19 Years and Over


Access to Higher Education Diplomas are full Level 3 national qualifications accepted as a standard entry qualification by Higher Education (HE) providers in England and Wales. Each year over 40,000 learners in the UK register on Access to Higher Education Diplomas and most go on to succeed in HE and embark on life changing new careers.

The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Computer Science) explores a range of areas in the field of information technology (IT), including programming and mathematics, web design, networking, cyber security, databases and systems.
By completing this Access to HE Diploma, you will be able to take your first step towards a wide variety of industry careers, from software engineer or IT technician to website content manager or database developer. You will also be ready to embark on a range of degree-level courses within the computing sector.
Alternatively, you could progress directly on to the HNC Computing & Systems Development which then allows you to progress up to HND Computing & Systems Development (at Macclesfield College and other HE providers). From the HND there are opportunities to progress to ‘top up’ to a BSc honours degree with a higher education provider offering Level 6 provision.
The course is designed to prepare learners without formal educational backgrounds for academic work and university life. In addition to academic content, study skills and IT skills are supported and developed.

The course starts in September for the duration of one academic year and is organised to allow students to fit their study around their home, family and work commitments (9.30am – 3.00pm). You will be expected to attend all teaching sessions for approximately 10-12 hours in college over 2-3 days a week. Please note that you will need to supplement this by studying in your own time.

Course delivery will be via a combination of both ‘traditional face-to-face’ and ‘remote’ teaching; you will also be required to access on-line material to supplement both of these delivery methods.

Access to Higher Education Courses are eligible for Advanced Learner Loans

-Loan eligibility doesn’t depend on your income and there are no credit checks.

– If you complete your Access to Higher Education course and subsequent degree, your Advanced Learner Loan will be written off.

More information on paying for your Access to Higher Education Diploma is available at https://www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan

Entry Requirements

Ideally, applicants should have a GCSE at Grade C (4) or above in both English and Maths (or equivalent*).

However, we will consider applications from those who have a Grade D (5) or equivalent in either Maths or English – please note where this is the case the relevant GCSE/Functional Skills Level 2 must be studied alongside the Access to Higher Education Diploma (evening class).

* Equivalent – Functional Skills level 2.

On receipt of your application to study this course you will be invited to attend an admissions interview with a member of the teaching team to discuss the course and its requirements further.


The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Computer Science) covers a range of topics such as

• Web Design
• Networking,
• Cyber Security
• Databases and systems.

You will also study Skills for Learning and a Common Core subjects designed to develop your academic skills.

Specific units will be discussed at interview.


Assessment is both formal (graded) and informal with an emphasis on continuous assessment and coursework to include essays, presentations, case studies, scientific reports, practical work and a research project.

Awarding body

Open College West Midlands


Fees: 3384.00

Fees Advanced Learning Loan: 3384.00


Successful completion of this course will enable entry onto a relevant degree. (You are advised to check the specific entry requirements for the degree you wish to apply for in advance of applying for this course, including whether Functional Skills are accepted as an alternative to GCSEs by the universities you are applying to).

Additional information

Additional help and support is available to you should you require it and you can discuss this further at your admissions interview.

Further Information

For further information, advice and guidance call The Learner Experience Team on 01625 410062.

Duration and Times

Start date: 12/09/2023

End date: 13/06/2024

Time: 9:30am - 3:00pm

Days of week: Tu W Th

Number of Weeks: 34

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