Access to Higher Education
Are you returning to study after a break? Have you been out of education for some time but gaining real-life experience? Are you looking to change direction? Some academic and vocational courses have been specifically designed for mature students.
If you’d like to apply for one of these courses, you’ll be invited to an initial assessment prior to your interview. This is to make sure that the course is at the right level for you. We’re happy to accept mature students without any formal qualifications, and our guidance team will be pleased to help you consider your options.
If you complete an Access to HE Diploma, and then go on to gain a higher education qualification, your loan will be written off.
As well as the main academic programme, you'll also be expected to take part in the College Enrichment Programme, which offers a wide range of activities such as sign language, sports, drumming, driving test theory and many more.
For more information please see our Enrichment area.
Returning to study as a mature student was a daunting prospect for June, especially with her reliance on cumbersome crutches. However with determination she completed the Access to Higher Education programme and has since progressed on to university.
“I signed up to the course shortly after I medically retired from my job as a Royal Mail manager. When doctors eventually diagnosed me as having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME, I was warned it could take up to nine years to get well again but I was inspired to carry on studying. Some days I was in excruciating pain, but I never let it stop me. I managed to get top grades in all my lessons and, with help from my college tutor, I gained a place at The University of Northampton to study for a BSC in Psychology.
“Learning has changed my life and brought me so many new friends. My daughter, who is now at Northampton College herself studying fashion, is really proud of me. I am still in a lot of pain, but learning has given me something to focus on. When I was medically retired it nearly destroyed me, but I look back and feel grateful now. Without retirement I would never have gone on to Northampton College.”
During your time at College, you'll be assigned a personal tutor, who will be responsible for monitoring your academic progress. You'll attend a tutorial meeting every week and part of this time will be allocated to group activities, such as recognising your best learning style, study skills, revision skills, careers education, financial matters and much more. The other part will be dedicated to an individual progress review, enabling your tutor to make sure you're on track to get the best grades possible.