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About the course

This course is for those who do not have the relevant experience or qualifications to progress to university. It will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in a career in Health and Social Care. You will learn and apply the theoretical and practical knowledge required for working the Health and Care field. Many of our former students are now pursuing new careers and seeing changes in their lives they never thought possible.

What is an Access to Higher Education course? 

An Access to Higher Education course is a 1 year pre-university course that prepares adults for study at university. This course is ideal if you have been out of education for a while, planning a career change or upskill in your current job. A typical Access course is 2-3 days a week, 9.30am-3pm and are taken by students of all ages and backgrounds.


3 full days. (This equates to 2.5 days direct delivery, in addition to 0.5 enrichment and/or workshop).
Classes start at 9.30am and end at 4.30pm*

*The department recognises that a large number of students have care or parental responsibilities and makes allowances to ensure these demands can continue to be met by learners.

Entry requirements

Level 2 Functional Skills English or equivalent English qualification

Level 1 Functional Skills Maths of equivalent Maths qualification

We will consider exceptions to this requirement, subject to any other qualifications or evidence of the required competencies.

If you do not meet these entry requirements don’t worry, we also offer a Level 2 Pre-Access Foundation course. Contact Us or call 01279 868100 if you would like some advice or further information about this course.

Who is it suitable for?

This course is suitable for anyone who wishes to go to university to pursue a career in the Health and Care sector, including Social Worker, Youth Worker, Counsellor, Midwife, Nursing and the Psychotherapy field. This course is taken by students of all ages and backgrounds. There is no upper age limit.

How much does it cost?

The cost of this course is £3,384

You may be entitled to an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the costs of your Access course. 

Student Finance England, who are responsible for student loans will ‘write off’ any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances for your Access to HE course as soon as you complete a higher education course. This means you do not have to repay your Advanced Learner Loan if you progress to higher education and complete your degree programme.

You may be eligible to a Harlow College 19+ bursary to support with travel costs, childcare and course materials.

Contact Us or call 01279 868100 to get the most up-to-date info on fees and the financial support that may be available.

Awarding body


Why study?

By developing a portfolio of work you will continuously develop your skills without the pressure of end-of-year exams. You will be challenged to consider new perspectives throughout the course, and also encouraged to reflect on your own personal experience within a theoretical framework. The skills learnt are transferable to any job but are particularly useful in the Health and Social Care sector.

The advantages of studying this course at Harlow College are its close links with the Health and Care sector.

Where will this course take me?

Once you've completed this course you can go on to study for a Foundation Degree or Degree in Health and Social Care at a University of your choice. 

Possible careers

  • Mental Health Nurse
  • Social Worker
  • Youth Worker
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Probation Officer

And many more…

Core modules

You will study a range of different modules across the programme, some focusing on your academic skills and some more subject specific, here are some examples of the types of modules you will study:

  • Study and Research Skills
  • Person Centred Approaches
  • Health Illness and Healing
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Psychological Disorders
  • Poverty and Health

Please note these module examples are subject to change.

How will I be assessed?

  • Essay
  • Report
  • Presentations
  • Chart analysis
  • Use of software
  • Discussion
  • Exams

Will I have to provide anything?

You will need basic equipment such as pens, paper and a USB memory stick.

I'm interested. What should I do now?

Call 01279 868100 and talk to an Admissions Adviser
Ask Us a question about this course

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