Starting September 2020

At present we are a virtual college because of Coronavirus but we are planning to be open in September and able to welcome our students to the rich residential learning environment that we have always offered.

Because we are a residential college, we accept applications for our Access to HE Diploma from anywhere in England, not just the Midlands.

This level 3 course will prepare students for study at university and is especially appropriate for those who may have not had a good experience with education previously. We have a supportive learning environment and we fully recognise that our students will come from a variety of backgrounds when it comes to education along with their own life experiences.

The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Sciences and Humanities) is widely recognised by universities in the UK and is awarded by the Open College Network (OCN) West Midlands.  We are proud to say that we have an average 100% success rate.

Subjects covered include the following:

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

23rd September 2020 - 22nd May 2021 (dates may be subject to change)

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Course times This course is full time Monday to Friday each week - residential (limited non-residential places available) - as a blended learning course incorporating a mixture of in-class and online learning
Course level Level 3
Course length This course runs for 9 months
Course area Access to Higher Education
Course fees

You may be able to received funding for this course depending on your age and previous qualifications. Information about advanced learning loans is available

Please contact the Admissions team by emailing [email protected]

"Coming to Fircroft has 100% changed my life for the better.  It has given me confidence in myself and in my abilities.  Coming to the college has given me hope for the future and I am not stuck in the rut I was in"

- Hannah - Access to HE Diploma student 2019/2020

Support offered

Support and guidance is available to our students when needed to ensure they achieve the aims and objectives of their course as well as having an enjoyable learning experience 


This Diploma is widely recognised by universities in the UK and former students have gone on to study degrees and professional qualifications in subjects such as history, social policy, politics, literature, journalism, creative writing, youth work, counselling and education.

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 aged 19 or older at the start of the course.

Many students find it helpful to undertake short courses in preparation for the Access to HE Diploma. We recommend that applicants for the Access to Higher Education Diploma undertake at least some of the Skills for Further Study  (Pre Access to HE (Social Sciences and Humanities) or (Health)) programme if possible. The programme specifically aims to develop the range of skills you will 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

To find out more about our Pre Access to Higher Education course (Social Sciences and Humanities), and (Health) and our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Sciences and Humanities) - contact the Admissions team email [email protected]

If you are unsure about how to apply online, please take a look at this helpful guide Click here

If you are still unsure please email [email protected]