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Access to HE opens doors for Zainab and Amber

4 March 2020

Our aim at Certa Access is to offer students a second chance in life by giving them the skills needed to study at university. So as you can imagine, we’re pretty thrilled when we hear about students for whom this has become a reality. Here are some recent examples from learners at two of our Providers.


Zainab – Access to HE in Law student, Leeds City College

The decision of going for this course has been life-changing! I am very grateful to both the college and tutors for helping me to achieve my goals.


This course helped me to get into a Russell Group university (the University of Leeds), on a competitive course and opened many opportunities in terms of work experience. I am now studying Law (LLB), and by completing the Access to Higher Education course, I not only have existing knowledge but also experience of working on assignments, presentations and group projects with other students.


For me, the best things about the Diploma were the excellent teaching methods and being able to practice submitting professional/higher-level assignments through Turnitin.


I am now looking forward to completing my undergraduate degree and then plan on becoming a solicitor and working in family law.



Amber – Access to HE in Health Science Professions student, AOLL (Academy Online Learning Ltd)


I originally trained as an engineering officer working on ships for the MoD, but left that career for my relationship. After moving to London to support my partner, I found I struggled with what to do next and with finding a job. I considered that this was perhaps an opportunity to pursue a new career in a different field.


Healthcare interested me from a young age and volunteering at the local hospital reaffirmed this. This led to wanting to study to be a nurse. My education was up to degree level, but all my qualifications after GCSEs were engineering based, so I struggled to meet the university entry requirements.


The flexibility on the Access course was key, being a mature student. I chose to study via distance learning, which is difficult due to the need to remain self-motivated. But AOLL provided fantastic support. I discovered I was pregnant a couple of months into the course and had numerous health issues and hospital admissions. They provided reassurance with great communication, allowing me to pause my studies as required.


Despite my difficult pregnancy, I kept studying throughout and completed the last two assignments four weeks after the birth. It is hard and you have to persevere. I completed the course in under 12 months with 45/45 distinctions. If you really want it, you will achieve it and the access course will get you there.


I applied via UCAS for the dual field integrated masters course in Adult and Mental Health Nursing at four universities. All four invited me for an interview and I'm now considering which offer to accept. Regardless, I will be a nursing student in September 2020. Enrolling on the access course has opened doors to so many possibilities for me!


I have a busy few months in the lead-up to starting my degree studies, with the need to relocate. But I can't wait to start on my new path in a new location. I'm excited to explore new scientific topics, get hands-on with clinical skills, and of course wear that student nurse uniform with pride. It is the beginning of something, but you have to reflect on just how far you have come too.


Would you like to offer the life-changing possibilities of Access to Higher Education to your students? You can browse our range of diplomas here and find out how to become a provider here.