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Access to Higher Education

  • Students

    If you are a mature student who missed the opportunity to go to university, our Access to Higher Education course is designed specifically for you.

    Gloucestershire College is the first stop on your journey to university, with excellent tutoring to give you the qualifications you need to progress, and personalised support throughout your university application. Our three diploma areas can lead to rewarding careers in midwifery, nursing, social work and teaching, in addition to many other career options. Students may also have the opportunity to take GCSE English and maths alongside the course, if you do not already have these.

    Last year, Access to Higher Education students achieved university places at Bristol, Exeter, Cardiff, Warwick, Liverpool John Moores, Goldsmiths College London, Birmingham City, Nottingham Trent and East Anglia. They also progressed to a variety of local universities including University of Gloucestershire, University of the West of England and University of Worcester.

    Gloucestershire College offers a variety of different named Diplomas (pathways); your choice will depend upon your proposed future plans for higher education and employment. The four options are:

    HUMANITIES: This is the Diploma pathway for you if you are interested in studying a wide range of subjects. You may want to study History, English, Creative Writing, Journalism, Psychology or Sociology (as well as many other options) at university. The course offers students a range of study choices. You will choose three main subjects from Psychology, Sociology, History and Literary Studies  (depending on your higher education pathway).

    HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE: This is the Diploma pathway that is ideal for you if you are interested in studying Nursing, Midwifery, Radiotherapy, Diagnostic Imaging, Sports Therapy, Paramedic Science or Physiotherapy at university. You will take three main subjects: Psychology, Sociology and Biology.

    The SCIENCE pathway is ideal for you if you want to study a science based course at degree level, such as Environmental Science, Biological Science, Forensic Science, Chemistry, or Animal Science. The course offers students a range of study options. You will choose three main subjects from Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Higher Mathematics and Psychology (depending on your Higher Education pathway).

    Whichever pathway you choose, you will get the opportunity to take part in research projects. For progression to nursing, midwifery, social work, paramedic science and teaching degrees you must organise work experience or voluntary work in a relevant field - this is essential to help you achieve a university place. Upon completion of the course in July, all students will be equipped with the necessary study skills for study in Higher Education.

    An important element of the course is tutorial support and help and guidance with the UCAS process for university applications.

    All Diploma pathways are only offered at our Cheltenham campus.

    Assessment is continuous over the year and usually occurs at the end of each unit (about six weeks of study). Students will also have the opportunity to experience exam conditions in preparation for university.

    In order to complete any of the above courses in the one year allocated you will be required to attend college classes for up to 16 hours a week and undertake a similar amount of time of home study. College classes usually begin at 9.30 am and end at 3.00 pm to fit in with school times.

    The named diplomas on Level 3 Access to Higher Education meet course eligibility requirements for a 19+ Advanced Learning Loan. See college website or ask at Student Services for more details.

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Why Gloucestershire College?

We guide any ambitious and motivated person on their journey through education and their career, by providing the right environment that encourages and nurtures individual talents.

Our industry-standard facilities and experienced teaching team provide our students with the skills businesses truly need.

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90% of students would recommend GC and 95% said that the teaching on their course was good.

Ofsted has rated us good.

  • We offer industry relevant facilities
  • Our lecturers are passionate subject specialists
  • Employers value our students' skills

We'll look after you. We have dedicated teams to help you and a great Learning Mentor scheme.