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Access - Nursing and HS at Truro and Penwith College

Course description

The Access to Higher Education Diploma is designed to give students the necessary grounding to progress on to Higher Education courses. The majority of British universities will accept Access to Higher Education courses as an alternative to A levels and other more traditional routes. In previous years students have gained places to train as nurses, teachers, midwives, paramedics, operating department practitioners, occupational therapists and in other caring professions.

The course starts in September and ends in May with 30 weeks of teaching. Taught hours are approximately 15 per week. The course runs over 3 days and offers parent friendly hours (i.e. 9.30 am - 4 pm).

Students study three core subjects, which are, Human Biology, Psychology and Sociology. Together these form the 45 academic subject credits, which can be graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction. In addition to the core subjects learners will also undertake 15 credits in Study Skills. This will help you to develop your written skills, which is particularly important if you have not studied for a number of years. The units are designed to give students the full confidence they will need for Higher Education. Skills developed include: exam preparation and performance, essay writing, referencing, presenting information to peers, how to apply to University, time management, etc.

Course content

Modules Human Biology

  • Cell Biology
  • Heart and Circulation
  • Homeostasis
  • Human Movement
  • Human Nutrition
  • Human Reproduction
  • Ventilation, Respiration and Energy

Modules- Sociology

  • Key Perspectives in Sociology
  • Sociology of Health
  • Beliefs in Society
  • Culture and Identity

Modules- Psychology

  • Key Perspectives in Psychology
  • Atypical Psychology- Psychological Disorders
  • Lifespan Development
  • Stress and Wellbeing

Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements to come on to the Access Diploma however, most universities require you to have GCSE English Language and Maths at a minimum of grade C alongside the Access Diploma in order to progress on to the degree. There may be the opportunity for you to study one GCSE alongside your Diploma timetable.


Your achievement on the course is dependent upon excellent attendance, self-motivation and dedication. You will learn in a variety of ways including, lectures, debate and discussion, group work and giving presentations. Whilst your learning will be through lectures and group work, you will also be expected to conduct a significant amount of self-directed study and research outside of the classroom environment.

Assessment is continuous throughout the course and consist of essays, reports, presentations, and other written assignments. You will also be required to sit an examination as part of the course requirements; this will help you to prepare for University level study.

Future opportunities

In previous years students have gained places to train as nurses, teachers, midwives, paramedics, operating department practitioners, occupational therapists and in other caring professions

Further information

Throughout the course you will be required to complete at least 15 hours of independent study time per week. To support you in this you will have access to lecturers via email and will be able to access support materials and resources via our virtual learning environment – Moodle.

You will also have a personal tutor who will support you throughout the course and assist you in completing the UCAS process. Furthermore, your Study Skills lecturer will assist you in developing the necessary academic skills and attributes for study at University level.

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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