Access to H.E. Diploma in Science


  • Adults


The Access to Higher Education Diploma in Science, is a Level 3 qualification designed for Adults aged 19+ who wish to pursue Higher Education. The course is a one year intensive course, which allows students to develop the skills needed for Higher Education. The course is suitable for those who have been out of full-time education for some time, or wish to change careers. The course Access to HE in Science requires a maturity approach, dedication and commitment.

Will the course give me what I want?

The course is an intensive course, which includes units in Biological, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Study skills. All students are allocated a tutor, for pastoral support, as well as to help with UCAS. 

The Diploma is made up of units that amount to 60 L3 credits. The 60 credits include 15 credits in Biology, 15 credits in chemistry, 9 credits in Physics, 6 credits in Maths and 15 credits in Study skills. 

What have students who have taken this course in the past progressed to? 

The course provides a pathway onto a variety of Higher Education degree courses at Universities, including Russel group Universities. Past students have gained access to a wide range of science degrees at excellent universities, including:Radiography, Physiotherapy (King’s College), Biomedical Science (Royal Holloway)Nutrition and Dietetics (Surrey)Chemistry (Brunel)Computer Sciences (Sussex)Physics (Warwick)Marine Biology Biodiversity and Conservation (Anglia Ruskin)Nursing (Essex) Physiotherapy(St. George’s) 

How will I learn? 

Through classroom based activities, lectures, practical experiments, group work and self-direct learning. 

How will I be assessed? 

Assessment will be by assignments, exams, presentations, observation of practical work and practical reports. Each unit studied, will use one or more of these assessment methods.

Where have students gone to after completing this course?

Higher Education study, University

Is there additional work required by the student?

Due to the volume of scientific ideas and principles covered, as well as their applications, students should be prepared to allow a minimum of 6 hours per week of individual study outside of lessons.

What are the expected employment areas with this course?

Health Care, Scenes of Crime Officer, Science

Awarding Body

OCN logo

Entry Requirements

You will need to have a GCSE qualification at  4-5 (C) or above or above in Mathematics and be able to demonstrate at least a Level 2 knowledge of both Science and English. All prospective students are required to complete an initial literacy and numeracy assessment, along with a short science assessment, when invited to for an interview. A satisfactory reference is also required.

Expected prior knowledge

At least Grade 4-5 (C) or above in GCSE Science or other L2 science qualifications or industrial experience which demonstrate sufficient scientific background

English level

You are expected to be at Level 2 in English. If you do not have a GCSE in English you will need to enroll on a separate Evening GCSE course in addition to this Access course, as it is a requirement by Universities that you have a grade 4-5 (C) or above in GCSE English.

Mathematics level

You are expected to have a 4-5 (C) or above in GCSE Mathematics before starting the course



Financial support to help with childcare

Care to learn - childcare support for young people aged 16-20

If you are aged under 20 at the beginning of your course, or moving to the 2nd year of a level 3 course, and are caring for your own child you may be entitled to £175.00 maximum per week, per child through Care to Learn. 

Please ensure you register on the Care to Learn website even if you haven’t chosen your childcare provider or the course you want to study.  Once you have registered Care to Learn will confirm financial support in principle.

For further details and help with making an application please visit or speak to a Student Advisor.

Childcare support for people aged 20+

Financial support towards the cost of nursery, childminder, breakfast clubs and after-school clubs.

If you are aged 20+ when you start a course and need financial support to help with the cost of childcare while you study the college may be able to help.

You will be required to make use of any government NEF or 2+ Funding before requesting any financial support from the college.

It is essential that you speak to a Student Advisor prior to enrolling on a course to discuss your personal circumstances, childcare needs and to find out if there are funds available.

Eligibility for help with childcare costs is based on your personal circumstances.

General eligibility criteria:

  • Aged 20 and over
  • Considered a home student for fee purposes
  • Fully enrolled on a programme of study funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency  or in receipt of a 19+ Advanced Learning Loan
  • Discussed and had confirmation of funding for childcare support before enrolling

Financial eligibility:

 You need to have evidence that you meet general discretionary Learner Support Funds or 19+ Advanced Learning Loan bursary fund criteria:

  • on a low income / a dependent of someone who is on a low income or in receipt of a means tested benefit e.g. Income Support / Jobseekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, housing benefit etc.

When looking for childcare please be aware:

  • all childcare providers must be OFSTED registered
  • any 2+ or 3+ government funding must be used by the student. Only additional hours needed for study will be funded by the College.
  • childcare will only be paid for days when you are attending College or a mandatory work placement.
  • students on full-time courses will be a priority for childcare funding.
  • childcare places will be subject to a contract between College/student/nursery.
  • childcare payments are made subject to students reaching 85% attendance on a monthly basis.

All childcare applicants approved for funding will be required to sign our Terms & Conditions and MUST inform the College immediately should they stop attending lessons for any reason.

Email to put your name on the childcare waiting list.  You MUST speak to a member of the Student Advice or Learner Services team before you enrol on a course.