The diploma offers people who left school or college without A levels the chance to enter higher education.
The figures, published by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, reveal that almost three-quarters of those who took the qualification were female and half were over the age of 25.
The majority of students were white, but 14 per cent described themselves as black or black British, says the report, The Access to Higher Education Diploma Key Statistics 2013-14. Meanwhile, 16 per cent said that they had a disability, learning difficulty or mental health condition.
The report, published on 27 July, adds that 70 per cent of diploma students were accepted for places in higher education at universities and colleges, and this represented 6 per cent of all acceptances in England and Wales.