International Access Programme: flexible choices leading to HE, Higher Apprenticeships or employment - 19/10/2020

The International Access Programme – Launch Offer 

ATHE is pleased to launch the International Access Programme (IAP), a flexible suite of qualifications designed for learners looking to:

  • Progress to a university degree programme in the UK or internationally
  • Progress to employment
  • Progress to a higher-level apprenticeship
  • Change career or improve career progression.

To celebrate the launch ATHE is offering a 25% discount for learner registrations up to the end of March 2021.

The IAP Qualifications

The IAP suite comprises the following Level 3 60-credit diplomas [click on the links to access the specifications]:

Funding Eligibility

The majority of IAP qualifications are eligible for Advanced Learner Loans as indicated *, with all eligible for 16-19 EFA funding – the following link provides further details:

How the IAP Works 

  1. The IAP provides a menu of 60-credit diploma options to meet individual preferences and provide breadth in learning.
  2. The number of diplomas a learner chooses to study can vary depending on their ability and career aspirations.
  3. The professional learning in each diploma is related to the modern business world.
  4. Assessment is undertaken internally by the college or school and this is done through the completion of assignments set for each diploma.
  5. The diplomas incorporate Study Skills which are needed to support progression to higher level learning and are valued by employers.

Progressing to a degree programme – learners aged 16 plus looking to progress to a degree programme should consider studying two or three diplomas to total 120 or 180 credits, typically meeting the general entry requirements to a degree programme at Level 4 and providing exemption from undertaking a foundation year programme.

Mature learners with existing qualifications and experience – aged 19 plus looking to progress within a role, or to a degree programme at Level 4 may wish to study less than three diplomas.  ATHE’s Recognised Prior Learning Policy provides the opportunity to be recognised for prior qualifications and experience.

Progression into / within employment or to higher level vocational qualifications - learners may also progress to employment or have increased opportunities for progression in their current role; or onto a higher level ATHE qualification at Level 4 or above in a related subject.

Depending on learners’ progression needs, a cluster of IAP diplomas might include:

  • progression to a Finance related degree programme, by choosing:
    • The Level 3 Diploma in Accounting combined with the Level 3 Diploma in Applied Statistics [120 credits in total]; and adding the Level 3 in Business to set these studies in a wider organisational context [180 credits in total]
  • building on Business experience and changing a career path, by choosing:
    • The Level 3 Diploma in Small Business and Social Enterprise Start-up [60 credits]; with potential exemptions to achieve the Level 3 Diploma in Business [120 credits in total]; and adding the Level 3 Diploma in Information and Digital Technologies for tech-enabled businesses [180 credits in total].
  • progression to HE or employment as an International learner, by choosing:
    • The Level 3 Diploma in Business English and Communication [60 credits] combined with the Level 3 in Business [60 credits]; and adding a further subject specific such as Accounting or Health & Social Care for the chosen course or sector [180 credits in total].

Study Skills Integral to IAP Qualifications 

All of the qualifications in the IAP suite develop study skills to prepare learners for progression to Higher Education, a level 4 apprenticeship, to support lifelong learning and/or enable learners to improve their effectiveness in the workplace.  Examples include planning, oral and written communication skills, organising and time management; gathering information, note taking and summarising; and the application of IT skills.

For further information and to add the IAP suite to your ATHE centre recognition contact Denise Weir at or call +44 (0)1603 760030.