Access to Higher Education

Access to Higher Education Diploma in Health Professionals, Level 3

Course overview

Do you dream of becoming a nurse or midwife? Or are you thinking of working for the National Health Service? Could you see yourself working as an Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist or Paramedic? Our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health Professionals) will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to achieve your dreams and succeed in higher education.

Taught at both our Redditch and Worcester campuses, Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health Professionals) is one of our most popular diplomas, that attracts students who wish to enter the healthcare profession, either as a nurse (adult, children’s, mental health or learning disabilities), a midwife, a paramedic or one of the other healthcare professions such as occupational therapy or physiotherapy.

In addition students are assisted with their applications to university and often gruelling interview requirements to gain a place at university and to date, we have been extremely successful at supporting such students to gain places both at local universities such as Birmingham City University and University of Worcester as well as further afield.

You will need a strong understanding of work within the caring professions in order to be successful in gaining entry to university, so we advise students who do not already work in care to gain experience in fields such as voluntary work with vulnerable children/adults, or paid work in domiciliary care or nursing homes prior to starting the Access to Higher Education course. 

Students wishing to progress to midwifery will need to be extremely determined and also innovative in gaining relevant experience within this field. Shadowing midwives, volunteering on labour wards, attending NCT pregnancy advice classes, and joining breast feeding support groups feature among the ways that previous students have ensured that they are able to demonstrate a wide ranging knowledge of their future career at university interviews. 

Upon completion of the course, you will be fully qualified to apply for a nursing or midwifery course at a higher education establishment in the UK.

The Government have announced an additional £5k support funding to students on degree courses leading to employment in the NHS: including nursing, midwifery and paramedics.

Students studying Health degrees at university are set to receive an additional £5,000 per year of NHS funding from September 2020. The additional funding will be provided on top of existing support, including student loans. The additional funding applies to new and existing students and does not need to be paid back. The government expects the £5,000 maintenance grants to benefit around 100,000 students every year.

There will also be extra payments worth up to £3,000 per academic year for studying areas where there are currently shortages, these include mental health nursing and learning disability nursing.

For more information on Government funding, please visit:

Entry requirements

Ideally you will have either GCSE English or maths at grade C or above but alternative qualifications are considered, including our own Access Foundation course. You will also be asked to attend an interview where you will have the opportunity to discuss your options and decide on the most suitable course. 

Course Modules

- Health Studies
- Human Biology
- Psychology
- Sociology
- Academic Study Skillls

How will I be assessed?

You will learn through a combination of tutor-led sessions, class discussions, presentations and group work. You will also have the opportunity to experience a formal examination setting to help prepare you for exams in higher education

What can I do next

With your Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health Professionals), you will be qualified to apply to a university degree in a health-related subject, including the healthcare profession, either as a nurse (adult, children’s, mental health or learning disabilities), a midwife, a paramedic or one of the other healthcare professions such as occupational therapy, speech and language therapy or physiotherapy.