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February 6, 2018

10 Interesting Facts That You Probably Didn’t Know About the Access to Higher Education Diploma

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Access Your Future!

Do you want to know more about the Access to Higher Education Diploma?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. This Level 3 qualification is a golden ticket to success. More flexible and shorter than A-levels, Access to HE Diplomas have been designed to help individuals pursue their higher education goals.

At Stonebridge College, we realise that you probably have a lots of questions about the courses we offer. This is why we’ve collated 10 facts that might help answer your queries…

1. There are Access to Higher Education Diploma courses available in all English regions and in Wales.

There are over 300 places across England and Wales where you can study an Access to HE Diploma. This means that wherever you are, you should be able to find a local course provider. It is worth noting, however, that in Scotland there is a slightly different system. A different scheme runs in Scotland, via the Scottish Wider Access Programme.

2. The Access to HE Diploma is widely recognised by universities.

You may be surprised to learn that UK universities are more than willing to accept Access to HE Diploma graduates. Obviously, it is advised that you check with your intended institution before you apply, however many establishments now list the qualification on their website in the “entry requirements” section.

Portrait of clever student with open book reading it in college library

3. The Access to HE qualification was designed for the purpose of entry to uni in the UK.

This qualification has been specifically tailored to students who want to attend university in the UK. If you do want to go overseas to complete your degree programme, you may have to complete a bit more research as to whether this qualification is suitable. In general, we would recommend getting in touch with the overseas university directly.

4. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a full Level 3 qualification.

More popular Level 3 qualifications you may have heard of include Scottish Highers and A-levels. As the Access to HE Diploma is a Level 3 qualification, this means that it is equivalent to A-levels and Scottish Highers in terms of difficulty. There is no standard way to measure if it is equivalent in terms of volume.

5. Access to HE Diplomas have been around since 1989.

You may not have known this, but a national framework of Access to HE Diplomas has been around since 1989. This means, that as it stands, they have been around for 29 years. The very first access courses, which were mainly focused on teacher training, have actually been around since the 1970s. These courses led to the development of courses in other subjects.

Senior citizen who has graduated from school

6. Your Access to HE Diploma course doesn’t have to match the subject you pursue at uni.

Choosing a university course can be difficult. While you may be sure you want to go to university, you may not have decided entirely what it is you want to study once you get there. The good news is you don’t have to decide just yet. As long as your Access to Higher Education Diploma draws enough similarities with the degree programme, you may still be accepted.

7. There are a number of courses available for distance learning or online study.

While some Access to HE Diploma providers require students to physically attend classes or meeting, some can be carried out from the comfort of your own home. Distance learning courses, like the ones we offer at Stonebridge College, allow students to be more flexible with their studies. These online courses make study possible for those with busy work and family lives.

8. Most Access to HE Diplomas can be completed in just under a year.

If you want to complete A-levels, you will usually have to spend two years working on them. In the first year you complete an AS level, before earning the full qualification at the end of the second year. The good news for Access to Higher Education Diploma students is that their qualification can be completed in less than a year.

Piggy bank with books.

9. You may not have to pay for your Access to HE Diploma.

If you are over 19 years old and a UK citizen, you are probably eligible for a 19+ Advanced Learner Loan. This loan will cover the costs of your diploma in full. If you subsequently go on to complete an undergraduate degree and you take out another loan, you won’t have to repay the first one. If you don’t go to uni and never earn over £21,000, you will also be exempt from repayments.

10. Each year over 20,000 Access to HE graduates progress to university.

Believe it or not, Access to Higher Education Diploma graduates are in their thousands. If they can do it, then so can you. If you have the motivation and desire to transform your life, this could be the path for you. What’s more is that you can enrol at any time of the year. So don’t hesitate and head over to our course page now and pick the pathway that’s right for you.

If you are still unsure about anything, then don’t hesitate to get in touch via phone (0121 392 8288) or email (info@stonebridge.uk.com). Once you do, our advisers will do their best to guide you through the process.


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