Access to Higher Education: Science

Course Details

  • Start Date
    September 2020
  • Duration
    1 year
  • Attendance
    Full Time
  • Awarding Body
  • Cost
    £ 3022.00 per year
  • Centre Location
  • Who is this course for?

    This very popular course is for you if you are over 19 and interested in returning to education with the aim of training for a science-based career but lack confidence because you may not have appropriate qualifications. The Access to HE course is designed to meet your needs by helping you to gain new academic skills and qualifications appropriate for entry to degree level study. You can use the qualification to gain a place at university or to enhance your career prospects (e.g., higher apprenticeships).

  • Course Description

    You choose a diploma and academic subjects suitable for your career aspiration. All our Access Diplomas are made up of three Level 3 subjects with 45 credits of graded Academic Subject Content (ASC) and 15 credits of ungraded Academic Preparation Skills units (APS) which offer generic study skills to prepare you for higher level study.

    On the Science Diploma, you can therefore choose three from a range of subjects such as: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, and Higher maths. You will also study core compulsory components such as Study Skills, English, mathematics, and ICT.

    What makes this course special?

    • You will receive excellent teaching from outstanding staff, combined with extensive tutorial support
    • A variety of exciting resources for you to use
    • Speakers from Bristol University and UWE to advise on application process for university, your course choice and how to write a personal statement for UCAS
    • The achievement rates are outstanding; success can improve your life in so many ways
    • A variety of teaching styles will be used: discussions in small groups and as a class; seminar style work; note making and assignment writing
    • You will be supported to achieve more than you thought you could
    • Feedback from current students tells us the atmosphere in the classroom is friendly and helpful, the relationships between students and staff are excellent with the right blend of formality and informality

    Placements/Work Placements

    Students are advised to organise their own work experience after consultation with universities.


    How long is the course?

    The course runs from September until June. The precise days and times you will need to attend will depend on the combination of subjects you decide to study. This will be explained to you and discussed in detail prior to an offer of a place being made.


    What are the attendance requirements?

    • The course requires you to be in University Centre Somerset for 2-3 days per week over 30 weeks
    • In addition, significant self-study hours are necessary to complete the programme

    Awarding Body

    Our Access course is validated through Ascentis, which is licensed as an Access Validating Agency by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), and is approved to award the Access to Higher Education Diploma. The Access Diploma to Higher Education is a nationally recognised diploma and enables learners to apply to higher education courses in universities and colleges.

  • Teaching and Assessment

    You will produce a portfolio of work over the year including essays, reports, presentations and a research unit. You gain credits for the assignments you do. You accumulate credits towards the diploma. There is a minimum of one compulsory exam unit.

  • Progression Opportunities

    • You will receive help and advice with the selection of university and college courses available to you, and with your UCAS application, personal statement, and interview preparation.

      You will get lots of help in making decisions about your progression routes.

      There are a variety of Higher Education institutions around the South West and nationally offering science or specialist subject Degrees. Alternatively you may want to consider one of the range of specialist degree programmes at University Centre Somerset.

      Previous students have gone on to degree courses including: Bio-Chemistry, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Physiotherapy, Radiography, Psychology or individual science subject specialisms

      Please note: most university courses require GCSE Maths and/or English. There is opportunity to study both alongside your Access programme if you need to. You may also need to obtain relevant work experience for university entry for certain degrees.

  • Career Progression

    Progression routes in the past have included:

    • Degree courses followed by a PGCE
    • Environmental biology
    • Animal Behaviour
    • Physiology
    • Biological and medical chemistry
    • Optometry
    • Dental hygiene and therapy
    • Public and environmental health
  • Entry Requirements

    • The motivation and a willingness to learn!
    • There are no formal qualifications required for entry but you will undergo an initial assessment and interview to ensure you are on the right course for your skill level
    • This course is for students aged 19 and over