Access to HE Diploma (Business): Online

Get the skills and qualifications you need to get onto a business-related course or degree and start on your way to a career in business, marketing or management, to name a few.

If you live in England, you might be able to do this course for FREE, see ‘Additional Information’ tab for more details.
Apply today and our team will confirm if you could qualify for free place, with no obligation. 


This is the fast-track route to the business profession you have always wanted!

This Access to HE Online: Business Professions Level 3 Diploma gives you a brand new, convenient and affordable way to study for your qualification online. If you pay with an Adult Learner Loan and progress directly to university after this course, the government will write off your loan!

Are you interested in a rewarding and challenging career in business, but worry that a lack of time and qualifications could prevent you from taking that next step? If you are aged 19 or over and aspire to go on to university to study a business-related degree, an Access to Higher Education Online Diploma is the route for you.

Access to HE qualifications are nationally-recognised, one-year intensive Level 3 courses designed to prepare adult learners aged 19 or over to study at degree level. They are primarily for those who do not currently have the relevant entry requirements or qualifications, or may have been out of education for a period of time and wish to return to education to change career.

The Access to HE Online: Business Professions Diploma gives you the opportunity to progress onto degrees in business studies, travel and tourism, business analysis, business management, marketing, economics and business administration.

Key programme features:

  • One-year programme
  • Personal tutor and supportive webinars
  • Equivalent to three A-levels, which means you can achieve the UCAS points you need for university
  • Flexible so you can learn at your own pace, in your own home
  • Designed exclusively for adults (19+)
  • Widely recognised and accepted qualifications by UK universities
  • Funding options available

Remember: If you go on to study at university and complete a degree, the loan for your Access course is written off by the government.

The main aim of this course is to prepare students for study at university. Students will receive subject specific study skills preparation, as well as tuition in subjects that are relevant to their chosen degree course.

You will study modules covering business, law and psychology. You will learn about businesses and organisation structures, culture and strategy as well as why and how business decisions are made. Psychology will help make you aware of the different approaches and perspectives to understanding behaviour, research methodology and statistical analysis. You will also learn about the English Legal System and gain an in-depth knowledge of employment and company law.

This course is designed for anyone wanting to progress into a career in business. You can progress on to higher education to study for some of the various roles that come under the banner of business professions, including business adviser, business analyst, business development manager, consultant, HR and marketing roles.

As well as developing subject knowledge, you will improve your communication, personal and study skills through a core programme that also provides one-to-one tutorial support.

Activate Learning has helped over 3,000 Access to HE students progress on to university. OFSTED rated us ‘good’ in our last review, with many outstanding features for our Access programmes.

The programme is one year in duration and is delivered fully online. Teaching will take the form of webinars, online forums for group discussions and self-directed learning with regular tutor support. Credits are gained via essays, reports and one timed assessment for one unit for one subject at the end of the year.

Flexible learning and support

Finding the time to learn the skills and knowledge you need to progress your career can be difficult. Online learning means that you can study flexibly, at times to suit you and your lifestyle. As a one-year programme, it also means that you will be ready for university in less time than if you followed the traditional A-level route.

Throughout your time on the programme, we will provide support through a personal tutor, as well as through our telephone hotline, open Monday–Friday from 9am–5pm.

We will work with you to develop a study plan so that you can meet coursework deadlines and schedule study time around your other responsibilities.

We will also guide you through the process of your UCAS applications. This includes checking your applications and personal statement as well as providing the supporting reference before they are submitted.

Access to HE Online: Business Professions Level 3 Diploma is a one-year course and is validated and moderated by Ascentis under licence from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. It comprises of 60 credits, of which 45 are graded. Students on the course study towards 3 credits in preparing to progress, 3 credits in academic writing and 21 credits in business (18 graded), 18 credits in law (15 graded) and 15 credits in psychology (12 graded). It is a skills-based course with the academic content equivalent to A level standard (Level 3).

You will be assessed through tutor assessed coursework, approximately 96.5% and one online exam. All assessments are internally and externally verified through a rigorous and robust process to ensure that all grading is consistent, fair and provides developmental feedback.

The coursework will involve:

Research reports
You will study one subject at a time and will be assigned a tutor with specialist subject knowledge to guide and support you on your learning journey. You’ll have access to supportive webinars and regular one-to-one support via email and phone.

Although the programme is intensive, it is structured in a way that recognises the pressures on mature learners. Many students successfully balance the programmes with work, family, and childcare commitments.

Recognised by Universities across the country, an Access to HE qualification is your stepping-stone to higher education and the career of your dreams.

We are delighted to announce that all students that have achieved a pass grade on their Access to HE – Business Level 3 Diploma and hold a Maths and English GSCE grade C (level4), are eligible to progress directly to our HNC Business online course or Foundation Degree in Business and Enterprise.


To be eligible for a place on an Access to HE Online programme, you must have GCSE English and maths at grade 4 (C equivalent) or above, or a Functional Skills Level 2 qualification.

Applicants must be aged over 19 and have been out of full-time education for a year.

You will have a numeracy and literacy assessment to check your suitability to study at Level 3. Don’t worry, most students are successful in the assessment process.

As this is an online course, it is not possible to study maths and/or English at an Activate Learning college alongside the main qualification.

Some degrees require that you have some relevant paid or voluntary work experience, and this will also be checked at interview. Applicants are strongly advised to check degree entry requirements with prospective universities before applying.

There is a wide range of support available at the college for students, including financial support.

Funding available:

19+ Advanced Learner Loan: If you are aged 19 or over, and you want to study an Access to Higher Education programme, you may be eligible to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover your tuition fees.

Student Finance England will write off any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances you owe for an Access to HE programme, if you go on to complete a higher education/university level course. This means you do not have to repay it. If you don’t go on to study a higher education/university level course, you won’t need to start paying back the loan until you earn over £25,725 per year. Contact us for more details.


Level 3 Entitlement fee remission: If you are aged 19–23 and this will be your first eligible, full Level 3 course, then you may be able to do this course for free.

Remember: If you go on to study at university and complete a degree, the loan for your Access course is written off by the government.

Why Banbury and Bicester College?

  • Clear routes of progression with qualifications ranging from foundation level to degree level!
  • Industry experienced teaching staff give you the responsibility and independence you need to take charge of your own future.
  • 150+

    Courses available

  • 2018

    Rated "good with outstanding areas" by Ofsted in 2018

  • 79+

    years of teaching experience

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