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Access to University

HomeCoursesAccess to University

Aged 19 or over and want to access university? But don’t have the qualifications to get there? Then our access to university programme is just for you.


Why study with us?

  • 96 per cent of our Access to Higher Education students secured a place for higher-level study after completing their course at Northern College (2018-19).
  • Our achievement rates are outstanding and we are rated outstanding by Ofsted.
  • We offer excellent facilities including to support your studies, including our on-campus library and wrap-around support.
  • We are only designed for people aged 19 and over.
  • You can apply to study residentially to focus on your studies.
  • Our staff specialise in education for adults and will support you every step of the way.
  • Our campus is surrounded by over 500 acres of National Trust gardens and parkland free for you to explore.
  • We offer a discounted bus service and free parking on site.

About our students

There is a place for every adult at Northern College. Many of our students have been out of education for some time and may have few or no qualifications. We also support people who want to retrain and change careers. All of our students share the same sheer determination to succeed.

Level 2 and 3

Our Pre-Access programme provides you with study skills at level 2 enabling you to progress to an Access to Higher Education course, or to go on to further technical study or the workplace.

You may also be ready to begin your studies at level 3 to fast-track to university in under a year. To study at level 3 for our Access to Higher Education programme, you will need English at GCSE grade 4 (C) or Functional Skills Level 2.  For study areas that are largely dependent upon maths skills, GCSE grade 4 (C) or Functional Skills Level 2 may also be required.

GCSE Maths and English

Do you need your English or Maths? We can also offer the opportunity to study either GCSE Maths or English alongside your Access to HE course for individuals that are ready. We can discuss this with you during the Interview Day.


Government funding and loans are available. See individual course pages for information.

What others are saying

Fantastic place to learn with great people, and a fantastic atmosphere.
Staying residential at Northern College gave me time to breathe. Most of the learning would come about when talking with others, over meals and our free time. Walking in the garden before breakfast is inspirational.
Cannot expand my vocabulary enough to give the college and people a high enough accolade. Truly Amazing. 

Why choose Northern College?

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Stay and study on-site with us

Fully focus on your studies by staying on-site with us.

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Explore our gardens

We have acres of National Trust gardens and parkland to explore right outside our building.

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We’re Outstanding

We’re rated by Ofsted, the UK education standards office, as Outstanding.

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Our pass rates are excellent

We have outstanding pass rates, to ensure our students achieve and progress.

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We support you all of the way

We have a whole team to support you through your studies to make sure you do well.

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We're only designed for adults

Make new friends and study alongside like-minded adults as part of our unique learning community.

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