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Access to Higher Education: Diploma in Nursing, Midwifery and Medical Science

An Access to Higher Education Diploma is a means of entry to a degree course. It will help you prepare for the academic rigour of higher education study, reviving skills you might not have used in a while and building your confidence. You will be part of a group of other adult students equally excited about learning, motivated to work hard and fulfil their ambitions.

This Access to HE Diploma prepares you for a degree in a health-related field introducing core learning in a choice of subjects. Beginning with essential biology, you will also study psychology and health studies, giving you a broad foundation to progress to more in-depth study.

In biology, you will study modules introducing biochemistry, cell biology, physiology, human disease and inheritance.

In psychology, you will study early social development, stress and wellbeing, and atypical psychology. You will also investigate criminology, including theories of crime.

The health studies modules consider wide-ranging topics as a general introduction to medicine. Beginning with a brief history of health and medicine you will consider how the subject is approached in health promotion going on to look at equal opportunity and diversity, and the importance of interpersonal skills in health provision.

Throughout the course you will be developing your study skills including academic research from a wide range of sources. Tutorials will support your study and provide guidance that will help you progress toward a foundation degree or full honours degree programme.

Access to Higher Education: Diploma in Nursing, Midwifery and Medical Science Reading List

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Sep 2022 : North Devon : Part-time
Course Code : PTB502L (2022)
Level : Level 3
Duration : 2 Years

Cost : * Total Fee £3388

North Devon campus Apply

Course details


This course employs continuous assessment. You will compile a portfolio of assessed work throughout the year, which is externally moderated at the end of the course. In some subjects there will be in-class timed tests.

Students taking GCSE English or Maths will also have external examinations in May/June.

Entry Requirements

Most universities require GCSE grades at C or above in English and Maths, or equivalent, as part of the entry requirements for degree courses. GCSE English and Maths are separate qualifications from the Access to Higher Education Diploma so, if required, we offer additional lessons for these subjects. If you don’t already have a C grade or above in Maths or English at GCSE, these are currently free for students over 19. Please contact our Advice and Guidance Centre for further details. Please note that due to the amount of work involved, we strongly recommend that you only take one GCSE at the same time as the Access Diploma.


After this diploma you could apply to take a degree course in, for example, human biosciences, podiatry, mental health nursing, child nursing, adult nursing, paramedic science, midwifery, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, radiography, dental hygiene & nursing, sports coaching.

Facilities and resources

Access students are well supported at Petroc with well equipped and fully resourced physical and online facilities. There is an excellent Moodle (VLE) and other well supported learning resources. Dedicated labs support relevant courses, as do widely available IT resources. We also offer a designated common room for mature (19+) students.


Q: Do universities recognise the Access to Higher Education Diploma?

A: The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a national qualification and is recognised and accepted by UK universities. Many universities have policies to encourage applications from Access to HE students, who are valued for their maturity and willingness to contribute to discussions.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: You are entitled to full fee remission if the following applies to you:

Aged 19 – 23 and studying your first full Level 3 qualification.

Aged 19+ – find out more about the Advanced Learner Loan – our Advice & Guidance Centre will be able to help you with this and any questions you may have.

Applicants who take the Advanced Learner Loan do not need to pay anything upfront. If you complete your Access Diploma and then go on to complete a course in Higher Education, the remaining balance of your Advanced Learner Loan, including any interest on it, will be written off. You can get full information from Student Finance England. Alternatively, you can contact our Advice & Guidance Centre for advice and information on fees.

Q: Can I get any help with childcare, or other costs?

A: Some additional help is available, dependent upon individual circumstances – please contact our Advice & Guidance Centre for advice and information.

Study Programme

Every full-time student at Petroc will have their own Study Programme which will include:

– Your academic or vocational qualification.

– Maths and English Language development – if you have not achieved GCSE grade 4 in either of these subjects.

– Work Experience – hours will vary depending on your qualification and course level.

– Tutor Support – to support your personal, academic and professional development.

– Sustainability – helping you to identify how you can improve the sustainability of your future employment sectors.

– Personal Development Awards – developing six key areas of personal and employability behaviours to prepare you for the working world.

Apply for this course

Staring Date : 12/09/2022
Course Code : PTB502L (2022) North Devon campus Apply

Why Petroc should be your first choice

Petroc offers high quality education and training across North and Mid Devon. We provide outstanding learning, excellent facilities, strong connections to employers and a supportive environment to help you fulfil your education goals and set you on your path to the career of your dreams.

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We offer a supportive and inclusive environment where you can flourish and feel a valued member of the college and wider community. 


Our teaching spaces and facilities are some of the best in the region, providing stimulating and true-to-life learning environments. 


We’ll provide you with the experiences you need to be ready for employment or the next step on your educational journey.

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