Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science)

Biological Science Pathway

Course Summary

Required study hours: 380

Qualification: Access to Higher Education Diploma (Biological Science)

Fees: £1,199.99 (up-front)

Why Access to Higher Education?

  • Looking for a future career in Biological Science?
  • Been out of fulltime education for some time?
  • Do you need the skills and a qualification that will enable you to secure a future placement at university?

Our Access to Higher Education Diplomas have been specifically designed for you...

The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science) “Biological Science Pathway” features 19 balanced academic study units that cover Bioscience and Biochemistry and include units ranging from cell biology to atomic structure. Your studies will provide a solid learning foundation for students interested in pursuing a career in these fields / university degree course. (review complete course syllabus units’ list below). It’s a popular qualification, recognised by employers and many universities.

Course Unit Assessment, Assessor Feedback & Introducing “PEARL”

Your chosen pathway is made up of a number of individual units, each of which requires you to complete an associated assignment. Our bespoke e-learning management environment “PEARL” provides the gateway to everything that you will need to complete your course and includes many useful online features that will help you along the way.

Benefits of our bespoke system

  • Rich interactive learning content mapped to regulated qualifications
  • Unique online technology assisted e-assessments for competency and knowledge-based assessment
  • Incentives to motivate and encourage learners
  • Useful ‘Assessment Planners’ specifically designed to help you to complete assignments
  • An assigned personal Assessor will mark assignments and provide the results by email and via downloadable PDF’s online. Viewable at any time to track on-going progress
  • Assessors will provide any necessary feedback about the course work that you submit
  • On-going advice and guidance where necessary on how improvements could be made to your course work submissions.
  • Interact with fellow students studying on the same course via our thriving community forums.
  • Help and be helped by sharing course work tips, advice and participating in student debates – Collaborative “social” learners are engaged creating and sharing additional resources.

Your Academic Future...
Life after your Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science)

It’s always a great idea to apply for the university or college of your choice whilst studying with us. Universities can offer 'conditional' places for all courses, this means that they will either offer a placement if you achieve the qualification or if you achieve a certain level of qualification.

  • Ideally, nearing the completion of this course you should have your chosen education related university degree lined up and ready to go.
  • After you finally complete and achieve this qualification, you will then be able to seamlessly advance to university life, knowing that you have already secured a place.

There’s no time like the present to start preparing for your future life at university and avoid the associated stress of last minute searching.

What’s included:

  • All study materials
  • Study guide
  • Full tutor and Admin support
  • The course fee includes the awarding body registration and certification fee (valued at up to £96)

Unit 1: Preparing To Study


On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand how study is organised and planned
  • Understand how to apply theories of learning in relation to personal approaches to learning
  • Understand a range of constraints upon study
  • Understand the importance of assessment feedback.

Unit 2: Academic Writing Skills

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Be able to write with relevance in responding to an academic task.
  • Know how to interpret and discuss concepts and debates in responding to a set, academic writing task.
  • Be able to summarise for academic purposes, selecting key points, information or central ideas.
  • Understand the role of reference, allusion and paraphrase to avoid plagiarism.

Unit 3: Preparing a Written Assignment

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand how to use key information sources.
  • Understand why sources are acknowledged and referenced.
  • Understand a range of reading strategies.
  • Understand note-making methods.
  • Understand how to plan draft and produce a written assignment.

Unit 4: Independent Research

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Be able to plan a piece of research on an approved subject area.
  • Be able to collect research material from different sources
  • Be able to use data to substantiate an argument
  • Be able to record sources of information
  • Be able to present research findings

Unit 5: Human Nutrition & the Digestive System

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the structure and functions of the organs of the digestive system.
  • Understand nutrients and their sources.
  • Understand how diet may influence health.

Unit 6: The Human Musculo-Skeletal System

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand anatomical terminology
  • Understand the skeletal system and locomotion
  • Understand the muscular system

Unit 7: Progressing to Higher Education

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand potential next steps in education.
  • Understand key sources of information relevant to HE application.
  • Understand personal HE opportunities.
  • Understand the financial implications of further study.
  • Know how to apply for a course

Unit 8: Cell Biology

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the cell.
  • Understand cellular metabolism.
  • Understand how cells grow and divide.


Unit 9: Human Reproduction, Growth & Development

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the structure and function of the human reproductive system
  • Understand how hormones regulate the reproductive tract throughout life
  • Understand the sequence of events from conception to puberty

Unit 10: The Human Endocrine & Nervous System

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the anatomy and organisation of the nervous system and how it co- ordinates the body.
  • Understand the structure and function of nerve cells and other cells in the nervous system.
  • Understand how the endocrine system co-ordinates body functions.
  • Understand homeostasis.

Unit 11: Cell Metabolism

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the glycolytic pathway and fermentation of sugar to yield alcohol.
  • Understand the tricarboxylic acid cycle.
  • Understand the dark reactions in photosynthesis.

Unit 12: Atomic Structure

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand protons, neutrons and electrons in terms of their relative charges and masses.
  • Understand the distribution of protons, neutrons and electrons in an atom given its Atomic number and Mass number, including some isotopes.
  • Understand the number and relative energies of the s, p and d orbitals for the principal quantum numbers and know the shapes of s, p and d orbitals.
  • Understand how ionisation energies of elements relate to reactivity.
  • Understand the position of elements within the periodic table from ionisation energy data.

Unit 13: Atomic Structure and Bonding

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the structure of the atom.
  • Understand electronic structures.
  • Understand the formation of ionic bonds.

Unit 14: Human Immunity

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand non-specific defences against disease.
  • Understand specific immunity and the immune response.
  • Understand the biology of vaccination.
  • Understand how immune sensitivity may cause ill-health.
  • Understand the formation of covalent bonds.

Unit 15: Cell Division & Heredity

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of cell division.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of heredity and genetic variation.

Unit 16: Chemical Change

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Know how to measure the concentrations of solutions.
  • Understand energy changes during chemical reactions.
  • Understand factors influencing rates of chemical reactions.
  • Understand the concept of chemical equilibrium.

Unit 17: Periodic Table

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the periodic table.
  • Understand periodicity in the elements of period 3.
  • Understand ionisation energy.
  • Understand oxidation and reduction.
  • Understand reactions of the Group 2 metals.
  • Understand the group 7 elements.

Unit 18: Chemical Bonding and Structure

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand electronic configuration using s,p,d notation.
  • Understand ionic, covalent and dative covalent bonding.
  • Understand polarisation and intermolecular forces.
  • Understand the relationship between structure and properties of molecules.
  • Understand electron pair repulsion theory.
  • Understand the nature of organic chemicals.

Unit 19: Hydrocarbons

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the importance of organic compounds.
  • Understand the structure and characteristic reactions of alkanes.
  • Understand the structure and characteristic reactions of alkenes.

Open College Network West Midlands Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science)

On successful completion of the Open College Network West Midlands Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science) you will receive a QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma at level 3 (QAA ref: 40004004. This course has also been assigned 60 credits.

Learners must have a GCSE in maths and english (or an equivalent), a relevant nvq at level 2 or above and aspire to study a healthcare related degree at university.

Access to Higher Education Diplomas are widely accepted as an alternative to 'A Levels' for University admission. The programmes have a track record of success in helping students to gain admission to University.

Learners should, however, be aware that Universities each apply their own admissions criteria, and these vary broadly depending on the reputation and popularity of the university and of the degree programme that relates to your area of interest.

These ‘variable’ admission criteria may include but are not limited to:

  1. Achievement of a certain amount of Access to HE units at Merit of above.
  2. Successful completion of a face-to-face interview at the University
  3. Successful completion of literacy and numeracy assessments by the University.
  4. Completion of specific unpaid  ‘work experience’ or a previous ‘job role’.
  5. Prior attainment of GCSE English and/or Maths Science – Or equivalents, such as Functional/Key Skills at Level 2, NVQ Certificate in a related subject at Level 2 etc..

It is vitally important that each student investigates the entry requirements of a range of universities that they could practically attend to determine if the diploma and unit choices within meet each set of entry requirements. 

Students should complete this exercise as early as possible so that they can plan for which establishment they will be applying to, and start to work towards it.

Whilst we have the fullest confidence that the Access to Higher Education Diplomas are compliant and perfectly sufficient to form part of a University application, CCfE will not be able to accept any liability for the inability of any Access to Higher Education learner to secure an offer from a Higher Education establishment due to the ‘variables’ involved.

Payment Method
Pay In Full
Total Price: £1,199.99
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Pay In Instalments
Deposit: £99.99
12 Monthly Payments of £125.00
Total Price: £1,599.99
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You can enrol today and pay much, much later

You can access your course information straight away. You can then review them in your own time and complete the assignments which you are required to submit to your personal tutor for marking and feedback.