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? We welcome adult students to all courses in this directory. 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.
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.
Stepping back into a classroom in her 30s was a nerve-wracking prospect for mature student Zoe but she soon realised it was the best decision of her life.
“I didn’t have the education I needed when I was younger, but it came to a point when I no longer wanted to be without a career and prospects. I decided it was time to change my life and use my brain. I really want to be a midwife, but without any GCSEs that would be impossible. That’s why I enrolled on to the Progression Diploma which would give me the equivalent of at least five GCSEs and the ability to progress on to the Access to Higher Education programme and then on to university."
“Overcoming my fear of Maths was probably my biggest obstacle. Like so many others I didn’t pass it at school, but the teachers at the College are great and I now have a new understanding for the subject. It no longer scares me."
“I also have a sense of pride and achievement that I never thought would be possible. Before coming to college I thought I’d struggle to keep up and that my age would be a negative factor. I was really nervous, but I needn’t have been. I have done really well and have benefited from being in a fantastic class, full of students who all support each other. If anyone starts to doubt themselves we all rally round and help. I hope I’ll never doubt myself again.”
Zoe wants to progress on to study nursing or midwifery at university and is keen to build up some work experience along the way.
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.