Used generically to describe a programme of study which has been recognised by an AVA as an appropriate preparation for higher education for mature students and meeting the minimum requirements for the award of an Access to Higher Education certificate. Access programmes are targeted, in particular, at adults who may not have undertaken formal education for a number of years or at groups who are under-represented in higher education. Some Access programmes are broadly based; others offer specific discipline preparation; nearly all include study and/or other core skills. Most programmes can be completed in one year on a full-time basis; many are also available in part-time modes. The majority of Access programmes are offered in further education colleges, but some are provided in other locations, for example, adult education centres, community centres and higher education institutions.