Go Higher

Go Higher: Humanities Access Diploma

What is Go Higher?

Go Higher is the University of Liverpool’s one-year, part-time access programme that prepares for entry to degrees across the humanities, arts and social sciences.

The diploma is designed for mature students, returners to learning who may not have the traditional qualifications for university entry, and anyone thinking about changing career direction.  

Core subjects taught on Go Higher are English, History, Law, Philosophy and Sociology, Study Skills, plus Maths equivalent to GCSE grade C/5 for university entry. The range of degrees to progress on to is much broader, from Architecture and Business to Psychology and Urban Planning, and lots more in between. Students also progress to degrees at other institutions. 

Classes take place at Liverpool’s beautiful campus on a Wednesday, and you will also complete around 15 hours of guided study per week in your own time. Start Go Higher in September and commence your degree the following September.

“For me, attending Go Higher was the very best experience for three reasons. First, it gave me confidence in my ability, and this definitely eased the transition onto degree level. Second, I met a group of fantastic people, and we remain friends almost ten years on. Third, my career has flourished; I now manage a large Supervised Contact Service for the Liverpool area. The role is perfect for me – however, I would never have been given this opportunity without the confidence and support Go Higher gave me all those years ago. ” 

Laurie (age 45)

Applying to Go Higher

How to apply:

Download an application form here and return it asap, at least by the deadline of end of June. You will be invited to complete a short English and Maths exercise and to attend an informal online interview with a Go Higher tutor. GCSEs are helpful but not essential for entry. 


Go Higher is designed for mature students, returners to learning, and for anyone looking for a second chance due to a disrupted education. Our students come from a huge variety of backgrounds and can be aged anything from 18 to 80 and beyond. 

No formal qualifications are needed for entry and GCSEs in English and Maths are not essential. As long as you have potential and commitment, you have what is needed for success on Go Higher. Whilst on the programme you will be supported by study skills tutors and have access to the full range of university academic and student support services. 

If English is not your first language, you may have to complete an IELTS test for entry to an undergraduate degree (this is not required for entry to Go Higher). 

Application Process:

Step one: Download an application form here

Step Two: Return your application form, with a personal statement telling us why you want to enrol on Go Higher, to [email protected]  

Step Three: Complete a short online English and Maths assessment. 

Step Four: Attend a friendly and informal online interview with a Go Higher tutor.


Programme tuition fees are around £1100, payable in 3 equal instalments. If you are in receipt of means-tested benefits you may be eligible for the reduced fee of £100. Tuition loans for Go Higher are not available and students are self-funded. These fees are indicative only and may change from year to year. 

Next Steps:

On successful achievement of the Go Higher Diploma to an appropriate level, you will be eligible to progress to a large range of degree programmes at the University of Liverpool and elsewhere.

Pathways at Liverpool can be found here

If you wish to progress to a specific undergraduate programme at another institution we advise you check that Go Higher is acceptable for entry. All students are supported to make applications to their chosen degree programmes, at Liverpool and/or elsewhere, via UCAS during the Go Higher year. 

It has benefitted me immeasurably. I really cannot praise the Go Higher programme enough – I would not be the person that I am now without it! I am now employed by the Civil Service as part of their graduate scheme, and I am currently working for the Department of Health and Social Care as a policy official, working on the Government’s response to COVID-19. I am really enjoying my new career so far and have gained particular satisfaction knowing that my work is helping some of the most vulnerable people in society.


Go Higher Application Timeline

Key Dates:

  • Midday 25th July 2024: Deadline for applicants to start September 2024
  • 18th August 2024: Online briefing for new Go Higher students
  • 4th and 5th September 2024: Go Higher starts with a 2-day welcome and induction on University of Liverpool Campus
  • 11th September 2024: Go Higher teaching starts

“Go Higher made me realise anything was possible, I could re-train in any subject and start completely afresh, regardless of my age. After Go Higher I chose to do a degree in English and Philosophy at the University of Liverpool. The course was tough, but I graduated in 2017 with a 2.1. While I was studying at the University, I decided I would like to work there, give back to the organisation that had helped me so much. So, I applied for and got an internship in the Careers and Employability service on Campus. I then applied for and got a permanent job in the School of the Arts, Student Experience team looking after student attendance and engagement… I have made friends for life from Go Higher, I still met up with them for coffee and a chat about life and happy memories of our time on the course.” 


Sample Entry Assessment

As part of the application process, you will be required to complete a literacy and mathematics exercise.

Here is a sample test paper to give you an idea of the type of questions that will be asked.

Let’s hear from some Go Higher graduates …

Go Higher students Graham, Mark, Vicky and Kevin share their stories and talk through their experience on the programme and the benefits that have come with accessing Go Higher.

Partner Institutions offering access to Higher Education

The list below details the institutions in the Merseyside Learner Provider Network who are offering return to learning or access to higher education courses. Click on the course to be taken to the provider’s website.

University of Liverpool and Carmel College Foundation to Human and Animal Health Professions
Blackburn House Access to HE Health Care Professions
Liverpool HopeDegree with Foundation Year
Hugh Baird College Access to Higher Education
Riverside College Access to Higher Education

Contact Go Higher

For more information:

Visit the Go Higher website at www.liverpool.ac.uk/gohigher 

To arrange an informal chat prior to application with a Go Higher tutor, please email [email protected]

Contact details:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 0808 100 6-60  or  0151 794 1433


Go Higher  
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 
University of Liverpool 
1-7 Abercromby Square 
L69 7WY