Change your life with an Access to HE Diploma 

Step up to a degree for FREE*

If you want to gain a degree but don't have the right qualifications, an Access to Higher Education (HE) course could be the perfect stepping stone to your degree. 

Studied part-time across one year, our well-established courses prepare adult students who do not have traditional academic qualifications to study at University. Delivered with busy lifestyles in mind, our courses provide family-friendly learning hours so you can get the qualifications you need to access new opportunities and the career you want.

We offer an exciting range of subjects, so no matter what your future career ambitions are, we can help to get you there.   

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Ellie Young

Access to Higher Education Diploma in Health
“I chose to come back to education as I decided it was my time to do something with my life and I always wanted to be a midwife. The course was amazing. The flexible working hours worked really well for me. If you are thinking about returning to education, do it. The Access course is one year and I managed to do it with a husband and three kids! Not only did it make a difference to me but it made a difference to my family.”

Ellie is now a midwife.

Ellie Young


We are the largest provider of Access to Higher Education Diplomas in the North East, offering a clear pathway to your future!

Apply to Access in 3!

3 easy steps to apply for your Access to HE Diploma:

1. Visit our website and complete an online application form for the Access course of your choice

2. Come in for a chat with our team! You’ll be invited to our campus to meet your tutor and chat through the course. You may be asked to complete a personal statement before your appointment, this is nothing to worry about! This allows our team to find out more about you and your career ambitions and make sure you are on the right course.

3. Offer! You’ll be offered either an unconditional or conditional place on the course depending on your current qualifications.

Our team will be in touch in August with information about how to enrol on your Access to HE Diploma!

Please be aware that this process is just for onsite Access to Higher Education courses, if you are applying for a Distance Learning programme you will need to apply online and our team will be in touch with the next steps.


If you are aged 19-23 and this is your first full Level 3 course then the diploma is FREE!

If you are aged 24 or over on the start date of the course, you will have to pay fees, but you will be able to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover these costs. This is easy to apply for and the repayments only start when you are earning over £27,295. Better still, if you progress to University and complete your degree, the loan is not repayable.

The Access Diploma costs between £3,000 - £4,000 which is considerably cheaper than studying an additional qualifying year at University (frequently referred to as year 0). You can also stay on at Middlesbrough College and gain a globally recognised degree thanks to our partnership with The Open University. Degrees are taught on campus and are up to £16,000 cheaper than many Universities.

An Access course is the perfect stepping stone for mature learners who are looking to progress into Higher Education. 

  • You should be working towards a Level 2 in maths and English
  • Be able to provide a good reference
  • Complete a successful interview

If you don’t hit the entry requirements, don’t panic!

We offer a range of pathways to help get you to where you want to be. If you don’t already have a Grade 4 (C) or above in maths or English or are not working towards a Level 2 in maths and English you can study Functional Skills before beginning your Access Diploma.

These courses are free for anyone who is 19+ and doesn’t have a previous Grade C (4) or above in these subjects. 

Access to Higher Education Diplomas are one-year courses. Most of our Access courses are offered as a daytime or evening option.

If you choose to study a daytime Access to Higher Education Diploma you will be in College 3 days per week, 9am-3pm.

If you choose to study an evening Access to Higher Education Diploma you will be in two evenings per week, 5-9pm.

We also offer distance learning in the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Health course. This course is 100% distance learning so you don’t need to come to College at all and you can learn from the comfort of your own home.

Our Access to HE fees are set between £3,000 - £4,000* per course. Each course varies in price so you will need to visit our website or call our Course Information team on 01642 333333 to find out more.

However, if you are aged between 19-23 and do not already hold a full Level 3 qualification your course will be free! You may also be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan so make sure you check through the Student Finance website

Hopefully, you now feel a bit more clued up on Access and if it is right for you. You can view all of the Access to HE courses we offer and any further information on our website.

*prices based on 2022 entry

Find more information about Open Award, our awarding body for Access to HE Diplomas, by clicking the link below.


View our prospectus


Access to HE in Health

Do you want to work or progress in the healthcare profession but struggle to commit to a fixed timetable?

Our Access to HE Health Distance learning pathway is an exciting, innovative programme specifically designed by our expert Access tutors for adult learners who may have been out of study for a while.

Find out more