Covid-19 has caused a significant reduction in the number of job vacancies. However, The Skills Network (TSN) analysed 1.5 million job adverts between March and September 2020 and found that there are more than 50,000 nursing vacancies in the UK. The UK government aims to increase nurse numbers by 50,000 over the next 5 years and as a result, the Department of Education announced earlier this year that 3,803 additional places have been approved at UK universities for nursing courses. In December 2019, the Department of Health and Social Care announced that all nursing students on courses from September 2020 will receive a payment of at least £5,000 a year which they will not need to pay back.

An Access to HE diploma in nursing can be vital for your learners to access the employment opportunities and university places currently available.

Why study an Access to HE Diploma?

The Access to Higher Education Diploma in Nursing is a Level 3 qualification which prepares people without traditional qualifications for study at university.

The qualification gives you the relevant academic subject knowledge needed for higher education study and the opportunity to develop study skills to help you to succeed. It is well established and widely accepted by universities, qualifying for UCAS tariff points that are comparable to the tariff points for three A levels. 

  • Adults who, because of social, educational or individual circumstances, were unable to participate in or benefit from initial education
  • Adults from groups under-represented in higher education.
  • Adults seeking a change of direction because of unemployment or lack of career opportunities in their previous field and who have a demonstrable interest in entering a profession within Nursing.

Learners primarily progress to Higher Education study in areas related to Nursing. These may include some of the following areas of Degree level study: Adult Nursing, Biological Sciences, Child Nursing, Health and Social Care, Health Promotion and Public Health, Learning Disabilities Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Midwifery, Occupational Therapy, Public Health and a wide range of combined and related degrees.

OCN London works with local universities to develop progression and partnership agreements that benefit all its providers and learners. The following agreements are in place:

Name: Bret Yates

Access to HE Diploma: Access to Nursing 

College: Bexley College 

Years studied: 2015

Current role: Registered Nurse 


Information for centres

How can you deliver this qualification?

You can enquire about becoming an approved centre for delivering Access to HE Diplomas by completing the Centre Approval Enquiry Form.

You can find out more about the delivery of the Access to HE Diploma by reading our Access to HE Brochure and the OCN London Access to HE Diploma Guide.

Information for learners

How will I pay for this course?

If you are aged 19-23 and don’t already have a full level 3 qualification your Access course will be fully funded. Otherwise, if you are aged 19 and over you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of your Access to HE Diploma course. The loan will be paid directly to your college (or whoever is running the course) on your behalf.

When you complete a higher education course you will not have to repay the Advanced Learner Loan for your Access to HE Diploma course. This doesn’t have to be a full bachelor’s degree; it could be a foundation degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND) studied at a university or at a local college that offers HE courses.

The Access to HE Diploma is the only qualification that offers this loan waiver.

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