Access to Higher Education Courses

Access to Higher Education Courses are aimed at mature students who are aspiring to follow a career path which requires university level qualifications. At Riverside College we have an established track record of achieving excellent results for our Access students, supporting them to change their lives by progressing on to university on a wide range of degrees including highly competitive courses (for example Nursing and Midwifery).

Access Courses at Riverside College are designed to develop your study skills, build confidence, allow you to experience different subject areas within your chosen pathway and to prepare you for study at university. They are ideal if you have missed out on an opportunity to study previously or are choosing to change your career.

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If you would like to study on one of our Access Courses, you should be motivated, enthusiastic and be able to manage your time effectively. You should also be able to demonstrate commitment to your chosen pathway through work experience or volunteering. In return, we will provide a supportive and caring environment, where you can study with like-minded people and be taught by our outstanding specialist tutors.

Many of our students don’t have to pay the full course fees as funding, fee remission and loans are available depending on your circumstances. Anyone studying the Level 3 Access programme will also be able to apply for the Advanced Learning Loan. This does not have to be paid back if you then go on to university and successfully complete your chosen degree.

Access Courses

Level 3 Access to Higher Education

The Level 3 Access to Higher Education Programme is a one year intense course which will give you the qualifications and academic skills to allow you to apply for university.

Our access pathways can progress you on to many careers, such as:

  • Social Work – including Youth Work
  • Forensic Psychology and Forensic Science
  • Working for the Criminal Justice System
  • Nursing – Adult, Children’s and Mental Health
  • Midwifery
  • Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Paramedics
  • Primary and Secondary Teaching
  • Business and Marketing
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Animal Management
  • Biological Science
  • Engineering

During the course you will study a number of modules covering the subjects relevant to your chosen pathway. In addition to this you will spend time developing your academic and study skills to prepare you for the standard required at university. Our team will support you with your university application, helping you through the whole process. Entry requirements vary by pathway in order to meet the requirements of the programme of study and to ensure that you are meeting university entry requirements.

For certain pathways you need to hold GCSE grades C or above in English, maths or a science. For all pathways you need to demonstrate through an online assessment that you are working at level 2 in English and maths. This assessment will take place at your admissions interview.

Level 2 Preparation for Access

The level 2 Preparation for Access course is a one year programme designed for anyone who needs to build up their English, maths and / or science GCSE profile in order to gain entry on to their chosen Access pathway.

Many universities now expect students to have GCSEs in these subjects at the time of application, which takes place in the November of your Level 3 Access course. In particular for Health and Teaching related professions this is a requirement for entry to university and for employment.

On the Level 2 Preparation for Access programme you can study GCSEs in English, maths and / or science. We will advise you which GCSEs you need to study. This will depend on any GCSEs, at grade C and above, you have achieved and your chosen Access pathway.

Alongside your GCSE(s), you will undertake a programme of study skills which will prepare you for the level of academic study you will undertake on your Level 3 Access course. You will also be supported to research the right university and degree for you and be encouraged to undertake relevant work experience to build up your personal statement. There are no formal entry requirements for this course. However you will be required to demonstrate that you are working at level 2 in English and maths via our online assessment. This will take place at your admissions interview.

If we find that you are not ready for the Level 2 Preparation for Access course, we will discuss alternative courses to prepare you for Level 2 study.