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Access to Higher Education- Diploma in Science

Level:
Level 3
Course Code:
FTT130
Location:
Mid Devon Campus
Duration:
One year


The sole aim of the Access course is to open doors to study for applicants who do not have the specific A-level qualification needed to enter a degree programme. This course paves the way to a foundation degree or full Honours Degree at Petroc, awarded by Plymouth University, or to a degree programme at any UK university.

"I didn't think I would be ready academically for a Level 3 course, but to achieve the course with the grades achieved makes me realise that I do have the potential to become a children's nurse." - Access to HE learner.

FAQs  

All Access diplomas nationally consist of 60 Credits. 45 Credits have to be gained from three academic subject choices (15 credits achieved in each subject) and a further 15 from Academic Preparation Skills.

The academic subject choices are:

- Biology (mandatory) - this subject offers an interesting variety of topics of study including cell structure, organisation of the human body, inheritance, and, disease and immunity. In addition, you will have the opportunity to develop your practical skills, data handing and analysis in a wide range of experiments that support the theoretical elements of the course.

Plus two academic subjects chosen from:
- Chemistry - begins with the fundamentals of structure and bonding, formulae, equations and the mole, moving onto core chemistry and exploring chemical reactions. In addition, there are practical units in both inorganic and organic chemistry.

- Psychology - explores research methods used in psychology, and then goes onto explore both atypical and developmental psychology. The topics studied include the classification and diagnosis of psychological conditions as well as treatments and therapies.

All academic subject content modules are graded at Pass, Merit, or Distinction at Level 3.

Our Diplomas also include:
The Academic Preparation Skills - 5 Modules to provide a total of 15 Credits graded Pass or Fail at Level 3.
Tutorial support throughout the year - the focus is heavily weighted towards guidance and support for the UCAS application for university courses and helping you make the transition to academic study at Level 3.

Most universities demand GCSE grades at 5/4 or above in English and Maths, or equivalent, as part of the entry requirements for degree courses. GCSE English and Maths are separate qualifications from the Access Diploma so, if required, we offer additional lessons for these subjects. If you don't already have a grade 5/4 or above in Maths or English at GCSE, these are currently free for students over 19.
Assessment is mostly by continuous assignments (in other words coursework). Students compile a portfolio of assessed work throughout the course, which is assessed by your lecturers. In some subjects, there will be in-class timed tests, practical experiments, and presentations.
Examination practice is a mandatory requirement of all Access courses. If you achieve 30 credits at Distinction and 15 at Merit, you will have the equivalent of three A-levels at grades ABB.
Students taking GCSE English and/or Maths will also have external examinations in May/June.
Assessment is continuous throughout the course and offers a wide range of assessment formats e.g. essays, oral presentations, group work, and short question and answers. Some students will also gain experience in completing in-class timed tests/exams and practical experiments.
Examination practice is a mandatory requirement of all Access courses.
If you achieve 30 credits at Distinction and 15 at Merit, you will have the equivalent of three A Levels at grades ABB.
Students taking GCSE English and/or Maths will also have external examinations in May/June.
Students have progressed to a variety of degree courses in subjects such as Archaeology and Forensic Science, Business Management, Nursing, Paramedic Science, Nutrition, Psychology, Criminology, History, English, Occupational Therapy, Podiatry, Law, English and Film Studies, International Relations, Medical Imaging and Biological Sciences.
There is an excellent college internet site for the Diploma courses and excellent support from our Learning Resources staff. You can book college computers for use in private study periods. Most classrooms and laboratories have up-to-date teaching technologies, laptop trolleys with internet access.
For more information, please contact our Advice & Guidance Centre on 01884 235330.
Q: How do I apply?
A: There is an online application system, visit www.petroc.c.uk/apply. Everyone who applies will be invited to interview.

Q: How do I know if I can cope with the course?
A: At interview, we will give you an assessment and chat to you about your previous experience and commitment to ensure that you have what it takes to succeed on the course. There is an option of a Pre-Access course if you are not quite ready. In addition, in the July prior to the course beginning we invite applicants to spend two hours in college, in that time we set you a summer task for each of the three subjects that form part of your diploma, so you can have first-hand experience of what the course involves.

QL How many hours a week do I need to commit to the course outside of lessons?
A: To be successful, we recommend approximately 15 hours a week of private study.

Q: How much does it cost?
A: You are entitled to full fee remission if you are aged 19 - 23 and studying your first full Level 3 qualification.

If you are aged 19+ you can obtain funding for this through the Advanced Learner Loan. Our Guidance Centre will be able to help you with this and any questions you may have.

Applicants who take the Advanced Learner Loan do not need to pay anything upfront. If you complete your Access Diploma and then go on to complete a course in Higher Education, the remaining balance of your 24+ Advanced Learning Loan, including any interest on it, will be written off. You can get full information from Student Finance England. Alternatively, you can contact our Guidance Centre for advice and information on fees.

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