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Study wherever and whenever you want. You’ll have access to your course for one year so you can fit your learning around your other commitments.

Tutor Support Included

Learning remotely doesn’t mean you’re on your own! You’ll be able to message your tutor through our industry-leading learning platform.

Flexible Payment Options

Enrol today for £0 deposit & spread the cost over 24 months

Learn At Your Own Pace

Study wherever and whenever you want. You’ll have access to your course for one year so you can fit your learning around your other commitments.

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

Savings End

Tuesday 11th of October

Accreditation by Open College Network West Midlands
100% online
learning
17 units
600 notional
learning hours

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

This Course at a Glance

  • Study the world and natural phenomena 
  • Work towards a fascinating research-based career
  • Get on the fast track to a natural science degree
  • Completion within 12 months
  • Study when and where you like
  • Flexible payment options
  • No exams

About your Diploma

If you are fascinated by science and nature in equal measures, there is no better way to indulge this interest than starting a career that explores the natural world.
 
There are many unsolved mysteries surrounding why natural events occur, by understanding these in greater detail, we can better describe, comprehend and predict these occurrences. With this knowledge, the human race can protect itself and better care for the world we live in. 
 
That’s why Natural Scientists focus their studies on the grass routes of existence. They examine each science that is linked to the objects, phenomena and laws of nature associated with the physical world.  
 
The most direct route into this career path is by studying a natural science degree, and to do that, you need to meet the degree entry requirements. Our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science) - Natural Science Pathway is an excellent way to do this, as it gives you the ideal foundation knowledge that you can build on in your degree. 
 
The natural world is complex, so you need to explore it from several perspectives. That’s why, throughout the course, you will study the chemical, physical, mathematical, environmental and geological components of it. 
 
You will learn about human immunity, the importance of organic compounds, radioactive decay and more. If you want to study a broad range of sciences to fully expand your knowledge and career options, you should pursue a career as a Natural Scientist.

Getting Started

learndirect is the leading UK online course provider, and our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science) – Natural Science Pathway is nationally recognised as an equivalent to A Levels. This Level 3 qualification is also regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), so you can be assured of the quality of your education.
 
As it’s studied entirely online, you can work towards your science-related future outside of your current commitments. This way, there is no issue if you have to juggle a full-time job or childcare with your education. 
 
When studying your Access to Higher Education Diploma, you will have up to a year to complete the course. Though, the freedom to move through the modules at your pace sees most students complete their Access to HE Diploma within 9 months. 
 
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.
 
*Please note, entry requirements differ between universities, so you must check with your chosen institution that your qualification will be accepted before enrolling on this course.
OUR PASS RATE
Access to Higher Education Diplomas (National Average 78.4%)
88%

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.

Entry Requirements

You can get started on your Access to Higher Education Diploma now, but please note, you will need to have a GCSE in Maths and English (or equivalent) at grade C/4 or above when you come to apply to university. This is because these qualifications commonly feature on the entry requirements list for most degrees.
 
Should you not have these qualifications when you start your Access to HE Diploma, you can work towards them at the same time. This is something many of our learners do successfully to get fully prepared for their university degrees ahead of applying. 
 
It’s essential to note that each university sets its own admission criteria. So, you must check with your desired institution if your Access to HE Diploma and other qualifications will be accepted. 
 
In many cases, to get started on a degree you will need:
  • 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 C/4 or above in Maths and English (or equivalent Level 2 such as Functional Skills/Key Skills, etc.)
It is up to you to check that your Access to HE Diploma will be accepted as part of the entry requirements for your chosen degree. learndirect is not responsible if completing this Access to HE Diploma doesn’t secure you a position with a higher education institution.
 
*Please note, this course is eligible for UK residents only
 
*You will have access to the course for 12 months only, after which, you can purchase extensions through your learning platform.

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, you will be required to complete an assignment and submit it for assessment. Your tutor will then read and grade the assignment and offer you useful feedback as well as tips for improvement.

To earn an Access to HE Diploma (Science), you 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 your study practices.

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

 

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

Almost every aspect of life benefits from natural science in some way. It is a prominent feature in an array of fields, from medicine to agriculture and more. 
 
With the broad range of scientific knowledge you will gain in this Access to Higher Education Diploma, and a subsequent natural science degree, you will be highly employable as a Natural Scientist. A career in which you will be called upon to answer complex questions about the things that occur naturally on Earth. 
A degree in natural science will prepare you to work in interdisciplinary areas of modern science. This could be anything from nanotechnology to systems biology, sustainable energy technology, environmental science or chemical physics.
 
With your degree, you could pursue jobs like:
  • Lab Technician
  • Teacher
  • Conservation Officer
  • Forensic Specialist
  • Civil Service
  • Landscape Architect
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Climate Change Policy Advisor
  • Medical Writer

Further Qualifications and Prospects 

A high proportion of graduates in this area go on to postgraduate study, so they can conduct their own research in a PhD or learn more about specific areas of natural science.
 
Gaining qualifications in natural science at this level will benefit you in any of the above careers and help you move up the ladder. Postgraduate courses also open the door to careers in research or academia, should you want to impart what you have learnt in your studies to others. 

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

This Course at a Glance

  • Study the world and natural phenomena 
  • Work towards a fascinating research-based career
  • Get on the fast track to a natural science degree
  • Completion within 12 months
  • Study when and where you like
  • Flexible payment options
  • No exams

About your Diploma

If you are fascinated by science and nature in equal measures, there is no better way to indulge this interest than starting a career that explores the natural world.
 
There are many unsolved mysteries surrounding why natural events occur, by understanding these in greater detail, we can better describe, comprehend and predict these occurrences. With this knowledge, the human race can protect itself and better care for the world we live in. 
 
That’s why Natural Scientists focus their studies on the grass routes of existence. They examine each science that is linked to the objects, phenomena and laws of nature associated with the physical world.  
 
The most direct route into this career path is by studying a natural science degree, and to do that, you need to meet the degree entry requirements. Our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science) - Natural Science Pathway is an excellent way to do this, as it gives you the ideal foundation knowledge that you can build on in your degree. 
 
The natural world is complex, so you need to explore it from several perspectives. That’s why, throughout the course, you will study the chemical, physical, mathematical, environmental and geological components of it. 
 
You will learn about human immunity, the importance of organic compounds, radioactive decay and more. If you want to study a broad range of sciences to fully expand your knowledge and career options, you should pursue a career as a Natural Scientist.

Getting Started

learndirect is the leading UK online course provider, and our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Science) – Natural Science Pathway is nationally recognised as an equivalent to A Levels. This Level 3 qualification is also regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), so you can be assured of the quality of your education.
 
As it’s studied entirely online, you can work towards your science-related future outside of your current commitments. This way, there is no issue if you have to juggle a full-time job or childcare with your education. 
 
When studying your Access to Higher Education Diploma, you will have up to a year to complete the course. Though, the freedom to move through the modules at your pace sees most students complete their Access to HE Diploma within 9 months. 
 
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.
 
*Please note, entry requirements differ between universities, so you must check with your chosen institution that your qualification will be accepted before enrolling on this course.

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.

Entry Requirements

You can get started on your Access to Higher Education Diploma now, but please note, you will need to have a GCSE in Maths and English (or equivalent) at grade C/4 or above when you come to apply to university. This is because these qualifications commonly feature on the entry requirements list for most degrees.
 
Should you not have these qualifications when you start your Access to HE Diploma, you can work towards them at the same time. This is something many of our learners do successfully to get fully prepared for their university degrees ahead of applying. 
 
It’s essential to note that each university sets its own admission criteria. So, you must check with your desired institution if your Access to HE Diploma and other qualifications will be accepted. 
 
In many cases, to get started on a degree you will need:
  • 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 C/4 or above in Maths and English (or equivalent Level 2 such as Functional Skills/Key Skills, etc.)
It is up to you to check that your Access to HE Diploma will be accepted as part of the entry requirements for your chosen degree. learndirect is not responsible if completing this Access to HE Diploma doesn’t secure you a position with a higher education institution.
 
*Please note, this course is eligible for UK residents only
 
*You will have access to the course for 12 months only, after which, you can purchase extensions through your learning platform.

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, you will be required to complete an assignment and submit it for assessment. Your tutor will then read and grade the assignment and offer you useful feedback as well as tips for improvement.

To earn an Access to HE Diploma (Science), you 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 your study practices.

As part of your programme, you will also receive help and 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

Almost every aspect of life benefits from natural science in some way. It is a prominent feature in an array of fields, from medicine to agriculture and more. 
 
With the broad range of scientific knowledge you will gain in this Access to Higher Education Diploma, and a subsequent natural science degree, you will be highly employable as a Natural Scientist. A career in which you will be called upon to answer complex questions about the things that occur naturally on Earth. 
A degree in natural science will prepare you to work in interdisciplinary areas of modern science. This could be anything from nanotechnology to systems biology, sustainable energy technology, environmental science or chemical physics.
 
With your degree, you could pursue jobs like:
  • Lab Technician
  • Teacher
  • Conservation Officer
  • Forensic Specialist
  • Civil Service
  • Landscape Architect
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Climate Change Policy Advisor
  • Medical Writer

Further Qualifications and Prospects 

A high proportion of graduates in this area go on to postgraduate study, so they can conduct their own research in a PhD or learn more about specific areas of natural science.
 
Gaining qualifications in natural science at this level will benefit you in any of the above careers and help you move up the ladder. Postgraduate courses also open the door to careers in research or academia, should you want to impart what you have learnt in your studies to others. 

OUR PASS RATE
Access to Higher Education Diplomas
88%
(National Average 78.4%)
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