Saturday, 21 December 2019

What is an Access to Higher Education course | Everything you need to know.

Access to Higher Education (Humanities and Social Sciences) at Sunderland College. A guide to an access to higher education course.

A lot of people are unaware of the Access to Higher Education (Access to HE) courses offered at colleges. In this post, I answer the most frequently asked questions about an Access to HE course.

What is an 'Access' course?
If you don't have the required qualifications to study at university, then an access course will prepare you for an undergraduate course at university.

What qualification do you get upon completion?
The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a level 3 qualification as the study is equivalent to other level 3 qualifications.

Who is the course for?
Typically for mature students or students who do not have the standard qualifications to study at university. 

How many days do you have to attend?
Usually, the course is part-time, but the fast track course is full-time and you attend every day. 

How long is it for? 
It's usually for a whole academic year (September to June/July) or six months (January to June). 

What qualification do you receive in the end? 
The qualification received is a Diploma. 

How intense is it?
The six-month course is extremely intense. If you can get through it, then you can get through university. I would say it's the same level of difficulty as year two or three at university.

What subjects are included?
They vary depending on the course you choose. 
For example, the Humanities and Social Sciences Access to HE includes the subjects: History, Sociology, English Language Studies, Psychology, Social Policy and Welfare, Higher Maths, IT, Word Processing, and Study Skills.

How are you taught?
There is a variety of teaching methods such as lectures, workshops, independent study, and tutorials. It mirrors what you can expect at university.

How are you assessed?
Each course varies, but there is a variety of ways in which you will be assessed which include methods such as essays, reports, presentations, academic posters, exams, and portfolios. 

What can you do after the course?
You can progress onto a university course. Just make sure the access course you decide on provides for your choice of course at university. 

Does the course cost anything?
Normally, if you're between 18 to 23 years (on the first day of your course) and you do not have a full level 3 higher education qualification, then you will not have to pay course fees. 
Otherwise, you will more likely pay. You may be able to get help with costs. 
Just ask your college for more information.

Do you get any funding? 
You may be entitled to a bursary. A bursary is a sum of money that can help you with travel, books, food, and other equipment for your course. This is a grant and you do not have to pay anything back. Just ask your college about it. 

How is the work graded?
It's graded by either pass, merit, or distinction.

*NOTE:  Make sure to find out if the course at university you're interested in requires a certain regulatory body. For example, the University of Sunderland required the Access to Higher Education Diploma to be QAA approved.

More information about the Access to Higher Education Diploma offered at Sunderland College

Have you ever been on an Access to HE Diploma course? If so, what was your experience like? Or, what was your college experience like? 
If you have any questions about the Access to HE course then feel free to send me a message.

Thanks for reading!
Until next time, take care, and keep smiling.
Ramshaa Rose

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