I thought I would start this thread as there seems to be a lack of information on the straight forward Access to HE science route. I thought it might help anyone interested in taking this course.
So I started Access Applied Science in Sept 2013.
The module subjects were Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
The units themselves were picked so that they closely related to one another, making each unit more relevant to what we were learning in the other subjects, except in Biology, which we only studied human biology.
The course started well but after Christmas we encountered some problems with the college... we had staff leaving left right and centre. Overall we had over 200% turnover in all teaching staff, which caused a lot of disruption and stress to the students. We were lucky that we managed to come away with our diplomas at all in the end.
Tip No. 1 - Choose your education provider carefully!
Learning as an adult with homes, jobs and family to think about is not easy, it is a juggling act with sacrifices to make, so make sure you are prepared for the changes.
One of the positives about the college I attended was the other students, I made some good friends and if it wasn't for the peer support then I don't think anyone would have made it through.
Back to the course itself: It became quickly apparent that you either have an aptitude for science or you do not. This was not a easy course for a lot of people and our drop out rate was well over 50%.
Anyone who is interested in health sciences should do a health orientated access course, unless you're offer specifically states you need either physics or chemistry.
The part that most people on this course struggled with was maths... Physics involves a lot of maths and it would be wise to get up to date with level 2 (GCSE) maths before starting a course like this.
Tip No. 2 - Get your maths up to date!
Our units were assessed by a mixture of assignments and exams, and some of the units had both assignments and exams.
It can be quite random how these things are assessed and the assessments are usually set by the tutor and agreed in principle with the exam board.
Some units had one assessment, some had two and a couple of the larger units had three assessments. I believe that it is done this way to make sure that you cover ALL of the criteria.
Tip No. 3 - Books!
Get some good books that will help you through it all.
CGP revision books in Chemistry and Physics highly recommended - both AS and A2 level
We only studied human biology so a usual biology revision book would have been useless - One book I found helpful was: Anatomy and Physiology for dummies - But I also used various similar anatomy and physiology books in the library.
Get yourself a membership at a good library. You may think that the internet has all the answers but it was stressed with our course that we needed good sources of information for referencing on our assignments, this included books and internet, but also scientific sources such as journals.
The internet does have some very useful resources:
Chemistry - Chemguide
Physics - Physics classroom - khanacademy on Youtube.
Get ready for lots of work - if you really want to get the good marks, distinctions, then you really do have to put in the work - the pace of the course is quick and it is easy to become complacent.
Be prepared to move quickly - you should already know what you want to do at uni and if you don't then you will have to decide quickly, UCAS applications start straight away and so does preparing your personal statement.
Get some relevant work experience if possible - it is taken that it can be quite hard to get specific science related work experience, unless you are able to shadow in a lab etc. The course that I have applied for at uni didn't really require me to get any work experience - but for those doing health sciences it really matters, especially physiotherapy, dietetics and radiography.
I hope that this thread comes in handy for some people and feel free to ask any questions!
Access to HE Applied Science Watch
- Thread Starter
- 10-07-2014 09:59
- 13-07-2014 22:40
I've just finished my access to he in science, what you have said is pretty much spot on!! I found Collins dictionary of biology was really helpful too. How did you do?
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- Thread Starter
- 14-07-2014 09:43
Well I could have done better, but it was the best I could do with all the problems we had with the college. I am one of a few lucky ones from my group who will actually be going to uni.
I exceeded the entry requirements for my chosen course - Out of the 15 modules I got 8 distinctions and 7 merits overall.
How did you get on?
- 14-07-2014 23:19
Thank you this is exactly the kind of advice I've been looking for regarding my access course from Sept.
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