Course code
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Part time
34 weeks

Our Access to Higher Education Diploma has been designed for individuals who may not have achieved qualifications at school and want to boost their opportunities. This QAA accredited course provides adult learners with an essential qualification, subject specific knowledge and the skills to progress directly to university.

There are currently three diplomas available at Bury College. Each consists of between three and four subject-specific modules that will enable you to meet university entry requirements.

In addition to gaining subject knowledge, the course aims to develop and enhance your essential study skills in preparation for university studies, including referencing, academic writing and ICT skills. Highly qualified and experienced Access to Higher Education tutors will provide one-to-one guidance and support to help with your university application.

Successful completion of the 60-credit diploma programme will provide you with the opportunity to progress onto studying a wide range of subjects at university level, including degrees in the following areas:

  • Health professions

  • Social Work/Care/Policies

  • Psychology, Sociology and Criminology

  • Primary Education and Education Studies

  • English, History and Creative Writing

Alongside your Access to Higher Education Diploma, you will be given the opportunity to study for one GCSE in English or Maths. Terms and conditions apply.

Your choice of diploma dictates the modules you will study. In some cases you will have a module of your choice dependent on your intended progression route.

Our range of popular diplomas includes:

  • Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Diploma: Human Biology, Science for Health, Health Studies and Psychology
  • Social Sciences (including Criminology) Diploma: Criminology, Sociology and Psychology
  • Education and Humanities Diploma: English (Language and Literature), Creative Writing and History

Bury College Access to Higher Education diplomas meet the stringent requirements of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and progression of our students onto a wide range of degree courses is excellent. The diploma programmes also enhance student academic progression and employability, with a range of extracurricular activities including academic and industry guest lectures.

Assessment is varied and includes coursework throughout the year. In addition to our diploma courses, all Access students are offered the opportunity to undertake either GCSE Maths or English for progression to university. External GCSE exams take place in the summer term.

For the diploma programme, a range of assessments are used depending on the nature of subjects; these include written coursework, internal examinations and presentations. All the GCSE additionalities are assessed through external examinations in the summer.

As an Access student studying at Bury College University Centre you may apply for an Advanced Learning Loan, which provides financial support for learners aged 19 or over who are studying at Level 3 or above. If you choose to progress to higher education, on successful completion of your Access course you will have the outstanding balance of the loan written-off when you pass your university qualification.

During this course you will apply to university. Feedback and success stories from past students show that lives are changed and people move-on with high levels of confidence. Access students are praised by universities who consider them committed, well prepared and eager to learn more.

For Access to HE Level 3 Diploma (Social Science): GCSE grade 9-4 or grade A*-C is required in English Language.

Some courses are FREE for eligible learners. You may be eligible for a FREE course if you are:

  • Unemployed and in receipt of an income-based benefit (for example JSA, ESA or Universal Credit)
  • Employed and earning less than £23,104
  • Studying for your first full Level 2 qualification on an eligible legal entitlement course
  • Aged 19-23 and studying for your first full Level 3 qualification or on an eligible legal entitlement course
  • Aged 19+ and studying for your first full Level 3 qualification on an eligible course which is part of the Level 3 Free Courses for Jobs scheme
  • Aged 19+ and studying a course that is part of the Level 3 Free Courses for Jobs Scheme, and unemployed or earning less than £23,104
  • Aged 19+ and studying for your first or second full Level 3 qualification on an eligible GM Offer Level 3 course

Your eligibility for a free course will be assessed and confirmed at enrolment. If you would like to discuss any aspect of fees and funding please call the Funding Team on 0161 280 8500


Many of our adult learners pay for their Level 3 and above courses with an Advanced Learner Loan. If a loan is available this is indicated in the course details. It’s easy to apply, your household income isn’t taken into account and there are no credit checks. You only need to start paying back your Advanced Learner Loan when you are earning more than £25,000 per year.

Course Fee: £3,022.00

Please Note: We attempt to ensure that all information contained within this website is correct and up-to-date. However, some details may change as we review and update our provision. Although every effort is made to provide the teaching, examination, assessment and other services detailed on this website and in our other publications, Bury College cannot guarantee the provision of such programmes, services, facilities and fees. Bury College reserves the right to amend, withdraw, alter or amalgamate any of the courses, locations and facilities detailed within at any time. Should circumstances require such amendments, Bury College undertakes to use all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to those services and most importantly to students.