Access to HE Diploma Level 3: Health Professions – 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 skills and knowledge in health-related professions. You will explore key concepts of human biology, including basic anatomy, cell biology, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, nutrition, reproduction, regulation and genetics.

Additional psychology-based units will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the human mind, helping to explain the psychopathology of patients and available treatments and therapies. You will also covers units from the subject areas of sociology and health studies.

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:

  • Explain key concepts in human biology
  • Apply effective communication skills
  • Demonstrate numeracy in a health and care context
  • Recognise the roles and responsibilities of healthcare professionals
  • 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 of Health (3)

    Academic Study Skills

    • IT for Academic Study (3)
    • Role and Responsibilities of Health Care Professionals (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 Level 2 Functional Skills Maths 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:

  • Health Science
  • Pharmacy
  • Paramedic Science
  • Radiography
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Health

This pathway can also lead to progressing into nursing and midwifery; however, we would recommend for you to enrol onto Access to HE Nursing and Midwifery pathway also available at the 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.