Adult Learners – How Level 3 Entitlement Could Be Your Ticket to Free Education

Adults across the South West are being encouraged to check if they’re eligible to study a free Level 3 qualification which could help unlock the next stage in their career.  

Many adults aren’t aware that, thanks to government funding, all 19-23 year olds are eligible to study a Level 3 qualification free of charge if they don’t already hold a qualification at the same level.

Level 3 qualifications are generally earned at a college or sixth form, and could be an A Level, BTEC or Advanced Apprenticeship qualification. However, some learners study a Level 2 qualification at this stage, or some simply don’t make the grades while studying for their qualification.  

Many learners eligible to study for a Level 3 qualification free of charge are unsure of the level of their existing qualifications and so don’t know they could gain valuable career-boosting qualifications free of charge.  

Access to Higher Education

Exeter College’s university-level provision was rated as ‘Gold’ in the Teaching Excellence Framework

For some learners, gaining access to a free Level 3 qualification could be the ticket to university-level study. Exeter College offers Access to Higher Education courses in a range of disciplines that can open the door to studying a full degree at university.  

Thanks to Level 3 entitlement, eligible learners could study a year-long Access course for nothing and then hold the university-recognised qualification to study at degree level.  

Not eligible? The Advanced Learner Loan could be for you

If you’re over the age of 23 or already hold a Level 3 qualification and are interested in studying an adult course with Exeter College, then the Advanced Learner Loan is available to pave the way to additional qualifications, with industry-recognised courses available in a range of subjects. You may also be eligible for additional financial support for childcare. Exeter College could also help you with travel costs to and from college thanks to a bursary for those with a household income under £50,000 and live more than 3 miles away from our site.  

Next Steps

If you’re unsure if you’re eligible for a free Level 3 course or simply want to have an informal chat about your options on returning to education, then contact our dedicated Adult Advisers on 01392 400170 or They will be able to answer any queries around what you’re eligible for and how you can achieve your education goals.

Find out about Adult Learning with Exeter College.  

See all of our Access to Higher Education courses on our course search.  

Use our course search to find all our professional courses.