Diploma in

Access to Higher Education Science

Students in lab
  • Level(s) of study: Further education
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: One year

About the course

If you would like to study at degree level but haven't got the usual qualifications needed, then this course is the perfect solution. You’ll study a programme of modules including biology, chemistry, physics and maths, as well as higher education study skills in a laboratory to build practical experience.

The campus has several fully equipped chemistry, biology and physics laboratories. It is also home to an astronomy observatory, which contains high-tech telescopes used to observe events in outer space.

Download a course brochure

Why choose Clifton Campus

Our science courses are taught at NTU’s Clifton Campus. The facilities include our recently added Pavilion building, an eco-friendly space for group learning and socialising, a sports centre and high-spec laboratories. We’ve also invested over £5m in the Clifton Library, and refurbished The Point – Clifton’s social hub, and the home of the Students’ Union. Find out more information here.

Getting to Clifton Campus

It’s really easy to get to Clifton Campus. During term-time, NCT’s Go2 Uni 4 bus runs every 10 minutes from Nottingham city centre. The journey takes about 20 minutes and the bus will drop you off right on campus. Read more here about travelling to Clifton Campus.

What you'll study

You'll develop practical laboratory skills, by studying biology, chemistry, physics and maths in our fantastic facilities and be taught by professional and experienced tutors at Clifton Campus.

  • Year One

    Introductory Physics

    • In this module, you’ll learn how radiation, waves and energy are used and how to interpret data from tables and graphs.

    Maths for Scientists

    • Develop the skills you need to carry out calculations, construct and interpret graphs, use algebraic techniques to solve problems and how to test and summarise statistics.


    • Find out about cell growth and division including DNA, evolution by natural selection and the process of genetic modification in the production of crops and medicines.


    • Learn about the measurements of mass and how to predict the shapes of small molecules. You’ll also investigate factors affecting the rate of chemical reactions.

    Chemistry Laboratory Skills

    • This module will teach you how to separate substances using a range of techniques.

    Other modules include:

    • Higher Education Study Skills
    • Medical Physics
    • Health and Disease
    • Practical Scientific Project
    • Human Physiology
    • Ecology

    In addition you will study English and maths and complete relevant work experience.

Outside of your core programme, you'll have access to learner support and study skills sessions.

How you’re taught

You’ll learn in our fantastic facilities and be taught by professional and experienced tutors. You’ll be taught through lectures, group discussions and practical demonstrations.

On successful completion of each unit, you’ll gain credits towards your Diploma. You’ll need to commit to 15 hours a week of contact time during the course. You’ll also be expected to invest a similar amount of time in your personal study. Teaching will take place three days a week, usually starting at 9.30 am and finishing at 3 pm.

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed through written assignments, presentations, class tests and two internal exams.

Careers and employability

After completing this course there are a number of options and routes that you can take. You could choose to continue your studies and go onto a higher education course or pursue a career in an science-related industry.

If you pass the course to a satisfactory level you'll be able to study a wide range of Bioscience and Chemistry degrees at NTU’s Clifton Campus or do the BSc (Hons) Ecology or BSc (Hons) Environmental Science degrees at Brackenhurst Campus.

Future jobs within the science industry include:

  • Laboratory Technician - you could earn up to £21,000
  • Health Care Scientist - you could earn up to £26,000
  • Biomedical Scientist - you could earn up to £28,000
  • Chemist - you could earn up to £50,000
  • Research Scientist - you could earn up to £60,000

You'll have access to our specialist laboratories and gain practical skills in a wide range of scientific disciplines.

Entry requirements

For 2018 entry you will need:

  • GCSE Maths and English at grade 4 / C or above.
  • To be aged 19 or over

Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

You will also be required to attend an interview.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299.

How to apply

Applying is really easy. Follow our step-by-step guide below.

Fill in an application form

  • Download an application form. We also accept applications online through UCAS Progress. Remember to show your passion for your chosen subject in your personal statement.
  • Provide contact details for two referees - usually one teacher from your current School or College and one character reference which could refer to any volunteering, work experience or hobbies you may have (i.e. Sea Scouts, sports clubs etc.). Alternatively, this can be a long standing family friend or neighbour.

Come for an interview

  • If you meet the criteria for the course, we’ll invite you in for an interview. We’ll send you details of what will happen on the day in advance through the post. Don’t panic! Our tutors are really friendly and will help you to do your best.

Get your offer

  • We’ll write to you and let you know how you got on at the interview. Hopefully we’ll be able to offer you a place on the course. This offer might be conditional on your upcoming exam results – for example GCSEs.

Accept your offer

  • You need to tell us that you want to accept your offer of a place by returning your confirmation slip to us or calling us on 0115 848 5299.

Get your exam results

  • If you’re taking GCSEs, you’ll get your results on Thursday 23 August 2018. Other exam results will also come out over the summer. Once you’ve got your results you need to let us know what they are. Then we can confirm your place.

Start at Brackenhurst

  • We’ll send out all the information you need to start with us in the post at the end of August. We hold an enrolment day in the first week of September. This allows you to get your student ID and start meeting your new friends and tutors.

Any questions?

Just drop us a line – we’re here to help every step of the way. You can email us at fe.enquiries@ntu.ac.uk or give us a call on 0115 848 5299.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

The fee for this course is £5,197. Students on this course can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan. This loan is not means tested, and is written off on completion of an undergraduate degree.

If you need any more help or information, please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418