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Why Study Access to Higher Education Courses Instead of A Levels?

 

While there are many careers that you can pursue without qualifications, if you want to reach the top of the ladder in most industries, you are likely going to need an academic portfolio. For example, if you want to become a Nurse or a Midwife, you must have an approved degree. Even if you want a career that doesn’t require a degree, having one will not only enhance your knowledge, but it will make you a desirable candidate. 

However, before you go to university to study the degree of your choice, you need qualifications that meet the university’s entry requirements. Traditionally, A Levels were the only route to degree-level study, but Access to Higher Education Diplomas are a valid equivalent. In fact, you could argue that Access to Higher Education courses get you better prepared for your degree subject. 

If you want to go to university and are mulling over whether to study A Levels or Access to Higher Education Diploma courses, let us make the argument for the latter. Below, we have delved into the purpose and structure of Access to Higher Education courses, why they are great alternatives to A Levels, and the Access course subjects you can study online. 

What is an Access to Higher Education Course? 

Access to Higher Education Diploma courses are Level 3 qualifications that are regulated by the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) and designed to get you prepared for university. They are suitable for individuals who don’t have the traditional qualifications needed to secure a place at their chosen establishment. Access courses also come in a range of different subjects, including Nursing, Midwifery, Engineering, and Education, among many others. 

 

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Can You Study Access to Higher Education Courses Online? 

While some colleges provide Access to Higher Education Diploma courses, you can also study them online via approved study centres, such as learndirect. As the UK’s leading online learning provider, we deliver a range of regulated courses via an industry-leading online learning platform. Among our popular options are online Access to Higher Education courses. 

Having helped more than 4 million learners gain the qualifications they need, learndirect is the go-to provider for Access to Higher Education courses online. UK learners will be able to complete their Access course and get ready for university all from the comfort of their own homes. This is because our Access to Higher Education Diploma courses are delivered solely online. 

There are no classrooms and no exams, with the Access courses being assessed via a series of online assignments. We have experienced tutors on hand to mark your assignments and provide feedback and support throughout your learning journey. By studying online Access to Higher Education courses with us, you can benefit from the following: 

  • Flexible learning – Without classroom restrictions, you can study Access to Higher Education Diploma courses in your own time, making them ideal for full-time workers and those with young children. You will have submission deadlines for Access course assignments, but as long as they are completed by the date highlighted, you can do the work at your pace 
  • Study from home – The overriding benefit of our online Access courses is being able to study in your own home, or any location that has a stable internet connection! 
  • 24/7 access to learning materials – To complete your online Access to Higher Education courses, you will need various learning materials. As soon as you enrol through learndirect, you will have instant access to everything you need through our online student portal. Plus, you can access these materials 24/7 for the duration of your studies 
  • Tutor support – We boast a team of experienced tutors who will support you through the Access course process, providing feedback on your assignments so you can push on and complete the course 

What is an Access to Higher Education Course Equivalent To? 

Access to Higher Education Diploma courses are Level 3 qualifications, making them direct alternatives to A Levels. What’s more, an Access to HE Diploma is the equivalent of 3 A Levels. Most universities in the UK require a certain number of A Levels as part of their entry requirements, but many of those establishments will accept a single Access to Higher Education Diploma as an alternative. 

Please note that if you do want to study Access to Higher Education courses online, UK learners need to check that their chosen university accepts these Level 3 qualifications.  

Benefits of Studying an Online Access to HE Diploma Instead of an A Level 

Given that A Levels represent the traditional route to university, some hold the misconception that they are the only route. The reality is that Access to Higher Education Diploma courses are widely accepted, and they are beneficial in ways that A Levels are not. For example, an Access to HE Diploma is: 

  • Vocational – This means that the teachings in Access to Higher Education courses are related to a specific job or industry. So, if you wanted to study a Nursing degree, you may have English, Maths and Science-based A Levels, but the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Nursing) provides you with specialist knowledge about your chosen career 
  • Less time-consuming – Traditionally, it will take an individual 2 years to gain two or more A Levels, but online Access to Higher Education courses can be completed in as little as 6 months! On average, our learners take 9-12 months to complete Access to Higher Education courses online. UK students have the potential to be university ready within 1 year! 
  • Exam-free! – To complete A Level courses, you need to pass exams, but you can pass Access to Higher Education Diploma courses without having to take a single exam! Instead, the course is structured to include a series of online written assignments based on the modules taught. Once you have successfully completed the assignments, you’ll get your Access diploma 

Please note that if you do want to re-take A Levels, then you can do so with learndirect. We deliver a range of subjects, many of which include the exams as part of the course package. 

 

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What are the Best Access to Higher Education Courses? 

No Access to HE Diploma is better than the other as they are all equally essential to the subjects they specialise in. Each one provides learners with the perfect balance of subject knowledge and study skills that will get them prepared for degree-level learning. At learndirect, we have a range of popular Access course options, from Access to Higher Education (Engineering) courses and Access to Higher Education in Nursing and Midwifery. 

Below, we have provided you with a snapshot of some of our online Access to Higher Education courses: 

Nursing 

As mentioned, you need to have a degree that is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to become a Nurse. Well, the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Nursing) will help you get there. This vocational course will explore a variety of job-specific topics, as well as the role of the National Health Service (NHS) and the social factors that affect healthcare in the UK. Other topics you can expect to explore in your Access to nursing course include: 

  • The roles and responsibilities of a Nurse 
  • Human nutrition and the digestive system 
  • Psychology 
  • Human endocrine and nervous system 
  • Dementia 
  • Use of social drugs and medicines 
  • Mental health and illness 
  • Human disease and prevention 

By studying this nursing Access to HE Diploma, you will be in a strong position when starting your nursing degree as you will have a foundation of nursing knowledge. 

Midwifery 

The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Midwifery) will get you prepared for university, where you can study a Midwifery degree accredited by the NMC. As a Midwife, you will be responsible for providing support and advice to expectant mothers during pregnancy and the birthing process. You will also need to provide antenatal care. 

Through our online Access to Higher Education courses, you will gain a solid foundational knowledge of midwifery, creating the perfect springboard for your future career. During your Access to midwifery course studies, you will explore a series of topics, including: 

  • Health and wellbeing 
  • Cell biology 
  • Human reproduction, growth, and development 
  • The roles and responsibilities of a Midwife 
  • Cell metabolism 
  • Human immunity 
  • Cell division and heredity 
  • Human muscular and skeletal system 

Once you have completed a series of online written Access course assignments, you will achieve your Level 3 diploma. Our Midwifery Access course is among our popular healthcare-related Access to Higher Education Diploma courses. 

 

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Education 

If you have ambitions to become a Teacher but don’t have a degree, you will need to apply for an undergraduate Initial Teacher Training (ITET) or Initial Teaching Education programme at university. Our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Education) course is ideal preparation for a university programme that comes with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). 

You will gain a broad understanding of the education sector and child development, giving you perfect preparation for an education-related degree at university. Among the topics you’ll study in your Access to teaching course include: 

  • Roles, responsibilities, and relationships within education 
  • Child development 
  • Psychology of learning 
  • Theories of child development 
  • Language acquisition 
  • Disability and special education needs 
  • Play and short stories 
  • Managing behaviour in the classroom 

You will need to complete a series of assignments to achieve the Access to teaching course qualification, which you can use to meet the entry requirements of your chosen university. 

How Long is an Access to Higher Education Course Valid For? 

Access to Higher Education courses have a completion time of one year from the date that you enrol. When studying with learndirect, you have the freedom to study at your own pace, but you will have set deadlines for your Access course assignments. 

 

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Enrol Today! 

To enrol on one of our Access to Higher Education courses online, UK learners should get in touch with our Course Executives by calling 01202 006 464. Alternatively, contact us online to find out more information about our range of Access to Higher Education Diploma courses. Take control of your academic career today! 

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