Access to HE Online Diploma – Nursing and Midwifery

Course overview

If you live in England, you might be able to do this course for FREE, see the ‘Additional Information’ section for more details.


Apply today and our team will confirm if you could qualify for a free place, with no obligation. 

Are you interested in a rewarding healthcare career, yet worry that a lack of time could prevent you from learning the skills and knowledge needed to take that next step? If you are aged 19 or over and aspire to go to university to study for a healthcare-related degree, an Access to Higher Education Online Diploma is the route for you.

This course is designed for anyone wanting to progress into a career in the NHS or other health-related organisations. You can progress on to higher education to study for some of the various roles that come under the banner of nursing and midwifery professions, including: adult nurse, children’s nurse, therapist, learning disability nurse, research midwife, midwife and maternity nurse, midwifery practitioner, neonatal nurse, and maternity support worker.

This course is delivered fully online and is a fast-track route to the healthcare profession you have always wanted! Online learning means that you can study flexibly, at times to suit you and your lifestyle. Get the skills and qualifications you need to progress to university starting on your way to a career in the NHS or other related healthcare organisations.

As a one-year programme, it also means that you will be ready for university in less time than if you followed the traditional A-level route. Not to mention, if you pay with an Adult Learner Loan and progress directly to university after this course, the government will write off your loan!

Key programme features:

Access to Higher Education qualifications are nationally-recognised, one-year, intensive Level 3 courses. They are a fast-track route to gaining the skills and qualifications you need to study at university and begin the career you are dreaming of.

This online learning course means that you can study for a change of career, or a return to education, at times that suit you. It has also been specially designed for adult learners that are aged 19 or over, who do not currently meet the necessary entry requirements for a university course, or who have been out of education for some time.

The course is validated and moderated by Ascentis under license from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and comprises of 60 credits, of which 45 are graded and 15 are ungraded. You will study towards 3 credits in Preparing to Progress, 3 credits in academic writing, and 54 credits over the three subjects: Psychology, Biology, and Professional Health Care Practice.

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 your course

Advanced Learner Loans are available. If you pay with an Adult Learner Loan and progress directly to university after this course, the government will write off your loan!

Please read the ‘additional information’ section below for details about funding that you may be entitled to.

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

We would advise you to check with your chosen University to ensure they accept these units for your chosen course before you apply.

You will study modules covering Introduction to Cell Biology, Aspects of Human Physiology, , Biomolecules, Introduction to Psychology, Child Development, Psychological Investigation, and Psychological Perspective and Behaviours, Introduction to Professional Healthcare Practice, Health Promotion, and you’ll complete a research project.

Teaching will be delivered by way of self-directed learning with access to regular tutor support. Additional webinars and online forums for group discussions are also available throughout your studies. You will be assessed through coursework. All assessments are internally and externally verified through a rigorous and robust process to ensure all grading is consistent, fair and provides developmental feedback.

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.

One subject will be covered at a time and a tutor with specialist subject knowledge will be assigned to guide and support you on your learning journey. Although the workload of the course is intensive, it is structured in a way that recognises the pressures on adult learners. Many students successfully balance a healthy work/home life whilst studying the course.

Activate Learning has helped over 3,000 Access to HE students progress on to university. OFSTED rated us ‘good’ in December 2017, with many outstanding features for our Access programmes.

You will need to meet the following entry criteria:

  • Aged 19+ at the start of the academic year
  • Living in the UK
  • Have been out of full-time education for a year
  • Already hold a grade C/4 or above in GCSE maths and GCSE English Language or equivalent such as Functional Skills Level 2. If you hold international qualifications, we can assess these to see if you meet the criteria!
  • Pass an entry assessment in maths and English.

*For your application to be processed, we are required to view your official certificates. These can be requested from the awarding body if you no longer have them.

You will NOT be able to study maths and/or English GCSEs alongside this course.

You will have a numeracy and literacy assessment to check your suitability to study at Level 3. Don’t worry, most students are successful in the assessment process.

Some degrees require that you have some relevant paid or voluntary work experience, and this will also be checked at the interview. Applicants are strongly advised to check degree entry requirements with prospective universities before applying.

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

Recognised by universities across the country, an Access to HE qualification is your stepping-stone to higher education and the career of your dreams.

This course is designed for anyone wanting to progress into a career in the NHS or other health-related organisations. You can progress on to higher education to study for some of the various roles that come under the banner of nursing and midwifery professions, including: adult nurse, children’s nurse, therapist, learning disability nurse, research midwife, midwife and maternity nurse, midwifery practitioner, neonatal nurse, and maternity support worker.

Once you submit your application to us and we have seen proof of your maths and English qualifications, you will receive an initial literacy and numeracy test by email to check your suitability to study at Level 3. Don’t worry, most students are successful at this!

If you pass, you will then receive an offer for the course and the most relevant funding information to you.

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. This began in September 2020 and 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.

Course Starts in 119 Days
  • 23 January 2023 - 22 January 2024
  • 1 Year
    • Adult: £3384
    • 19+ Loans: £3384

      This course is eligible for Advanced Learner Loan funding.

Apply now

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