If you’ve ever searched how to get into university without A Levels then chances are you’ve come across the Access to Higher Education Diploma.
Access to HE Diplomas are designed for anyone 19+ that lack relevant qualifications to get onto their desired degree programme. They are a level 3 qualification that are equivalent to A Level study.
There is a broad range of diplomas to choose from that can lead to a number of exciting professions. Whether you want to go into social science, business management or engineering there’s a course out there for you.
Access to HE Diplomas are more time-efficient then taking A Levels as you’ll only need the one course. Whereas you’ll need a combination of 2/3 relevant A Levels to gain entry to university.
Furthermore, the diplomas are created with entry into a specific degree programme in mind. This means that the knowledge you’ll gain will be specific to your chosen pathway. And will set you up well for further study at university.
How the Access to Higher Education Diploma is graded
Access to Higher Education Diplomas are worth 60 credits. The content of the course is broken down into modules which are then assigned a set number of credits.
45 of the credits will be taken from your assessed, subject-specific modules at level 3. And the rest will be awarded on skill-based level 2 or 3 units demonstrating your academic ability.
This is because Access to HE Diplomas qualify you in your chosen subject but also prepare you for undergraduate study. They are designed to be the perfect blend of subject-specific knowledge and academic skill.
This ensures that you’re not only academically capable but also ready to deal with university study.
You must pass all the assignments and receive your credits to complete your qualification. Your final grade will be either a PASS, MERIT or DISTINCTION.
For competitive courses, like medicine, it’s important to aim for distinction as that’s what universities will be looking for.
How assignments work
Students are assessed to gain credits and determine what they’ve learnt from their units. Units may be assessed individually or in groups if you’re at a college.
The modes of which you’ll be assessed are dependent on the academic discipline you chose to pursue.
This can also be at the course providers discretion. For example an essay to demonstrate your knowledge as well as test your academic writing ability. This is a good way to gauge how much you’ve learnt as well as prepare you for essay writing at degree level.
Access to HE Diplomas will most likely use a combination of different academic methods to assess your knowledge. So if essay writing isn’t your strength, don’t worry, that won’t be all you do.
Your work will be internally assessed and moderated by your tutor/teacher.
Student work is also externally assessed by moderators who act on behalf of Access Validating Agencies (AVAs). They will ensure the academic standards are met and maintained.
The assessment regulations for any Access to HE Diploma are specified by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). The specifications set by QAA need to be met by all providers.
Every QAA-recognised Access to HE Diploma is given a value by UCAS. This is referred to as UCAS points.
These official tariff points determine what your qualification is worth. The higher the points the more valuable your qualification will be to universities.
Universities usually use UCAS points to set their minimum entry requirements for courses instead of grades.
The lowest amount of UCAS points you can achieve upon completion of the Diploma is 48, with 144 being the highest. 144 UCAS points would be equivalent to 3 As at A Level.
Depending on what course you’re aiming for that may be more than enough to secure your place.
However, if you have your heart is set on a more competitive course it might be worth being able to get A* grades from A Levels. Or gaining some work experience to give your application a boost.
You can find out more about the UCAS tariff system and how to calculate your point here.
Taking an Access to Higher Education Diploma online
Taking an Access to HE Diploma through an online learning provider enables you to study whenever suits you best. You’re able to set the pace and place of your learning without impacting on your current schedule.
You won’t have to find childcare or rearrange your shifts to get on with your course. Just log in anytime and begin learning.
The average online student completes their Access to HE Diploma in 9 months. Although, you have up to two years if need be.
Access to Higher Education Diplomas are regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) whether they’re online or not. This means you’ll get the same qualification regardless of who provides it.
Despite online learning being a more independent approach you won’t be completely alone.
Your assignments will be marked by a dedicated tutor who will support you throughout your learning. They’ll provide constructive feedback and extra assistance where needed. They’ll help you build your confidence and develop your skills for university study and beyond.
Whatever degree you’re aiming for, an Access to HE Diploma is a solid choice to get you there.
At Stonebridge Associated Colleges we have a broad range of Access to HE Diplomas to choose from.
We offer flexible payment options to help you spread the cost and a dedicated tutor to guide your learning. They’ll provide constructive feedback on your assignments and support you where needed.
For more information on how to prepare for your online learning experience visit our blog here.
If you’re ready to get back into education and realise your ambitions get in touch or enrol online today.