Access to HE Diploma in Computing

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About the course

The Access to HE Diploma is a Full Level 3 qualification, recognised by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and *accepted by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) as one of the routes into University for adult learners who do not have the mainstream qualifications required to enter HE.  Programmes are designed to prepare learners for successful study on a wide variety of degree programmes, in this case Business Studies/Management

The course has been designed and  developed to give following benefits:

  • Suitable for those who have the ability and commitment to study at level 3 but who left school with few, if any, qualifications needed to enter Higher Education.
  • re-introduces learners to education in a non-threatening learning environment which recognises prior skills and experience and the particular needs of those returning to learning.

Successful completion of the course leads to the achievement of the Ascentis Level 3 Access to HE Diploma (Business with Technology ) qualification

Awarding Body

Entry Requirements
Due to eligibility restrictions, potential learners must be UK resident and aged 19 or over to be able to enrol onto this course

Ideally, candidates should have attained Level 2 qualifications (GCSE Grades A to C standard) in Mathematics and English Language.  If the applicant does not hold Maths and English Language qualifications, or he/she can demonstrate competence through alternative qualifications, then the applicant will be required to undertake an initial assessment before being accepted on the course.

All applicants will be interviewed by the Course Leader to establish suitability, and to ensure that prospective learners will be able to meet the academic and attendance requirements of the course, and to establish any additional support needs.

Age Restriction
Minimum age: 19 on 1st September of the academic year of joining (home/funded learners). Maximum age: None

Course Structure
The Access to HE Diploma requires the achievement of 60 credits, of which at least 45 must be at level 3.  Some units are graded (pass, merit, or distinction).  This enables both HEIs ( Higher Education Institutes)  and learners to establish particular subject strengths in knowledge, understanding and application

Assessment & Achievements
All units are assessed through a variety of methods culminating in the building of a portfolio of evidence containing written assignments, presentations, and other evidence.  The portfolio is supported by a number of examinations, which are set and marked by the Awarding Body ie Ascentis.  Assignments are staged throughout the duration of the course via an Assessment Plan.  Portfolio’s are internally assessed and internally moderated by City College Nottingham, and then externally moderated by Ascentis

Length of Course
This course is a full time, taught programme, over 2 days/week for one academic year (ie 3 terms), however, in addition to attendance in class, learners are expected to devote enough additional time as necessary for self-study, research and assignment writing, in order to complete the course successfully.

Detailed timetables will be provided on course commencement

Attendance Requirements
Learners must achieve an attendance record of 85% over the duration of the course. Learners who miss any of their normal timetabled sessions will be expected to attend additional sessions (which may be with a different Tutor), to make up for lost learning hours. Learners who do not meet the attendance requirements will not be allowed to complete final assessment which leads to certification.

City College Nottingham, Carlton Rd, Nottingham, NG3 2NR
Charnwood St. Learning Centre, 1 Charwood Street, Derby, DE1 2GX

Funding & 19+ Learning Loans
Learners aged 19 years old or above, unless self-funding, will need to apply for a Advanced Learning Loan, to cover the tuition/course fees.  For more information about  Advanced Learning Loans, contact our Loans Advisor Jason Jones ( 0115 9101483, go to or phone the Student Finance England Helpline on (  0300 1000607)

During the programme, you will be able to apply to HEIs or universities using the UCAS application process.  Guidance will be available to support you through this process.

Disclaimer Statement
The Access to HE is a well known and accepted route onto HEI/University courses across the UK, however, as Access to HE courses vary in content across different providers, learners are strongly advised to check with their intended choice of HEI/University at an early stage (where possible), to ensure that this qualification is fully accepted by them as an acceptable entrance qualification.  City College Nottingham will make every effort to ensure that the unit selection meets both learner needs and HEI/University needs, however, we cannot guarantee that the unit combination will be universally accepted by every HEI/University, due to the nature of individual HE/degree courses, and the differing entry policies of HEI/Universities.


Start date Location / delivery
No fixed date Nottingham Campus

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