Access to Higher Education (HE) is an intensive one year programme designed to prepare students, who may not have the necessary qualifications (e.g. A Levels), for progression to university. All applicants will be invited for an informal evening interview which will cover:
- Entry requirements
- Course content and structure
- Funding options
- Progression opportunities
South Devon College has developed a broad range of quality Access to Higher Education pathways which will enable progression into a variety of different career options. View our Access to HE Diplomas here.
An Access to HE Diploma consists of three core subjects (which are equivalent to three A Levels) as well as a Study Skills module. The Study Skills Module will support your academic essay writing skills as well as guide you through the UCAS application process. Feedback from both past students and university staff has evidenced that these study skills, along with the comprehensive core subject content, has enabled Access to HE students to be well placed in a university setting. They are often positive peer mentors to others, due to their organisational skills and academic prowess.
If you have GCSE grade 4 (C) or above in maths and English, you will be offered a place on one of the following pathways:
- Health Professionals: (full-time and part-time option over two years available)
- Biology/Chemistry option, full-time or part-time over two years
- Maths/Physics option, full-time
- Social Science with Sociology: (full-time and part-time option over two years available)
If you need to complete your GCSEs prior to starting the Access to HE course, we have a range of day-time and evening options available. You are advised to look at the GCSEs required by the universities of your choice when planning your progression.
The entry requirements to allow enrolment onto the Access to HE Diploma is GCSE maths and English at grade 4 (C) or above.
Students from South Devon College progress to a range of universities and many students are offered a place on their first choice degree.
Access to HE is a fantastic alternative option to A Levels as there are a variety of assessment methods (e.g. essays, reports, presentations, brochures) and it is based on coursework completion as opposed to linear exams. All Access to HE tutors aim to plan and deliver diverse, interactive and engaging lessons and are dedicated in supporting Access to HE students to succeed, ensuring that individual needs are considered and bespoke learning can take place where possible.
Full Time Study
Our full time Access to HE courses starts in September and finishes in June. The programme requires a commitment of full time study, of which three days are timetabled college lectures /seminars during term time, allowing two-four days self-study. Many of our students continue to work part time whilst they study, but the course is not designed for those in full-time employment.
All of the units are assessed through coursework. This includes:
- Written essays
- Practical demonstrations
- Class tests
The personalised learning team will offer dedicated support to help you develop academic writing and research skills and will provide guidance on examination and interview techniques.
Part Time Study
In September 2015 we began a pilot of a two year part time version of the Access to HE course. This involves one day per week in College and is more suited to those working more than 20 hours per week. If you would be interested in a part-time version of the course, please indicate this on your application form.
How do I afford the course?
The Advanced Learner Loan is a government-funded loan to help students. It’s easy to apply for, doesn’t take your household income into account and doesn’t involve a credit check. Find out more here.
What can I do after the Access to HE course?
All of our Access to HE courses are designed to prepare you for Higher Education and studying at university. On completion of the course, you will have achieved the academic entry requirements for our foundation degrees and full honours degrees at University Centre South Devon, as well as a wide range of courses at institutions all over the country. Some course will have additional entry requirements. You can see a full list of our degree courses here.
Many universities accept Access to HE Diplomas as an alternative to traditional entry qualifications, often valuing the life experience and transferable skills which adult students bring to university. The majority of South Devon College students have secured their first choice university choice, leading to a variety of careers, including nursing, teaching, midwifery, social work, social and community work, psychologists and many more.
We are very proud of our Access to HE provision, valuing the feedback from previous students; last year we scored as high as 100% in areas of our student feedback questionnaires.
We are equally proud of the progression routes of the majority of our students.
Here are some quotes from last year’s cohort:
‘I have been supported well over the year and there have been plenty of resources for studying’ (Access to HE Health Science student, 2016)
‘This course has provided me with the skills I need for university….Great informative lectures and brilliant teachers!’ (Access to HE Social Science student, 2016)