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Address City College Norwich, Ipswich Road, Norwich, NR2 2LJ

01603 773311
Access Science Health

Access to Higher Education: Science for Health Practitioners

  • 3

    Level 3

  • Duration
    1 year

  • Start Date
    September 2021

  • Venue
    Ipswich Road

  • Course Code

Start Date

  • September 2021, Full Time


The Access to Higher Education Diploma in Science for Health Practitioners, as validated by CAVA, is a qualification which prepares students aged 19 years and over, without appropriate qualifications, for study at degree level. The Access programme will qualify you to study a wide range of nursing and other health-based degrees, including physiotherapy, midwifery, mental health nursing, occupational therapy and paramedic science, as well as degrees in the natural sciences.

The programme is modular and will be delivered over 2.5 days a week. It covers relevant aspects of science, with an emphasis on practical work. There are four units of biology, The organism and its Environment, Cell Growth and Inheritance, Living Organisms and Living Cells.

There are two units of chemistry; which cover basic chemical concepts, biochemistry and the relevance of chemistry to human health in the modern world. These chemistry units include an Introduction to Chemistry and Quantities and Patterns. This is taught from a strongly practical angle and complements the biology units.

Further units in this course will cover General Science, Data Handling and Statistics, Human Physiology, Dissertation, Introductory Maths for Science, Study Skill and an Introduction to Research Methods. All are designed to support the science units of the course. In Health studies, you will investigate the nature of health and disease and relate to topical health issues.

Why Our College?

Developed with employers and progression in mind

All courses have been developed with employers and progression in mind, and many are part of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership's 10 priority sectors

Widely recognised by Universities

Access to Higher Education courses are widely recognised by UK universities and colleges, 24,000 Access to HE students are accepted at over 140 universities every year

Financial Support

City College Norwich offers flexible payment plans to help you spread the cost of fees. You can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan and bursaries are available to support childcare and travel costs

Entry Requirements

Access to Higher Education prepares adults without traditional qualifications such as A Levels for study at university. This diploma is widely recognised by UK universities and Colleges. You will be given the opportunity to develop not only academic knowledge in your chosen subjects but also broader study skills to help you succeed at university. This course is suitable for students aged 19 or over.

Acceptance onto the Access programme is conditional on you:

  • Providing evidence of achievement in English Language and Mathematics at GCSE grade A* - C or Grade 4 and above.
  • A satisfactory reference.
  • Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading), the required minimum is; IELTS (SELT); 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components) International candidates are also actively encouraged to access the International Students webpage.

If you do not currently hold the correct GCSE entry requirements, or do not specify them on your application, it will be automatically transferred to the Adult Literacy/Numeracy department. If you are working towards GCSEs this year in readiness for September, please let us know this when you apply as you will still be invited in for an interview.

Selection to discuss your suitability for the course and whether the course is right for you is by interview and evidence of your GCSE qualifications. As part of this process you may be required to complete online assessments and submit a short piece of writing. Advice can be given about alternative ways forward if necessary.

Please research Higher Education requirements very carefully. A STRONG COMMITMENT IS NEEDED AS THE COURSE IS VERY INTENSIVE.


You will be supported throughout the course by a personal tutor who will also give you guidance in applying for Higher Education courses. All students study a core of communications, research and study skills. You will be awarded credits on completion of each units with a Pass, Merit or Distinction grade. All credits are awarded are awarded at level 3 which broadly equates to A-level study. Assessment is continuous over the whole year and is based on a number of set pieces of work such as essays, projects, presentations and examinations.


The Access to Higher Education Diploma Science for Health Practitioners is widely recognised by UK universities. If you are planning to study a degree course at a specific university, it would be useful to contact them to check that the Access Course you have chosen is in an appropriate subject area and is recognised by the university or college. Please be aware that university entry criteria can change at any time.

In 2018 student progressed to the following universities: UEA, University of Suffolk, Anglia Ruskin University, Lincoln, Birmingham, Bradford and Sheffield Hallam.

Career Progression

After completion many students progress into the following careers; Nursing, Mental Health, Speech and Language Therapy, Bio-Medical Science, Midwifery, Paramedic Training and Operating Department Practice (ODP).


Please contact the Advice Shop for information on fees and financial support which may be available. We recommend you also check our Finance pages for further information including student travel offers.

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