Access to Higher Education at Derby College

Are you interested in degree level study but worried because you don’t have the traditional qualifications you need? Have you been out of education for a while? Do you need to rebuild your confidence to achieve your ambitions?

access adult studies

Returning to education is more than just learning. It can give you renewed confidence and faith in your own abilities. Derby College put me on the right road.     

Emily Ferry
Former Access Student, who went on to gain first class honours in Criminology at the University of Derby


Why choose Derby College?

  • Our Access courses enable you to work towards that coveted university place or plan an exciting change of career.
  • We’ve just extended our range of subjects: you can now choose from courses in Art and Design, Health Professions, Science, Social Science and Teaching.
  • You can ease yourself back into education in a friendly environment, alongside students from diverse backgrounds and age groups.
  • Our experienced and enthusiastic teaching teams will provide the right level of support to keep you motivated and on track.
  • We offer family-friendly hours to ensure you can fit your studies into your busy lifestyle.

access adult studies

We pride ourselves on delivering flexibility and choice. You can take Access courses at both our Roundhouse campus and our new campus in Ilkeston (Pimlico), bringing all the benefits of a Derby College education even closer to home.

About Access Courses

Access and Pre-Access courses provide you with a stepping stone to a higher level of study. They are ideal if you are considering a career change, want to return to study or feel you need a more gradual introduction to undergraduate education.

Access courses tend to offer family friendly study hours, typically 9.45am – 2.30pm throughout school term times. They can generally be studied full time (four days a week) or part time (two days a week).

The courses are available to anyone over the age of 19, irrespective of previous qualifications. All Access courses feature Maths, English, IT and Study Skills to ensure you have a good standard of general education to progress to the next stage of your learning.

Access to Higher Education News

Maths & English

Find out how Maths and English can benefit you.

Sonia Meakin

Sonia Meakin

A career in midwifery

A feeling of being helpless while her mother lay in a hospital bed was the impetus that Sonia Meakin needed to return to College and start on her nursing training.

Sonia completed an Access to Nursing and Midwifery course at the College and has since progressed to Birmingham City University for a further three years, training to become a midwife.

It’s tough to return to education but Derby College makes it so easy and it is a very structured and supportive environment, which is just what you need.

Site Information


Courses in this area are run at our Roundhouse campus and our Ilkeston campus.

About the Roundhouse »

About Ilkeston »

Jane Finch

Jane Finch

A career in child protection

After studying Childcare at Derby College, Jane Finch was originally unable to follow her dream of gaining social work qualifications because she needed to support her family. But, nearly 20 years later, the mum-of-seven took the plunge and returned to College on an Access to Social Work course.

It paved the way for her to gain a degree from Nottingham Trent University and she now works for Derbyshire County Council as a Child Protection Social Worker, helping families make positive changes in their lives.

I was not in a position to continue my education as a teenager but I’m so glad that I have now pursued my dream of becoming a qualified social worker. When you return to education, you become hungry for more: my life and career are going from strength to strength since I went back to Derby College.


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