Health Science Access to HE

Start Date
Course Course
Health & Social Care
Peaks Campus

About this Course

This Level 3 course is aimed at adult learners who are looking to return to education to gain the qualifications they need to enter higher education. Our students typically go on to study a broad range of subjects at university, such as nursing (adult, child, mental health), midwifery, ODP (operating department practice), physiotherapy, radiography, occupational therapy, biomedical science, paramedic practice, childhood studies, sport and exercise science, health and community development, dental hygiene and technology and science education. Many students go on to work for the NHS or in the healthcare sector.

Key Units

The course is composed of 6 study strands:

  • Study skills – including academic writing and presentation skills
  • Numeracy – including statistics
  • Chemistry – including some fundamental concepts plus the chemistry of drugs and medicines
  • Biology 1 – Genetics and infection and immunity
  • Biology 2 – Cellular biology and biochemistry
  • Biology 3 – Human systems physiology

Entry Requirements

Students should already hold (or be in the process of obtaining):

  • Grade 4/C or above in GCSE English Language
  • Grade 4/C or above in GCSE Maths
It is also desirable for you to have some previous science education and work experience relevant to the career you wish to pursue.

If you have qualifications from outside of the UK you must establish the equivalency of these using, for instance, NARIC, and provide proof at enrolment.

For students who do not currently meet the requirements, the college offers a pre-access course which is a one year study programme designed to help students develop their skills and knowledge in preparation for study on an Access to HE Diploma.


Assessment will take place continuously throughout the year, on a module-by-module basis.

There are approximately 35 assessments in total, these will take a variety of forms, including (but not limited to):
  • essays
  • reports
  • presentations
  • posters
  • time–constrained assessments
Most assessments are undertaken individually, but some may involve pair or group work.

There is no terminal examination.

Where does this Lead

Many of our students go straight to university once they complete this course, often studying the allied health professions at either Sheffiel Hallam University or the University of Sheffield.   

Former Access to Health Science students who progress to university often choose to study subjects such as
  • Physiotherapy
  • Nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Paramedic Science
  • Nutrition
  • Operating Department Practise
  • Radiography

Future Opportunities

Key progression routes are into areas of health and well-being at university, and then into professional careers in the care/health sector, as well as broader scientific study such as biomedicine and education.

Extra Costs

Most students fund this course by applying for a 19+ Advanced Learner Loan from the government, although it is also possible to self-fund either as a lump sum or in instalments.

There are no additional fees associated with course, as all practical equipment required is provided.

Students will need to supply their own stationery, and some choose to buy their own textbooks, although physical and electronic copies of key texts are available from the LRC. 

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