Access to HE: Nursing and Health

A fast-track route into university for mature applicants. This is an Ascentic accredited course to the nursing profession.

An Access course is for mature students (19+) who have been out of full-time education for one or more years and would like to go on to higher education but do not have the formal qualifications needed. A high level of motivation is required to complete the course.

This programme is designed for mature students who wish to progress to a British university to study for a degree in nursing or related professions except for Radiography (Access to Science is a more suitable route into this profession). Access is appropriate for those returning to education after a number of years, for example in employment, bringing up a family or having a career break.

On successful completion of this course you will be awarded the following qualification certificate: Access to HE Diploma (Nursing and Midwifery).

NB. This course is not appropriate for non-European Union overseas students as, under government regulations, they are not eligible for places on NHS funded courses at university until they have been an EU resident for at least three years.

The Guildford Access course provides a fast-track route into university for mature applicants. The course is validated through Ascentis and carries the Access to HE kitemark, a guarantee of high standards.

Guildford College has long-term links with the University of Surrey, although students can and do progress to any other British university offering Nursing degrees. The course is taught by highly qualified staff who have considerable experience in teaching adult students.

Access programmes are intensive courses designed for mature students who wish to progress to a British university. They have been developed to enable mature students to gain the skills and knowledge to cope with the academic demands of Higher Education.

Funding available:

19+ Advanced Learner Loan: If you are aged 19 or over, and you want to study an Access to Higher Education programme, you may be eligible to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover your tuition fees.

Student Finance England will write off any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances you owe for an Access to HE programme, if you go on to complete a higher education/university level course. This means you do not have to repay it. If you don’t go on to study a higher education/university level course, you won’t need to start paying back the loan until you earn over £25,725 per year. Contact us for more details.

Level 3 Entitlement fee remission: If you are aged 19–23 and this will be your first eligible, full Level 3 course, then you may be able to do this course for free.

A variety of teaching and learning strategies will be employed including: lectures, group work, discussions and practicals.


On average you will need to study for 10-15 hours each week outside class time.

If you pass the Access course you can progress to university to study for a degree in nursing or other health professions, such as; occupational therapy, physiotherapy, midwifery, paramedic, mental health nursing and podiatry. Please note that success on the Access course does not automatically guarantee a place at university however the vast majority of Access students progress to their chosen university courses each year.

To be eligible for a place on this programme, you must have a GCSE at grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths, or a Functional Skills Level 2 qualification.
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 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, and this will also be checked at interview. Applicants must be aged over 19 and have been out of full-time education for a year.

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.

If you don’t meet the entry criteria, don’t worry! We have a range of one-year, Pre-Access courses available to help you get started.

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

You will be provided with a course handbook detailing the structure and processes of the programme. Guidance is given in study skills, career and Higher Education opportunities.

Why Guildford College?

  • Clear routes of progression with qualifications ranging from foundation level to degree level!
  • Industry experienced teaching staff give you the responsibility and independence you need to take charge of your own future.
  • 100+

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  • 79+

    Years of teaching experience

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