Access to HE Diploma in Science

Access to HE

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Course introduction

If you are keen to pursue a scientific career in fields such as engineering, veterinary science, marine biology or Science teaching, then this Access course can help you achieve your goals.

Importantly, this learning opportunity will equip you for higher-level learning through the study of Biology and Chemistry. 

You will also develop the specialist study skills you will need to succeed at university such as academic writing, research and planning.

Why choose Brock for Access to HE Diploma in Science?

At Brock we provide specialist pastoral support to ensure you make an easy transition back into education.

Small class sizes, a focus on study and academic writing skills, and a dedicated Progression Advisor to assist you with your UCAS application, are all part of the Brock support package.

We will also help you build your knowledge and skills, helping you become a more confident self-directed learner who can make the switch to higher education relatively easily.

Teaching & learning

We combine proven teaching methods with a focus on fostering a deep understanding of the subject matter in order to help you reach your learning objectives.

You will engage in a range of learning activities, including: writing essays, delivering presentations, examining case studies and participating class discussions.

In addition, we will encourage you to read around your subject to enhance your understanding and apply your knowledge to unfamiliar situations, helping you become a more independent learner.

Course structure

The qualification comprises 60 credits, all at Level 3. Fifty-one credits are for academic content and nine are for study skills, academic writing and IT skills.

Here is a breakdown of the study units:

1. Biology

In Biology you will study a range of topics including cell biology, organ systems and homeostasis.

2. Chemistry

Following an introduction to the subject you will study core principles of both chemistry and organic chemistry.

3. Academic Writing

This unit will give you the writing skills you need to perform well at university. It also covers effective research, referencing and essay planning.

4. Study Skills

Picking up effective study skills such as time management and organisation is covered thoroughly by this unit. Study Skills will also help you with your UCAS application and university interviews.

5. IT Application Skills

This unit will help you develop the IT skills you need for this course and for university. You will learn how to produce professional reports in Microsoft Word, presentations in PowerPoint and also how to efficiently manage your files.

Minimum entry requirements

Most universities require Maths and English GCSE at grade 4 (C) or above. You should achieve these grades before starting an Access course. 

Access to Higher Education is aimed solely at students aged 19+ who want to go to university and is accepted by universities for their courses.

This is an intensive programme of study. For this reason you must be able to commit to the timetable of lessons plus independent study each week. 

How will I be assessed?


  • Coursework
  • Independent research
  • Exam x 1

Information & support


You can apply for funding through the Advanced Learner Loan system to help you cover the costs of studying for an Access qualification, find out more.

What can I do with this qualification?

By successfully completing this Access course in Science you can apply to university to study a degree in subjects such as Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Marine Biology, Veterinary Science and Secondary (Science) Teaching.

We recommend you seek relevant work experience opportunities to strengthen your university application.

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How long does an Access course last?

You can study this course full-time over one year or part-time over two years.

How many hours a week is an Access course?

Class contact time averages 12 hours a week. Lessons take place Monday – Wednesday, 9am – 2pm. Please note that this is subject to change. You should check the planned timetable when you apply.

Can I take an Access course if I am under 19?

Access courses are designed for adults aged 19+. If you are 18 and interested in an Access course, please get in touch so we can help you find the programme that is right for you.

When do Access courses start?

Access courses run every academic year from September to June.

Can I study via distance learning?

No. Access courses are classroom-based programmes with no distance learning modules.

Will I need to study in my spare time?

For every hour of class time, we recommend you spend an hour studying independently. We also recommend making use of our Learning Resources Centre and quiet study areas.

Is funding available for this course?

If you are under 24 and do not hold a Level 3 qualification, this course will be funded. If you are over 24, or already hold a Level 3 qualification, funding is available through an Advanced Learner Loan. You may also be eligible for additional financial support to help with childcare and travel costs through our bursary system.

How will I be assessed?

You will submit written assignments in each of your subjects. These will be marked and graded by your teachers and then moderated externally. You will also sit one exam.

What will I need to do to get the best grades?

The single most important thing our most successful students have in common is full attendance. High achieving Access students are also well organised and devote plenty of time to independent study.

Is it possible to study an Access course if I have other commitments?

Yes. In fact, a majority of our Access students combine their course with work and home commitments. You will need to be organised, but as long as you attend all your lessons, there is no reason why you cannot complete your Access course while fulfilling other commitments.

What should I do before I apply?

Before you submit your application, please research your progression route thoroughly. Make sure you attend university open days and speak to staff running the course you hope to study. Also, check entry requirements on to make sure an Access course is a good match for the university course you wish to study.

If you are planning to study Nursing, Midwifery, an Allied Health course or a Teaching degree at university, we expect you to have undertaken relevant work experience before you apply for an Access course. Universities will expect to see evidence of relevant work experience in your personal statement, which you will write in the first term of your Access course.

What is the application process?

Please apply for your Access course online.

Part of the application form asks you to write a personal statement. The personal statement is your opportunity to tell us about you, your background, why you want to study and Access course and how it fits with your future plans.

These personal statements often form the basis of our students’ UCAS personal statements, so please give us as much information as possible. Once your application has been received by the College you will be invited to attend an interview.

We start interviewing Access applicants in March, but we welcome your application at any time.