Fircroft College of Adult Education | Birmingham, West Midlands

Access to Higher Education Diploma - Delivery and Assessment

The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a full-time programme


The course runs from the end of September to May each year and is nine months (30 weeks) long. Classes are Monday to Friday, 9.30am-4.30pm

On average, classes take up about 15 hours a week.  There are three terms and in the first you can expect to be in classes for approximately 20 hours a week.  In the last term, this would reduce to around 15 hours per week.

For every hour in class you need to spend at least another hour working independently - homework.   We encourage working with other students in study groups and using the library or computer network which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Consistent attendance, working independently, working with others and the college facilities are all factors that previous students have said have helped them to successfully complete the course.


On average you will produce a piece of work each week. We use wide variety of methods to assess your work including presentation, group discussion, scenarios, simulations, video and web-based exercises, and independent research. Tutors provide detailed feedback so you can improve your work and achieve.

We start with smaller tasks and build up to larger and more independently produced work. For instance, you may be assessed in group work with a discussion or short presentation building up to individual presentations; small written tasks building up to full essays, tests with short answers and quizzes to tests with longer answers.

The different subjects will develop subject specific skills including discussions on a book in Literature or debates on a current issue in sociology.  Tutors will ensure there is something relevant and exciting for you in every lesson.

Some trips or on-site events enhance the course, for instance theatre or cinema trips, exhibitions and discussions (the college is host to several small exhibition throughout the year). In some years there have been trips to Parliament and the Liverpool Maritime museum.  

Please click here for more information on the Access to Higher Education Diploma or find out how to apply here.

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