Access to HE Diploma Level 3: Nursing and Midwifery – September 2024

Funding information: Free for First Full L3 for 19-23 year olds otherwise Adult Learner Loans available, course costs apply.
Duration: 1 Year
Attendance: Full-time Provision

Course Overview

Level 3 Access to Higher Education courses are designed to enable mature learners who have been out of education to gain the qualifications, academic skills and knowledge necessary to progress on to university-level study.

This diploma covers a range of topics designed to allow you to develop an understanding of the skills, knowledge, roles and responsibilities of nurses and midwives. You will explore professional standards of practice and behaviour, the biological functions of reproduction, and psychological aspects relating to the care of patients.

Your time on the course will help you to develop key transferable skills for the workplace, such as effective communication, team-working and collaborating, and sourcing and utilising evidence.

Additional units, such as academic writing, sourcing and referencing academic texts, and presenting effectively to a group, will help you to develop key academic skills and prepare you for study at higher education level.

You will have a Personal Tutor who will support you throughout the programme, as well as access to the Higher and Adult Support Coordinator who offers key advice on returning to learning, finances, progression and wellbeing.

Upon successful completion of this Diploma, students will be able to:

  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of nurses and midwives
  • Explain biological functions including reproduction
  • Apply effective communication skills
  • Demonstrate mathematics in a health and care context
  • Develop core research, referencing and study skills for success in HE

Ultimately, the Access to HE course will prepare you for study at higher education level.

Course Content

To successfully complete the Access to HE Diploma you must achieve a total of 60 credits. These credits will be achieved through completion of the following units (unit credit value in brackets):

Human Biology

  • Human Cell Biology (3)
  • Human Respiratory and Cardiac Systems (6)
  • Regulation and Control (6)
  • Inheritance and Genetic Engineering (6)
  • Reproduction (3)
  • Infectious Diseases (3)
  • Nutrition and Digestion (3)
  • Skeleton and Muscles (3)


  • Treatments and Therapies (3)
  • Psychopathology (3)
    • Health Studies

    • Health Promotion (6)

    Sociology and social policy

    • Sociology of Health (3)

    Academic Study Skills

    • IT for Academic Study (3)
    • Roles and Responsibilities of Nursing and Midwives (3)
    • Progression Skills (3)
    • Human Cell Biology (3)
    • Maths in a Health and Care Context (3)
    • Some units may be subject to change.

Entry Requirements

You must have a grade C/4 in GCSE English. We would also like you to have GCSE Maths C/4, however if you don’t, there could be an option to study GCSE Maths or FS Maths Level 2 alongside the Level 3 Access to HE course.

Enrolment will be subject to an initial progression discussion and, in cases where English and/or Maths are not currently held, an initial assessment may be required to determine the most appropriate level of entry. In the case where GCSE English C/4 is currently not held, there can be an option to study Level 2 Pre-Access course.

The Access to Higher Education courses have been designed predominantly for older students returning to education. However, each application will be considered on an individual basis, on the condition you are aged 19 or over by the course start date and hold GCSE grade C/4 or above in English.

Assessment Methods

  • Research projects
  • Reports
  • Written assignments
  • Presentations
  • Role play/simulations


The aim of this qualification is to prepare students for progression into higher education subjects including, but not limited to:

  • Adult Nursing
  • Child Nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Mental Health Nursing

This pathway can also lead to progression into other health-related professions, such as paramedic sciences, occupational therapy and others; however, we would recommend for you to enrol onto Access to HE Health Professions pathway offered by Chesterfield College.

Please note: students are strongly advised to contact universities prior to commencing this Access to HE Diploma to check the university’s specific entry criteria. The award of a Diploma does not provide guaranteed entry to UK higher education programmes – each university has its own criteria for entry.