University Entrance Diploma

Group of students smiling and laughing

University Entrance Diploma

The University Entrance Diploma is a full-time course designed for students who enjoy learning but want an alternative to traditional A levels or BTEC courses.

Delivered at the University of Kent's Medway campus, this innovative new course qualifies successful students for entry to higher education and offers the opportunity to explore a range of subjects in a supportive and encouraging environment.

Please note that places on the course are limited and priority will be given to 16-19 year olds who live in targeted areas where participation in higher education is low.

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Alternative to A levels with less focus on exams

Students and staff talk about the University Entrance Diploma

What makes our course different?

The University Entrance Diploma gives you the flexibility to study academic subjects to A-level standard but, unlike A-levels, you are assessed in a wide variety of ways. This means less of a focus on examinations and more on developing the academic skills needed to excel in assignments and research. It is available as a one year, two year or 18 month course, depending on your experience of education so far and what is right for you. The course has been designed to help you develop independence, autonomy and confidence while gaining the skills and subject knowledge needed to make a success of higher education.

Being assessed in a variety of ways enhances both your written and verbal communication. The course is modular in nature which means you take assessments on material you have just covered while also giving you the opportunity to see how much you progress throughout your time with us.

You study a range of subjects, exploring the links between them, and work closely with student ambassadors (current university students) as well as your subject tutors to ensure you receive the right kind of support to help you achieve your best. Online learning materials are also used to enhance your experience and provide opportunities for you to improve your understanding.

Visits to cinemas, museums, galleries and theatres are offered to increase your understanding and enjoyment of the course. Being based at the University's Medway campus allows for close links with the University of Kent’s wider provision and as a registered student of the University, you have access to the library and the other facilities the University has to offer.

What can I study?

We currently offer a range of diploma titles in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Depending on the diploma studied, subjects may include a combination of Biology, Chemistry, Cultural Studies, English Language and Literature, Psychology or Sociology.  

Is the course right for me?

We will prepare you for further study, improve your confidence in your own abilities and help you to become more independent in your approach to learning.

You may be suitable for this course if you:

  • are looking for an alternative to sixth form or college
  • have five GCSEs at grade A*-C / 9-4 (or their equivalent), including English and Maths
  • are interested in some form of Higher Education (HND, Degree, Apprenticeship)

You may also be interested in this course if you:

  • are looking for an alternative to A level resits or retakes
  • have not achieved the high GCSE grades needed for entry to some school sixth forms
  • did not get the results you were hoping for at the end of your A levels or BTEC course.

If you have experience of Level 3 study, such as A-level or BTEC, you may be able to take our one year intensive option. Whilst we expect everyone to have GCSEs in English and Maths in order to gain a place on our course, this condition may be waived for students with appropriate experience or in exceptional circumstances. All applicants will be considered on an individual basis and will be invited to attend an interview and information session.

Overhead view of three students working at a picnic table

How will I be assessed?

The course is portfolio-based and assessments take place throughout the academic year. A variety of assessment methods will be used to fully prepare you for the next level of study and ensure you are given the opportunity to perform at your best:

  • Discussions
  • Debates
  • Vlogs
  • Essays
  • Presentations
  • Timed assessments
  • A research project

How do I apply?

If you would like to apply, please submit an online application form. Once you have submitted your application we will be in touch as soon as possible to arrange a date for an informal interview. If you would like to find out more before applying please get in touch.

Get in touch


Telephone: 07718 476786

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about the course, you can email us, call us, or complete our Ask us a question form. We also hold regular Information Sessions where you can speak to staff. Please register for our next event if you would like to attend.