Skip to main content Accessibility Statement

The Access to HE Diploma is a qualification regulated by QAA. The Access to HE Diploma is a full level 3 qualification.

The Diploma is a credit-based qualification, comprising units of assessment expressed as learning outcomes and assessment criteria. The credit requirement for the achievement of all Access to HE Diplomas is 60 credits, with 45 of these credits coming from units concerned with academic subject content at level 3 and graded; the remaining 15 credits come from ungraded level 2 or level 3 units.

We set requirements which ensure that there is a common structure for all Diplomas and equivalent demands are made on students on different courses. However, there is flexibility within these requirements for Diplomas to be structured in different ways and include a different range of content to meet local needs while complying with the structural requirements of the Diploma Specification.

AVA processes for developing and validating new Access to HE Diplomas involve two main stages: a centre (or provider) approval process; and a Diploma validation process. These processes are determined by the AVA.

Access to HE Diplomas are awarded by as Access Validating Agencies (AVAs), who are licensed by QAA.


Access to HE Diplomas are recognised by universities throughout the UK. Students completing Access to HE Diplomas go on to study a wide range of higher education programmes.

23,950 Access to HE students entered higher education
37,045 registered to study an Access to HE Diploma
23,295 Access to HE students applying for university accepted for Sept 2018 entry
Top 5 subjects studied by students with an Access to He Diploma; nursing, social sciences, business, education, and arts