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Science and Engineering

Course Code: SCEFT

Level: 3
Subject area: Access to HE
Awarding body: CAVA
Qualification: Access
Course type: Full-time
Time of Day: Daytime
Duration: One year
When you'll study: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9.00am - 5.00pm

Choose A Start Date & Apply
About the course

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 or 01752 305300 if you would like any help discussing alternative options.

Would you like to retrain for a high-level job in science or engineering? The Access to HE science and engineering pathway at City College Plymouth can enable you to progress to university and careers in marine engineering, civil engineering, automotive engineering, aerospace and aeronautical engineering, or mechanical engineering – all depending on your aspirations and the combination of subjects you choose. Other career options could include jobs requiring physics, chemistry, maths, building surveying and construction management. The Access to Higher Education in Science and Engineering 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. Our experienced careers advisors can help you choose the right combination. 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.

What you'll learn

Academic subjects may include:

  • physics
  • maths
  • chemistry

Total credits – 45 at level 3.

Academic preparation skills units subjects may include:

  • examination technique and practice
  • maths
  • English
  • introduction in 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.


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 and are currently FREE if you do not hold a current qualification. You will have to apply for GCSEs 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 currently under negotiation with all universities, and subject to change.

Entry requirements

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 numeracy. This may be a recent (last ten years) 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 maths and English, or it is more than ten years old, then you are invited to undertake a skills test as part of our interview process. Achieving level 2 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 numeracy, satisfactory performance at interview, evidence of recent study, evidence of relevant work experience and specific criteria for international students (please see below).
Students 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.

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 awarded at level 2 or level 3, 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.

What's next?

Suggested progression routes: engineering (marine, civil and mechanical), physics, chemistry, maths, building surveying, aerospace and aeronautical engineering, automotive engineering, construction management.

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.

Important information

Fees quoted apply to courses starting in the academic year 2017/18 (August 2017 – July 2018). There may be a slight increase in fees for courses starting 2018/19.


Course Code: SCEFT

Course Fees

A Full Course Fee: Not applicable to this course

B Reduced Course Fee (for those in receipt of qualifying benefits): Not applicable to this course

C Ancillary course costs (ie books and equipment): £40

D Advanced Learner Loan Fee: £3000

How old are you? How much will you pay?
16 - 18 This course is not usually available to this age group. Please contact or phone reception on 01752 305 300 for advice.
19 - 23 C  +  D(Note: If you do not have a level 3 qualification, this course may be free).
24+ C  +  D

Please note fees are quoted for one year only.