01865 550 550

Never too late to learn – City of Oxford College students celebrate Access to Higher Education exam success

A group of motivated City of Oxford College learners are celebrating achieving the grades they need for university or a major shift in career after receiving their Access to Higher Education results today, 1 August.

90 students from Activate Learning’s City of Oxford College completed the 12 month, intensive Access to Higher Education programme,  a fast-track way for people who want to transform their lives through education, but who do not already have recognised qualifications. 

An Access to Higher Education is equivalent to three A-Levels and acts as a gateway to university. Although the programme is intensive, it is structured to help learners who may be juggling other commitments, such as childcare, to get the most from their studies. Activate Learning offers Access to Higher Education pathways in arts, business, science and nursing and social sciences across their Banbury, Reading and Oxford campuses.

Paul Emberlin, Faculty Director, Delivery, A-Levels and Access said. “Our Access to HE programmes offer a second chance to people who, for whatever reason, may have missed out on going to university at 18. We are especially proud of these learners as they exemplify the Activate Learning philosophy of using the brain, emotions and motivation to fulfil their potential.

“By starting this pathway with us, our Access to HE learners took the first, important step to transforming their lives. Now that they are receiving their diplomas, we wish them all the best as they continue their studies at university and progress on to new, exciting careers.”

The Access to Higher Education Diploma comprises of 60 credits, of which 45 are graded and 15 ungraded. A distinction is the highest grade, followed by a merit and then a pass. Tarriff points, or credits for each grade, are also allocated and can be used for university offers.

Louise Carlton, who is originally from Glasgow, studied for an Access to HE Diploma in Nursing and Healthcare. She has been offered a conditional place to study Physiotherapy at Oxford Brookes University.

Louise says: “Before I started the Access to HE course, I was a serving soldier in the British Army, based at Larkhill with 32 Regiment Royal Artillery as a UAV Operator. My time in the Army took me on numerous deployments overseas for a variety of purposes, including adventurous training and battery exercises. I completed four years before deciding I wanted to return to education. 

“I chose this course at the City of Oxford College as it is aimed towards mature students who have spent a period being away from full-time education. I knew that I wanted to go on to study a degree in Physiotherapy, however, I was unsure how capable I would be of meeting the entry requirements. I was also worried about balancing work and studying, but knowing that I would be with those in a similar situation to me relieved a lot of pre-course apprehension.

“I absolutely loved the course, and the support I received throughout was second to none. The most fulfilling part was discovering my own learning style, and utilising this to reach my full potential through the expert guidance of my tutors.

“I am now awaiting my results to secure my place on the Physiotherapy BSc (Hons) degree. The course is three years and after that I will be a fully qualified physiotherapist. I’m not sure what area I would like to specialise in yet, but a career within healthcare is something I have wanted for a long time so I’m open to the possibilities.

“I would tell people considering an Access to HE course that it is never too late to return to education and aim high to achieve your goals. The course assumes no knowledge and therefore everything is gradual and taken a step at a time. Although the workload can be heavy, it is completely manageable and the support I’ve received at City of Oxford College has been incredible.

“The tutors went above and beyond their roles; possessing a genuine passion and diligence in our achievements and were always on hand to answer questions or provide extra help. Applying to the access course was the best decision I have ever made and I cannot recommend it enough for anyone wishing to pursue a career following higher education.”

If you would like to know more about our Access to Higher Education Diploma programmes, please visit www.activatelearning.ac.uk/access-to-he or contact Activate Learning on 0800 612 6008.