In November 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new  £20 million fund to expand medicines manufacturing. The fund will play a crucial role in creating economic opportunities and highly skilled jobs across the country. Overall, specialised medical professional roles grew by 58% in 2020.

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

Why study an Access to HE Diploma in Medicine?

The Access to HE Diploma (Medicine) meets the requirements of the QAA Approved Subject Descriptor for Medicine. The subject descriptor has been approved by QAA and was developed in consultation with The Medical Schools Council (MSC) and other HE and FE specialists.

The aim of the subject descriptor is to bring greater standardisation to Diplomas titled Access to HE Diploma (Medicine). This will allow the medical schools currently accepting Access to HE students for direct entry to have greater confidence that an unfamiliar Diploma will be very similar in selection, content and assessment to those that they currently accept. It may also encourage those medical schools not currently accepting Access to HE students to review their admissions policies based on a clear definition of an Access to HE Diploma (Medicine) student.  

Subjects include biology, chemistry, professional behaviours, numerical data, physics and mathematics. This diploma has the following set of online courses are available support learners’ development:

  • Essay Writing 
  • Finding and Reading Information
  • Note-taking and Note-making
  • Preparation for Higher Education
  • Writing Standard English

The Access to HE diploma is a 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 the medical profession.

Learners primarily progress to Higher Education study in areas related to Medicine. These may include some of the following areas of Degree level study:

  • Applied Medical Sciences
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Biomedicine
  • Dentistry
  • Medical Biochemistry
  • Medical Physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology and Physiology
  • Pharmacy
  • Veterinary Medicine and Science

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:

This Diploma is new for September 2021. Centres approved to deliver the qualification will be added shortly.

You can also study for an Access to HE Diploma in Medicine and Medical BiosciencesScienceBiomedical SciencesPharmacy and Bio-medical SciencesHealth and Human Sciences or Veterinary Science.

You can find out more about these centres and the Diplomas that they offer by visiting their pages in our Access to HE Course Directory and by contacting them directly.


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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