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Science (Biology, Chemistry and Maths)

Course Code: BCMFT
  • Level: 3
  • Qualification: Access, Diploma
  • Awarding body: Cambridge Access Validating Agency (CAVA)
  • Duration: One year
  • Course type: FREE (Eligibility Applies), Full-time
  • Time of day: Daytime
  • When you'll study: Various days, 9.00am - 5.00pm

What's it all about?

Diploma title: Science

Access to Higher Education courses are designed for students aged 19 or over. If you are aged 18 or under, this course may not be suitable for you. Please contact us on info@cityplym.ac.uk or 01752 305300 if you would like any help discussing alternative options.

This course is offered via the full-time, express (evening) and distance learning mode of delivery – please click here to read more about the different delivery modes offered for Access to HE courses. 

Do you want to change your job, or train for a science career? The CAVA Access to HE science pathway at City College Plymouth can enable you to progress to university and careers in biology, physics, chemistry, marine science, general life science, forensic science, radiography, biomedical science, environmental science, geology, pharmaceuticals, dental nursing, veterinary or astrophysics. The Access to Higher Education in Science offers a wide range of opportunities to increase your qualifications and prepare for university in your chosen subjects. If you previously went straight into a job after leaving school, or you have taken stock and want a new career direction, this course offers the chance to study alongside other mature students, tutored by experienced, motivational, and supportive lecturers. You may be required to study GCSEs in English, maths or science depending on your career and university aspirations. Please note the College course title is a suggested progression route, you must check with your preferred higher education institution to ensure that this course meets their entry requirements.

Upon successful completion of the course you will be awarded an Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science).

Course information

Academic subjects may include:

  • biology
  • chemistry
  • maths

Total credits – 45 at level 3

Academic preparation skills units subjects may include:

  • examination technique and practice
  • maths
  • English
  • introductory sciences

Total credits – 15 at level 2 or ungraded level 3.

Total 60 credits.

Placements, Voluntary Work and Paid Employment

It is essential that you are aware if your university course requires you to have prior experience before applications are made. Lack of work experience would not exclude you from completing the Access course, however it may impact on your application to university.

GCSEs

GCSE equivalences in maths, English and science are no longer part of the Access Diploma. It is up to you if wish to enrol on GCSEs alongside your diploma, if you do not currently hold a recent 9-4 (A*-C) qualification. Your chosen university may not require its applicants to have GCSE or may be happy with previously achieved qualifications, such as O Level, level 2, etc.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have clarified if enrolling on a GCSE is appropriate for you. If your university course does require you to study at GCSE level you could study alongside your Access Diploma, however you must understand the implications of not achieving your GCSEs. Although it does not affect your achievement of an Access Diploma it may compromise your place at university if you achieve the Access Diploma but do not achieve your GCSEs. Some universities encourage applicants to apply for university without GCSEs and complete equivalences between application and enrolment with the university (again, this is something you have to clarify).

Alternatively, you may wish to study your GCSEs the year before or after Access study. GCSE classes are held during the day and in the evening. You will have to apply as a separate course, as well as your Access course, if this is your preference. The national changes in GCSE requirements for mature students are unique to each HEI.

For full-time study

To succeed on this course you need to be committed towards your study and focused upon your career choice. This route is designed for adult students (19+). Funding is not available for those aged 18 and under, and we would recommend that alternative vocational qualifications and A Levels are considered which support progression onto further or higher education and employment.

This Access to HE course requires level 2 achievement in literacy and level 2 numeracy. This may be a grade 4 (C) or above in GCSE English and maths, a level 2 qualification or equivalence. It will not be possible for you to be offered a place on an Access course without meeting our entry requirements.

If you do not currently hold a level 2 qualification in numeracy and level 2 in English, then you are invited to undertake a skills test as part of our interview process. Achieving on our skills test is sufficient to meet our entry requirements for Access to HE, however you are strongly advised to seek further advice from your chosen university regarding completing GCSEs as part of your application.
Your offer for entry onto our Access course may be conditional to a number of factors which may include achievement of level 2 in literacy and level 2 in numeracy, satisfactory performance at interview, evidence of recent study, evidence of relevant work experience and specific criteria for international students (please see below).
Applicants who would like to apply but find that their qualifications don’t meet the entry criteria are encouraged to contact us on 01752 305300 to discuss a suitable alternative course.

Please check with your chosen higher education institution if GCSE English/maths is required for your progression route. For care/NHS related courses, evidence of experience in Health/Social Care Professions is recommended.

For distance learning

To study this Access course via distance learning, you must have already gained GCSEs in English and math at grade 4/C or above.

Entry Requirements for International Students
The College welcomes applications from international students, however you are strongly recommended to clarify with your chosen university your responsibilities as an international student. You may be required to complete an IELTS or CEFR recognised equivalent test score exam prior to interview or record IELTS 5.5 on your application. There may also be funding implications relating to your international student status. Please ensure that you are clear of university entry requirements for international students.

In each subject you will be taught a range of units and each unit is assigned a credit value. When you successfully complete a unit you will be awarded a number of credits – these can be graded at pass, merit or distinction, depending on the standard of your work. You will continue to ‘collect’ credits throughout the course. The course is assessed by coursework, assignments, projects and exams.

Suggested progression routes: biology, physics, chemistry, marine science, general life science, forensic science, radiography, biomedical science, environmental science, geology, pharmaceuticals, dental nursing, veterinary, astrophysics.

Every effort is made to ensure that the units and credits offered are sufficient for progression routes onto higher education courses, however, specific courses at specific universities may have their own unique admissions requirements.

Please check that the amount of Access credits offered in each subject is relevant for your chosen university course. Once you have enrolled onto a specific Access course units are unable to be amended, so please ensure the course you have selected is appropriate to you. (Our staff are excellent in providing advice and guidance, however, individual university courses may have their own specific requirements – so please check.)

Please note City College Plymouth Foundation Degree courses have unique entry requirements for Access students. Please check with our Higher Education team.

Please note fees are quoted for one year only.

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