Accessibility links

Health Care (Nursing) Access to Higher Education Diploma at Blackburn College

Course description

Access to Higher Education Diplomas- Health Care (Nursing) provides excellent preparation for people who wish to study nursing related courses at University level. Adult nurses care for people with a wide variety of illnesses or conditions. Paediatric nurses care for children, from newborn babies right through to teenagers. Once qualified, all nurses must continue to update and build on their skills and knowledge in their chosen area. After gaining some experience, nurses can choose to specialise further. Successfully gaining a place on a nursing degree involves:

  • Having excellent attendance on your Access Diploma
  • Completing all work to a very high standard (Nursing degree admissions officers will usually expect Distinctions in most of your work)
  • Having relevant work experience. As competition for places on a Nursing degree is extremely high, it is essential that you have relevant work experience, to ensure you have detailed knowledge of the day-to-day role of a Nurse, before applying to university.

The Access to Health Care Professions (Paediatric and Adult Nursing) Diploma is excellent preparation for people who wish to study Nursing at University level and to qualify as a Staff Nurse. This course is especially designed for mature students who do not currently have the necessary academic qualifications to apply for University level study.

Course content

You will study on this programme for 12 hours per week, completing three subjects at Level 3 (the equivalent of A-levels). In addition you will attend a tutorial session where your study skills will be developed and you will receive excellent preparation for University level study with our 'Study Skills' module. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a modular course which involves you studying a combination of units. All units are compulsory and must be completed by all students who wish to achieve this award. 

You will study the following subjects at Level 3:

  • Biology Level 3
  • Sociology Level 3
  • Professional Healthcare Practice Level 3

All students on the Diploma will then complete the following mandatory units in a weekly tutorial:

  • Study Skills Level 3
  • Further Study Skills Level 3

Entry requirements

As this is a demanding A-level equivalent programme, you should have a minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade C or above, or equivalent qualifications, including English, Mathematics and Science. You should also have evidence of study within the last five years. Applicants who do not have recent experience of study but have relevant work or life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview. If you do not have the relevant qualifications we will refer you to our Adult GCSE Programme.

You must have relevant work experience for this course. The following is an example of the work we regard as suitable to demonstrate your aptitude for a career:

  • HCA/Care Assistant roles
  • Working as a Home Carer
  • Volunteer roles in Hospitals/Care settings


You'll be assessed by examinations and essays throughout the course. 

Future opportunities

This programme is designed to prepare you for study at Degree level

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Blackburn College directly.

Last updated date: 12 February 2016
Provider logo

Key information