Access to Higher Education Diploma (Education) - Teaching Science Course Online | learndirect

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Education) - Teaching Science


The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Education) Teaching Science is perfect for those that have drive and passion to teach science to young people but you don’t have the formal qualifications. The units included on this course have been specifically custom-made for aspiring science teachers; covering all areas from child development to cell biology. Furthermore, as this is a distance learning course, you can base your studies around your own schedule. With this flexibility, the course is suitable for students who have spent substantial time out of education and have other commitments to consider.

The aim of this course is to prepare you for higher education. By the time you are ready to enter university, you should have a solid foundation of scientific and education based knowledge. This will give you the confidence you need to begin your journey on an education degree programme.

Check the qualification is right for you

We strongly recommend that you check with the university you want to attend to ensure that the Access to HE Diploma meets the entrance criteria for the degree of your choice, we can help you if you need any more information provided.

Upon completing your undergraduate course, you will have opened doors to a number of fresh and exciting careers. Many learners who complete this course choose to become a science teacher. If you want to become a teacher, you will need to continue your studies and achieve a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You can gain this through completing a PGCE or similar postgraduate qualification,if this is not included in your undergraduate degree.

How does the course work?

Once enrolled, students will be given access to our online course materials where they will find learning resources that are educational, interactive and easy to follow. Everything you need to complete the course will be included in the materials. Additionally, you will have access to communicate with our tutors via phone, email or through instant messaging. Further advice and guidance is also provided through a hub of like-minded learners who you can also contact through our online platform.

Distance learning

A great deal of flexibility is offered with distance learning; however students will have to have self-motivation and discipline if they want to progress effectively.

As you can start studying towards an Access to HE Diploma at any time of the year, and study when and where you choose and can complete the course in as little as six months. Some learners prefer to take far longer and complete the course over a period of 18 months.


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 concepts and debates in responding to a set, academic writing task.

●      Be able to summarise for academic purposes, selecting key points, information or central ideas.

●      Understand the role of reference, allusion and paraphrase to avoid plagiarism.


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: Independent research

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Be able to plan a piece of research on an approved subject area.

●      Be able to collect research material from different sources

●      Be able to use data to substantiate an argument

●      Be able to record sources of information

●      Be able to present research findings


Unit 5: An introduction to classroom teaching

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Plan and prepare for teaching within the National Curriculum.

●      Understand the importance of classroom design.


Unit 6: Progressing to higher education

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Understand potential next steps in education.

●      Understand key sources of information relevant to HE application.

●      Understand personal HE opportunities.

●      Understand the financial implications of further study.

●      Know how to apply for a course


Unit 7: Human nutrition & the digestive system

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Understand the structure and functions of the organs of the digestive system.

●      Understand nutrients and their sources.

●      Understand how diet may influence health.


Unit 8: The human musculo-skeletal system

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Understand anatomical terminology

●      Understand the skeletal system and locomotion

●      Understand the muscular system


Unit 9: Cell biology

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Understand the cell.

●      Understand cellular metabolism.

●      Understand how cells grow and divide.


Unit 10: Theories of child development

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Understand Piaget’s theory of development

●      Understand the major criticisms of Piaget’s work in child development.

●      Understand alternative theories of development.

●      Understand how stages of development link to practical situations.


Unit 11: Behaviour problems in the classroom

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Recognise anti-social behaviour

●      Recognise anti-institutional behaviour

●      Understand the formal discipline processes/procedures of a school

●      Understand the informal methods of implementing discipline within a classroom setting

●      Understand some of the underlying causes of behavioural problems as displayed in the classroom


Unit 12: Human immunity

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Understand non-specific defences against disease.

●      Understand specific immunity and the immune response.

●      Understand the biology of vaccination.

●      Understand how immune sensitivity may cause ill-health.


Unit 13: Cell metabolism

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Understand the glycolytic pathway and fermentation of sugar to yield alcohol.

●      Understand the tricarboxylic acid cycle.

●      Understand the dark reactions in photosynthesis.


Unit 14: The human endocrine & nervous system

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Understand the anatomy and organisation of the nervous system and how it coordinates the body.

●      Understand the structure and function of nerve cells and other cells in the nervous system.

●      Understand how the endocrine system coordinates body functions.

●      Understand homeostasis.


Unit 15: Introduction to teaching & learning

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Understand models of teaching and learning.

●      Understand ‘blocks’ to learning.

●      Understand curriculum planning and lesson planning.

●      Understand the biochemical basis of generating adenosine triphosphate in subcellular organelles.


Unit 16: Human reproduction, growth & development

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Understand the structure and function of the human reproductive system

●      Understand how hormones regulate the reproductive tract throughout life

●      Understand the sequence of events from conception to puberty


Unit 17: Child development & management of pupil behaviour

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Be aware of the physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social development of the child.

●      Understand the main aspects of social and emotional development.

●      Know factors which may affect pupil development and behaviour.

●      Know methods for managing pupil behaviour.


Unit 18: The psychology of learning

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Demonstrate an understanding of a range of theories of learning.

●      Demonstrate an understanding of different learning and teaching styles.


Unit 19: Theories of cognitive development & learning

On completion of this unit you will:

●      Have knowledge of theories of cognitive development

●      Understand learning theory

●      Have knowledge of the application of theories of learning and cognitive development to classroom practice





Those who are planning to study an Access to HE Diploma should first have achieved a GCSE in Maths and English at grade C or above. We ask for these grades as most universities ask that students have them before they apply.

Although Access to HE Diploma courses fulfil the entry requirements for most higher education institutions, we would like to remind learndirect students to double check with the specific university or universities they want to attend. This is because each school may have its own list of particular requirements which students are expected to meet. Examples of such requirements include but are not limited to:

●      Having gained a specific number of credits at the level of merit or distinction.

●      Turning up to and passing a face-to-face interview at the university.

●      Completing a literacy or numeracy test provided by the institution.

●      Completion of a work placement or period of work experience specified by the uni.

●      We strongly recommend learners starting an Access to Higher Education Diploma have a GCSE Grade A – C in Maths and English (or equivalent Level 2 such as Functional Skills/Key Skills etc.) OR a full L2 NVQ qualification in a related subject.

It is important that every student carries out their own research and makes sure that their diploma fits the entry criteria of their chosen university. Learndirect will not be able to accept any liability for the inability of any Access to Higher Education Diploma student who fails to secure an offer from a higher education institution.


The Access to HE Diploma (Education) is made up of a number of different units. To begin with, your modules will be focused on essential academic practices and study skills. As you develop confidence, you will progress to the science and education modules. Within each module, you will be required to complete an assignment which will be marked and graded by a tutor. In addition to your grade, you will also receive constructive feedback from your tutor, which will identify your strengths and areas for development.

As part of your programme you will also receive all the help you need to get the most out of your diploma, and the guidance you may require to apply for your university degree.

The Access to HE Diploma is a nationally recognised Level 3 qualification and regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). You must achieve 60 credits in total before receiving your Access to HE Diploma. 15 of the credits will be taken from ungraded study skills modules.  The other 45 of these credits are taken from graded units which are focused on academic subject content.

The approximate amount of time required to complete the course is 324 hrs.




On successful completion of the Open College Network West Midlands Access to Higher Education Diploma (Education) you will receive a QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma at level 3 (QAA ref: (400/0388/7). This course has also been assigned 60 credits.

Open College Network West Midlands

Open College Network West Midlands is 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. Open College Network West Midlands 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 to 1,000's of graduate programmes as well as setting you apart from those who don't have a degree.

Need proof of your English and Maths skills? Want to catch up and learn more English and Maths? You can for free when you sign up to this learndirect course.

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