Access case studies
Liz Allan, 29, from Stratford - Access
to HE Social Science/Health and has a place at Birmingham City
University to study Midwifery
Liz had been to university previously to do a
Conservation Biology degree but had been working as a pub manager.
She said, “I got to the stage where I thought, I don’t want to do
this for the rest of my life so was looking at different options.
After having my daughter, I got interested in midwifery and thought
that would be a good career for me.
“At first it was quite hard to get back into studying
but really exciting to be learning new things again and I like the
fact there’s a lot of coursework involved.
“I was nervous going for interviews - I had four
interview days, and they all involved maths and literacy tests,
presentations. Sarah my tutor was amazing and helped me prepare for
all of them questions.
My parents are helping with childcare. I still work 2
days a week while doing the course but will be giving this up as I
want to commit fully to the course.
I funded the course through the 24+ loan so it’s
definitely manageable. You have to be serious about what you want
to do, don’t just do it on a whim - you have to commit fully.
The tutors have been amazing, they all want you to
succeed and if you’ve got any problems you can go to any one of
them and they’ll help you out.
It’s changed my life - I’m so glad I’ve done it, it’s
life changing. I didn’t think I’d get into uni but I have! I
thought I’d missed my chance but the access course is an amazing
Sarah, 20 from Cubbington - Access to HE
I applied to go to University after my A-levels but
missed out by one grade so I took a year out before doing this
I didn’t enjoy the sixth form I was at so decided not
to retake my A-levels and when I found out universities accepted
this course I decided to enrol. It’s a lot more intensive workload
but I feel like access is teaching you how to study at university,
with research and study skills as part of the course.
I’ve got my place at University of Northampton to do
midwifery - I’m so pleased to have finally get there. I was on the
phone to my mum and we were both in tears - they know how long it’s
taken to get me to this point.
I’ve already been my friend’s birth partner and I’ve
had previous experience working in dementia care and a specialist
care centre. It’s given me a lot of experience that I can draw on
in interview situations which is really important to get on the
course. All the different experiences have reinforced my desire to
work in healthcare.
Tutors have been really good and supportive but also
student services, especially Bally - she’s been great she’s helped
me write my personal statement and with interview preparation.
When I told her I had my offer she gave me a big hug!
We have a really good relationship and she keeps in touch to check
how I’m doing.
Verney, 20, from Warwick studied the Access to
HE - Social Sciences/Health
He said, “This course is great for bridging the gap to
university-level study and has prepared me really well - a lot more
than sixth form could. My biology tutor Sarah has really pushed me
and it’s really paid off as I can see how I’ve developed throughout
the course. I’ve always wanted to go into medicine and hope to be
able to eventually specialise in neurosurgery.”
Access to HE Social Sciences/Humanities -
Going to Nottingham University to do History and
Francis had done A-levels but headed off to Australia
afterwards, came home with the intention of going to university,
but got a job in retail and was successful, getting promoted. After
a few years of working in retail in Nottingham, he decided to go
back to his original plan to go to university.
“You feel like the tutors have a real interest in you,
they’re invested in you and want you to succeed.
“One of my university interviews asked me about how I
felt about doing research, and doing the access course I had
already done a mini-research project as part of the access course,
so it really prepares you for studying at university - it’s a
taster of what you’re going to have to do.
“The office door is always open so I’ve often dropped
in to talk to Brona about uni, life, offers, essays - anything
“I used the 24+ loan to fund the course as if you go
to university - which I am - you don’t have to pay it back so it
Access to HE Social Sciences/Humanities - got
a place at the Uni of Manchester to do History and
“A-levels didn’t go very well, so my careers adviser
said that access might be a good route. I wanted to get to uni to
do History and Sociology
“I prefer the access course as you’re continually
assessed, with a mixture of exams and assignments.
“I’m a bit apprehensive about going to university at
the moment, but looking forward to taking the next step.