The College of West Anglia

Return to learning

Want to change your career? Always wanted a degree?

We offer a variety of courses that will help you achieve your goal.

Want to change your career? Always wanted a degree?

Come along to our informal open morning and meet some of our current students who returned to learning and find out how it’s working for them.

You can also speak to our teaching and student services staff about how our courses can fit around your commitments and lifestyle, and find out about financial and childcare support.

We’ll even give you some breakfast to ensure you get your day off to the best start!

Book your place now

Routes to Learning Courses

These are a 10-week return-to-study courses aimed at people aged 19 and over. The programmes are designed to improve your confidence, as well as further your study skills, while helping you to prepare for those first steps towards further or higher education.

Entry requirements

No qualifications are required for these courses. However, you should have the potential to achieve level 1 and 2 in English and maths by the end of the course.

Qualification achieved

You will gain an English and maths qualification at level 1 or 2.

Pre-Access Courses

All of our pre-access courses for adult learners provide a foundation in both study skills and subject knowledge to be able to progress on to further study. They are level 2 courses preparing you for level 3 study on Access to Higher Education courses.

Entry requirements

Suitability for our Pre-Access courses is discussed at interview. Prior qualifications and experience will be taken into account.

Access to Higher Education Courses

Our access courses are suitable for adult learners and are designed for people who would like to study in higher education, but left school without the qualifications needed to progress to university. With part-time and full-time options available, the courses run for the duration of one year, from September to June.

Entry requirements

Suitability for our Access courses is discussed at interview. Prior qualifications and experience will be taken into account. If you do not have a GCSE (or O level) in English language at grade C or 4 and above, you will be asked to submit a 750 word essay for assessment. If you do not have a GCSE (or O level) in maths at grade C or 4 and above, you will be asked to take an online assessment.

Some courses such as Access to Science and Nursing, and Access to Medicine and Dentistry also have additional entry requirements.

Qualification achieved

All the Access courses rewards you with an Access to Higher Education Diploma, validated by the Cambridge Access Validating Agency and recognised as meeting the entry requirements for university

Cambridge Access Validating Agency

Access to Medicine and Dentistry

Our Access to Higher Education: Medicine and Dentistry diploma is designed for adults who, for one reason or another, have not had the opportunity to study towards a degree or diploma, or have achieved in other areas and now wish to retrain to become a doctor. It may also be suitable for people who have previously taken a degree in a non-science subject and now want to retrain.

If you already hold a degree, then acceptance for the course will be dependant on degree classification. University medical schools do not usually accept students with a recent degree below grade 2:1. If you are in the latter category and in doubt, we advise you to check entry requirements with specific universities. Our course is well established and is recognised by numerous medical schools (please check medical schools’ websites or prospectuses for their entry requirements), with a separate pathway for those who wish to train in dentistry.

The dentistry pathway encompasses the same core subjects as medicine, with an additional subject option - 'the mouth in health and disease'. This unit involves study of the underlying principles of examination, diagnosis and treatment and includes periodontics and prosthetics. Students intending to progress to dental schools would benefit from taking this additional unit.

Before contacting us, please check the course page. Click here for more information.

Catherine Baker

Started with Access to Science & Nursing and she is currently doing BSc (Hons) BioScience

"It was difficult at the beginning as it had been 12 years since being in education. But after a couple of months starting the ASN course it became easier. Learning how to learn is the key, but once you get a grasp of what is required the course becomes a lot easier. The tutors are a massive help, without their support and encouragement I would have struggled."

Sheriff Samusa

Started with Access to Business and he is currently working and studying to be a chartered accountant

"The access course at the college opened a lot of doors for me and would recommend it to anybody thinking of studying here. It provided a way back into education and university, and at the end of it I was able to pursue my career goal of becoming a chartered accountant."

Denise Lusher

Started with Access to Science & Nursing and she is currently doing BA (Hons) Psychosocial Studies

"Returning to studying gave me a challenge and the opportunity to explore my options within the employment field. The staff have supported me throughout the process and the challenges I have encountered. The university centre is ideal to study in as the staff are to hand and the facilities are just for the degree and access students."