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Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science) - Natural Science Pathway

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Overview

Natural Sciences dominate every aspect of the physical world. For those who want to gain access to higher education in Physics, Biology, Biomechanics or Chemistry to learn more about the extraordinary world we live in, this Access to Higher Education Diploma is the perfect choice.

Gaining a place at university without having any A-levels used to be an impossible challenge. Now, thanks to the Access to Higher Education Diploma – which most universities recognise as an alternative to formal qualifications – more and more students can achieve a degree level education.

This course was designed to prepare students for independent academic study and prepares you for undergraduate level study as you will complete modules from all three Sciences, including Cell Biology, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table.

The units included in this Diploma provide a well-rounded syllabus that forms a foundation for students who wish to pursue a Science related degree course in the future.

At learndirect, all our Access to HE Diplomas are delivered via distance learning. This means that students can complete their coursework at home. All our online learning materials can be accessed anywhere and anytime.

This is great news if you are a busy parent or professional who may find it challenging to attend a traditional college course. Once you enrol, you can start learning straight away. You will be provided with an Individual Learning Plan that outlines the submission deadlines for your assignments to keep you on track throughout your studies. An Access to HE Diploma can be completed within two years. However, most students complete their course within 9-12 months.

Modules

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 ideas and issues in responding to a set, academic writing task.
  • Be able to summarise for academic purposes, selecting key points, information or central ideas.

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: Cell Biology  

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the structure and organisation of cells, including stem cells.
  • Understand cellular metabolism.
  • Understand how cells grow and divide.

 Unit 5: 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 6: 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 7: Electromagnetic Spectrum

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the principles and types of electromagnetic waves.
  • Understand the properties of visible and ultraviolet light.
  • Understand the properties of microwaves and infrared.
  • Understand the biohazards of ultraviolet and infrared radiation.
  • Understand the hazards and uses of X- Rays in medical applications.

Unit 8: Periodic Table

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the Periodic able.
  • 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 9: Human Immunity

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand non-specific defences against disease.
  • Understand specific immunity.
  • Understand the biology of vaccination.

Unit 10: Radioactivity

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the main types of ionising radiations and their measurement.
  • Understand radioactive decay.
  • Understand the practical applications of ionising radiation and radioisotopes and their use with acceptable safety.

 Unit 11: The Human Endocrine & Nervous System 

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the anatomy, organisation and function of the nervous system.
  • Understand how the endocrine system co-ordinates body functions.
  • Understand the role of the nervous and endocrine systems homeostasis.

Unit 12: Atomic Structure & Bonding

On completion of this unit you will:

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

Unit 13: Medical Physics

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand atomic structure.
  • Understand the nature of alpha, beta and gamma radiation, and X-rays.
  • Understand the main uses of ionising radiation in monitoring and treatment.
  • Understand how radio isotopes are used in healthcare.
  • Understand the health applications of a selected part of electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Understand how ultrasound is used in healthcare.

Unit 14: Human Disease and Prevention

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the categories and causes of disease using infectious disease to illustrate your answer
  • Understand the epidermiology of commonly occurring diseases/conditions
  • Understand preventative measures for a chosen disease or condition

Unit 15: 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.

Unit 16: Optics & Sound

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the Laws of Reflection.
  • Understand the Laws of Refraction.
  • Understand the action of convex and concave lenses.
  • Understand the simple optics of the eye.
  • Understand the nature of transverse and longitudinal wave motions.
  • Understand how the ear detects sound waves.

 

Unit 17: 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 18: Physics

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the connection between force and motion and be able to use Newtons Laws of Motion.
  • Understand conservation of energy and momentum.
  • Understand the concepts and vocabulary of wave motion.
  • Understand the straight line model of the behaviour of light.
  • Understand the behaviour and properties of magnets and magnetic fields, electric charge and electric current.

Requirements

If you wish to start your Access to Higher Education Diploma right now, you should hold a GSCE in maths and English (or equivalent) at grade C or above. It is a common requirement for entry to most universities and degrees.  You should also have a desire to study a related degree at university. If you do not hold these qualifications then you must be working towards them whilst completing your Access to HE Diploma.

Access to Higher Education Diplomas have been designed to help learners follow their academic aspirations and get them into their choice university. You must be mindful that each university has its own admission criteria, and some may even differ from course to course. These can include, but not be limited to:

  • A certain number of credits passed with a merit or a distinction grade.
  • A face-to-face interview at the university.
  • Literacy and numeracy assessments provided by the university.
  • Course-related work placements or work experience.
  • GCSE Grade A – C in maths and English (or equivalent level 2 such as Functional Skills/Key Skills, etc.).

Students wishing to gain entry to higher education at the end of this Diploma should conduct some preliminary research on the entry requirements soon as possible, to avoid disappointment. Each learner is responsible for researching the entry criteria and ensuring they meet the requirements. learndirect is not able to accept responsibility if anyone completing an Access to HE Diploma fails to secure an offer from a higher education institution.

 

Assessment

Our diplomas were designed to contain carefully selected units that universities like their future students to have mastered. On completion of each home study unit, students will be required to complete an assignment and submit it for assessment. The tutor will then read and grade the assignment and offer the student useful feedback as well as tips for improvement.

To earn an Access to HE Diploma (Science), students will need to earn a total of 60 credits. Out of this 60, 45 should be earned by completing graded units which are based on academic content. The other 15 credits will be taken from ungraded units. These modules are concerned with improving the student’s study practices.

As part of your programme you will also receive help as well as guidance on your university application and the research you need to do to get the most out of your diploma.

Qualifications

Open College Network West Midlands

Open College Network West Midlands logo

On successful completion of the Open College Network West Midlands Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science) you will receive a QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma: Science (QAA ref: 40008848). This course has also been assigned 60 credits.

Open College Network West Midlands are a national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and Qualifications Wales, to develop and award nationally recognised qualifications.

Open College Network West Midlands work in partnership with employers, training providers, colleges, universities, schools and voluntary and community organisations to offer vocational credit-based qualifications, Access to Higher Education Diplomas and quality assured Customised Accreditation that enables learners gain employment or to progress into further learning and Higher Education. They also Quality Endorse organisations internal training and skills delivery.

Developing your career

Your Access to Higher Education Diploma and the way it is delivered within our innovative learning platform is designed to give you the best possible chance of fulfilling your dream of studying at university. Higher Education Degrees confirm to any employer your intellect, motivation and ability to work independently to succeed not just in your area of specialism but also life itself. A higher education degree is a gateway qualification that will allow you to apply 1,000's of graduate programmes as well as setting you apart from those who don't have a degree.

Hear from our past Students

Natural Sciences dominate every aspect of the physical world. For those who want to gain access to higher education in Physics, Biology, Biomechanics or Chemistry to learn more about the extraordinary world we live in, this Access to Higher Education Diploma is the perfect choice.

Gaining a place at university without having any A-levels used to be an impossible challenge. Now, thanks to the Access to Higher Education Diploma – which most universities recognise as an alternative to formal qualifications – more and more students can achieve a degree level education.

This course was designed to prepare students for independent academic study and prepares you for undergraduate level study as you will complete modules from all three Sciences, including Cell Biology, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table.

The units included in this Diploma provide a well-rounded syllabus that forms a foundation for students who wish to pursue a Science related degree course in the future.

At learndirect, all our Access to HE Diplomas are delivered via distance learning. This means that students can complete their coursework at home. All our online learning materials can be accessed anywhere and anytime.

This is great news if you are a busy parent or professional who may find it challenging to attend a traditional college course. Once you enrol, you can start learning straight away. You will be provided with an Individual Learning Plan that outlines the submission deadlines for your assignments to keep you on track throughout your studies. An Access to HE Diploma can be completed within two years. However, most students complete their course within 9-12 months.

Modules

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 ideas and issues in responding to a set, academic writing task.
  • Be able to summarise for academic purposes, selecting key points, information or central ideas.

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: Cell Biology  

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the structure and organisation of cells, including stem cells.
  • Understand cellular metabolism.
  • Understand how cells grow and divide.

 Unit 5: 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 6: 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 7: Electromagnetic Spectrum

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the principles and types of electromagnetic waves.
  • Understand the properties of visible and ultraviolet light.
  • Understand the properties of microwaves and infrared.
  • Understand the biohazards of ultraviolet and infrared radiation.
  • Understand the hazards and uses of X- Rays in medical applications.

Unit 8: Periodic Table

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the Periodic able.
  • 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 9: Human Immunity

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand non-specific defences against disease.
  • Understand specific immunity.
  • Understand the biology of vaccination.

Unit 10: Radioactivity

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the main types of ionising radiations and their measurement.
  • Understand radioactive decay.
  • Understand the practical applications of ionising radiation and radioisotopes and their use with acceptable safety.

 Unit 11: The Human Endocrine & Nervous System 

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the anatomy, organisation and function of the nervous system.
  • Understand how the endocrine system co-ordinates body functions.
  • Understand the role of the nervous and endocrine systems homeostasis.

Unit 12: Atomic Structure & Bonding

On completion of this unit you will:

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

Unit 13: Medical Physics

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand atomic structure.
  • Understand the nature of alpha, beta and gamma radiation, and X-rays.
  • Understand the main uses of ionising radiation in monitoring and treatment.
  • Understand how radio isotopes are used in healthcare.
  • Understand the health applications of a selected part of electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Understand how ultrasound is used in healthcare.

Unit 14: Human Disease and Prevention

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the categories and causes of disease using infectious disease to illustrate your answer
  • Understand the epidermiology of commonly occurring diseases/conditions
  • Understand preventative measures for a chosen disease or condition

Unit 15: 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.

Unit 16: Optics & Sound

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the Laws of Reflection.
  • Understand the Laws of Refraction.
  • Understand the action of convex and concave lenses.
  • Understand the simple optics of the eye.
  • Understand the nature of transverse and longitudinal wave motions.
  • Understand how the ear detects sound waves.

 

Unit 17: 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 18: Physics

On completion of this unit you will:

  • Understand the connection between force and motion and be able to use Newtons Laws of Motion.
  • Understand conservation of energy and momentum.
  • Understand the concepts and vocabulary of wave motion.
  • Understand the straight line model of the behaviour of light.
  • Understand the behaviour and properties of magnets and magnetic fields, electric charge and electric current.

Requirements

If you wish to start your Access to Higher Education Diploma right now, you should hold a GSCE in maths and English (or equivalent) at grade C or above. It is a common requirement for entry to most universities and degrees.  You should also have a desire to study a related degree at university. If you do not hold these qualifications then you must be working towards them whilst completing your Access to HE Diploma.

Access to Higher Education Diplomas have been designed to help learners follow their academic aspirations and get them into their choice university. You must be mindful that each university has its own admission criteria, and some may even differ from course to course. These can include, but not be limited to:

  • A certain number of credits passed with a merit or a distinction grade.
  • A face-to-face interview at the university.
  • Literacy and numeracy assessments provided by the university.
  • Course-related work placements or work experience.
  • GCSE Grade A – C in maths and English (or equivalent level 2 such as Functional Skills/Key Skills, etc.).

Students wishing to gain entry to higher education at the end of this Diploma should conduct some preliminary research on the entry requirements soon as possible, to avoid disappointment. Each learner is responsible for researching the entry criteria and ensuring they meet the requirements. learndirect is not able to accept responsibility if anyone completing an Access to HE Diploma fails to secure an offer from a higher education institution.

 

Assessment

Our diplomas were designed to contain carefully selected units that universities like their future students to have mastered. On completion of each home study unit, students will be required to complete an assignment and submit it for assessment. The tutor will then read and grade the assignment and offer the student useful feedback as well as tips for improvement.

To earn an Access to HE Diploma (Science), students will need to earn a total of 60 credits. Out of this 60, 45 should be earned by completing graded units which are based on academic content. The other 15 credits will be taken from ungraded units. These modules are concerned with improving the student’s study practices.

As part of your programme you will also receive help as well as guidance on your university application and the research you need to do to get the most out of your diploma.

Qualifications

Open College Network West Midlands

Open College Network West Midlands logo

On successful completion of the Open College Network West Midlands Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science) you will receive a QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma: Science (QAA ref: 40008848). This course has also been assigned 60 credits.

Open College Network West Midlands are a national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and Qualifications Wales, to develop and award nationally recognised qualifications.

Open College Network West Midlands work in partnership with employers, training providers, colleges, universities, schools and voluntary and community organisations to offer vocational credit-based qualifications, Access to Higher Education Diplomas and quality assured Customised Accreditation that enables learners gain employment or to progress into further learning and Higher Education. They also Quality Endorse organisations internal training and skills delivery.

Your Access to Higher Education Diploma and the way it is delivered within our innovative learning platform is designed to give you the best possible chance of fulfilling your dream of studying at university. Higher Education Degrees confirm to any employer your intellect, motivation and ability to work independently to succeed not just in your area of specialism but also life itself. A higher education degree is a gateway qualification that will allow you to apply 1,000's of graduate programmes as well as setting you apart from those who don't have a degree.

Hear from our past Students

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