Want to study at university but not sure where to start? Even if you have been out of education for a while, Fircroft College is the perfect place to start. This level 3 qualification is designed to prepare adult students for study at university, but who have left school without the usual qualifications such as A-Levels.

Did you know our Access to Higher Education students tend to progress onto some of the top universities across the UK?

The Access course at Fircroft focuses on Social Sciences and Humanities meaning that you can go on to study:

  • Psychology
  • History
  • Literature
  • Social work
  • Languages
  • Mental health nursing

Our 9 month programmes has a record 95% success rate, with the national average sitting at around 65%. Many of our students have gone on to win national awards, including the prestigious ‘Helena Kennedy’ awards and Open College Network West Midlands Access to HE Learner Awards.

Are you ready to take the next step?

  • 95% success rate in 2018 (nearly 30% above the national average)
  • Excellent student support and smaller classrooms, due to our size
  • Option to stay on-site as a residential student; providing students with an ‘educational retreat’
  • Dedicated computer labs for Access to HE students
  • Unique campus in Selly Oak, Birmingham
  • Diverse student community
  • 100% students went on to study at university
‘Transition to University has been so much easier due to Fircroft College. I am eternally grateful for what Fircroft has gone for me. I am equipped with the right study skills and it has put me in good stead for University; everyone else is panicking but I am confident due to the Access course. I’m not afraid to ask for support and help when I need it’

Nneka Hare (A former Fircroft Student who won the Open College Network West Midlands Access to HE Learner Award)


Course Dates

 September 2019

Apply Now

Course Times

Classes are Monday to Friday, 9.30am–5.00pm

Course Level 3
Course Length 9 Months Residential (Non-Residential Spaces Available)
Course Area Access to Higher Education Diploma
Course Fees View Fees Section


How long will the Access to Higher Education Diploma course take?

  • 9 months (30 weeks) – from the end of September to May
  • Classes are Monday to Friday, 9.30am–5.00pm

What can I study?

You will receive a good grounding in a range of academic subjects which will give you flexibility in making your university choices.  Topics include History, Literature, Sociology, Social Policy and Psychology.

What support will I get?

We offer excellent support and guidance and you will have a progress coach who will guide you throughout the course.

What will I achieve?

Successful learners leave with an Access to HE Diploma from the Open College Network West Midlands. This is accepted by a wide range of Universities.

Former students have gone on to study for degrees and professional qualifications including History, Social Policy, Politics, Literature, Journalism, Creative Writing, Youth Work, Counselling and Education.

Living and study?

Fircroft occupies a beautiful Edwardian former Cadbury family home set in six acres of gardens.  Accommodation and social activity spaces are of a very high standard and you will have 24hr access to IT facilities and use of the library.

How much does it cost?

You may be able to study for free depending on your age and previous qualifications. Fees and funding support is available for eligible applicants. Information on advanced learning loans available.

Entry requirements 

If you do not have a level 2 literacy and level 1 numeracy qualification from within the last 5 years we will ask you to take a Literacy and Numeracy assessment. If you show that you are able to reach the skills level in these areas, you will then be invited to attend an interview. Students must be a minimal age of 19 at start of the course.

Many learners find it helpful to undertake short courses in preparation for the Access Diploma. We recommend that applicants for the Access to Higher Education Diploma undertake at least some of the Skills for Further Study programme if possible. The programme specifically aims to develop the range of skills you’ll be expected to use on the Access to Higher Education Diploma. 

Find out what our Access to Higher Education students think of Fircroft College here

*Limited non residential places available