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Teacher Education Access to Higher Education Advanced (Level 3)

This is a one year Level 3 intensive course aimed at mature students (19+) without the standard qualifications to enter higher education. The course will provide you with all the skills and knowledge in primary teacher education that you will need to progress onto a degree-level course.


Access to Teacher Education

When I left school I started an admin role with the Police, working my way up to research work after four years where I stayed for another eight years. The idea of teaching had always been at the back of my mind and it was working with children as a Beaver Scout Leader that made me decide now was the time to get started.

I contacted the University of Bedfordshire about teaching courses and they directed me to this Access course at Bedford College. The course will enable me to move on to the University’s Primary Education course which will lead to Qualified Teacher Status at the end of the three years.

 I really enjoy the psychology and sociology elements of the course and the different theories we learn. We also study child development, and everyone on the course has undertaken a work placement at a local school. We’re a really supportive group and enjoy working together on joint projects.

I want to make a difference through teaching and my passion is with primary education – most people remember their primary teachers more than their secondary teachers! I’m really glad I started this course at College. I’ve found learning easier this time around, thanks to the support of my tutors, and I now feel fully prepared for university.   

Rebecca - Access to Teacher Education 

Entry requirements

You must be aged 19 or over to apply and will need to have English Language, maths and science GCSE at grade 4 (GCSE Grade C) or above or equivalent Level 2 qualifications. Applicants may be accepted on the Access Diploma with one of these, subject to a successful interview and entry test to show you are working at level 2. You will have to gain the other level 2 during the same year to progress to university. If your first language is not English will need an IELTS score of 5.5 or higher.

You will also need to have good IT skills as all of your assignments will be carried out using either Word, Excel or PowerPoint. You can undertake IT Skills classes at our Learning Centres.

It is very important to research the entry criteria of the universities you would like to apply to. You will need a minimum of GCSE English, maths and science, in addition to your Access qualification, for entry onto degree-level courses. We currently offer GCSE and Functional Skills which you may be able to enrol on alongside your Access course to gain these qualifications. Many university courses can be very competitive and it’s important to understand and fulfil the entry requirements prior to applying.  

Course content

During the course you will study the following core units:

  • Child development
  • Studying Literature
  • Understanding School’s Culture
  • Education: A focus on Quality
  • Education: Current Policy and Practice
  • Introduction to Creative Writing
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Education Psychology
  • Theories of Learning
  • Cells, Tissues and Organs
  • Digestion and the Liver
  • Homeostasis

Core skills units

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Study skills
  • Research Project

This course requires you to arrange a minimum of ten days work shadowing in a school environment. Applicants who wish to progress to Primary Teacher Training with QTS need to have five days at Key Stage 1 and five days at Key Stage 2.

You will also need to pay for a DBS check which we can organise for you if necessary.

Assessment methods

You will be regularly assessed through written, practical and oral assignments, project work and exams. To enable you to be successful on the course you will need to be able to use IT to produce essays, reports, presentations and statistical data.


Access to HE Diploma Teacher Education

Further study and career options

On successful completion of this course you can progress on to a degree-level course or further qualifications in your chosen specialist area.

You will be guaranteed progression on to one of the following courses at Bedford College:

Additional information

You will be required to attend College for two days a week on a Monday and Friday. The proposed times of the College day will 9.15am to 4.45pm. You will also be expected to study for approximately 15 hours a week outside of college some of which will be online learning. You may need to purchase books relating to the course. You may need to purchase books relating to the course.

Please declare if you have English and maths GCSEs and/or Functional Skills qualifications – this information is required (note: you will need to provide evidence prior to enrolment). Once we’ve processed your application you will be contacted by email.

Pay by instalments

The College offers an instalment plan for Further Education and Higher Education courses to students where the total amount payable at the point of enrolment is £200 or more. Within the scheme there is an ability to pay up to 6 instalments, depending on the length of the courses and the final payment must be paid at least a month before the end of the course.

Funding information

If you are aged 19 or over, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. Alternatively, you can pay by instalments to help make the cost more affordable. Find out more about your payment options at

If you complete one of our Access to Higher Education courses and use an Advanced Learner Loan to pay for your tuition fee, the Student Loans Company will write off the balance on the Advanced Learner Loan if you then go on to complete an undergraduate course.

18 year olds may apply and will need to have English Language and Maths GCSE at grade C (4) or above or equivalent level 2 qualifications before the start of the course and be subject to a successful interview. Successful applicants will be in college for 2 days per week and will also be required to undertake additional studies up to 50 hours (which will support in providing valuable experience to include in UCAS applications aiding progression to Higher Education). If you are successful you may qualify for a free place. Alternatively we offer Level 2 and Level 3 courses that may be funded for 16-18 year olds.

Course Information & How to Apply

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

LengthStart DateFeesLocationCourse Code
1 year 13/09/2021 Launch our fee calculatorLaunch our fee calculator Cauldwell Street BBA2287

Apply Online

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Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.

Don't let money be a worry! Low-interest loans - study now, pay later

Advanced Learner Loans
If you’re aged 19 or over on the start date of your chosen course, you can apply for a loan to cover the tuition fees for some Level 3+ qualifications. There’s also nothing to pay back until you’ve completed your course and you’re earning over £25,000 per year!

» Visit the Advanced Learner Loans page for more information