Access to Higher Education Diploma (Education) - General Course Online | learndirect

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Education) - General


Want to study an education related subject at undergraduate level but not yet sure which area suits you best? Then this Access to HE Diploma (Education) with its General Pathway is the ideal course for you. It provides a great balance of educational practice alongside theory and childhood studies, making it the perfect programme for students who want to gain a valuable insight into the world of education.

If you do not possess the traditional qualifications, such as A-levels then the Access to HE Diploma is an excellent alternative route to university. This diploma is accepted by most UK universities and helps prepare you for the demands of Higher Education. It has been specially constructed to suit the needs of potential students who have been out of education for some time.

We strongly recommend that you first select the degree course you would like to study, and make sure that the university you wish to attend is happy with your Access to HE Diploma (Education). Once you have checked that it meets their entrance criteria, you will know that this course is the right path for you.

Distance learning courses offer you freedom with your studies. First of all, you are not required to wait until September to get started. You can start straight away or begin studying at a time that suits you the most. Secondly, you are not required to attend classes, you can study from home, at a time that is convenient for you. This is perfect for those who have a particularly demanding work or family life.

Nothing can stop you pursuing a career in any number of areas once you have the undergraduate degree under your belt. Many students go on to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by studying towards an undergraduate degree or a PGCE, but that does not mean just because you study education that you need to be a teacher. There are plenty of alternative career paths which you can take after you graduate.

How does the course work?

The Access to HE Diploma works just like any other qualification, the only difference is you do not have to attend classes. We provide you with all the course materials you need online which are easy to understand and offer a broad range of additional information to help and assist you. You will also have access to our expert tutors who will be there for you every step of the way. All of our tutors are contactable via our online portal, email or phone.

The flexibility of distance learning makes it possible for people to pursue their educational goals. We will provide you with an individual learning plan outlining your deadlines for achievable targets. Also, our dedicated tutors and a network of like-minded and supportive students are just a click away.

With an Access to HE Diploma, you can study at your own pace. The speed at which you study is your choice, you can complete the course in six months or choose to spread it out over 18 months.





Module 1: Preparing to study

On completion of this module you will:

  • Understand how study is organised and planned
  • Understand how to apply theories of learning in relation to personal approaches to learning
  • Understand a range of constraints upon study
  • Understand the importance of assessment feedback

Module 2: Academic writing skills 

On completion of this module you will:

  • Be able to write with relevance in responding to an academic task
  • Know how to interpret and discuss concepts and debates in responding to a set, academic writing task
  • Be able to summarise for academic purposes, selecting key points, information or central ideas
  • Understand the role of reference, allusion and paraphrase to avoid plagiarism

Module 3: Preparing a written assignment   

On completion of this module you will:

  • Understand how to use key information sources
  • Understand why sources are acknowledged and referenced
  • Understand a range of reading strategies
  • Understand note-making methods
  • Understand how to plan draft and produce a written assignment

Module 4: Independent research 

On completion of this module you will:

  • Be able to plan a piece of research on an approved subject area
  • Be able to collect research material from different sources
  • Be able to use data to substantiate an argument
  • Be able to record sources of information
  • Be able to present research findings

Module 5: An introduction to classroom teaching

On completion of this module you will:

  • Plan and prepare for teaching within the National Curriculum
  • Understand the importance of classroom design

Module 6: Progressing to Higher Education

On completion of this module you will:

  • Understand potential next steps in education
  • Understand key sources of information relevant to HE application
  • Understand personal HE opportunities
  • Understand the financial implications of further study
  • Know how to apply for a course

Module 7: Theories of child development

On completion of this module you will:

  • Understand Piaget’s theory of development
  • Understand the major criticisms of Piaget’s work in child development. 
  • Understand alternative theories of development. 
  • Understand how stages of development link to practical situations. 

Module 8: Behaviour problems in the classroom

On completion of this module you will:

  • Recognise anti-social behaviour
  • Recognise anti-institutional behaviour
  • Understand the formal discipline processes/procedures of a school
  • Understand the informal methods of implementing discipline within a classroom setting
  • Understand some of the underlying causes of behavioural problems as displayed in the classroom

Module 9: Roles, responsibilities & relationships in education

On completion of this module you will:

  • Understand the role and responsibilities of the teacher/trainer
  • Understand the need to maintain a safe and supportive learning environment
  • Understand the professional relationships between teachers and trainers engaged in education

Module 10: Human nutrition & the digestive system

On completion of this module you will:

  • Understand the structure and functions of the organs of the digestive system
  • Understand nutrients and their sources
  • Understand how diet may influence health

Module 11: The human musculo-skeletal system

On completion of this module you will:

  • Understand anatomical terminology
  • Understand the skeletal system and locomotion
  • Understand the muscular system

Module 12: Human reproduction, growth & development 

On completion of this module you will:

  • Understand the structure and function of the human reproductive system
  • Understand how hormones regulate the reproductive tract throughout life
  • Understand the sequence of events from conception to puberty

Module 13: Theories of cognitive development & learning

On completion of this module you will:

  • Have knowledge of theories of cognitive development
  • Understand learning theory
  • Have knowledge of the application of theories of learning and cognitive development to classroom practice

Module 14: Child protection 

On completion of this module you will:

  • Know how to plan action learning relating to child protection
  • Understand areas of anti discriminatory practice and core social work values relating to child protection
  • Understand legal and policy frameworks relating to child protection
  • Understand and explore relevant theoretical perspectives relating to child protection that inform practice
  • Understand skills relating to working in child protection that inform practice

Module 15: Understanding the intellectual & language development of children aged birth to eight years

On completion of this module you will:

  • Understand the stages of intellectual development of children
  • Understand the stages of language development of children
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the importance of communicating with young children
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of factors, which affect intellectual and language development in children

Module 16: Play

On completion of this module you will:

  • Define ‘play’
  • Show knowledge of stages of play
  • Show knowledge of life stage theory
  • Understand the ways in which children learn through play

Module 17: Introduction to teaching & learning

On completion of this module you will:

  • Understand models of teaching and learning
  • Understand ‘blocks’ to learning
  • Understand curriculum planning and lesson planning

Module 18: Child development & management of pupil behaviour

On completion of this module you will:

  • Be aware of the physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social development of the child
  • Understand the main aspects of social and emotional development
  • Know factors which may affect pupil development and behaviour
  • Know methods for managing pupil behaviour

Module 19: The developing child 

On completion of this module you will:

  • Display knowledge of the process of Child Development
  • Display knowledge of theories of cognition and socialisation
  • Display knowledge of studies and debates over the concept of intelligence
  • Understand processes of developing psychological schemas


If you wish to start your Access to Higher Education Diploma right now, you should hold a GSCE in maths and English (or equivalent) at grade C or above. It is a common requirement for entry to most universities and degrees. However, you can also have a relevant NVQ at level 2 if you wish to study a related degree at university.

Access to Higher Education Diplomas have been designed to help learners follow their academic aspirations and get them into their choice university. You must be mindful that each university has its own admission criteria, and some may even differ from course to course. These can include, but not be limited to:

●      A certain number of credits passed with a merit or a distinction.

●      A face-to-face interview at the university

●      Literacy and numeracy assessments provided by the university.

●      Course-related work placements or work experience

●      GCSE Grade A – C in Maths and English (or equivalent level 2 such as Functional Skills/Key Skills etc.) Or a full level 2 NVQ qualification in a related subject.

Students wishing to gain entry to higher education at the end of this Diploma should conduct some preliminary research on the admission criteria as soon as possible, to avoid disappointment. Each learner is responsible for researching the entry criteria and ensuring they meet the requirements. Learndirect is not able to accept responsibility if anyone completing an Access to HE Diploma fails to secure an offer from a higher education institution.




A range of units make up this qualification, with an assignment at the end of each. You will submit your work to your tutor for marking and tailored feedback. You must acquire 60 credits in total in order to achieve the Access to HE Diploma in Education. Of these credits, 45 will be taken from graded units which focus on academic content. The remaining 15 come from ungraded units included to help you advance your study skills.

As part of your programme you will also receive help as well as guidance on your university application and the research you need to do to get the most out of your diploma.

The approximate amount of time required to complete the course is 342 hours.




On successful completion of the Open College Network West Midlands Access to Higher Education Diploma (Education) you will receive a QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma at level 3 (QAA ref: (400/0388/7). This course has also been assigned 60 credits.

Open College Network West Midlands

Open College Network West Midlands is a national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and Qualifications Wales, to develop and award nationally recognised qualifications.

Open College Network West Midlands work in partnership with employers, training providers, colleges, universities, schools and voluntary and community organisations to offer vocational credit-based qualifications, Access to Higher Education Diplomas and quality assured Customised Accreditation that enables learners gain employment or to progress into further learning and Higher Education. Open College Network West Midlands also Quality Endorse organisations internal training and skills delivery.



Your Access to Higher Education Diploma and the way it is delivered within our innovative learning platform is designed to give you the best possible chance of fulfilling your dream of studying at university. Higher Education Degrees confirm to any employer your intellect, motivation and ability to work independently to succeed not just in your area of specialism but also life itself. A higher education degree is a gateway qualification that will allow you to apply 1,000's of graduate programmes as well as setting you apart from those who don't have a degree.

Need proof of your English and Maths skills? Want to catch up and learn more English and Maths? You can for free when you sign up to this learndirect course.

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