study skills.

The Diploma is taught by subject specialist teaching staff in a supportive environment to develop the academic skills necessary to progress onto higher education.  You will have homework and assignment work set each week with strict deadlines. There is at least 15-20 hours of additional study at home each week. Additional support is available for students for particular difficulties/needs.

There is:

  • A brand new Maths and Science Centre
  • A dedicated IT lab
  • A Learning Support team
  • Learning Centres
  • Well being team (Counsellors)
  • A Learner Support Fund (apply through college)

*2017/2018 fees for Access to Higher Education courses are dependent on your age, circumstances and chosen course. Click here to view more information about fees This course is eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan, which may be written off if you continue your studies in to higher education at college or university. For more information click here.

You may be entitled to support towards the fee, please phone Jill Clark on 01392 400526 or email for advice.

What topics will I study?

The programme consists of compulsory core units and subject options:
These are some of the units available:

  • Cell Biology: An essential introduction to Level 3 science including cells, biological molecules, enzymes and membrane transport
  • Heart and Circulation: A practical unit where you get a chance to dissect a pig’s heart and fully understand how it works
  • Human Disease and Immunity: How does our immune system respond when it comes into contact with pathogens?
  • Human Reproduction: This is an optional unit for all the potential midwifes
  • Key Debates and Perspectives in Psychology: The aims of these lectures are to look at the different schools of thought in psychology. We discuss the physiological perspective, behaviourism, psychodynamics, cognitive psychology and humanistic psychology. We also discuss key debates in psychology, e.g. nature Vs nurture
  • Social Psychology: Our final unit of the academic year explores the psychological theories explaining why people hold prejudice beliefs. This unit is used as the basis for the exam unit in Study Skills
  • Cognitive Psychology: In this unit students can choose whether to study theory & research into the models of memory or into using eye witnesses in court proceedings. This involves self-directed study after a lead lecture on the topic
  • Number: A refresher unit for everyone on Decimals, Percentages, Fractions, Division and Multiplication. Essential for University Interview maths tests

For a full list of units, please click here.

Please note, the unit information above will be subject to change, we are awaiting confirmation of the details for 2018 entry. Please keep checking our website for up to date information or contact us if you have any questions.

What are the entry requirements?

Although rewarding, the course is very demanding and applicants must have GCSEs in maths and English at grade C or above, a GCSE in science at grade C or above is also required. We would encourage applicants to contact the Higher Education providers that they intend to apply to ensure that the age of their GCSEs are acceptable (written confirmation is advisable). 

What we look for in a successful applicant:

  • Motivation to progress onto higher education
  • Evidence of recent study (not compulsory)
  • A letter of application that demonstrates your commitment to study, considers the reality of study, shows some idea about what subject they intend to study at university and mentions which higher education institutions you intend to apply.
  • Evidence of qualifications in maths, science and in English (GCSE A to C). You may be asked to take an assessment at interview
  • IELTS score of 5.5 or above for students where English is a second language
  • A working knowledge of Microsoft Word and Powerpoint


If you have been out of education for some time we would recommend a course in maths and/or English. We would advise you to research the entry requirements for the universities you wish to apply to. You could do voluntary/paid work where relevant.

We also offer a 'Preparation for Access to Higher Education - Science' course - click here for further details.

What facilities are there?

You will have access to a learning centre. There is a refectory in the Hele Building and in Victoria House.

New for 2016 - Learning Lounge specific for Access to HE and HE students.

What can the course lead on to?

Most NHS Healthcare courses (with exception of dietetics and radiography, which require an additional science such as chemistry). You could progress on to careers in, for example, adult nursing, physiotherapy, paramedic care, child nursing, midwifery.

Please be aware that a clear DBS check (previously known as CRB) and occupational health test may be required before entry onto some vocational degree courses.

Are there any additional costs?

As well as the course fees, applicants need to factor in food, travel, books and stationery and printing costs. Applications for our college Learner Support Fund or the Bursary Fund are advisable for applicants who know that they may struggle financially. There will also be UCAS fees and a college materials fee of £30.

It is important that you apply and pay for your course at least one week before the course starts to ensure that you will have access to all the facilities and resources in your first week.
Please be aware that there are no car parking facilities at Exeter College city centre sites, but public car parks are available across the city.

College Prospectus

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