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Access to HE


Pathways are made up of courses focused on future careers or further education opportunities

Our Access courses are an excellent alternative pathway to higher education and are recognised by all UK universities.

We offer a variety of pathways, tailored to your individual needs, allowing you to broaden your horizons and raise your aspirations. These courses are designed to further you academically but also support you in your journey, promoting a great student experience.

Our courses are highly regarded within the academic community; you will have the opportunity to receive support and advice around applying and accessing university.

Our Careers team will be on hand throughout the year to assist you with any queries you may have and we often have university ambassadors visiting to give you guidance.

Our Access courses are portfolio-based, allowing you to complete extended research and gain a thorough understanding of your chosen topic, without the requirement to sit any end-of-year exams.

Come and study in this outstanding department to fulfil your ambitions!


Meet the Access Team

Our Access to Humanities and Health Professions teams have knowledgeable and experienced teaching staff:

Any questions?

People are complex and there is no such thing as a silly question. If you want to speak to us about Access, have a look around the campus or want help with your application, please just contact the College and we will be only too happy to help.

Students that have successfully completed Access programmes with us have gone on to study higher education at a variety of local and national universities and institutions such as the University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University, University of Cambridge, the University of Greenwich, Kingston University and London South Bank University.

Access students have progressed onto further studies in areas such as:

  • Child and Adult nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Paramedic science
  • Teaching
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Counselling

Going to University without A Levels: Access to Higher Education – FAQ

Q: Can I go to university without A Levels?

A: Yes, the Access course allows students over the age of 18 who do not have sufficient academic qualifications for entering university to complete the required studies.

Q: How long does the Access course take?

A: We start in September and you’ll be finished by the end of June the following year, starting university in September of the same year.

Q: Is the Access course worth the same UCAS points as A Levels?

A: In short: yes. An Access course has 45 credits awarded at Pass, Merit and Distinction, these range between 48 and 144 UCAS tariff points, depending on your grade profile. 

Q: What is the difference between Access and A Levels?

A: There is no difference between the qualifications in terms of allowing you to enter higher education. However, the Access course is structured differently to A Levels and there are no final public exams to sit. You will learn through discussion and debate, rather than just from textbooks. Crucially, Access takes 1 year rather than 2, so it’s pretty intense.

Q: What GCSEs do I need to study on the Access course?

A: This depends a little on which course you would like to study at university. Generally, you need to have a full Level 2 qualification, which means 5 or more GCSEs at good grades. However, your current academic understanding and ability is much more important than your previous achievements. Just talk to us to discuss your specific circumstances.

Q: How much does the Access course cost?

A: The Access course is usually free for students under the age of 24. If you are over 24, you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan, which will cover the course costs. This loan is not means-tested and will not need to be repaid as long as you enter university within 5 years of completing the Access course and finish your chosen degree. Find out more here:

Q: Can the College help with costs?

A: Yes. We have a College bursary to help with transport, childcare or other costs. Check your eligibility with our College Services Team and collect a form.

Q: Can I work while studying on Access?

A: Of course, though don’t overload yourself with your studies, job and any other responsibilities you may have. The majority of our students opt for part-time employment.  

Q: Why are there different Access pathways?

A: The Health Professions pathway focusses on students who wish to enter a career in medicine, be that as a nurse, midwife, physiotherapist, paramedic or in any other health related field. You will study Biology on this pathway, so it is also the right choice for anybody wishing to study sciences at university.

The Humanities pathway is a little broader and allows each student to explore their own interests in a variety of fields within Sociology, Psychology, Criminology, Anthropology, Arts, History and Literature.

Q: How many days do I need to be in College?

A: You will usually be in College for 3 days per week for your Access course. It is absolutely essential that you attend all of your teaching sessions.

Q: I’m over 30 – is it too late for me to do an Access course?

A: Absolutely not! There is no age limit to studying on Access and we welcome mature students. 

Q: I’ve not had the best of times at school and am feeling anxious about being in a classroom again. Should I apply for Access?

A: Yes! Your lecturers have a lot of experience and understand the courage it takes to resume your education after a time out. Our campus, workshops and classrooms are welcoming and supportive and we have a zero tolerance on any form of bullying, harassment or abuse. 

Q: I’m not sure what I want to do at university – what can I do?

A: We will provide you with lots of opportunities to speak to different universities and lecturers in order to help you to make the right choice. We also have an excellent Careers Advisor in College who can support you and put you in touch with the right people. Our guest speaker programme will allow you to meet professionals from a range of backgrounds and we will visit both Canterbury universities together to give you an idea about the life as a university student. 

Why people love Access to HE

Access To Humanities Meet The Tutor: Lynn

Lynn Barr

Access to Higher Education, me … and you!

It is quite possible that twenty-two years ago, in 1998, I was in a similar situation to yours, right now, in 2020.

I had left school at sixteen with pretty good qualifications – not maths though! I was working part-time for the Social Services Child and Adolescent Protection team, as well as in primary schools with vulnerable children.

I loved my job, but to further my career I needed to gain more qualifications and go to university.

Read more about Lynn's journey here.


How I Regained My Confidence Studying Access To Higher Education

How I Regained My Confidence Studying Access To Higher Education

If you are a single mum or thinking you are too old to go to college, or you want a change in career but are just too scared to return to education, I encourage you to put all those thoughts aside and take a new step towards your future and apply at Dover Technical College.

Read more

Students Volunteer To Support The NHS

Students Volunteer To Support The NHS

Some of our Access to HE students are volunteering and working with the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic. For some students, this means living away from their families, for which we are immensely proud and grateful.

What's next?

Step 1 - Apply

Once you apply, you will have an interview to discuss your chosen pathway

Step 2 - Interview

We will contact you with appropriate options for conducting your interview, either online or in person.

At your interview, we will discuss the entry requirements for each level and course. It is also your opportunity to make sure that the pathway meets your goals and ambitions.

Courses at Dover Technical College

If you know exactly which course and level you need to apply for, or want more information, please select from the options below:

Contact us

We'd love to hear from you

Maison Dieu Road
Dover, Kent
CT16 1DH

01304 244332