York College

Industry Insights

Biological scientists and biochemists

Up to £18,000

Find out more

Chemical scientists

Up to £28,000

Find out more

Physical scientists

Up to £21,000

Find out more

York College Access courses are validated by Certa.   CERTA ACCESS - FULL COLOUR PNG

This course aims to prepare you for entry into Higher Education and to provide the underpinning knowledge and skills needed to progress on to a degree or diploma course at a university or college.

Entry Requirements

Level 2 qualifications in Maths and English.

What You'll Need

Please refer to the Access page for entry requirements.

The current agency guidance states; ‘Access to HE programmes are designed to support adults seeking entry to HE and the EFA funds any young people on these programmes by exception.’

At the interview stage you will be required to show the ability to work towards entry to Higher Education courses in Science and will be asked about their university plans.

Any student under the age of 19 must contact Student Services to discuss alternative options available at York College, and whether or not you have a case which may make you an exception.

Duration and Attendance

Attendance in College is for three days per week plus an additional 10 to 15 hours personal self-guided study. Timetables and hours of study will be discussed at the interview.

What You'll Do

The course is divided into units of assessment. Each unit is broken down into learning hours and most of the units are worth three to six credits (one credit equals 10 learning hours). You will specialise in either Physics and Maths, Chemistry and Maths or Chemistry and Biology.

The course comprises Level 3 units (A Level standard) in science and mathematics as well as a unit in academic writing.

On application, you will be asked to state your preferred pathway, either Physics and Maths, Chemistry and Maths or Chemistry and Biology. Your chosen option will be discussed at an interview with a member of the Science team. This interview will help ensure your preference will allow you to progress in your career or onto an appropriate University course.

The programme delivery method includes: practical and theory with supported learning.

Exams and Assessments

Assessment may take the form of reports, assignments, examinations, logbooks and presentations. Assessment will take place during and at the end of each unit as appropriate. Some units are ungraded and must simply be achieved; all other units will be awarded as distinction, merit or pass. At the end of the course you will be given a transcript listing all of the units and the grade awarded; there is no overall grade. Access to HE Diploma is now on the UCAS points tariff however individual Universities may specify a grade in certain units as part of any offer they may make.


The Access to Higher Education Diploma is validated and accredited through the National Awarding Body CERTA which is an Access validating agency, licensed and regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Details of the units to be studied can be found on its website.

How You Can Progress

In the past students have progressed onto higher education and have studied a range of courses in physics, chemistry, dietetics, nutrition, and professional training such as radiography and engineering. We have an excellent record of getting people into top universities such as the University of York, Leeds Beckett University and Sheffield Hallam University.

How To Apply

You must apply online or complete a full-time application form available from the Infozone team (01904 770770) or from the website and attend an interview. Applications will continue to be taken until three weeks after the course has started.

Course Fees

Course fees vary each year. Prospective students are advised to contact us for the latest fees.

Advanced Learner Loan

If you are offered a place on this course, you will be able to apply for the Advanced Learner Loan. The loan means that you will not have to pay any tuition fees up front and will only pay back the loan when your salary rises above £21,000. Repayments are made automatically if you are employed and are part of your tax return if you are self-employed.

If you are taking out an Advanced Learner Loan to study an Access to HE Diploma your Loan will be written off on successful completion of your higher education programme - so in effect, your Access to HE Diploma programme could be free.

Please refer to the York College Advanced Learner Loan page for more specific information.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this course or any aspects of studying at York College please email info@yorkcollege.ac.uk or call (01904) 770770.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this webpage, the content is subject to change where necessary.



Science - Sam Fisher



Need Help?

Course Enquiry

Please type your full name.
Invalid email address.
Please tell us about your enquiry