Awarding organisation

Awarding Body: Aim Awards

Qualifications on offer: Access to Higher Education Diploma

Summary of course

This is a full Level 3 programme (i.e. at the same level as A Levels, NVQ Level 3 or a BTEC National Diploma). It is the most popular route of entry into Higher Education for adults. There are class based sessions, tutorials and independent study and research. You will build a personal portfolio of your completed assignments as you progress through the course.

You can take a maximum of one GCSE alongside this course. If your chosen university course requires more than this they must be achieved prior to commencing the programme.

What will I study?

The units you will study are likely to include:

Core Units:

  1. Human biology ..1. Biochemistry - 3 credits ..1. Regulation and Control - 6 credits ..1. Skeleton & Muscles - 3 credits ..1. Nutrition & Digestion - 3 credits
  2. Chemistry ..2. Energetics - 3 credits ..2. Fundamentals of Chemistry: Experiments - 3 credits ..2. Fundamentals of Chemistry - 6 credits ..2. Hydrocarbons - 3 credits
  3. Geography/Environmental Science ..3. Conservation - 3 credits ..3. Environmental Pollution - 6 credits ..3. Fluvial Environments - 3 credits ..3. Plate Tectonics - 3 credits
  4. Study Skills ..4. IT for Academic Study - 3 credits ..4. Producing a Written Assignment - 3 credits
  5. Introductory Academic ..5. Human Cell Biology - 3 credits ..5. The Periodic Table - 3 credits ..5. Ecology - 3 credits

All units are subject to change and may be withdrawn.

For further information about the course and the units you will study, please read the awarding body specification by clicking on the link below:

Awarding Body specification./a>

How is the course assessed?

The course is organised into units. Each unit carries a number of credits at Level 3. All units are compulsory.

Credits will be awarded for the successful completion of the coursework and timed assignments for each unit.

60 credits at Level 3 are required for the Access Diploma.

Most units are graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Who is this course for?

This course is ideal for you if you are aged 19+ and have been out of education for at least one year, aiming to go on to university to study for a Degree or equivalent and wish to gain a Level 3 qualification in science.

Entry Requirements for new students

Level Entry Requirements
Entry and Foundation: GCSEs, mainly 2-1 (F/G) grades. Satisfactory school reference*
Level 1: Four GCSEs at grade 2 (E) or above
Level 2: Four GCSEs at grade 3 (D) or above
Level 3 BTEC Courses or equivalent: Four GCSEs at grade 9-4 (A*-C)
Level 3 A Levels: Five GCSEs at grade 9-4 (A*-C) including English and maths
Level 4/5: A Level 3 qualification such as: A Levels, BTEC Level 3, Access to HE, Advanced Apprenticeship; equivalent of 48 UCAS points
Specific Course Requirements: GCSE English at Grade 4(C) and Maths at Grade D are essential

Some degree courses that students progress to beyond the Access programme may require GCSE Maths at Grade 4(C) or higher and students are expected to explore these requirements before commencing the Access course.

*All applicants will be invited in for interview.

Equivalent qualifications will be considered except where English has been studied as a second language and is required at GCSE grade 9-4 (A*-C).

Interview Requirements

You must bring your interview letter to your appointment, proof of your GCSE grades and arrive 15 minutes before your interview is due to take place.

General Info (materials required for the course)

Students aged over 19 years old - may be eligible to apply for a 19+ loan to fund your course fees - please contact our student enrolment team for more information.

Help may be available from the Student Bursary Fund towards costs of childcare, books and materials. P lease contact the Student Support Team on 01604 734066 for more details.

student success

Tayla Buley

Tayla Buley

The facilities and equipment available at Northampton College allowed student Tayla to explore different aspects of science and gain the confidence to voice her own ideas. She has now gained...

Sorry, you’ve missed the start date for this course but we are planning to offer it again in 2019. If you would like to speak to a tutor about the course please call us on 0300 123 2344 or complete our easy online enquiry form.


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