The College of West Anglia
Access to Higher Education Diploma - Medicine & Dentistry


This is a Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) recognised qualification that is currently accepted by numerous UK medical schools as an entry qualification to medicine.

About a third of students are health service professionals (e.g. nurses and paramedics). The remaining students come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some 80% of our students received offers, although progression is subject to achieving distinctions in all the subjects as the standard qualification for entry to 4 and 5 year degree programmes.

We suggest that applicants must be familiar with and have experience of the National Health Service (NHS). This course started in 1993/94 and has since sent over 300 students to UK medical schools. It is for those who seek a route into medicine or dentistry having either already achieved academically in other areas or who are seeking to make a greater contribution in this discipline.

Amongst subjects studied are biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and medical geography. You will also complete a project on an area you wish to specialise. There is an examination and assignment for each subject. In addition, students also have to complete the project report. You will also need to undertake 20-30 hours study per week outside your class times. There will be around 19 hours of lectures, seminars and practicals every week.

We advise all prospective applicants to do their own research to get an idea of their likely acceptability for medicine before they start the course. This is best done by looking at medical schools' websites or prospectuses. You will be required to take UKCAT (UK Clinical Admissions Test). However, medical school entry requirements do vary and you may be required to take BMAT (British Medical Admissions Tests).

You can find more information here.


The access certificate is validated by the Cambridge Access Validating Agency ( It is preparation for higher education and is a nationally recognised qualification for entry to 20 specific medical schools.


You must be aged 19 or over on 31st August in the year you begin the course.

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  • GCSE Grade 6 (B) or higher in English, Maths and Double Science (66/BB), plus at least 2 more at Grade 4 (C) or above
  • We do not accept adult literacy/numeracy courses in lieu of GCSEs because medical schools don't.
    Qualifications over and above GCSE standard do not negate the need to have the required GCSEs
  • A minimum of six months relevant health care or NHS experience. Relevant experience needs to encompass direct patient contact and should either be on-going work experience or gained within the last year. Administrative roles are not classed as relevant experience

Applicants with degrees

Applicants with a lower second class (2.2) undergraduate degree or below will not be considered for this course. Graduates who wish to undertake graduate entry at medical school/university may be required to have other qualifications. Please refer to the entry requirements of your intended medical school before applying.

Applicants with Level 3 qualifications (including A-Levels)

Applicants who have completed a Level 3 course (including A-Levels & Baccalaureates) in the last three years will not be considered.

International students

Due to changes in UK Border Agency (immigration) rules in April 2010, we are no longer able to support overseas' student visa applications for this course. Therefore, unless you are an EU citizen (hold an EU passport) or have 'settled' status in the UK such as Indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain in your passport, we will be unable to process your application. In practical terms, this means that if you need a student visa to come to the UK to take this course, we cannot accept your application. If you do have 'settled' status and do not require a student visa to come to or stay in the UK, we can accept your application but will need to see your passport and any relevant immigration documents as evidence of your right to stay in the UK prior to arranging your college interview.

Equivalent qualifications to GCSEs will be considered with a NARIC statement of comparability, which you will have to obtain before we can process your application. More information can be found here.

If English is not your first language, we will require you to have IELTS score of 7 (or equivalent) to join the course. Please visit their website for further information.

Your application will not be considered if you do not meet the entry requirements.

The deadline for applications is 1st August 2019.


There will be an end examination in each subject. Assignments will also be set throughout the course. In addition students have to complete a project.


This course is available from 02/09/2019 at King's Lynn

This course is Full-Time


1 Years


Access to Higher Education courses are designed for those aged 19 and above; for more information on fees, please see our adult learning fees.