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Access to Higher Education
Access granted: Yulanda is now studying for a BSc at Glasgow Caledonian University

Access to Higher Education

Change your career with an Access course 

An Access course allows you to aim for a graduate-entry career, because it means you can apply for a degree course at university after one year.  

Access to Higher Education courses are tailor-made for mature students aged 19+ who are planning to study for a degree but who do not have the A-Levels required for entry. 

The Access course is an intensive programme of study, and you should have already experienced study at GCSE level. If you haven't taken GCSEs, then you may wish to explore the Diploma in Preparation for Further Study options. 

Flexible courses

Our Access to Higher Education courses are designed to be flexible for adult learners, and are now taught in a variety of ways so that you can fit your studies around your other commitments. Where possible, you can choose to study your course: 2 days a week, 1 day a week or 1 evening a week.

All Access programmes last no more than 1 year and you can start the course in September, October, January, April and June . 

On our Access to Science and Access to Health Professions, you’ll study through a mixture of blended online learning as well as face-to-face lectures and tutorials.  

Follow in their footsteps: students share their stories to inspire you

National award-winning Access to Law - for aspiring Solicitors and Barristers

In November 2015, our Access to Law programme won a major national award - an Association of Colleges' Beacon Award - for our work in setting up a Legal Clinic to give Access to Law students real experience to help develop their skills. 

Subjects linked to your degree plans

You can choose to study one of a number of Access subjects at Barking & Dagenham College, depending upon your plans for your degree subject. 

Popular choice

Our Access to Higher Education courses are popular and we would encourage you to apply as soon as you can. 

English requirements

If you're thinking about applying for an Access to Higher Education Diploma you must have English at GCSE A* - C (or 9-4 new grades) or a Level 2 Functional Skills. 

Find out how you can complete an Access course for FREE with an Advanced Learner Loan. Here's how:

Advanced Learner Loan graphic

An Advanced Learner Loan can help you meet the cost of tuition fees. And when you get your degree, Student Finance England will 'write off' your Loan. So, your Access course is FREE. Click to find out more. 

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PDF download button Download a PDF about Access courses & entry requirements

Latest News

  • "You keep coming home with distinctions, Mum!"

    40-year old Oluwaseun Onasanya was born in the UK and emigrated to Nigeria as a young child, returning when she was 28 years old.

  • "Now I’m older, I really appreciate the value of education"

    "I’ve progressed from my first week on the course when I cried saying ‘I can’t do this!’ to my last assignment for which I got a distinction. I never thought I’d get back into education, but I just wanted to do something that would make a difference."

  • Next stop university for Sarah after GCSE and Access success
    Next stop university for Sarah after GCSE and Access success

    Sarah Greenspan, 27, from Chadwell Heath is celebrating today, GCSE results day 2016, after passing her GCSE Maths. Sarah has also secured her Access to Higher Education Diploma in Social Work at the College and with both qualifications under her belt is now heading for a BA (Hons) Degree in Social Work at Goldsmiths, University of London.

  • College wins national award for lighting the way to law professions
    College wins national award for lighting the way to law professions

    A programme to give more students access to law courses has won Barking & Dagenham College a national award. The College received its award - an Association of Colleges' Beacon Award - sponsored by Gateway Qualifications, for ‘Widening participation in Learning’.

See all news stories »


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