Important Entry Requirement & Application Update

College is still accepting online applications for courses starting in September 2020.


Interviews are cancelled to help to limit social contact during this time.

Instead, you will be invited to a college welcome event to meet the tutors before the start of the course. If you do not meet the entry criteria you will have the opportunity to discuss an alternative programme during this event.

Is this course right for me?

Would you like to progress into Higher Education and study a science based 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 degree subjects such as biology, chemistry, bio-medical science, medical biology, environmental conservation, animal conservation, marine biology, radiography etc.

The aim of the All Wales Access to HE 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.

You will study subject areas such as biology, chemistry, environmental science, mathematics and study skills.

Entry requirements:

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

  • GCSE Grade C including Mathematics or English or Welsh 1st Language, 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.


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, demonstrations experimental and project work.


The programme will be assessed through a blend of the following:

  • Separate tasks for each unit
  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Practical tasks
  • Presentations
  • Tests

There will be at least one time-constrained unseen exercise for every academic subject module.


Successful completion of the programme leads primarily onto a science-based degree, of which there are a very wide range. A number of students have also progressed from this course to become a paramedic or adult nurse.

Additional campus/course information:

  • Bangor

    Access to HE (Biosciences)

    Course information and pre-requisites

    The Access to HE (Biosciences) course runs over 3 days a week for the full academic year. Classes are scheduled between 9.15 AM and 4PM - and learners are expected to attend all sessions. Attendance and punctuality are monitored closely over the first few weeks on the course.

    The course is primarily aimed at adults who are returning to learning following a break and wish to progress to University. Learners will not normally be accepted straight from school or from another Level 2 or 3 course.

    Whilst learners are advised that the NMC may require you to hold GCSEs in English and Mathematics prior to application to University, our entry requirements are that learners must be able to demonstrate that their academic level is broadly at Level 2 (GCSE Grade C) at entry. Learners without a Level 2 profile may be advised to embark on the Skills for Further Study qualification before embarking on an Access course. In addition, because University places on nursing, midwifery and associated courses are very competitive and learners need to apply so soon after beginning the Access course, you are advised that you should have significant experience in a care setting (as an employee or volunteer) before you begin the Access to HE course.

    Subjects of study

    The Access to HE Diploma comprises a core of Study Skills, Literacy and Numeracy which must be passed in order to attain the Diploma, as well as a grounding in IT Skills for Higher Education.

    In addition, learners must pass 45 Credits at Level 3 in each of three academic subjects, which are graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction.

    A typical University offer may be (for example) 30 Credits at Merit and 15 credits at Distinction.

    On the Access to HE (Biosciences) Pathway the academic subjects of study are:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Environmental Science