Think that A-Levels are the only route to higher education? Take a Closer Look


Today’s announcement of A-Level results in Wales is an important milestone for many young people and adults who are looking to progress their careers. But also many learners will be celebrating their Access to Higher Education Diploma results.

The Access to Higher Education Diploma is an alternative to A-Levels and recognised by all universities and other higher education providers in England and Wales. It is designed to help people who want to go onto higher education but who don’t have sufficient qualifications. There are 13 Diplomas available at further education colleges across Wales ranging from Social Care to Science to Business and Financial Services.

They offer progression on to degrees in a diverse range of subjects such as law, business management, criminology, nursing, teaching and social work.

The Agored Cymru Access to HE Diploma framework has recently been through a detailed review and the majority of Diplomas have been revalidated. This relied heavily upon the input of practitioners from both the further and higher education sectors. The Access Diploma in Wales is now even more greatly aligned with the needs and aspirations of adult learners wishing to improve their lives and to a wide range of national priorities. 

Victor Morgan, Access to Higher Education Manager at Agored Cymru, the awarding body of choice for education and training providers in Wales explains: “It’s not only A- Level results we are celebrating today but also learners who have successfully completed their Agored Cymru Access to Higher Education Diplomas at Further Education colleges across Wales. We are delighted to congratulate,1,350 learners this year, who have developed the skills and confidence they need to successfully progress to higher education.

In 2016-17, 74% of Agored Cymru learners registered on an AHE Diploma achieved the qualification. These are the best outcomes reported anywhere in the UK.

"The Access to Higher Education Diploma is the most successful single qualification at widening participation in higher education for underrepresented groups. “Every year we celebrate the amazing achievements of Access to Higher Education learners, with our prestigious Access to Higher Education Learner of the Year Awards.

“Often learners have conquered major challenges to gain the qualifications and to fulfil their dreams of going to university.

“I would like personally to offer my warmest congratulations to all those learners who have worked so hard to gain their Access to Higher Education Diplomas and who now are able to take up places at universities and other higher education providers. Their success shows that A-Levels are not the only route into higher education.”

More information here

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