If you know you want to do a degree in the future but would like (or need to) prepare for study at a higher education level first, there are specific courses are available.
This section looks at courses that are specifically designed to help people get set for study at a higher education level, notably:
- Access to Higher Education Diplomas
- Access modules available from The Open University
- foundation years (an extra year before a degree)
These programmes are an excellent way into higher-level study for adults, particularly those who have been out of learning for some time.
Find out the entry requirements for any of these courses that interest you. For some you may not require formal academic qualifications, but you still need to demonstrate you have the potential to cope with the level of work. Please note that a level 2 English and maths qualification may be required before entry onto any of the above courses or you will need to study for one or both of these at the same time. Many university level courses require a certain level of numeracy and literacy and you need to check the the specific entry requirements for the type of courses you are hoping to apply for.
Bear mind that it’s sometimes possible for adults with suitable learning from experience or previous qualifications to gain direct entry to a higher education level course (without needing to do a preparatory programme) even if they don’t have the usual entry requirements. If this could apply to you, it’s worth discussing your background with admissions tutors and finding out about the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).Some higher education courses, such as Foundation Degrees, have more flexible entry requirements than Honours Degree programmes.
Before you start exploring your options, complete the Lifepilot Higher Skills Map tool to see how your existing skills and experience will be valued in higher education. Use the information to find a course to suit you and to promote yourself on applications.