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Access to HE Diploma (Humanities) - Level 3


Do you have a fascination for why people do what they do? Do you often find you have your head in a book? Are you intrigued by the world of politics? Maybe you are a history buff, or wish you had been there when Richard III was recently ‘excavated’ in Leicester. Whatever your interest, this course can provided you with the opportunity to pursue your passion at university.  

Access to HE is specifically designed for adults who have been out of formal education for some time, but want to enter university-level courses. The course is made up of various modules designed to prepare you for the demands of higher level study. You will become a critical thinker, develop writing techniques and research skills. 

Cambridge Access Validating Agency (CAVA) designs and validates Access to Higher Education Diplomas. To find out more visit

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Entry requirements

  • You must be at least 19 years of age to enrol on an Access to HE course.
  • GCSE English and maths at grade C (4 points) or above.
  • If an applicant has one of the entry requirements they will be considered but will be subject to diagnostic assessments.

Please note, many universities will also require GCSE maths, therefore you are strongly advised to contact the universities you will be applying to prior to enrolling on to this Access programme to ensure you have the correct entry requirements, including additional GCSEs and optional units you wish to undertake on this course.

These entry requirements are subject to the programme being revalidated by CAVA and may change.

Don’t have the entry requirements for an Access to HE course? Why not consider the Pre-Access to HE course?

This course will provide you with the entry requirements to progress onto an Access to HE course of your choice. The Pre-Access course provides GCSE English and GCSE maths plus a wrap-around qualification featuring research skills, revision techniques, advice on applying to university and work experience. This course is ideal for those who are returning to education with the view to progress to university. 

The fee for the course is £480 however this is income assessed and subject to change.

If you are interested in the Pre-Access course, please email

Start dates and fees

Start DateDurationCodeAnnual Fee (Age)Actions
over 19
Sep 20191 yr(s)4887A1419FREE* to £3022.00Apply

* If you are aged 19-23 and studying your first Level 3 course then that course may be free. Please contact us for more details. If you are aged 19 or over and either studying a second Level 3 course or qualifying Level 4, 5 or 6 course you may be able to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the costs.

This course is eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan

The Advanced Learner Loan is a new scheme introduced by the government to help mature learners study for qualifications that will improve their employability and develop high level skills and knowledge.

Loans are specifically designed for those aged 19 and over, who are intending to study on a Level 3 or higher course – including Access to HE diplomas.

Best of all, if you successfully go on to complete an HE qualification following an Access to HE course – you won’t even have to pay the loan back.

It’s easy to apply! To find out if you’re eligible, or for more information, see the Advanced Learner Loan page.

How long is the course?

Our Access to HE courses can be studied within one academic year – up to 450 hours of class time.


How will I be assessed?

In order to prepare you for university, the assessments on this course will be varied. You will deliver professional presentations, write academic essays and reports, and sometimes sit an exam.

What does the course lead to?

This course offers you the potential to enter an extensive variety of professions (subject to your chosen degree and entry requirements), including: psychologist, archaeologist, academic researcher, counsellor, lecturer, museum curator, journalist, politician/MP, speech and language therapist.

What will I study?

  • Study skills
  • History
  • Literature studies
  • Language studies (optional)
  • Social policy (optional)
  • Sociology (optional)

How do I apply?

You can complete an online application form or contact the college for an application form to be posted to your home address.

All students must be interviewed before starting the programme.

Apply online


Next steps

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Why choose West Notts?

100% A Level pass rate in 2018

Best FE college for A Levels value added* in the East Midlands

One of the top colleges in the UK for student satisfaction**

An extensive bus service across Mansfield and the surrounding area

£50m investment in our facilities since 2008

*Value added is a measure of a student’s progress against their starting point
**Learner Exit Survey 2017/18
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