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Introduction to Biological and Health Sciences (Pre-Access)

The aim of this course is to provide appropriate preparation to enable progression onto a level three course. It would form the perfect starting point for those who ultimately would like to progress to university to fulfil career aims. It is ideal for those who may missed out on an opportunity to study previously; whether you are looking to develop new skills to boost your career prospects, you want to gain entry to university or change your career direction.

Biological Sciences is an exciting and rapidly developing subject area encompassing the study of living things and topics such as Cell Biology, Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology.

This pre-access qualification is designed to lead onto a level three course, to give you the knowledge, core skills and confidence to progress. This course would prepare you to access and undertake, for example, an Access to HE Diploma (Biological Sciences) which is a recognised qualification for progression to University and could lead onto many different careers including: nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy and biological based degrees.

This full-time course is designed for mature students who want to access university but don't currently have the required qualifications. The course is designed to run alongside individual GCSE courses in English and/or Maths depending on individual needs. If you don't hold a grade C or above in GCSE English and/or maths - it is expected that you enrol on the relevant GCSEs when commencing this course in order to ensure that the required qualifications for progression are possessed.

It is an intensive programme but will assist you with study skills, confidence building and developing a basic understanding of Human Biology, Health and Disease, as well as future career planning in preparation for applying for a level three course. Your learning will take place alongside like-minded people in a supportive environment with experienced, friendly tutors.

When will I start the course and how long will it take?

The course starts in September and takes 1 year to complete, with attendance at College being up to three days a week.

What will I study?

The Introduction to Biological and Health Sciences (Pre-access) covers units drawn from a range of biological science topics as well as core study skills.

This is a modular course with units such as:

  • Human Physiology: 6 credits The cell, digestion, excretion and homeostasis.
  • Physiology and Exercise: 6 credits Muscular skeletal system, respiratory system, cardiovascular system and the effects of exercise.
  • Human Health and Disease: 3 credits Characteristics of microorganisms and the control of infection.
  • Research Project: 6 credits The use of primary and secondary data, research methods and presenting a report.
  • Plus Supporting Units: 13 credits

Including study skills, personal development and career planning.

How is it assessed?

The course is assessed via a combination of coursework and small examinations. Each unit is worth a number of credits that reflect the size of the unit and you will need to achieve 25 credits to pass the course.

Do I need any previous qualifications to start this course?

To undertake this qualification, you do not need to have been in education recently and you do not need and formal qualifications. However, some achievement at level two is desirable.

All applicants will need to undertake, and pass a diagnostic exercise to successfully secure a place on the course.

What are the course fees?

If you are aged 19 or over, course fees are dependent on your personal circumstances and you may be eligible for funding to cover course fees. If you are aged 19 - 23 and this is your first full level 2 qualification, 100% of your course fees will be covered. More information can be provided upon application.

For more information on the financial support that may be available, please click here.

What can I go on to do once I have completed this course?

Upon successful completion of this course, you could progress onto our level three Access to HE Diploma in Biological and Health Sciences An Access to HE course would then allow you to apply to University for a range of degrees. For example you could study our foundation degree in Applied Microbiology at University Centre St Helens.

Depending on your chosen progression route some universities expect you to have gained experience working in a relevant setting. You are strongly advised to check the entry requirements for your preferred universities. The achievement of this qualification does not strictly guarantee progression onto a level three Access to HE course.

Depending on your chosen progression route some universities expect you to have gained experience working in a relevant setting. You are strongly advised to check the entry requirements for your preferred universities.

As with all qualifications, the award of this level two certificate: Introduction to Biological and Health Sciences (Pre-access) does not guarantee progression onto a Level three Access to HE Diploma.

I'm interested in this course, what do I do next?

If you would like any further information in relation to this course, please contact our enquiries team directly on 0800 99 66 99 or email enquire @ sthelens.ac.uk or drop into our next Enrolment and Information Event. Alternatively, submit an application form to secure a place.

Ref: Linda Waddecar