Access to Higher Education Diploma: Science

Course Information

  • Course Code: RV133
  • Duration: 1 academic year
  • Study mode: Full Time

The Access to Science Diploma is excellent preparation for people who wish to study science-based courses such as Biomedical Sciences (Physiology/Pharmacology), Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Medical Science, Forensic Science and a range of other disciplines at University level. This course is especially designed for mature students who do not currently have the necessary academic qualifications to apply for University level study.

What will I study?

You will study on this programme for 12 hours per week, completing three units at Level 3 (the equivalent of A-levels). In addition you will attend a tutorial session where your study skills will be developed and you will receive excellent preparation for University level study with our Study Skills modules.

The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a modular course which involves you studying a combination of units.  All units are compulsory and must be completed by all students who wish to achieve this award.

You will study the following modules:

  • Biology Level 3
  • Chemistry Level 3
  • Psychology Level 3

All students on the Diploma will then complete the following mandatory units in a weekly tutorial:

  • Study Skills Level 3
  • Further Study Skill Level 3
Entry Requirements

As this is a demanding A-level equivalent programme, you should have a minimum of 3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and Maths. Plus a minimum of grade B/5 in GCSE Science. You should also have evidence of study within the last five years.

Applicants who do not have recent experience of study but have relevant work or life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview, you should still apply in this case. The interview will consider prior formal qualifications, and evidence of experience gained through employment or other verifiable sources.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed by examinations and essays throughout the course. 

  • Successfully gaining a place on a degree course in one of these academic disciplines involves:
  • Having excellent attendance on your Access Diploma
  • Completing all work to a very high standard (Degrees will usually expect Distinctions in all your work)
  • Having some relevant work experience to ensure you have detailed knowledge of the day-to-day role involved in the career you wish to progress onto.
What can I do next?

Upon completion of this course, many students progress to undergraduate courses in science-based disciplines such as Biomedical Sciences (Physiology/Pharmacology), Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Medical Science, Forensic Science and a range of other Higher Education opportunities.  

Your Study Programme

View Study Programme Information

Career Options


As a biochemist you would investigate the chemical processes that take place inside all living things from viruses and bacteria to people. If you are interested in the natural world and would enjoy looking at life at a smaller, molecular level then, this could be a job you would enjoy.

You will need a high level of skill and ability in science and be good at solving problems. Working accurately and having an eye for detail will help you carry out work like exploring samples under a microscope.

To become a biochemist you will need to have a relevant degree. Some employers may expect you to have, or be working towards a postgraduate qualification such as an MSc or PhD. ?? 

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Chemical Engineer

As a chemical or process engineer you would research and design the machinery and processes used to turn raw materials into everyday products such as fuel, plastics and food. If you are interested in chemistry and enjoy solving problems then this could be the career for you.

You’ll be using your knowledge of maths and science to help you analyse problems and come up with solutions. Good management skills will help you to successfully manage projects, budgets and people.

To become a chemical engineer, you would usually need an accredited BEng degree in chemical or process engineering.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Chemical Engineering Technician

Chemical engineering technicians work with chemical engineers on the research, development and manufacture of products, including plastics, medicines, foods, textiles and fuel.

If you like chemistry and maths, and are good at solving problems a career in chemical engineering could be the perfect job for you.

To do this job, you will also need good communication skills and the ability to work to a high level of accuracy.

You can get into this work through an apprenticeship scheme or by taking a course at college or university before applying for a trainee position.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire


As a biologist you would study living things like plants and animals and the world they live in. If you are interested in the natural world and enjoy practical science then there could be opportunities for you as a biologist.

To become a biologist you will need to have an enquiring mind and good problem solving skills. You will also need to work accurately and pay close attention to detail.

Most employers will expect you to have a relevant degree and a master’s qualification. Some employers might also want you to have, or be working towards, a PhD.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire


Microbiologists use microscopes to study the biology of micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and algae. You may work in a variety of different sectors, from healthcare to agriculture. If you're a logical thinker with an enquiring mind, and have an interest in the biological sciences, this job could be ideal for you.

You'll need to be good at solving problems and working accurately. Good communication skills will help you get on well with the rest of your team and share your scientific findings.

Most new microbiologists have a degree in a relevant subject such as microbiology, biology, or another biological science with a strong focus on microbiology. Some employers may also prefer you to have a relevant postgraduate qualification and some work experience.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire