Access to Higher Education (Healthcare Practitioners Pathway)

Are you 19 or over? Are you looking for direct entry to a degree or higher education programme?

Level: 3

Duration: One year, 3 days a week from 9am to 3pm, September to June

Venues: Lincoln


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Course description

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Access to Higher Education at Lincoln College provides the opportunity to study on an intensive programme in preparation for University courses.

Successful students will receive a full Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diploma validated by the Cambridge Access Validating Agency (CAVA).

Access programmes are well established throughout the country, as an alternative to A level entry, to degree programmes at Universities and Colleges of Higher Education. They provide entry to a degree with appropriate previous qualifications.

The Access programme is divided into different 'pathways', catering for students with differing career and vocational ambitions.

The Healthcare Practitioners pathway is a full time course tailored to suit those interested in degrees and careers in nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, health administration among others.

There are two core units:

  • Study Skills - includes discussion, practice of writing skills, time management and presentation techniques.
  • Tutorial - is a support and guidance service.

These two elements prepare you for the requirements of degree programmes.

There are three subject option units.

Biology: (Natural Science): using general biology with the focus on human studies, this programme introduces students to the study of investigative methods.
Psychology: includes study of cognitive, social and developmental psychology.
Sociology: includes study of class, gender and ethnic inequalities. 

This pathway is also offered in the evenings as well as daytime. The evening programme is aimed at students who intend to remain in employment while also studying three evenings per week between 5pm and 9pm over one year. 

On the Diploma course we give you experience of all the teaching, learning and assessment styles you will find on a degree programme, so that you can be confident in lectures, seminars and discussion groups, as well as in writing essays. We start with what you can do and build up from there.

Students wishing to take Radiography or Physiotherapy should also explore with University Admissions Tutors the possibility of taking the Access to Science Pathway as an alternative.

Entry requirements

All applicants must have a grade C or above in GCSE Maths and English Language. Functional skills in Maths at Level 2 will be accepted, subject to confirmation from the university you are applying to.

Students will also have the opportunity to take Maths GCSE on the course if they do not have a grade C in the subject, subject to confirmation from the university you are applying to.

All students are required to pass the Lincoln College diagnostic test in Maths and English followed by a satisfactory interview with a relevant pathway tutor.

Progress & Assessment

Assessment is based on coursework and examinations.

Progression is to degrees and other higher education programmes

The Access programme is certified by the Cambridge Access Validating Agency (CAVA) validated by the Quality Assurance Agency for HE.

Most universities will expect you to have studied subjects or have experience in the areas for which you apply.



Students aged 19+ years

If you are applying for a Level 3 or Level 4 course, you will be eligible to apply for a 19+ Advanced Learning Loan; for further information visit

Fees for this course (including exam fees and other costs) are to be confirmed.

You can find out more about the financial support available at the College at

Students may need to contribute towards the cost of trips.

Further Information

Contact name:

Carol King

Contact school:

School of Business, Advanced and Continuing Education

Contact number:

For further details please contact the Information Office on 030 030 32435