Access to Humanities

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.

Course Information

  • Course Type Access
  • Subject Area Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Qualification Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • Study Mode: Full Time Only
  • Course Level Level 3
  • Location Hele Road Centre
  • Course Length 1 year
  • Start Date September Yearly
  • End Date July Yearly
  • Day 3 days per week – currently Tues, Wed and Thurs (please note these are subject to change)
  • Times 9.00am-4.30pm (Hours may vary)
  • Fee £3,022
  • Reduced Fee

    See below


This 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
  • Wellbeing team (Counsellors)
  • a Learner Support Fund (apply through college)
  • designated study space specifically for our HE and Access to HE students

*2023-24 fees for Access to Higher Education courses are dependent on your age, circumstances and chosen course. This course is eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan, which may be written off when you complete your studies into higher education at college or university. For more information click here.

You may be entitled to support towards the fee, please phone 01392 400170 or email for advice.

The Access to HE Humanities course currently covers the following units:


  • 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
  • The Suffrage Movement


  • Political Participation
  • Introductory Academic
  • Introduction to Literature

Introductory Academic

  • Introduction to Literature

Study Skills and IT

  • IT for Academic Study
  • Research and Referencing
  • Progression Skills
  • Presentation Skills

Additional qualification
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 can the course lead on to?
You may progress to university or stay at Exeter College to complete a Foundation degree. You could go on to work or study various subjects, including: Ancient History, Politics, English, Creative Writing, Human Geography, Geography, Journalism, International Relations, Liberal Arts, Law and Teaching. 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.

For the full credit breakdown for this course click here.

Entry Requirements

GCSE English Grade C (or Grade 4) or above or IELTS score of 6.5 overall and no less than 6.5 in any other section for all International and non-speaking English students. The test should be no older than 2 years prior to the start of the programme. You can also access English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) or adult GCSE English courses at the College.

Some universities will also require you to have GCSE Maths grade C or grade 4 or above before applying; this will mean you will need to complete this before starting the Access Diploma. Please check this before applying to the Access diploma.

  • The Digital and Data Centre – there are many spaces for adult students to study and an Access to Higher Education student computer room.
  • Coffee shops – for example, in the Digital and Data Centre and the Tower building.
  • Four Learning Resource Centres (LRCs)
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.

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.

  • Have a question?

    If you have questions or would like to speak to someone, our team of Customer Service Advisers can help answer your questions or direct your enquiry to the correct team.
    Speak to us today on 01392 400500 or send us a message using our contact form:

  • Ready to find out more?

    Why not come along to one of our open events, a chance to explore our facilities, ask questions about our courses and find out more about being a student at Exeter College. Visit our open events page to find out more today.