Access to Higher Education Diploma - Science

Course code
Subject area
Access to Higher Education
1 Year
Type of course
Full Time

About the course

The aim of the course is to provide you with a route into higher education at university or college. Hundreds of former students have gone on to higher education courses at both our own University Centre Farnborough and elsewhere, showing that the course is successfully preparing students for the next stage in their education.

The qualification is the equivalent of two to three A Levels and takes one year to complete if studied full-time, or two years if part-time.

Advanced Learner Loan
A loan from the government can cover all your tuition fees and give you access to courses you thought were out of reach.

As an Access to Higher Education student, you can also take advantage of the fact the government will write off the balance of your loan when you complete a subsequent (eligible) higher education course.
  • The loan is not dependent on household income
  • There are no credit checks
  • There are no repayments until you earn over £21,000 per year
  • Applying online is easy
See our student finance pages for full details.

Subjects covered

This subject aims to provide knowledge and understanding of chemistry to complement biology and provide an adequate foundation for the study of biology, environmental studies, paramedical courses and nursing at university.

The course covers atomic structure and fundamental concepts, MOLES, bonding, REDOX, metals and metal compounds, acids and bases, organic chemistry, thermo chemistry and equilibrium. No prior knowledge is assumed.

Human Physiology

This is aimed at those who wish, ultimately, to study in a related area or for those interested in the form and function of the human body. The course embodies basic scientific principles and the development of scientific methods in an individual investigation.

Coursework will test knowledge and understanding of biological facts, principles and the application of biological knowledge through communication of biological information and data.

Major topic areas include: Cells and tissues, Human reproduction, Cardiac system, respiratory system, digestion, homoeostasis and genetics.


This is a fundamental and challenging science. Its study is crucial in understanding our world from the smallest subatomic particles to the largest galaxies. Physics is the basis for many sciences, including Chemistry, Astronomy, Environmental studies, Biology and Medical sciences.

The Access course covers in unit one: Basic Mechanics, the basics of the kinetic theory of gases and the wave theory.

Unit two is a research projected comprising two distinct tasks: the planning and the conducting of an experimental work in Physics. The final module covers fundamental theories in electricity and electromagnetism, such as Ohm’s Law, Kirchhoff’s law and Coulomb’s law. Physics is useful for students wanting to study Engineering and Natural Science.


Through reading and discussion, you will begin to think critically about different topic areas in psychology, such as personality, emotion, memory, child development and conformity. From your study of these, you will develop a broad understanding of the perspectives and research methods used in psychology.

You will be able to develop further into some topics through essays, a seminar and research project.

Study Skills
This part of the course focuses on developing the practical skills you will use on a higher education course; including essay writing, referencing and effective note-taking.


You will receive all the help you need with university applications and study support in a weekly tutorial, which also gives you the chance to talk to your tutor about your academic progress and plans for university.

On completion

After successfully completing the diploma you will be prepared for studying a university-level (higher education) course at university or college.

This diploma is suitable for you if you are pursuing a career in the areas below (after graduating from a relevant higher education course):
  • Biomedical Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Forensic Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Radiography

Entry requirements

This course is designed for mature students, aged 21 or over, who have had sufficient life or work experience between leaving school and starting the diploma.

To make sure this is the right course for you, acceptance onto the diploma is based on aptitude and commitment following an interview and assessment.

You will need an English Language and Maths GCSE at grade C or above.