Skip to content
Keywords e.g. warehousing
Qualification Code e.g. 600/5640/X
Keywords e.g. warehousing
Unit Code e.g. Y/505/4889
Open Awards Unit ID e.g. CBF498
Keywords e.g. warehousing
Open Awards Unit Code e.g. UA33ART12
Open Awards Unit ID e.g. CBF521

How the Access to HE Diploma in Health has changed my life!

As we continue to celebrate our Health qualifications during the month of April, we are delighted to share Emma's story with you. Emma is currently studying an Access to HE Diploma (Heath Professions) course at St Helens College and tell us how the course has taught her so much about science, nutrition and has set her up for a fabulous future in the health sector.

Emma's Story:


'I am 37 years of age, a wife with 2 beautiful children aged 6 and 8.  I work 30 hours a week in a demanding administrative job role within the NHS.  

I left school in 2002 with no qualifications after a regretful time of being expelled from school when I was a teenagerI have always believed because of my lack of qualifications, my job options were limited so felt grateful to be employed in a relatively decent administrative roleAlthough, I am very grateful, I have never been truly happy or content professionally and always wondered “what if” I was capable of achieving more academically.   

Taking Action:

After years of niggling regret of leaving school without any qualifications I found a course at a local college and in 2021 I completed GCSE equivalent qualifications in English and MathsI then went on to complete a Double Science GCSE at Knowsley College in 2022.   

Armed with my new qualifications I dared to dream a little fartherThroughout my adult life, I have always had an interest in nutrition and how nutrition is 
linked to both physical and mental health. I value and maintain a healthy lifestyle, varied diet and enjoy nutritious food.  I began to believe that maybe I can progress further in education and pursue a career in nutritionThis is something I never thought would be possible for me. 

Aiming High:

Even so, I was hesitant and nervous about taking the next step in making my dream a realityI began to make general enquiries as to the requirements needed to be accepted at university and found studies at level 3 with 3 A-Levels or equivalent was requiredI was made aware that an Access Course to HE would provide the necessary qualifications needed and it seemed a more appropriate route for me as I am a mature student, and it has the benefit of only being a one-year course compared to 2 years studying A-Levels.   

I discovered the Access to Higher Education course for Health Professions at St Helens college could gain me entry into higher education in nutrition as it had the necessary science modules neededThe 2-day a week course initially posed a problem for me due to my current work patternDetermined, I managed to work around this by changing my work pattern and adjusting my childcare arrangements.  

I started the course in September 2023 and at first it was a big adjustment for me as the studying was at a higher level than what I was used to along with working 30 hours a week, looking after my children and running a homeDespite this, I have persisted with it and in January this year, I was able to apply for 3 different nutrition courses at John Moores University, Hope University and Edge Hill University with the help of college.  

The Future: 

I am pleased to say since commencing the course at St Helens College, all the universities I applied to have made me conditional offers and I am on course to meet the necessary requirements. 

The  course has taught me a lot about the different aspects of health care as well as a range of in-depth biology and microbiology modulesI now have experience of researching subjects and completing assignments which is giving me good practice for when I progress onto university.  

I am much happier in myself with a sense of achievement of setting a goal and following through with itI am excited about the future now that I have been given the opportunity to progress onto university through completing the Access to HE course and now believe anything is possible if you put your mind to it.'


Leave a Comment

* Indicates fields are required

Your name
Your email address