Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health Sciences)

No previous experience? No problem. The Access to Higher Education Diploma in Health Sciences can help you with that. Completing this one year part time course can get you started in your career in chiropractic, nursing, exercise science, physiotherapy … the list goes on.

Course overview

Applications for the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health Sciences) are now open:
Apply for Access to HE DIPloma Health Sciences 
Any queries on this part - time course, please use the form below. 

If you’re thinking about a career in healthcare and you don’t know where to start, an Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health Sciences) might just
be the thing for you. This year long part time course gets you on the ladder to working in a whole variety of careers, such as chiropractic, medicine, physiotherapy, nursing, exercise science, osteopathy and nutrition. And what’s more, our fantastic Bournemouth location means you'll be able to sample the idyllic south-coast lifestyle while you're studying. 

Learn about the human body through biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy and psychology. Our academic staff will get you involved in the classroom, the lab, and even the on-site chiropractic clinic, so expect to be kept on your toes. 

Our team of clinicians and scientists use their own experience to make sure the course is relevant to you and your future training. You don’t have to give up your day job just yet as you’ll join us part-time on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at AECC University College and at our on-site outpatient clinic and imaging centres.  

Did we mention that this Access to Higher Education Diploma is helping you prepare for a higher level of study? You’ll get to grips with the culture of a university and easily bridge any gaps. Add to this over 50 years of experience in health science and healthcare courses and you’ll see why this Access to Higher Education Diploma in Health Sciences is a great choice.



This course is CAVA accredited. The Cambridge Access Validating Agency designs and validates Access to Higher Education Diplomas. Their mission is to facilitate fair access and aid social mobility by validating relevant and high quality Access to HE provision that will increase the opportunities for non-traditional learners to study at university.

Key Information

Course title:
Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health Sciences)
HE Diploma
September - July
Study mode:
Part-Time (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
AECC University College

Course leader

Philip Dewhurst

BSc (Hons), MChiro, MSc, DC, PGCert, FRCC - Lecturer (Clinical Sciences)

Philip is the Programme Leader for the Access to Higher Education Diploma as well as unit leader for a number of units across the chiropractic and exercise science degrees. In addition he is involved with teaching anatomy on external courses using the AECC University College Prosection facilities.

Course details

During your Access to Higher Education Diploma you’ll spend time with our experienced academic staff both in the classroom and in the lab, getting involved in group discussions, case scenarios, and practical classes. Here you'll learn about biological science and health studies, chemistry and physics, psychology, research and ethics, complete with access to our on-site facilities. These facilities - amongst them our Sports Performance Centre and Chiropractic Clinic - are also available outside of scheduled class times and it's also possible to schedule time with your tutors whenever you need it.

This is a part-time course, run at weekends between September and July on Fridays (9am - 5pm), Saturdays (9am - 5pm), and Sundays (9am - 1pm). But your learning doesn’t have to stop there. Spending an extra 10 - 15 hours a week on associated reading and assessments will make all the difference to your studies. 


And remember, your personal tutor is there to help you with your studies while any pastoral support you may need can be provided by our dedicated Student Services team. We also have additional study and language support available within our Learning Services.

The Access to Higher Education (Health Sciences) course is split into four subject areas that cover various units and work-based placement. The all-important assessments come in many forms.

important dates for the 2017-18 access to higher education diploma


Unit breakdown

"Thanks to the course being over the weekend I could balance my life without having to commit to a tedious evening course after work."

Entry Requirements

Whilst there aren't any academic entry requirements to enter the Access to HE Diploma, we do ask that applicants have GCSE Mathematics grade C and GCSE English language grade C (or acceptable equivalents). For applicants undertaking reformed GCSEs, we are looking for a grade of 4 or above. This is to ensure that you meet the minimum entry requirements for GCSEs (or acceptable equivalents) for any future degree courses that you wish to undertake. 

If English is not your first language we’d be looking for a qualification in one of the following:

  • IELTS overall score of 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each section
  • TOEFL overall score of 79 with minimum scores of 17 in writing and listening, 18 in reading and 20 in speaking

We may be able to consider other English language qualifications, so call or email our Admissions team and they will be happy to help. Try to book your language tests as early in the year as you can, just in case re-sits are needed. 

As this Access to Higher Education in Health Sciences course is part-time, this unfortunately isn’t available to non-EEA nationals or anyone that would require a student visa to study in the UK. 

Are there any other requirements?

There’s a few more things we need to ask for:

  • Applicants must be aged 19 or older on the 1 September in the year their Diploma starts.


Course Fees

There are a lot of things to consider when applying to university, including course fees.

The tuition fees for the Access to Higher Education Diploma for 2018 entry is £1,550.

If it’s easier, we are happy to take this payment in two instalments. You’re able to pay by:

  • Cash
  • Cheque
  • Credit/Debit Card
  • Bank transfer

We’ll send more information about payment and fees in the summer before your enrolment, but if you have any questions now, you can speak with our Finance department.

If you are interested in attending, why not register your interest below and we will remind you of the application deadline date. 

There are a few extras you’ll be needing for your course - including placement polo shirts if you’re planning on attending placements at the AECC University College Chiropractic Clinic and, of course, any recommended textbooks. You may also need to think about a place to stay if you don’t live locally. Visit our accommodation page where you’ll find lots of guest houses, hotels, or places to rent in Bournemouth.

During the Access course we all got to where we wanted to - which really helped. Dan Sullivan, Access to HE and Master of Chiropractic, Class of 2015

Register your interest and receive updates on Access to HE (Health Sciences)

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