Access Pre-Degree courses

Access Courses

For those who have been out of education for some time or have few or no existing formal qualification.

Have you ever felt that you missed out on opportunities when you were younger? If so, the Access to Higher Education programme at Swindon College may well be for you. Courses are one year full time and timed to fit around the school day and other commitments.

Access programmes are designed for adults (normally 19+), and are stepping stones to Higher Education (HE). The Access course is equivalent to three A Levels and is accepted for entry requirements to related degree or foundation degree courses at British universities.

Swindon College is one of the largest providers of HE in Wiltshire, with undergraduates studying a wide variety of qualifications. Many of them started with Access qualifications.

You can apply for financial support, called an Adult Learner Loan, for these courses.

Please click here for information on Adult Learner Loans.


Access pathways

  • Access to HE, Health Professionals
  • Access to Social Work
  • Humanties
  • Criminology


Who would benefit from an Access to HE course?

An Access course will help you progress to a level where you can study a wide range of degree courses at university. The emphasis of all courses is on developing the skills needed for you to become an effective and independent student.

You will be helped to develop your study, IT, numeracy and team work skills as well as developing other knowledge and abilities relevant to your chosen university route.


You will learn how to

  • Manage time effectively
  • Evaluate strengths and weaknesses
  • Set your own goals
  • Structure essays and write reports
  • Carry out research in the College library
  • Make effective notes
  • Revise and operate in exam conditions
  • Work effectively in small groups.


Meet our students

Julie Cracknell

Access to HE

Health Care Professions

"To achieve my aspirations of becoming a nurse, I had to close my skills gap for entry to a degree programme. The Access course provided the qualifications and skills that I needed to enter a Level 4 programme with progression to Level 6 (BA degree level)."