Access to Higher Education

If you are keen to study for HND or Degree, but need more qualifications first, completing an Access course could be the perfect solution.

Access courses

The Open Awards Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diplomas are specifically designed to help applicants who wish to study at degree level, but do not have the current qualifications required for entry. Access to Higher Education programmes allow students to begin studying course specific subjects whilst also working on units aimed at preparing applicants for undergraduate level study, such as development and research skills.

Cost of Study and Advanced Learner Loans

The tuition fees for our Access Courses range from £3,022 - £3,384 depending on the subject chosen.

Pay for your course with an Advanced Learner Loan (AL)
You can fund your Access course with an Advanced Learner Loan and if you progress from an Access to HE Diploma to complete a HE course, then your outstanding loan for the Access course is written off.

About our Courses

Find out everything you need to know from our Course Leader Lindsey.



Why Access?

Hear from our students about why you should study Access with us.



Changing lives

What our students say are the real benefits to studying Access.



Access Students of the Year 2021

Nickol Ignatowicz
Nickol Ignatowicz: Access to Midwifery & Health Professions

Progression: Edge Hill University | Children's Nursing

I have loved being on the Access course. When I started, I had never written an assignment in my life. I've just completed 20 of them and got the UCAS points that I need to progress to university. The course has fully set me up for university and has also given me new friends for life. It is definitely one of the best decisions I've made. I will miss everyone at Southport College.

Tabitha Mitchell
Tabitha Mitchell: Access to Social Science

Progression: UCLAN | Clinical Psychology

After scraping through high school, dropping out of college and an NVQ shortly after, I was unsure if education was something I could stick at. I’m so glad I was able to give it another chance. This year has definitely made me realise that if you apply yourself, you can achieve whatever you set out to, even during a pandemic!

Debra Vitez
Deobrah Vitez: Access to Science

Progression: UCLAN | Forensic Science

A friend was already enrolled on this course and recommended it to me. I’d been out of education for a long time and with two young children my time was limited. However, my family were very supportive and it was good for my children to see me work hard for what I want; we even sit together to do our homework. My teachers have been incredibly supportive and motivating and I’ve loved my time in the labs working on practical assignments. The Access to Science course can be challenging but it is rewarding and it’s prepared me for university.

Megan Thomas
Megan Thomas: Access to Nursing & Health Professions

Progression: University of Liverpool | Adult Nursing

It may be cliché for me to say that the Access to Nursing programme changed my life, but there is no other way I could describe my dream making experience at Southport College. For many, the chance to go to university is provided through A-levels (or so I believed), so when a previous school teacher had told me that I couldn't complete my A-levels because they couldn't facilitate my exam anxiety and that I would only do well in a vocational course or a job, I decided to go to Southport College to study Level 2 hairdressing.

My time on this course was absolutely amazing and I enjoyed it so much, but I knew it was not the career I wanted. My progress tutor introduced me to the Access programme and suddenly my dreams became a reality. My time on the Access programme has been second to none; with amazing facilities, supportive staff and a friendly environment which all made my time at the college very enjoyable and engaging. Although my time on the course took placed during the COVID-19 pandemic, I could not fault the course at all as the tutors always found ways around latest restrictions and provided extra support. I would jump at the opportunity to promote Access to anyone and everyone as it has allowed me to pursue my dream and continue onto the University of Liverpool to study adult nursing.

Haley Shaw
Haley Shaw: Access to Nursing & Health Professions

Progression: Edge Hill University | Adult Nursing

As a mature student returning to education, my experience on the Access to Nursing diploma has been extremely rewarding and positive. The support provided by all tutors has been outstanding during a very challenging time. I have enjoyed all aspects of learning, making new friends and developing the confidence and resilience needed to progress to adult nursing at Edge Hill University. It is never too late to follow your dreams and Southport College has fully prepared me for my future career. I would highly recommend anyanyone wanting to pursue a career in healthcare who doesn’t have the necessary qualifications to take the plunge and enrol on an Access course. Thank you again, I’m going to miss college and all the tutors!

Erin Fitzgerald
Erin Fitzgerald: Access to Social Science

Progression: Edge Hill University | Childhood & Youth Studies

The Access to HE Social Science course has been such a rewarding experience. Given the challenging circumstances of the past year, the college has continued to deliver outstanding teaching and support to its students. I feel more than ready for university in September.

Majah Glodel Collantes
Majah Clodel Collantes: Access to Education

Progression: Edge Hill University | Primary Education with Mathematics BA

Before the Access programme, I was a full-time homemaker: a wife and mother to two young children. I put my flourishing career on hold to focus on my family. For the past 8 years I had been pondering on what to do once my children grow had grown up and what I would be in 5 or 10-years’ time.

My husband encouraged me to return to study. At first, I was hesitant, as I felt insecure about my age to returning to learning. I was also unsure if I had the qualification to even access any educational programmes in the UK, as I was an immigrant. I had a degree, which I earned abroad, yet I was unsure if it was comparable or acceptable here. Moreover, I was also doubtful whether I could adapt (or not) to the British system of education as English was not my first language. Additionally, as I have been out of formal education for over 10 years, I was thinking about the drastic changes returning to education would make. Would these changes affect my family? However, I was yearning to progress and succeed, both personally and professionally.

When I finally decided to return to education and apply at Southport College, I was not expecting my application to be considered. The admission team were very welcoming and encouraging. They advised me to enrol on the Pre-Access programme (GCSE) to gain the relevant qualification to progress onto an Access course and then to university. They were very accommodating and inspiring.

The Pre-Access year fully prepared me for GCSE examinations. More significantly, the tutors were outstanding. They not only helped me pass my GCSE exams but also encouraged me to embrace my strengths, improve my confidence and improved my academic ability.

Before I started the Access programme, I was anxious about the commitment, as I knew it would be an extremely demanding year. I juggled family commitments, childcare, meeting the demands of assignments, achieving the relevant UCAS points, and being accepted into university. Moreover, I was aware how competitive university applications are. The pressure was overwhelming even before I started. However, I was determined to succeed, and I never allowed negative thoughts to overpower me. I considered it as preparation for a graduate job and constantly reminded myself why I was doing this.

The Access programme was challenging, not because it was hard but because of time constrictions (a full level 3 programme in nine months). It was fast-paced yet achievable. You are guided and supported extremely well, taught how to achieve the best possible grades and achieve your academic potential. Significantly, the Education tutors Lindsey Sutton (Education Studies and Pastoral Leader), Marc Evans (Psychology) and Dominique Fuentes (English Literature) went beyond in extending help beyond their call of duty. They have been instrumental to my success in the programme. Without their guidance and motivation, pursuing this programme would not have been possible.

Moreover, the extra support like the Child Care Funding was very helpful in ensuring I got the most out of my studies without worrying about school runs and extra expenses. This financial assistance was very advantageous as it helped me focus on my studies with fewer distractions. Additionally, the proofreading service was very beneficial especially as English was not my first language. It helped improve my academic writing and increased my quality, communication and presentation grades.

My Access journey had been very inspiring and rewarding. This journey has fostered my positive attitude to learning: adaptability, high expectations and resilience; improved my self-esteem and enhanced my transferrable skills. It has helped me significantly with my written communication skills, especially with grammar. I have not only grown personally, but I am primed for the next stage of my journey: the higher education journey. With hard-work, determination, persistence and commitment, as well as with the remarkable support of my tutors, LLC1 staff and the whole college, I have progressed to higher education, earned a place at Edge Hill University and will be pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Primary Education with Mathematics in September.

Finally, as one of the recipients of the Student of the Year Award, I strongly encourage you to believe and trust in yourself. I DID it so SO CAN YOU! Do not let anyone or anything stop you from achieving your goals. Great things come from small beginnings. Little steps count and make your dreams a reality. Keep moving forward!

Class of 2021

Access to Health (Group A)

Career Advice & Guidance

As an adult learner you’ll have access to the careers and university resources and you can also access course and careers advice and guidance through our Student Information Centre. You tutor will also discuss careers options and applications with you.