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Access to HE (Health Sciences)

Part Time


Availability & Details

Access to HE Diploma (Science) SPY-ACHSL3/C01

South Downs Campus

Type of study
Part Time


Examination board
Laser Learning Awards
Course Fee Advanced Learning Loan 3384.00
Course Fee Overseas 3259.00
Exam Fee Overseas 125.00


An Access to Higher Education Diploma is the ideal way for adult students (aged 19+) without traditional A Levels or Level 3 qualifications to qualify for entry to a degree or other Higher Education course. The Access qualification is a popular, nationally recognised qualification designed to provide adult students with the skills they need to apply for courses at universities.

Access Diplomas are Level 3 courses specifically tailored toward the adult learner.

The Health Sciences Diploma is for those students wishing to pursue a wide range of health professions including Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Paramedic Practice/Science, Operating Department Practitioner, Radiography, Dietetics and allied health sciences, sport related courses or subject specific degrees. Core subjects will include: Human Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Energy Systems and Nutrition and Muscular-Skeletal Systems. (Note: All pathways also include modules in study skills, preparation for university and an independent project unit).

Successful students receive an Access to Higher Education Diploma which is currently validated by a regional Access Validation Agency (LASER). This is a national validation indicating a common level of academic achievement, recognised by universities. In addition, grades achieved through completion of Level 3 units will be shown separately on the certificate to indicate individual subject achievement/ability..

All applicants are required to possess a minimum of grade 4/C in GCSE Maths and English and preferably Science. Students are also required to carry out their own research into the specific entry requirements for their chosen university courses prior to enrolling on Access. Havant & South Downs College offers several Maths and English courses at various levels for potential Access students and a wide range of GCSEs.

For many courses relevant work experience is also required prior to the university application. Havant & South Downs College has its own work experience department that can offer advice with work placements. Students will also need a clean DBS in order to pursue careers in health care. You will be asked to declare any criminal record on application.

Access classes take the form of two sessions per week for 35 weeks. Each session begins with an optional individual/additional support session, followed by a 30-minute tutorial and a three hour taught session. In the early weeks of the course students will be taught study skills to introduce and develop essay writing and academic skills to help them complete assessments; they will also receive advice and support in the process of completing the application to university. In addition to the contact hours, students will be required to complete independent work each week.

All credits on the Access programmes at HSDC will be at Level 3 and the credits on the Health Sciences course will comprise of the following:

  • Academic study skills
  • Chemistry studies
  • Cell biology and biochemistry
  • Fundamentals of chemistry
  • Biology studies
  • Fundamentals of human anatomy & physiology
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Scientific studies
  • Muscular-skeletal systems
  • Energy systems and nutrition
  • Fundamentals of nutrition
  • Extended independent academic study

Access courses are taught by a team of specialist subject lecturers, supported by a tutor. Students are also given help and advice on applying for Higher Education in specific sessions from tutors and also the College Careers Department. Classes are informal and incorporate a variety of teaching and learning methods e.g. discussion, lectures, group work, practical sessions etc. Attendance is compulsory.

Assessment is made through completion of assignment based activities, essays, course work, independent study and research, practical work and class based tests. In order to achieve an overall pass, students must achieve 60 credits of which at least 45 must be at Level 3 and up to 15 at Level 2. A maximum of 45 Level 3 credits will be graded at Pass/Merit or Distinction.

Higher Education, application to a variety of undergraduate courses in vocational areas or single subjects. Students are also given considerable help and advice on applying for Higher Education.

This is a really good college, and it is definitely somewhere you can achieve your dreams.

Yolanda Stemp, BTEC student

Everyone at the College was really helpful, and there’s lots of facilities, meaning it’s very easy to get your work done on time, and get good grades. The teaching and support was excellent, they were always on top of it, and made sure you got work done on time and you were challenged. Everyone is friendly and its really diverse, meaning you can get involved in lots of different things.

Conor Ward, BTEC student

"I am delighted with my results and am really looking forward to studying Law at Oxford University. I really enjoyed my time at HSDC Alton and I really appreciate all the help and support from my fantastic teachers, without whom I wouldn't have got my place at Oxford."

Catherine Goldie, HSDC Alton A Level Student