Access to HE L3 Diploma (Health Science)

Level 1 Diploma

Course Location


Stockport College


Stockport College

Further Details




Access to Higher Education

Course Start Date

Monday 16th September 2024

Course Duration

Full-time, 1 Year

Course Time

09:20 - 15:20

Course Fee

£ 3384.00
You may be eligible for support with your tuition fees - please visit the college website - funding and finance page for further information

Course Code


Course Overview

This course is designed to prepare mature students for university level study. If you want to work in Physiotherapy, Biomedical Sciences, Podiatry, Optometry, Pharmacy, Pharmacology, Radiography, or Nutrition & Dietetics this is the course for you.

In 2022-23, 100% of students on our Access Health Science diploma secured offers of university places. This compares with a progression rate of just 55.4% across all Access diploma courses in England and Wales.

The course runs for an academic year and you will be in college three days per week for 32 weeks. You will be attending for 13 hours per week (12 hours of lessons and 1 hour of tutorial). You will also need to allow at least 12 hours per week for private study and assignment completion.
Approximate times: 9.20am – 3pm (exact times to be confirmed)

Course Requirements

This course requires you to have achieved GCSE English Language and Maths at grade C/4 or better before enrolling on the Access Diploma.

Please note that for many degree courses (e.g. Radiography), you will also need GCSE Science at grade C/4 or better.

If you don’t meet the entry requirements, don’t worry. You can apply for our level 2 pre-Access course which will prepare you for the Access to Higher Education Course. You can also work towards achieving your GCSE Maths and/or English at the same time.

The pathway will run subject to minimum numbers being reached.

What you will Learn

On this Access Diploma, you will study a double module of Human Biology, plus either Chemistry or Physics. The choice of optional module will depend on your intended progression route for Higher Education study.

In addition, you will complete a module of ungraded Developmental units, which are designed to develop the academic and study skills you need to be a success, not only on the Access Diploma, but also in your future university-level studies.


Assessments include essays, practical reports, case studies, open or closed-book examinations and verbal, visual or IT-based presentations. All modules will include an element of time-constrained assessment which will contribute towards the final module grade.


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 Physiotherapy, Biomedical Sciences, Podiatry, Optometry, Pharmacy, Pharmacology, Radiography, Nutrition & Dietetics, Zoology, Paramedic Practice and many 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, Rebecca Barnes, provided the following case study:
The Health Science Access Diploma was great and really prepared me for my degree in Biomedical Science. I can genuinely say that the year studying Access was harder and more intense than my first 2 years of university! However, the Access course switched my brain back on, got me focused on my goals and built up my confidence, which I needed as I hadn’t written an assignment in nearly 20 years. Although I haven’t received my final grade from my dissertation yet, I am confident that it will be a first-class degree, which I am so proud of.

I am currently waiting for my placement to start at the Royal Oldham Hospital’s pathology unit where I will spend time in their microbiology and cellular pathology labs. My goal for the future is to gain experience within the NHS/clinical setting and then in a few years, apply for the MSc Physicians associate studies at Manchester University.

Career Options

Pharmacist, nutritionist, zoologist, radiographer, biomedical scientist.

Mandatory Units

Human Biology and Health Science.

Contact Details

For further information please contact T: 0161 886 7070 or E:

Extra Costs Involved

Exam Validation Body

Hours Per Week

How Long To Complete

Programme Structure

Contact Details


Although every care has been taken to ensure that the information contained within this document is accurate, there may be changes to this programme and provision. We will endeavour to keep prospective and current students updated where appropriate and when the information becomes available.
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