Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science)

Key Details

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  • Course Length:

    1 year (16 hours per week). A 2 year programme will only be offered under exceptional circumstances.

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Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science)

Full-Time (Further Education)


Please note: We recommend that you have access to a laptop or Chromebook to enable coursework to be completed digitally at home. There is a dedicated IT Digital Inclusion fund to support those learners who do not have a digital device and are unable to purchase one.

Course Description

Would you like to progress into Higher Education? Do you want to prepare for studying a science or health science related subject? This course gives you the knowledge, skills and confidence to progress onto a related higher education course. It also provides a valuable route into the science and health science related professions.

The aim of the All Wales Access to Higher Education Diplomas is to give you the skills necessary to progress to and successfully participate in a programme of higher education. They are targeted at learners who have substantial life experience gained since completing compulsory schooling.

The Science Diploma offers related topics in subject areas such as Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Health Physics.

All learners will study core study skills and mathematics, together with experimental research. The 60 credit Diplomas consist of 15 credits at Level 2 or 3 (ungraded) from core modules plus 45 academic Level 3 graded credits.

Entry Criteria

In order to qualify for this course, you will need at least one of the following:

  • GCSE Grade C or equivalent in English or Welsh 1st Language, GCSE Grade D or equivalent in Mathematics or Numeracy and GCSE Science, as required by the route of progression to university. You should have at least three years of relevant life skills gained after compulsory education.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to attend an interview to give you the opportunity to discuss the course.


All Wales Access to Higher Education Diplomas are designed to help you return to studying after a break. As such, the sessions will be participative with a friendly and encouraging atmosphere. You will work closely with the tutors, learning through formal teaching as well as discussions, laboratory practicals, demonstrations and project work.

Your programme will include a combination of:

  • Essential Skills qualifications and/or
  • GCSE resits and/or
  • The Welsh Baccalaureate
Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate is a valuable qualification which is often studied alongside your Level 3 full-time course.

The qualification is graded A*-E, carrying the equivalent UCAS points at Level 3, and equips you with transferable personal and business skills. It is highly regarded by universities and employers alike.

As part of the qualification, you will learn about Global Citizenship, Enterprise and Employability and take part in community engagement and work experience.

Essential Skills

This may include a combination of Application of Number, Communication, Digital Literacy and Essential Employability Skills

GCSE resits

This may include GCSE Numeracy/Maths and/or Welsh/English Language.

Maths & Welsh/English

If you don't achieve a C or above in Maths and/ or English/Welsh, we will support you to retake these subjects as part of your study programme.


The course is assessed as follows:

  • You will be assessed during the course, with separate tasks for each unit
  • Your tutor will provide you with help and sufficient preparation
  • A variety of assessment methods are used, including essays, reports, practical tasks, problem sets and presentations
  • There will be at least one time-constrained unseen exercise for every academic subject module

The programme of learning will include subjects such as Information Technology and a Level 4 'Looking Forward to Higher Education' module.


The Science Diploma leads primarily onto degrees in Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Marine Biology, Chemistry, Conservation, Environmental Science and Oceanography or health science related degrees such as dental hygiene, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, paramedic practice/science, physiotherapy, podiatry and radiography.

You could also progress onto degree subjects at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, including Childhood Studies or Health and Social Care.

Other details

Course type: Full-Time (Further Education)

Level: 3