Access to HE Diploma: Business – Level 3 (1 year)


The Access to HE course is designed for those looking for a change of career who aspire to go to university to study a business degree. Those wishing to start their own business will also find this course invaluable towards the success of their new venture. Whether your destination is university, our own Level 4 HNC in Business programme, or a new business idea; you will see changes in your life that you have never thought possible.

Throughout the course, you will be taught by inspiring teachers who are industry specialists who have a vast amount of experience in transforming the lives of their mature learners, learners whose first language is not English, and learners with additional learning requirements.

There are seven mandatory units that are designed to give you the foundation knowledge needed to study business at university or start your own business venture.

  • Innovation and the Entrepreneur
  • Management Functions
  • The Marketing Environment
  • Accounting for Managers
  • Introduction to Human Resource Management

Ungraded Units

  • Study Skills
  • Access Project

As well as choosing your diploma, you will study the following core units, which equal 15 credits:
• English Language (9 credits)
• Maths (2 x 3 = 6 credits)

Please note, that most universities require GCSE English and Maths at Grade C (4) or above. If you do not have these grades at GCSE, the core units that you will take in these subjects should compensate. However, each university has different entry criteria for different courses, and you need to check these. Please note that if you are planning to do a degree in Business or a business-related subject, many universities require you to have at least a GCSE grade C(4) in Maths in order to be offered a place.

The Access to HE course is worth 60 credits – 45 credits come from academic units specific to the pathway you have chosen (5 x 9 credit units) and 15 credits are core units that are ungraded.

Your business modules will all be 100% coursework based, using a computer to produce the work. 

We offer this diploma as a 12-month programme. The classes are during the day. Most daytime classes run from 10am-2.00pm.

During the one-year course, you will be in at least three days a week in semester 1 and four days a week in semester 2. The structure of the one-year course is:

  • Semester 1:
    • 3 subjects plus UCAS preparation
  • Semester 2:
    • 4 subjects

For students who do not have level 2 maths and English (A-C) or Functional Skills (Level 2) you will be required to attend English and maths lessons, as university and other HE providers require this standard for entry to their business degree programmes.

Many students successfully completing the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Business continue studying at university.

This qualification is a great stepping stone into further study at college or university in business management or any business specialism such as marketing, human resources, accountancy, and law. Other opportunities include the Higher National Certificate in Business; progression to a higher-level apprenticeship or starting a success business venture. .

Future careers include:

  • Entrepreneurial Ventures
  • Management
  • Digital Marketing
  • Financial Auditing
  • Insurance
  • Human Resources
  • Retail
  • Sales

To be eligible to study on the Access to HE course, you must have:

  • A significant break from study (aged 19+)
  • A minimum of Level 1 in Maths and English (GCSE D-F or 2-3 or Functional Skills level 1)
  • Commitment to the course and a clear goal
  • Contact details for a referee (not a friend or family member) who can objectively comment on your skills and commitment
  • Computer skills

You will also have an informal interview with a member of the Access to HE teaching staff.

Your UCAS application must be completed by mid November of the year before entry. It is a very competitive environment and to ensure the best possible chance of securing a place on your chosen degree course, you should start planning your application early.

You can enhance your UCAS application by attending taster courses, open days or conferences, and by talking to professionals in the field you want to work in.

Almost all vocational degree courses demand either relevant work experience or volunteer experience, so bolstering your application with a variety of work placements will help you to stand out and compete for your place. is a useful place to start if you are looking for help to organise voluntary experience. Please note that most voluntary roles will demand a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, which can take a number of weeks/months to complete. It is your responsibility to arrange this.

Many of our students do not have to pay for their course tuition fees; they are paid by the Government or the College on your behalf. Some students are also eligible for extra help with costs such as childcare, books, travel, trips and equipment.

Speak to a member of our Student Services team to find out what financial support is available for you and how to progress with applications for these.

Check our Student Services page here.

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