Access to higher education (HE) courses are designed for students of 19+ who wish to go to university either onto the first year or a foundation year. They are a nationally certificated qualification, and written and recognised by universities.

The certificating body for the course is AIM awards whose website with a description of the qualification and its rules and regulations can be viewed at:

A standard access qualification is made up of 60 credits, 45 are graded pass, merit and distinction, 15 are ungraded. The course is funded for students of 19+ generally by an advanced learner loan:

The access to engineering course is made up of units in maths, electrical science, mechanical science and study skills. The subjects have been chosen to allow students to access engineering degrees with different specialisms. Most local universities have taken access students onto a variety of degrees. The assessment is by a mixture of assignments, controlled assessments and practical tests. One important part of the assessment process is that any late work is always capped at a pass.

The standard entry requirement for access to engineering is GCSE maths and English at grade C and above, or an alternative international qualification.