When you are looking to study an Access to HE Diploma online, how do you choose which provider to go with?
Here are some hints and tips:
1. Does the information on the website look professional and does it give you all the information you need to make an informed choice? Some providers give a whole list of careers you could gain access to, but really they are only offering one Access Diploma that won’t really give you those opportunities. You can check what Diplomas are really being offered by looking at the QAA website https://ava.accesstohe.ac.uk/SubSites/PublicSearch/PublicSearchResult.aspx?smids=2.
2. Contact the university you are interested in going to find out if the units the provider offers meet their entry requirements. Watch out for units called things like ‘Chemistry and Society’ or ‘Chemistry for Nursing’, as these units may not really include enough science to meet entry requirements. If for example, you want to be a primary teacher check if the provider is offering any education units. Or if you want to be a solicitor, do they offer law units? If not, go somewhere else.
3. Find out how long the provider has been offering Access by distance learning for, and what their track record is. A website may tell you that 98% of their students gained an interview, but how many students was that out of? What universities did they go to, and what have they gone onto study? You can find our figures on the DistanceLearning Centre.com forum,https://www.distancelearningcentre.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=15985 but what about theirs?
4. Look at the student testimonials. How many are there, and do they talk about any of the courses you will want to study in the future? If there are very few or no testimonials then that probably means students were not happy, or nobody has achieved with that provider. You can find ours at What our students https://www.distancelearningcentre.com/testimonials/ say on the website.
5. If they offer GCSEs or Functional Skills, what do they really say about support and access to learning materials? If you cannot find out anything about this it is probably best to go elsewhere. Make sure that they are offering the most up to date syllabus and that you will be able to sit the exams or complete the assessments to achieve the qualification.
6. If a provider is offering a free IELTS course, do make sure that you are not paying for anything: the materials and guides are free from The British Council https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/prepare-test/how-prepare-ielts-test and FutureLearn http://www.futurelearn.com/ielts, so you should not be paying a finder’s fee for this course.
7. And finally, the cost of the Diploma. Advanced Learner Loans are not free – they are loans that accrue interest from the day you first loan payment is made to your provider, even whilst you are studying. If you leave the course or don’t complete a degree, you will still need to pay this back with payments starting once you earn over £25000. So look at the course fees and interest you will be paying back if you’re considering using an Advanced Learner Loan to fund an Access to HE Diploma.
We do hope that you find this information helpful
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