How the Access to HE course works and what to expect

Tutor Support Is Included

The Access to Higher Education Diploma consists of a number of units covering topics relevant to the diploma title. To achieve the diploma you are required to demonstrate that you have the relevant skills, knowledge and understanding of each topic through various forms of assessment. The assessments are typically essays, reports, presentations, examinations, practicals, etc.; however, the types of assessments used vary by course. Our course is entirely online, so assessments tend to be essays, reports and long answer questions.

Our Access to HE course guides you through each unit in two parts, the learning phase and the assessment phase:


Learning Phase

In the Learning Phase, you are provided with a Unit Guide (PDF document) and Interactive Learning Activities. The unit guide introduces the key information explains the core concepts of the unit and the Interactive Learning Activities help you develop a sound understanding of this material. The Interactive Learning Activities are web-based and involve answering questions and videos designed to foster understanding of the materials; they are designed based on educational principles that show that learning is more effective when activities are focussed on developing skills and knowledge, provide sufficient challenge and are followed by immediate feedback.

Your tutor is available with one to one support during this process.

To progress from the learning phase for a unit, you need to obtain a high enough score to demonstrate a sound understanding and readiness for the assessment. Once you have demonstrated a good grasp of the topic, the system will automatically make your assessment ready for release.


Flexible Deadline Setting

One of the advantages of studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma online with Academy Online Learning is that you set personal deadlines instead of being bound by the dates set for a whole class. Typical deadlines are:

  • 3 credit units - 2 weeks
  • 6 credit units - 4 weeks
  • 9 credit units - 6 weeks

To set your deadline, you click a link on your page that says "Ready for assignment?" and tick a box to confirm you agree to the deadline. You are then able to download the assignment brief and progress with your studies. If you're not going to have time to work on an assignment straight away, you can wait until you know you have the time to spare—It's only when you've agreed to the deadline that the assignment appears and you're bound by it.


Assessment Phase

Once you've agreed to the deadline, the assignment brief will become available for you to download and you can start working on it. Once it's complete you can submit it for marking by your tutor.

Your tutor will mark your assignment and provide you with your grade and detailed feedback on what you have done well and what you can do to improve your work in future assignments. The first few units you do are "ungraded units", this means that although they have to be achieved for you to complete the diploma, no official grades are given. This means we can use these units at the start of the course to develop your writing skills and provide you with feedback on how you would have done if it were a graded unit, alongside the important advice on how you can further develop your writing.


Learning Phase

Interactive activities

  • Focused on skills and knowledge
  • Sufficiently challenging
  • Immediate feedback
  • Tutor support available when you need it through messaging, telephone and video tutorials


Assessment Phase

Assignment released

  • Choose when to release your assignment
  • Convenient online submission
  • Tutor support available when you need it through messaging, telephone and video tutorials
Feedback Phase

Tutor marks your assignment

  • Does it meet the assessment criteria?
    - If not, you have a second chance to submit
  • Tutor assesses it against the grading criteria and gives a grade for each criterion
  • For ungraded units they tell you the grade it would have been so you know where you need to improve
  • Detailed feedback on how to improve your next piece of work
Marking an assignment

Tutor Support

Your tutor is there to help. If you have questions about the topic you are studying or concerns about the course or your university application you can get in touch with your tutor through our messaging system and either:

  • Ask your question through the messaging system
  • Arrange a phone call to discuss the issue at a time convenient to you both
  • Arrange a videoconference meeting for more in-depth support


UCAS Support

As part of your course fees AOLL will provide full support through one application cycle. This includes:

  • Checking of UCAS form
  • Proof-reading of personal statement

Click here for more information about UCAS support


Choose Academy Online Learning where you can benefit from

  • flexible learning
  • studying at your own pace at a time to suit you
  • fitting study around work/family commitments
  • the reassurance of a QAA recognised level 3 qualification
  • full support from your subject specialist tutors
  • UCAS application support and checks






"The tutors were very supportive. The information was very clear and the feedback from the assignments was very helpful."

Environmental Health student



"I got 100% in Speaking, Listening and communication and now I am moving on to study the Access to Nursing Diploma."

English Functional Skills & Access to HE in Nursing Student



"I could not recommend AOLL enough for the help they provided when studying with them! I now have a place at university on a very competitive course due to completing this course!"

Occupational Therapy student