‘Is Access to Higher Education right for me’…?
We hear this question a lot from prospective students contemplating their next move.
You may be asking yourself the same question or know someone who is…
So, to help you to decide, let’s start with a quick overview of what the university access course actually entails.
The course enables people without traditional qualifications, such as GCSE’s and A’ Levels, to progress to university. The course runs for one academic year from September to May and the learning is modular, with students having a choice over certain areas. (We discuss this in more detail later).
There are no formal qualifications required to study the university access course, but colleges will assess readiness such as literacy and numeracy tests*.
Some students find it beneficial to undertake some preparatory study such as the short course range at Fircroft. Our Skills for Learning Programme has been designed specifically to prepare students for the access course, particularly if they have no previous qualifications.
Access to Higher Education students come from a variety of backgrounds and abilities – from young people who missed out on proper schooling and want to improve their employment skills, to older people who want to study for pleasure during retirement.
If you feel in anyway daunted or nervous about embarking on the university access course, then you’re definitely not alone.
At Fircroft, several of our students experience self-doubt when contemplating the course for a variety of reasons. Some have had very challenging personal lives which made studying and working difficult, while others simply did not succeed in education first time around.
However, during the first few days of study, the majority of students experience a quick growth in confidence which overcomes initial anxieties. With everyone ‘in the same boat’, our students gain confidence from one another, as well as from our teaching and support staff. T
his is where the residential side of the college works well, there’s plenty of opportunities to get to know each other and the staff and get involved in social activities. At the same time there’s plenty of opportunity to relax in your own space .
All our students have a ‘commitment to learning’ goal in common and can influence what they study from a range of modules.
The main focus of the university access course at Fircroft is Social Sciences and Humanities, with subjects including Sociology, Social Policy and World Literature in English. This diverse range of subjects provides a rich overview of society, politics and cultural issues and our students consistently achieve grades 10% above the national average.
So for anyone pondering the question ‘is access to higher education for me’? – we hope this blog has made your decision a little easier.
If you would like further information about our university access course or to enrol for September 2014 please visit our website or call us on 0121 472 0116.
*Whilst you do not need formal qualifications to take the Access to Higher Education Diploma at Fircroft, you do need to be at a specific level. As part of the recruitment process we will want to know your level in English and Maths, applicants need to be at least at Level 2 in both English and Maths, we will use an initial assessment to find out your level.
Universities may require GCSE’s in English, Maths and/or Science. If you don’t have these, you do have options:
- Take the GCSE’s you will need before enrolling on an Access course
- Take the GCSE’s after an Access course and before you go on to university
- If you need only one GCSE, it may be possible to do this at another college whilst you are doing the Access Course. This would stretch you considerably – only you will know if this is possible.