Access to Science

Access to Science

Course Information

Cambridge Campus, 05/09/2022, 09:00
Level: 3
Start Date: 05/09/2022
End Date:28/06/2023
Days: VAR
Location: Cambridge Campus
Duration: 1 Year
Start Time: 09:00
End Time: 16:00
Type: Full Time
Fees: £

Access to Higher Education (HE) prepares adults without traditional qualifications such as A Levels for study at university. This diploma is widely recognised by UK universities and Colleges. You will be given the opportunity to develop not only academic knowledge in your chosen subjects but also broader study skills to help you succeed at university.

About the Course

Access to Higher Education (HE) courses prepare adults (aged 19+) without traditional qualifications such as A Levels for study at university or other higher education programmes. This diploma is widely recognised by UK universities and Colleges. You will be given the opportunity to develop not only academic knowledge in your chosen subjects but also broader study skills to help you succeed at university.

In this pathway, you will study 3 subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics as well as a compulsory Study Skills course. This pathway also includes a compulsory science practical project (in lieu of a subject unit 4). This project can be tailored to your chosen HE course and / or your interests (biological / cosmetic / environmental / pharmaceutical / engineering or physics to name a few).  All subjects are taught in well-equipped laboratories to help develop a full range of practical scientific skills. Practical work can help you to understand the process of scientific investigation and to develop an awareness of health and safety and risk assessment.

A strongly supportive tutorial and study skills system is also in place to encourage the development of an independent and self-disciplined approach to learning as required for higher education. This includes regular group and one-to-one tutorials to set and review targets and ensure sufficient progress is made. Career advice provided by personal tutors and the College Careers officers focus predominantly on university application, registration with UCAS and completion of the application form, as well as assistance with personal statement writing and advice on a range of higher education courses.

You are advised to apply for this course between November 2021 and June 2022. Interviews start in February and the course is usually very popular.

Financial Assistance

If you are aged between 19-23 and do not have a Level 3 qualification already, there will be no tuition costs.  If you are aged 19-23 with a full Level 3 qualification or aged 24+, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help pay your Access course tuition fees (see This loan may be written off, if you then go on to complete a Higher Education qualification. Please contact our Learner Futures Centre on 01223 226315 or email .  You may also be eligible for financial support towards such costs as travel, equipment, books and childcare through the Advanced Learner loan bursary or 19+ bursary.

If you are applying as an International Student, please contact our International Centre via email or telephone 00 44 (0)1223 226317.


You may feel that you have not yet fully achieved your potential in terms of your education.  This programme offers the chance to develop the skills and knowledge to succeed and we have an excellent track record of student progression into university or other higher education courses.

Former students on the programme have progressed onto a wide range of courses such as Veterinary Medicine, Zoology, Marine Biology, Biochemistry, Dietetics, Astrophysics etc. at a broad range of universities in the UK.

Entry Requirements

You will need GCSE Maths and GCSE English grade 9 - 4 (A* - C) as a minimum before applying for this course. This is because most degree courses now require L2 in Maths and English e.g. GCSEs at grade 9 - 4 (A* - C), in addition to the Access diploma.  The Access programme is designed for students who wish to return to study with a view to going on to Higher Education so we need to make sure you are well prepared for this starting point.

Please research HE requirements very carefully. A STRONG COMMITMENT IS NEEDED AS THE COURSE IS VERY INTENSIVE.

Acceptance onto the Access programme is conditional on you:

• attending a Welcome event where you will be interviewed by a member of the team
• providing a satisfactory reference
• attending taster days Tuesday 28th to Thurs 30th June 2022


We want you to achieve to the very best of your ability at CRC. To make this happen we offer both learning and personal support by specialist staff tailored to meet your specific needs.

Assessment is by coursework and examinations. There will be at least 1 assignment for each unit (4 units per subject). These assignments may be written such as essays / research projects and oral e.g. presentations and examinations at the end of some units.

This programme takes one year to complete, starting at the beginning of September and finishing in late June the following year. In addition to timetabled classes, it is expected that students will complete at least 15 hours of further independent study per week.

How to Apply

You can apply through our online application form or download a copy from our website The application form can also be found in the back of our full-time prospectus. If you need any help with applying, please contact our Admissions Office at

Once we have received your application, you will be invited to attend a Welcome Event. At the Welcome Event you may meet the tutors and get the chance to learn more about college and your course. You will also have a discussion with one of our tutors who will look to make you a formal offer for September.

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