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Pre-Access (Step-up Programme)

Course Code: SUP01

Level: 2
Subject area: Access to HE
Awarding body: City College Plymouth
Qualification: Access, Certificate
Course type: FREE (Eligibility Applies), Part-time
Time of Day: Flexible
Duration: Six weeks
When you'll study: Distance learning, web-based

About the course

Have you ever wondered how you would do at college given another chance? This course, led by the award-winning City College Plymouth Access to Higher Education team, gives you the opportunity to test the waters of education once more through a series of short and light-hearted units.

What if you don’t want to do formal qualifications but you’re interested in this course? No problem! Plans are already in place to run a second programme, giving you even more opportunities to test your academic mettle and explore the world of knowledge at your fingertips.

This is a free course, delivered entirely online, and there’s no formal timetable to follow. The course is available 24/7, so you can work on it whenever suits you, and experienced course lecturers will support you through your learning.

So why not ‘step-up’ with City College Plymouth?!

What you'll learn

You you will be working with lecturers and other students in our Google Classroom Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Within this VLE you will undertake five units to complete your course, and will pick these from three strands.

  1. Return to Learn. This core unit will take you about ten hours to complete, and will span a range of topics helping you to learn, develop and practice many of the skills modern students need to cope well in this complex, digital, age. From fact checking to memory
    techniques, this unit will let you get used to the VLE and feel comfortable in taking on the challenges of learning once again. Everybody will take this unit, so it’s a great way to get to know other students.
  2.  Learn to Earn. Let’s say you want to take your learning further, and take on a Level 3 (A Level equivalent) qualification with an eye on a university or career qualification. What would a level 3 course in your target subject be like? This strand allows you to pick two more academic units, each of which should take only five hours of study time. These will be short units linked to future careers/courses. Why not see what studying as a nurse would be like? Or what about psychology? Sociology? Law? Here’s your chance to find
    out, with guided learning from experienced lecturers, and challenging assessment tasks to get your teeth into.
  3. Love to Learn. The best learning is driven by curiosity, and this strand gives you the chance to pick from a wide selection of micro-units to study. From local history to how pandemics happen, from how to write a poem to interpreting abstract art, choose two units and see how far the rabbit hole of learning goes!
Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this course. It aims to open the door to additional learning therefore further level 2 courses may be necessary for future progression. While the course requires basic literacy and numeracy, we can offer free courses to help you polish up and develop these skills. The key requirements for the course are simply an enthusiasm to learn and a curiosity about the world.


We’ll be monitoring your progress throughout the course via a series of fun and engaging tasks, building your skills and knowledge as you learn. The Google Classroom system will let you see your progress in real time, and when you have completed all your tasks you will be awarded an official digital achievement badge from our partners at the Real Ideas Organisation Plymouth and the digital accreditation gurus, Credly. These badges travel with you so organisations and employers can see the skills you developed to attain them.

What's next?

While the Step Up course is designed to get you ready to pursue your Access to Higher Education qualification, it will also give you excellent preparation to take on any of the varied level 3 courses available at the College. This course will whet your appetite for learning, and ensure you hit the ground running in September to achieve your education and career goals with ease in the years to come.

Important information

Fees quoted apply to courses starting in the academic year 2021/22 (August 2021 – July 2022). There may be a slight increase in fees for courses starting 2022/23.

If you are aged 16-18, due to Government funding, tuition fees may not be applicable for your course. (Please note: this does not apply to Foundation Degrees or Access to Higher Education courses, and other courses not eligible for public funding.)


Course Code: SUP01

Course Fees

A Full Course Fee: £75

B Reduced Course Fee (for those in receipt of qualifying benefits): Not applicable to this course

C Ancillary course costs (ie books and equipment): Not applicable to this course

D Advanced Learner Loan Fee: Not applicable to this course

How old are you? How much will you pay?
16 - 18 A
19 - 23 A(Note: If you do not have a level 2 qualification, this course may be free).
24+ A

Please note fees are quoted for one year only.