Access to HE Diploma - Humanities
This course is for people aged 19 or over
Faculty of Humanities
Level Location Start Date End Date Day Time Fee Reduced Ask Apply
Level 3 Hele Road September 2019 July 2020 3 days per week - TBC 9am-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 or would like a change of career. 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 20 hours of additional study at home each week. Additional support is available for students for particular difficulties/needs.

There is also:

  • a Learning Support team
  • Learning Centres
  • Well-being team (Counsellors)
  • a Learner Support Fund (apply through college)
  • designated study space specifically for our HE and Access to HE students

*2019/20 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 when you complete 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.

For further detail please visit our Awarding Body website here.

What topics will I study?


·         Appreciation of a Novel

·         Appreciating Literature

·         Appreciation of a Shakespeare play

·         Fairy Tales, Folklore and Culture


·         Causes of Revolution in Russia

·         China from 1949

·         The Cold War 1945-89

·         Fascism in Europe


Politics – 6 credits

·         Political Participation

You will also complete units in IT and Study Skills.

All Access students will also be enrolled on a supplementary IT course, at no extra cost. The ITQ qualification has been designed to enhance and polish IT skills for use in the real world and is vital for university and future careers.

What are the entry requirements?

You will need GCSEs in Maths and English at grade C/4 or above. 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 (desirable but 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 and English (GCSE A to C/9-4).
  • 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/English. Research the entry requirements for the universities you wish to apply to. You could do voluntary/paid work where relevant.

What facilities are there?

You will have access to a Learning Centre. There is a refectory in the Hele Building and coffee shops in the Tower Building. There are Learning Lounges specifically for Access to HE and HE students.

What can the course lead on to?

  • You may progress to university or stay at Exeter College to complete a Foundation degree
  • Typical degrees are in Humanities/Social Science based subjects, for example, Psychology, Sociology, History, Law, Journalism, Politics and even teaching!
  • Also you could go onto a vocational degree course, for example, teaching, counselling. Please be aware that a clear enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check 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, 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.

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.

What do our students think?

I'm impressed with the IT skills I have acquired as I knew very little before I began the course. In maths I have learned to do long division - which makes me feel very clever! I am really impressed with the professionalism of the teachers and I really don't want the year to end."


I have enjoyed being set a variety of tasks that have stretched my skill-set, supported by patient and friendly staff and a lovely group of fellow students."


I have really enjoyed meeting all the amazing and talented people whilst on this course, both staff and students, proves there are caring, supportive and just plain fab human beings. It has restored my faith in people and faith in myself. I have my place at Exeter University guaranteed on the Flexible Combined Honours course studying Psychology (accredited) and Criminology. I have chosen this as I have a big passion for criminal profiling and the processes behind criminal behaviour. I plan on getting a job within the police force, firstly as a PCSO whilst I am studying for my degree and then in a psychological capacity."


Click here to read more student views.

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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