The Access to HE Diploma is a qualification designed to prepare adults, with few prior qualifications, for  higher education study.


A standard system of grading is used for all Access to HE Diplomas.


Each graded Level 3 unit is graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction.


Grading decisions are based on the application of a standard method and a common set of grade descriptors.


Results are given as a grade profile, recorded on students’ achievement transcripts (issued with the certificate of achievement of the Access to HE Diploma).



Students are assessed to determine the achievement of the learning outcomes of units. Units may be assessed individually or in groups within one integrated assessment.


Modes of assessment must be appropriate to the academic discipline and the progression route. The details of assignments are locally determined.


Student work is internally assessed and moderated, according to systems monitored by AVAs.


Student work is also externally moderated by moderators who act on behalf of AVAs to ensure that academic standards are secure and maintained, in terms of:

  • the academic demand of assignment
  • consistency and sufficiency in the performance of students who are recommended for the award of specific credits, grades and Diplomas


Assessment regulations for the award of the Access to HE Diploma (including regulations relating to matters such as extenuating circumstances, resubmissions and referrals) are specified by QAA, and must be applied by all providers.

Further information

A single Tariff value may match a range of grade profiles. See section "Access to HE" tab in the Tariff Tables: https://www.ucas.com/providers/our-products-and-services/qualification-…


Only Access to HE Diplomas started after September 2014 are eligible for UCAS Tariff points.


Access to HE Diplomas are widely accepted by UK HEPs for admissions purposes. Access to HE Diplomas have been developed as qualifications for adults, to widen participation in higher education.


QAA’s Access to HE website includes further information and advice for HE admissions staff about making offers to Access to HE students. https://www.qaa.ac.uk//en/access-to-he/access-to-he-resources


Further information about the grading scheme for Access to HE Diplomas is available at: https://www.qaa.ac.uk//en/access-to-he/access-to-he-resources/access-to-he-grading-scheme