Health Care Professions (Nursing) - Access to Higher Education Diploma

Course Information

  • Course Code: RV137
  • Duration: 1 academic year
  • Study mode: Full Time


Access to Higher Education Diplomas- Health Care Professions (Nursing) provides excellent preparation for people who wish to study nursing related courses at University level. Adult nurses care for people with a wide variety of illnesses or conditions. Paediatric nurses care for children, from newborn babies right through to teenagers. Once qualified, all nurses must continue to update and build on their skills and knowledge in their chosen area. After gaining some experience, nurses can choose to specialise further. Successfully gaining a place on a nursing degree involves:

  • Having excellent attendance on your Access Diploma
  • Completing all work to a very high standard (Nursing degree admissions officers will usually expect Distinctions in most of your work)
  • Having relevant work experience. As competition for places on a Nursing degree is extremely high, it is essential that you have relevant work experience, to ensure you have detailed knowledge of the day-to-day role of a Nurse, before applying to university.

The Access to Health Care Professions (Nursing) Diploma is excellent preparation for people who wish to study Nursing at University level and to qualify as a Staff Nurse. This course is especially designed for mature students who do not currently have the necessary academic qualifications to apply for University level study.

We strongly advise you to check the entry criteria for the degree you wish to progress to at University to ensure you meet all the requirements.

What will I study?

You will study on this programme for 12 hours per week, completing three subjects at Level 3 (the equivalent of A-levels). In addition you will attend a tutorial session where your study skills will be developed and you will receive excellent preparation for University level study with our 'Study Skills' module. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a modular course which involves you studying a combination of units. All units are compulsory and must be completed by all students who wish to achieve this award. 

You will study the following subjects at Level 3:

  • Sociology Level 3
  • Professional Healthcare Practice Level 3
  • Social Issues in Healthcare Level 3

All students on the Diploma will then complete the following mandatory units in a weekly tutorial:

  • Academic Writing
  • Preparing to Progress

Entry Requirements

As this is a demanding A-level equivalent programme, you should have a minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above, or equivalent qualifications, including English and Mathematics. You should also have evidence of study within the last five years.

A GCSE in Science may be advantageous depending on the University at which you intend to study Nursing.

Applicants who do not have recent experience of study but have relevant work or life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview, you should still apply in this case. The interview will consider prior formal qualifications, and evidence of experience gained through employment or other verifiable sources.

You must have relevant work experience for this course. The following is an example of the work we regard as suitable to demonstrate your aptitude for a career:

  • HCA/Care Assistant roles
  • Working as a Home Carer
  • Volunteer roles in Hospitals/Care settings

How will I be assessed?

You'll be assessed by examinations and essays throughout the course. 

What can I do next?

This programme is designed to prepare you for study at Degree level.

Your Study Programme

View Study Programme Information

Career Options

Adult Nurse

If you enjoy caring for people and you are looking for a varied job, this could be an ideal career for you. Adult nurses care for people over 18 who are ill, injured, or have physical disabilities.

To work as an adult nurse, you need to complete an approved course. For this you will need proof of English and maths skills, good health and a good character.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Children's Nurse

If you enjoy helping and caring for children, this job could be ideal for you. A children's nurse provides care for children and young people with a wide range of conditions.

As a children's nurse, you will need to have the ability to comfort, reassure and gain the trust of patients. You’ll need excellent communication and listening skills. You’ll also need the authority and confidence to deal with children or parents in stressful circumstances.

To work as a children's nurse, you will need a Nursing and Midwifery Council approved degree. You must also agree to a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Learning Disability Nurse

If you want to work as part of a team to support people with learning disabilities and their families to get the best out of life, then this could be the ideal job for you.

Learning disability nurses are based in a variety of settings in the community and in hospitals. They promote the health and wellbeing of their patients, and work to improve their quality of life to help them live as independently as they can.

You will need to be sensitive to the needs of your patients, have excellent communication skills and be able to deal with a challenging health and social care environment. To work as a learning disability nurse, you will need to complete a Nursing and Midwifery Council approved degree in nursing.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

District Nurse

As a district nurse, you would care for people in a variety of non-hospital settings. These could include patients' homes, GP surgeries and residential care homes. If you like variety and enjoy working at different locations, this nursing role could be perfect for you.

To be a district nurse you will need to be able to relate to people of all ages and backgrounds. You will need to be a good talker and listener. You’ll also need patience and understanding.

You will usually need between one and two years' professional experience as a qualified adult nurse before you can begin training as a district nurse. To qualify as a nurse you will need a Nursing and Midwifery Council approved degree.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Health Visitor

Health visitors are experienced and qualified registered nurses or midwives. They work in the community to promote good health and prevent illness. They spend most of their day visiting people in their homes, especially new mothers and children. If you are keen to work in the community and want a career in healthcare, this could be perfect for you.

To become a health visitor, you will need to have the ability to relate to people of all ages and backgrounds. You must have excellent communication and listening skills. Sometimes you will need to be able to cope with distressing issues.

You will need to be a qualified midwife or nurse (any branch) to begin an approved health visitor training programme and work as a health visitor.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Operating Department Practitioner

As an operating department practitioner (ODP) you would support operating theatre staff and provide care to patients, before, during and after surgery. If you've got good practical skills and you can keep your concentration, this job could be ideal for you.

In this job you would need to be able to work well within a busy team. You would also need to be organised and learn quickly.

To get into this job you will need a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) or degree in Operating Department Practice (approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)). You must also be accepted on to the state register and be a member of the College of Operating Department Practitioners (CODP).

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Occupational Health Nurse

Occupational health nurses are registered nurses who specialise in caring for the health and wellbeing of people at work. They also work with employers to develop safe working policies and procedures.

If you are interested in nursing and in promoting health in the workplace, then this could be the role for you.

To get into this work, you will need to complete a three-year degree in nursing, and have experience of working as a registered nurse. It will help if you have some knowledge of health promotion and health and safety at work.?

Job Opportunites in Lancashire


If you enjoy technology and science, and you can work quickly and accurately, this could be an ideal job for you.

In this job you will use different kinds of radiation to help diagnose or treat patients who are ill or injured. To do this job you will be using highly technical equipment. You will need excellent communication and people skills. And you’ll need to have a caring approach to some patients who are very ill.

Before you can work in this job you will need to complete a degree or postgraduate qualification approved by the Health and Care Professions Council.?

Job Opportunites in Lancashire