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Access to HE: Mental Health Nursing Level 3 Diploma

Course overview

If you live in England, you might be able to do this course for FREE, see ‘Additional Information’ tab for more details.
Apply today and our team will confirm if you could qualify for free place, with no obligation. 

Are you interested in a rewarding and challenging career in mental health nursing, but worry that a lack of time and qualifications could prevent you from taking that next step? If you are aged 19 or over and aspire to go to university to study a healthcare-related degree, an Access to Higher Education Diploma is the route for you.

Access to HE qualifications are nationally recognised, one-year intensive Level 3 courses designed to prepare adult learners aged 19 or over to study at degree level but who do not currently have the relevant entry requirements or qualifications, or may have been out of education for a period of time and wish to return to education to change career. 

The Access to HE: Mental Health Nursing Diploma gives students the opportunity to progress onto degrees in mental health nursing, nursing, mental health and wellbeing.

On successful completion of this course you will be awarded the following qualification certificate: Access to HE Diploma (Allied Health Professions).

 Benefits of studying with Activate Learning:

  • Designed exclusively for adults (19+)
  • Supportive environment provided through tutors with subject expertise and includes guidance webinars for every module.
  • One year programme equivalent to three A Levels, allowing you to achieve the qualification you need to progress to university.
  • Widely recognised and accepted qualification by UK universities. This is validated and moderated by Ascentis under licence from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
  • Help and guidance on writing your personal statement and completing your UCAS application
  • Flexible learning enabling you to study whilst working and around personal commitments
  • Funding with the Advanced Learner Loan available.

Each year, around 95% of our Access to HE students progress to university on completion of their programme, going on to over 100 different universities across many different degrees and disciplines.

Course Fees £3384 

Remember: if you go to university and complete a degree, the loan for your Access course is written off by the Government.

The main aim of this course is to prepare students for study at university. Students will receive subject specific study skills, as well as tuition in subjects that are relevant to their chosen degree course.

You will study modules covering human physiology, mental health studies and professional healthcare practice.

As well as developing subject knowledge, you will improve your communication, personal and study skills through a core programme that also provides one-to-one tutorial support.

This particular course is designed for anyone wanting to progress into a career in the NHS or other related health organisations. You can progress on to higher education to study for some of the various roles that come under the banner of mental health nursing professions, including; mental health nurse, specialist nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse manager, nurse consultant, lecturer, researcher.

Activate Learning has helped over 3,000 Access to HE students progress on to university. OFSTED rated us ‘good’ in November 2022.

The programme is one year in duration and is delivered at college. This is a full-time course with 13 hours tuition per week, however you will also need to make additional time available outside of classes for research and assignment work.

Teaching will take the form of lectures, discussions, group work and self-directed learning.

Although the programme is intensive, it is structured in a way that recognises the pressures on mature learners. Many students successfully balance the programmes with work, family, and childcare commitments.

Throughout your time on the programme, we will provide support through a personal tutor as well as our dedicated team of study support specialists who are on hand to give you extra support, if required. We will work with you to develop a study plan so that you can meet coursework deadline and schedule study time around your other responsibilities.

We will also guide you through the process of your UCAS applications. This includes checking your applications and personal statement as well as providing the support reference before they are submitted.

Access to HE: Mental Health Nursing Level 3 Diploma is a one-year course that is validated and moderated by Ascentis under licence from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. It comprises of 60 credits, of which 45 are graded. Students on the course study towards 3 credits in preparing to progress, 3 credits in academic writing and 18 credits in human physiology (15 graded), 18 credits in mental health studies (15 graded) and 18 credits in professional healthcare practice (15 graded). It is a skills-based course with the academic content equivalent to A level standard (Level 3).

You will be assessed through essays, structured questions, projects, presentations and examinations (30% exams, 70% coursework). All assessments are internally and externally verified through a rigorous and robust process to ensure that all grading is consistent, fair and provides developmental feedback.

Although there are no formal entry requirements for this course*, for university, you will need to have a GCSE at grade 4 (C) or above in both English and maths, or a Functional Skills Level 2 qualification.

*The Engineering and some Science pathways do require you to already have achieved a grade 4 (C) in Maths. These pathways will also require an additional entrance assessment which will be held on campus.

It is advisable that you have these qualifications prior to starting your Access level 3 course as the skills you will have gained from studying these qualifications will really help you on this programme.

*Please note: If you wish to go on to study a medicine degree, most universities require five GCSEs, including English, maths, and science at grades 7–9 (A–A* equivalent).

Applicants must be aged over 19

Applicants must have been out of full-time education for one year

Applicants are advised to contact their university of choice to confirm the criteria

Some degrees require that you have some relevant paid or voluntary work experience

You will have a numeracy and literacy assessment to check your suitability to study at Level 3 and may have the opportunity to re-take either a maths or English GCSE alongside this course*

*Please note, it will not be possible to resit both English and maths GCSE alongside an Access to HE programme

If you don’t meet the entry criteria, don’t worry! Some campuses offer a Pre-Access course to get you ready, or our part time GCSE maths and English classes, available at all sites, could support you to readiness for an Access to HE programme.

There is also a wide range of support available at the college for students, including financial support.

Funding Options:

To be eligible for funding, you will need to live in England. Anyone in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland will need to self-fund the course.

Level 3 Entitlement fee remission: If you are aged 19-23 and do not hold a prior full Level 3 qualification, you may be eligible to study the course for free. This would also depend on your location within the UK, but we would check this for you during your application process.

19+ Advanced Learner Loan:If you are aged over 23, or you are 19-23 with a full Level 3 qualification, you can fund the course with the Advanced Learner Loan supplied by Student Finance England. This loan will be wiped from your records if you progress to university and complete your studies! If you do not progress to university or a higher education course, you will not need to start paying back the loan until you earn over £25,725.00. 

Nursing Bursary for those going on to degree-level courses:Nursing students starting university will benefit from guaranteed, additional support of at least £5,000 a year to help with living costs. The funding will be given to all new and continuing degree-level nursing, midwifery and many allied health students from September 2020. Read more about how it is expected to benefit more than 35,000 students every year.

Remember: If you go on to study at university and complete a degree, the loan for your Access course is written off by the government.

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