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Access to
Higher Education

Truro and Penwith College has developed a comprehensive Access to Higher Education programme to meet the needs of mature students. The majority of students who have followed Access programmes at the College have been successful in gaining places at Colleges and Universities of their choice.

What is an Access course?

These Courses provide learners with a step-up to Higher Education by giving them the necessary grounding and qualifications for progression to University Courses. This route provides excellent study skills in specific subject areas, giving people the confidence to succeed.

The following Access Courses are available: Science; Nursing and Human Sciences; Health and Social Care; Creative Arts; Art and Design; Computing and IT; Creative Media and Photography; Psychology and Social work; Humanities, Law and Teaching.

Katie Edit
“ (3)

The Access tutors would check-in regularly with us to ensure we were happy with where we were at, helped us and answered our questions. I wouldn’t be where I am without Truro College and of course my own hard work and dedication!

Katie - Access to Nursing & Human Sciences

The credit system

The course is credit based. Students need to collect 15 ungraded credits at Level 2 or Level 3 and 45 graded credits at Level 3. Most credits are gained by continuous assessment or assignments.

Progression routes

The Access to Higher Education programme is designed to give students the necessary grounding to progress on to Higher Education courses. The majority of British Universities will accept Access to Higher Education courses as an alternative to A Levels and other more traditional routes. In previous years students have gained places to train as Nurses, Teachers, Occupational therapists and in other caring professions. Others have chosen to follow degrees in a diverse range of subjects, including Anthropology, Forensic Science, English, Zoology and Journalism.

Core subjects

The Study Skills unit is designed to give students the full confidence that they will need for Higher Education. Skills developed include: Note taking, essay writing; referencing; presenting information to peers; etc. Learners would be given full support by their tutor while completing their application to university.

We have a large network of computers with Internet access and a large range of software. Many of our students have never used a computer, whilst others have considerable experience. Whatever your level, we will help you to develop your skills.

A group of access students stand in front of a large window at the University Centre Truro and Penwith.

Mature Access Pathway

Mature students receive extra support to help them return to study and make the move to university and careers thanks to the College’s partnership with the University of Exeter providing access to its Mature Access Pathway.

The Mature Access Pathway allows students to experience what university life is like and polish their study skills through workshops, talks, and on-campus activities. The Pathway includes social events and advice about money and living matters as well as specialist information and advice provided by experts from the University of Exeter and the College.

Frequently asked questions

We recommend that you have GCSE English and Maths at a minimum of Grade 4 (C) before you commence the Access courses. However, please contact us to discuss your prior qualifications and planned progression route and we would be happy to advise based on your particular set of circumstances.

It is advisable to check the GCSE requirements for the higher education course you wish to complete following the Access course, as they may have different stipulations.

If you are over 19 and require an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the course fees (ranging from £3,600 - £5,040), the Access loan could be written off on completion of a degree level course. If you are aged 19-23 at the start of the course, and do not hold a full level 3 qualification, you would be fully funded for your Access course.

Courses normally start in mid-September and end in mid-June. Taught hours vary between 11 - 16 hours per week depending on the pathway chosen. Courses usually run over 3 days and offer parent friendly hours (i.e. 9.15am to 4.15pm).

Designed specifically for mature learners, CAREER COACH can help you search for Access to HE courses linked to your future career goals. The interactive tool gives you up-to-date information as well as highlighting the skills and knowledge that you will need to enter certain industries and the job roles within them. Find the Career Coach tool by CLICKING HERE.

our stories

Bethany – Access to Science

Mum of two Bethany reignited a lifelong passion for science after enrolling on the Access to Science course at the University Centre Truro & Penwith, and now hopes to become a dentist after continuing her university journey.
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Maddy – Access to Medicine

Maddy studied Access to Medicine at the University Centre and has since progressed to the University of Exeter to study Medicine, with a view to specialise in paediatrics.
Read Story

Stephanie – Access to Science

Stephanie wanted to progress her career in the Dental Industry and having completed an Access to Science Diploma, she is ready to start a Dental Hygiene Therapy Degree.
Read Story

Phoebe – Access to Science

An Access diploma enabled Phoebe to get a place at Bristol University and persue her passion of caring for animals with a Veterinary Science degree.
Read Story

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