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Access - Computing and IT at Truro and Penwith College

Course description

15 Academic Subject Content (ASC) units are offered in the following:

  • Programming – units are offered in Arrays, Iteration and Procedures, Linear and Object Orientated programming. Languages covered include VB and Pyhton.
  • Web Design – units here will cover the design, creation and upload of websites using HTML, PHP and CSS.
  • Core Theory – units include the architecture of computer systems, operating systems and network theory.
  • Databases – units including the design and creation of both flat-file and relational databases.

5 Academic Preparation Skills (APS) units are offered in the following:

Study Skills - This comprises of 5 units worth of work and is a defining element of any Access Course. Throughout the course you will gain vital skills to prepare you for study at higher education. This includes researching your choices at higher education and support throughout the application process through to interview preparation skills. In addition you will develop your written skills through the academic writing skills unit which covers research, essay writing skills and referencing. The examination techniques and practice unit focuses on effective revision techniques and evaluation skills

Entry requirements

  • We highly recommend that you have either GCSE English or Maths at Grade C or above, preferably both, in place before you commence the course. Students are expected to undergo an interview and a profiling assessment.
  • This course is 30 weeks starting in September and finishing in May. Taught hours are up to 15 hours per week. Lectures are taught over 3 days per week.


  • The Credit System - The course is credit based. For each unit completed, three credits are awarded. Students are required to gain a minimum of 60 credits in total. 45 credits must be achieved at level 3 from Academic Subject Content (ASC) units; the remaining 15 credits can be at level 2 or 3 from Academic Preparation Skills (APS) units. Credits are achieved by completing units that may consist of several coursework based assignments.
  • The Grading System - The Access to HE Diploma has a grading system. All L3 credits gained from ASC units are awarded a pass, merit or distinction grade based on the quality of the work. Increasingly, universities are making graded offers to Access students that require students to gain a certain number of credits at merit or distinction level. Some universities require these to be in certain module areas e.g. programming or web design units.

Future opportunities

  • The Access to Higher Education Diploma is awarded by ‘apt awards’ and is nationally recognised as an alternative educational pathway into Higher Education. Student’s progress to a variety of degrees including programming centric computing / computer science or hardware related degrees including ethical hacking or network security.
  • The majority of British universities recognise this qualification as an excellent preparation for university and accept the Access to HE Diploma as an alternative to A’ levels and other more traditional routes. The vast majority of our students are accepted at their first choice of university. In previous year’s students have gained places at a wide range of universities including UWE, Bristol and Plymouth. There is also a progress route to study on one of the foundation degrees at the Truro campus, leading to full BSc.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Truro and Penwith College directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2016

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