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Access to Higher Education courses

Access to HE

The Access Diploma is specifically designed for people aged 19 years and over who want to progress onto university. Perhaps you've taken a break from education due to other commitments but have always wanted to gain the qualifications you missed at school, or maybe you’ve discovered that the career you want requires university level qualifications. Whatever your situation, the Access Diploma offers you the opportunity to gain a qualification that could open the doors to university for you.

Past students generally progress to universities including Cumbria, UCLan, Lancaster, Manchester, Leeds, York, Exeter, Newcastle or Sheffield. They study a variety of degrees, such as nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy, radiography, social work, youth and community work, teaching, history, sociology, law, psychology, biomedical sciences or sports therapy.

Funding your course

If you are aged 19-23 and do not have a full Level 3 qualification, you may be able to study the Access Diploma for free. If you do have to pay fees, Advanced Learning Loans are available to fund course fees and expenses. If you undertake an Access Diploma and then go on to complete a university degree course, the outstanding balance of the Advanced Learning Loan is written off. consequently, the course could be free.

The loan is not means tested and repayments only start after completing your course and earnings are over £25,000 per annum.


The majority of students are progressing to universities, including Lancaster University, Durham University, University of Cumbria, Edge Hill University and University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), for a variety of degrees, such as Nursing, Midwifery, Radiography, Occupational Therapy, Social Work, Psychology, Environmental Science, Law and Biological Science. All university places are very hard won, particularly Midwifery, which three LMC Access students gained places for.

Victoria Bond, Head of Access to Higher Education

The Access course was challenging, creative and interesting. All of the tutors were so passionate about their subjects which provided an excellent level of teaching. 

It is so refreshing to be taught with such passion and to be valued as an individual. The Access course taught me that we all can learn from everyone from all backgrounds and that is truly inspiring.

Jennifer Thurston, Access to Higher Education Diploma