Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health Care) (January Start)

Key Details

  • Available at:
    Bangor, Rhyl
  • Study Mode:
  • Course Length:

    1 year. 2 days face-to-face and 1 day online

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Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health Care) (January Start)

Full-Time (Further Education)

Please contact us for further information about applying for this course.

Please note: We recommend that you have access to a laptop or Chromebook to enable coursework to be completed digitally at home. There is a dedicated IT Digital Inclusion fund to support those learners who do not have a digital device and are unable to purchase one.

Course Description

Would you like to progress into Higher Education? Do you want to prepare for studying a health related subject?

This course gives you the knowledge, skills and confidence to progress onto a related higher education course. It also provides a valuable route into the health professions, particularly nursing.

The aim of the All Wales Access to HE Diplomas is to give you the skills necessary to progress to and successfully participate in a programme of higher education. They are targeted at learners who have substantial life experience gained since completing compulsory schooling.

The Health Care Diploma offers health-related topics in subject areas such as Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, Microbiology, Psychology and Health.

Course information and pre-requisites

The Access to HE (Health Care) course runs over 3 days a week for the full academic year. Classes are scheduled between 9.15 AM and 4PM - and learners are expected to attend all sessions. Attendance and punctuality are monitored closely over the first few weeks on the course.

The course is primarily aimed at adults who are returning to learning following a break and wish to progress to University. Learners will not normally be accepted straight from school or from another Level 2 or 3 course.

Whilst learners are advised that the NMC may require you to hold GCSEs in English and Mathematics prior to application to University, our entry requirements are that learners must be able to demonstrate that their academic level is broadly at Level 2 (GCSE Grade C) at entry. Learners without a Level 2 profile may be advised to embark on the Skills for Further Study qualification before embarking on an Access course. In addition, because University places on nursing, midwifery and associated courses are very competitive and learners need to apply so soon after beginning the Access course, you are advised that you should have significant experience in a care setting (as an employee or volunteer) before you begin the Access to HE course.

Subjects of study

The Access to HE Diploma comprises a core of Study Skills, Literacy and Numeracy which must be passed in order to attain the Diploma, as well as a grounding in IT Skills for Higher Education.

In addition, learners must pass 45 Credits at Level 3 in each of three academic subjects, which are graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction.

A typical University offer may be (for example) 30 Credits at Merit and 15 credits at Distinction.

On the Access to HE (Health Care) Pathway the academic subjects of study are:

  • Health
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Psychology

Access to Higher Education (Health Care) - Blended Learning (Bangor only)

The Access to Higher Education (Health Care) - Blended Learning course runs over 1 extended day a week for the full academic year. Classes are scheduled between 9.00 AM and 7PM - and learners are expected to attend all sessions. Attendance and punctuality are monitored closely over the first few weeks on the course. In addition to the study day in College, learners will be expected to complete a large amount of study independently - guided by their tutors and online materials.

Learners who are interested in this provision are advised to apply for the Access to HE (Healthcare) full time route - and to indicate their interest in joining the blended learning group at interview.

Entry Criteria

In order to qualify for this course, you will need at least one of the following:

  • GCSE Grade C or equivalent in English or Welsh 1st Language, GCSE Grade D or equivalent in Mathematics or Numeracy, as required by the route of progression to university. You should have at least three years of relevant life skills gained after compulsory education.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to attend an interview to give you the opportunity to discuss the course.

Please Note

  • GCSE Maths and English are a standard requirement of the Nursing and Midwifery Council. If you wish to progress to a nursing degree, then you are advised to achieve Maths and English GCSE at grade C or above before starting this course. If these GCSEs are not present when you complete your UCAS application, many universities will reject the application instantly. While some universities ask for a minimum of Maths and English GCSEs at C grade, others will only make offers to candidates with B grades at the point of application. This is due to the volume and high standard of applications received.
  • You may be advised to enrol on the Skills for Further Study course prior to starting the Access course. This programme allows the opportunity to take GCSE Maths and English.
  • Entry into midwifery training is particularly competitive and you will need to demonstrate a clear understanding of current Midwifery issues and what the role entails.
  • Entry into nurse training will require an extended DBS check.
  • Successful applicants will need to demonstrate commitment, determination and enthusiasm.
  • In order to apply to UCAS very early in the academic year, those learners wanting to progress to nurse training should have recent experience in the care sector.


Access to Higher Education Diplomas are designed to help you return to studying after a break. As such, the sessions will be participative with a friendly and encouraging atmosphere. You will work closely with the tutors, learning through formal teaching as well as discussions, demonstrations and project work.


The programme will be assessed through a blend of the following:

  • Separate tasks for each unit
  • Your tutor will provide you with help and sufficient preparation
  • Essays and reports
  • Practical tasks
  • Evaluation of roles and presentations
  • Time-constrained unseen exercises for every academic subject module.

The programme of learning will include subjects such as Information Technology and a Level 4 'Looking Forward to Higher Education' module.


The Health Care Diploma leads primarily onto a nursing degree, or a related degree such as midwifery. You could proceed onto a number of programmes at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, including:

  • Foundation Degree (FdA) Childhood Studies, available at Rhos-on-Sea
  • Foundation Degree (FdA) Health and Social Care, available at Rhos-on-Sea

Other details

Course type: Full-Time (Further Education)

Level: 3

Programme Area:

  • Health, Social Care and Childcare



Health, Social Care and Childcare

Learn more about this area and see our course level guide:

Health, Social Care and Childcare

Students in a classroom