Access to university

Have you always wanted to study for a degree or diploma at university, but didn’t think you had the qualifications to do so?

Access to Higher Education Diplomas are one year qualifications that help you gain the relevant entry requirements for a university level course or degree.

What is an access to HE diploma?

Access to Higher Education Diplomas – to give them their full title – are one-year qualifications that help you gain the relevant entry requirements for a university level course or degree.

They have been specifically designed for adults who have been out of education for a period of time and are looking for an opportunity to retrain for a new career, re-engage with education and study at university.

Entry requirements

To be able to study an Access to HE Diploma, you will need to have the desired entry requirements, which are usually a GCSE grade C/4 in English Language and Maths.

Please also be aware that some of our qualifications have additional requirements which are listed on the course pages on our website.

When you’ve decided what you want to study, successfully complete the qualification and university awaits!

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What can you study?

We have fantastic courses on offer at The Sheffield College, with a variety of subjects available. You can study in the following areas and take advantage of all the benefits an Access Diploma with us has to offer!

  • Business
  • Computing
  • Digital and Creative Media
  • Education
  • Health Science
  • Humanities, English and Social Science
  • Nursing and Midwifery
  • Nursing and Midwifery - (NHS fast-track)
  • Paramedic Science
  • Policing
  • Science
  • Sport and Exercise

What are the benefits?

  • No upper age limit or previous experience required
  • Accessible entry requirements
  • Perfect for retraining
  • It doesn't matter if you've been out of education for a while
  • University recognised qualifications
  • Fantastic financial and personal support
  • Graduate from university and your loan could be written off


Don’t have the entry requirements yet? Our pre-access qualifications support your progression onto an Access to Higher Education Diploma the following year by improving your study skills and helping you gain GCSEs in English Language and Maths.

One of our tutors will be able to advise you if this is the programme for you at interview stage.

Click here to view our qualifications

University level

There’s a pretty big misconception about getting a degree level qualification; you have to go to university to get one. Quite simply, that’s not true!

At UC Sheffield, you can join an increasing number of students who are choosing to study university level qualifications in a wide range of career driven courses with us. All of our courses are validated by leading universities, including Sheffield Hallam University and The Open University.

Click here to view our qualifications

Here are just a few other reasons you should choose to study with us:

Tutors who are industry experts

Our tutors haven’t always been teachers! They have loads of experience working in their chosen industry giving you invaluable insight into what skills today’s employers are looking for.

Fantastic support networks including in-class, personal and financial

We want your experience to be as enjoyable as possible. We don’t think you should have to worry about much other than concentrating on having a great time and doing well on your course.

That’s why we have a fantastic Student Support team, who are always on hand to help you with any questions, concerns, or problems that you might face whilst you study with us.

Career driven courses

With courses in everything from Nursing and Paramedic Science, to Business and Computing, there’s something for just about everyone. Better yet, all of our courses focus on giving you the skills you need to find the job you want.

Small group sizes and progression support

Our class sizes are often super small, which is great news for you. You’ll receive more contact time with your tutor plus one-to-one support, allowing you to achieve the best results possible.

Top-class facilities

As a student at The Sheffield College, you can make use of our Learning Resource Centres, Student Central, coffee shops, and diners, as well as The Silver Plate Restaurant, Revive Hair and Beauty Salon, our gyms, sports halls, and computer suites.

Stay local

If you currently live in Sheffield there’s no hassle or cost involved as you won’t need to move to study, our campuses are all a stone’s throw from the city centre and transport links.


Each year, we go all out to celebrate the graduation of our students with a ceremony at Sheffield Cathedral. Our graduations are an amazing occasion with special guests, alumni speakers, and cap and gowns.