Access to Higher Education Course
Blackford Centre for Higher Education
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I start my course at any time?
There is no set start date so you can enrol at any time you wish. However you will need to consider university start dates as universities generally start in September/October. Our awarding body will need your grades by June for external moderation and approval.
- How long will the course take me to complete?
The course can be completed in a minimum of 9 months full time study, although we recommend you take a year. This is to ensure you get the most out of the course and achieve your best.
- Do I need to complete the course in a certain time?
Under QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) guidelines you have up to 5 years to accumulate the total number of credits.
- Is the course all at home or will I have to go to a training centre?
You study the course from home. You will not have to attend any additional training days or classes.
- Does my location matter?
This course is for UK residents only. So you will need to be living in the UK to complete this course.
Who can I contact if I need to talk to someone?
- What can you tell me about the tutors?
All of our tutors have a background in biology/health studies and have a teaching qualification. You will have access to a tutor for the duration of your studies with us. We will try to ensure that this is the same tutor but sometimes this is not possible.
Your tutor will be marking and grading your assessments and will give you constructive feedback to improve your studies. You will be given your tutors email address when you enrol so you can contact them.
- What is a mentor?
We will ensure you have access to a mentor once a week. Your mentor will support you with any concerns you may have, give you guidance, and talk to about how you are feeling and getting on with the course. You will be able to contact your mentor by email and by phone.
- Who do I contact if I have a question?
If you have any questions regarding the course, your tutor, submitting assessments or the portal, contact our support team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have additional needs; can I still complete the course?
- I have special needs. Can I still complete this course?
If you have a SEND (Special Eucation Needs or Disability) that would affect your studies please contact us to discuss your concerns and needs.
We will require medical confirmation of your SEND which you should be emailed to us before we can enrol you on the course. Please read our Reasonable Adjustments policy Reasonable Adjustments Policy and Procedure.pdf
- I have already completed some units at another institution. Do I need to complete the whole course?
Prior learning means you have already completed some of the units we offer with a different learning provider. The course should be equivalent to this one and evidence would be required before we continue with your enrolment. Please read our RPL policy. Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.pdf
- What will I learn?
Please go to our website to see unit titles and an overview of the contents. https://www.inst.org/access_higher_education/syllabus.htm
- What are the course editions?
There are two options for completing the course – online only or printed editions. Both options include access to all course materials on the VLE. You will be given access to this when you enrol. This will include all written content, videos, self assessment tasks and marked assessments. On the VLE there is a learning resource section that includes useful books and articles for you to access throughout your studies. The printed option means you get a printed copy of the course content in addition to the online access.
- How will I be assessed?
There are a range of ways in which we will assess your skills. These include essays, one timed exam, leaflets, presentations, quizzes, case studies and written documents. We will give you information on how to compete these assessments.
- What is the difference between graded and ungraded unit?
There are two types of units within this course ungraded and graded. The ungraded units consist of study and academic skills. They include research and referencing, writing an assignment, and maths in health care. These units are marked and need to be passed but do not count towards your final grade. The graded units are worth three or six credits. These grades count towards your final grade and you can get a pass, merit or distinction. These must be passed in order to continue the course. Don’t worry if you don’t pass the assignment first time as you are allowed to make a resubmission of the assignment to make your improvements. Your tutor will give you pointers on how to improve your work.
- How many credits do I get?
After completing this course you will have achieved a total of 60 credits. 45 credits are graded at level 3 and 15 credits are ungraded at level 3. This is enough credits to gain you access to university.
- What are units?
Within this course there are 18 units in total. One unit is an induction module, five units are ungraded and twelve units are graded. Three of these graded units have assignments of six credits. The rest are all three credits. All work and assignments within a unit will need to be complete before you can proceed to the next unit.
Units are organised into subject banks
Human Biology (7 units)
Health studies (2 units)
Psychology, Sociology and Law (2 units)
Ungraded and Academic Skills (5 units)
These are all approved by the AVA (Awarding body for Vocational Achievement).
- What does the course cost?
Go to our payments pages for prices. https://www.inst.org/access_higher_education/enrol.htm All costs are included in this price.
- How can I pay for the course?
You have the option to pay in one go or by instalments over 12 months. You can do this either online or contacting the support team on 0800 781 17 15 (or +44 1373 470 270 if you're outside the UK),
- Do you provide government funding or grants?
No. We do not provide government funding
- What happens if the course is not for me?
If you decide that this course is not for you, you can return the course in good condition within 60 days and receive a full refund. Please read our Terms and Conditions
- Are you accredited?
Yes, this course is accredited by AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group. AIM is licensed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) to award and certificate the Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma.
The Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma is a UK qualification which prepares mature students for study as an undergraduate at university. The diploma is designed for people who would like to study in higher education but who left school without qualifications such as A-Levels. These diplomas are usually studied full-time over one year.
We have worked with higher education institutes (HEIs) to design the content of the access diplomas to ensure learners are prepared for successful entry on a wide variety of degree programmes.
Each year around 37,000 learners in the UK take access to higher education courses and many go on to succeed in higher education and embark on life-changing new careers.
Our diplomas are full level 3 qualifications and are accepted by most HEIs to meet the entry requirements on their courses. https://www.aimawards.org.uk/services/aim-qualifications/qualifications/access-to-higher-education/
- Will all universities accept this course?
You will need to check the admission requirements for the university you wish to attend as they vary. Universities may require a certain pass mark to accept you on the course. As well as checking you have the right grades for the course, some universities will want to conduct an interview with you prior to starting the course and may specify background checks, including DBS, health, residency status, evidence of reliability, punctuality and meeting deadlines.
We advise you to contact universities and check admission requirements before you enrol on this course.
- How do I apply for university?
To apply to university you will need to complete a UCAS form. We have information that we can send to you about creating a personal statement and we can support you with the application form. https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/applying-university/ucas-undergraduate-when-apply
- Who are UCAS?
Universities and Colleges Admissions service (UCAS) is a service that students use to apply for a university place. Please here for further information https://www.ucas.com/about-us/who-we-are UCAS will need to send your grades to your chosen university. For example if you enrol in March 2020, you should be able to start university in September 2021. There is an additional application fee of £20 for one course and £25 for multiple course and late application after June 30th. You will need to check deadlines on the UCAS website as this may change depending on when you are planning to start University.
How are you different to other providers?
- What makes you different from other providers?
Our ‘why choose us’ page on the website will provide you with information about us. https://www.inst.org/access_higher_education/reasons.htm
Qualifications to start the course
- Do I need any qualifications or experience before I enrol?
We do not have any specific entry requirements. However, it is advisable that you have a minimum of GCSE level 2 (Grades C-A*) in literacy, numeracy and science. You will need to check the university admissions requirements to see if they require these qualifications before you enrol on this course.
- Will I have to complete any tasks before I start the course?
Before you can start formal study with us you are required to complete a pre-enrolment task. This includes a written task, a basic maths task and an English language task focusing on spelling, punctuation and grammar. They are designed to assess your current level of academic ability. These tasks will be marked but are not graded. They are designed to enable us to offer you additional support if required.
- How do I enrol?
You can either go to our enrolment page on the website or phone us on 0800 781 17 15 (or +44 1373 470 270 if you're outside the UK),.
Are you legitimate?
- How can I be sure that you're legitimate, and that you won't disappear with my money?
Here are some answers we hope will reassure you.
We've been in operation since 1994; so we're long established.
We publish our physical addresses at the bottom of each page - and you are welcome to visit us.
We're authorised to offer the Access to HE Diploma by Aim Awards, an accreditation body licensed by QAA. Aim Awards audit us annually (you can phone them to verify they do that).
You can read our students' reviews on TrustPilot.
We publish an Ethical Statement here: www.inst.org/ethics.htm
We're registered at Companies House: registration number 352 4886
Our VAT number is 729 1528 23
Our bank is NatWest, 7 High Street, Wells, Somerset (we have money in the bank and no loans or overdraft).
We're registered with the UK government's Register of Learning Providers (www.ukrlp.co.uk); Number 10009490.
And finally, we love what we do; and we wouldn't do anything to jeopardise it.
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