Information for students

Students are at the heart of what we do. This page provides useful
information for any student studying a qualification or assessment with us.

Where can an Access to HE Diploma take me, and how do I get there?

Access to HE Diplomas are designed to help begin a new career path for students and provide avenues to study at a higher education institution, where they may not have had the opportunity to study at otherwise.

Typically, Access to HE students fall under the category of “mature student”, meaning they tend to have had more life experience in a professional setting, allowing them to have a clearer view of what they wish to progress into. If you wish to go to university to study a new field that you’re interested in but haven’t achieved the necessary qualifications through more traditional methods such as college or sixth form, these diplomas are for you.

The diplomas themselves have a vast, tailorable list of units designed to cover all bases. This means that higher education institutions can work closely with colleges to select the units relevant to their degree programmes, ensuring that any successful graduate of their Access to HE Diploma will be well prepared to undertake a degree afterwards.

The impact of the course on me has been asteroid-level which, admittedly, sounds like no small exaggeration! But in truth, it has made all the difference to my life opportunities.

— Former Access student at University of Cambridge

What diplomas and assessments are offered by Skills and Education Group Access?

We offer a range of Access to HE Diplomas in the sectors identified below, all of which are a nationally-recognised Level 3 qualifications regulated by The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).


There is no such thing as a typical Access to HE student: students of all ages and backgrounds earn Access to HE Diplomas. Courses are usually completed in one year, but you can also study part-time, over two or more years, making your learning journey fit with your lifestyle. Courses are available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and you can study at a college, with a training provider, or at home through distance-learning.


For more information about where our diplomas are delivered, please find the diploma you are interested in and look for the “useful downloads and links” on the right-hand side of the page.


How do I apply? Page 1

The first point of contact should be the college where you would like to study. Skills and Education Group Access works with a wide range of Providers who offer a variety of diplomas.


Search for diplomas in your area.

What support will I get? Page 1

Before you start the course, the Provider will assess what help you will need to complete an Access to HE Diploma and advise you about a diploma that is appropriate to your needs.

What qualifications do I need to get started? Page 1

No formal qualifications are usually required to be accepted onto Access to HE courses, but you should be committed to developing the ability to study.

Is there funding available for Access to HE Diplomas? Page 1

As a learner, you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to help meet the costs of your course at a college or training provider in England.


Eligibility for a loan does not depend on your income, and there are no credit checks. To find out if you could be eligible to use this, view more information here.


Visit this website to view more information on 24+ Advanced Learning Loans.

What if I need more financial support other than for course fees? Page 1

You may be entitled to further financial support through the Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Fund. The Bursary Fund can be applied for once you receive your letter confirming your Advanced Learner Loan.


The Fund is designed to help you cover the costs of accommodation and travel, course materials and equipment, child care, and/or classroom assistance for a disability and/or learning difficulty. For further information on the Bursary Fund, speak to your college or training provider.

Is there an exam? Page 1

No, your tutor will tell you more about how your learning is to be assessed. On most courses, your work will be assessed throughout the duration of your course by your tutor, and this does not involve exams (e.g. The coursework that you produce, such as computer printouts, projects or paintings, will show you and your tutor what you have learnt.).

How do I get my certificate? Page 1

The Provider where you are learning is responsible for registering you with Skills and Education Group Access. Your Provider will notify us of your achievement and we will then issue your certificate, which will be sent to you.

How do I get a replacement certificate? Page 1

Contact the Provider where you studied and ask them to submit a Replacement Certificate Request form. If the Provider is unable to help you, please contact the Access to HE department via phone on 01158541620 or email


The cost of a replacement certificate is as follows:


  • Replacement Certificate charge: £50
  • Letter of Verification charge: £50 (inclusive of search fee)

What if I am moving part way through my learning? Page 1

Skills and Education Group Access credits are nationally recognised as part of national qualifications. This means that if you move to another part of the country, your credits may be able to move with you, and you can achieve more credits at your new location with a new Provider.

Who can I contact for career and course information? Page 1

The National Careers Service is dedicated to helping learners get the advice they need for future skills, careers, work and life choices. Using specially designed tools, the National Careers Service will help learners move on in careers, or get a foot on the job ladder.

How can I make an appeal or complaint? Page 1

If you have a complaint or want to make an appeal against an assessment decision, you will first need to contact your learning provider and follow their formal complaints and appeals process.


If you are unhappy with the outcome, please call Skills and Education Group Access on 0115 854 1620 for further guidance.

Other useful links? Page 1