Access to Higher Education - Science pathway

Course Overview

This course is designed to prepare mature students for University level study in a range of disciplines including Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Pharmacy and Environmental Science. If you want to progress onto a science-based programme at Higher Education level, this course will give you the ideal introduction to the subject. In 2016-17, 100% of students on our Science Access courses secured university places. This compares with a progression rate of just 48% across all Access Science courses in England and Wales. Testimonials from past students can be found on the course’s Facebook page at

Course Requirements

The course requires you to have achieved GCSE English, Maths and Science at Grade C/grades 4-9.

The pathway will run subject to minimum numbers being reached.

Mandatory Units

Physics and Chemistry.

Optional Units

Maths or Biology.

Course Progression

Most university admissions tutors will accept the Access to HE Diploma as an entry qualification for Higher Education, but there may be some degrees for which this certificate alone may not be acceptable. The suitability of the course for your ultimate career aim will be discussed at interview.

Progression from this pathway can be on to degree programmes such as Pharmacy, Microbiology, Biomedical Sciences, Chemical Engineering, Dentistry, Geology, Palaeontology & Evolution and more.

Please note that whilst your subject tutors and Personal Tutor will make every effort to support your application for a university place, progression onto a specific higher education course cannot be guaranteed. It can be a highly competitive process, and your tutors, together with the college Careers Advisers, will try to give you realistic advice as to your chances of progression. Alternative routes into the career of your choice can be discussed.

One of our past students, Andrew, who successfully completed the course and progressed onto university commented;
“I would definitely recommend the Access course to future students. The course is highly regarded and I received offers from all of my choices, with some of those offers being from Russell Group universities. Having researched a few different courses, for Science and Engineering students, Stockport is the best around as it is one of the few courses in the area to offer Maths at level 3. There are also plenty of different routes and options to suit your needs. Many thanks to the Access crew!”

Course Finance

The fees for the course in 2018 are £3384.00. Fees are due at enrolment and an instalment plan is available. Once you have enrolled you are liable for the full year's fee, regardless of whether the full year is completed or not.

You are able to take out an Advanced Learner Loan for the tuition fees (the registration fee cannot be included; this must be paid yourself). This loan will be wiped out once you have completed a Higher Education programme.

Course Includes

On this pathway you will study the following units:
• Physics
• Chemistry
• Maths or Human Biology

The course runs for an academic year and you will be attending three days per week. You will be attending for 14.5 hours per week (13.5 hours of lessons and 1 hour of tutorial). You will also need to allow at least 6 hours for private study and assignment completion.

The tutors on this course are Heather Sleigh, Dr. Mark Readman, Aamira Iqbal and Hugh Rogers.
The programme takes place at our Town Centre campus.


Upon successful completion of this course you will be awarded an Access to Higher Education Diploma from Open Awards.

Quality Assurance

QA systems are embedded throughout the College and the College is regulated by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). The College is also routinely inspected by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills).

Course Additional Information