Access to Higher Education Diploma (Nursing) Course Online | learndirect

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Nursing)


This Access to Higher Education Diploma (Nursing) gives you the opportunity to apply for a degree in nursing - preparing you well for academic work and the prospect of university life.

It’s an extremely popular course and an excellent way to maximise your job prospects. It could lead to you having a career which has a positive impact on other people’s health and well being.

The vast majority of universities and colleges will accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas as an entry requirement, but you‘re advised to check this with each of the establishments you’re interested in attending.

Most universities/colleges will also require a minimum of Grade C in English and Maths GCSEs, or equivalent. You’ll also need to meet this requirement in order to commence your Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health).


How does my Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health) work?

All of our course materials are easy to understand and provide you with a broad range of additional information to support your learning. You’ll be allocated a Learner Support Advisor who’ll have regular contact with you via our platform, by phone, email or text. You’ll be responsible for setting your own study schedule to fit around your lifestyle and responsibilities; you can therefore study at your own pace and in your own way.

Whilst you will have a great deal of flexibility with your studies, you’ll need to develop the discipline to study independently as well as be realistic about what you can achieve in the time you have available. Contact is all available with fellow students via our unique platform, and through debates and forums where you can share thoughts and ideas.

How will my Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health) be assessed?

Your Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health) will be made up of a number of units, each of which will require you to complete an assignment. You’ll find ‘assignment planners’ included within the course materials for each unit; these are designed to help you to complete the relevant assignment. Your personal tutor will be responsible for marking your assignments and giving you with feedback about the work you’ve produced, and how you can improve.

All assignments provide the evidence required to award you with learning credits. You will need 60 credits to achieve an Access to Higher Education Diploma. Of the 60 credits required, 15 will be ungraded and 45 will be graded as a Pass, Merit or Distinction.

What happens after my Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health)?

After successfully completing the Access to Higher Education Diploma, you’ll be eligible to apply to a wide range of health related courses at university.

UCAS, (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a valuable source of information for all stages of university applications process, including what and where to study. Review the “what to study” unit on the UCAS website and watch the video.

After successfully completing an Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health) and/or university degree, this could lead to carving out a solid health care profession.

Thinking of taking out a 19+ advanced learner loan for this Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health)? If you go onto successfully complete a university qualification - you won’t have to pay the loan back.



Unit 1: Preparing to study


Unit 2: Academic writing skills


Unit 3: Preparing a written assignment  


Unit 4: Cell biology 


Unit 5:  The history of the National Health Service


Unit 6: Human nutrition & the digestive system 


Unit 7: The roles & responsibilities of the registered nurse


Unit 8: Introduction to psychology  


Unit 9: Human reproduction, growth & development


Unit 10: Approaches to health  


Unit 11: The human musculo-skeletal system


Unit 12:  Social factors in health care


Unit 13: The brain & nervous system  


Unit 14: The human endocrine & nervous system


Unit 15: Inequalities in health & illness


Unit 16: Human disease & prevention  


Unit 17: Poverty & health


Unit 18: Human immunity


Unit 19: Equality and diversity within health care  


For those who choose to start an Access to Higher Education Diploma, it is worth noting you will need a GCSE Grade A-C in maths and English (or Functional Skills Level 2 or new GCSE Grade 4-9) with a desire to continue a related degree at university.

While every care has been taken to ensure our Access to Higher Education Diplomas fulfil entry criteria for a wide range of university degrees and be suitable to the UCAS application process, each university has different admission requirements. It is worth checking with the institution of your choice to avoid disappointment. Varying admission criteria can include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Number of credits to be attained at merit or distinction level.
  2. Successfully passing a face-to-face interview at the University.
  3. Passing a Universities proprietary literacy and numeracy assessments.
  4. Completion of specified work placements or work experience.
  5. Learners starting an Access to Higher Education Diploma must have a GCSE Grade A – C in maths and English (or equivalent Level 2 such as Functional Skills).

Learners must undertake their own research to ensure their diploma is properly specified and gives them the best possible chance of gaining entry to their university of choice. It is not possible for learndirect  to accept any liability if any Access to Higher Education Diploma students fail to secure an offer from a higher education institution.




The assessments for this course aim to prepare you for your next step in higher education, while providing the number of credits necessary to complete the course. Your tutor will mark your papers and provide you with essential feedback to help you progress.

To successfully achieve this Access to HE qualification you will need 60 credits, which are divided as follows: 45 credits from graded units for academic subject content and 15 credits through ungraded units, intended to help you develop your study skills.

As each university has different entry criteria, we advise you check with the institution of your choice beforehand to ensure you will have the grades required.

The approximate amount of time required to complete the course is 360 hrs.


Open College Network West Midlands Access to Higher Education Diploma (Nursing)

On successful completion of the Open College Network West Midlands Access to Higher Education Diploma (Nursing) you will receive a QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma at level 3 (QAA ref:40006657). 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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All professional development students are eligible for the NUS Extra card, which gives you access to over 200 UK student discounts with brands like Co-op, Amazon and ASOS. Apply and find out more at

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