The Student Room Group
University of Essex
University of Essex
Colchester

Foundation year vs access course?

Hi looking for experience from those who have done either an access course or foundation year due to not meeting entry. Which route did you choose and why? How did you find it? What can I expect? If a science (particularly biomed ) student even better!
I missed all my schooling due to living in a hospital (literally) so trying to work out my best option to start biomed as a mature disabled student. I'm thinking foundation year so I can get a feel for uni life? Which is the quicker option? What's the work load like? I'm so unclear on what the pros and cons are of both . Give me all the details!
Thank you in advance
An Access to HE Diploma would be your best option if you have missed most of your schooling. They’re designed for people who have been out of education.

A foundation year is a much more expensive option and will restrict you to a single university.
University of Essex
University of Essex
Colchester
Original post by Tashacogz
Hi looking for experience from those who have done either an access course or foundation year due to not meeting entry. Which route did you choose and why? How did you find it? What can I expect? If a science (particularly biomed ) student even better!
I missed all my schooling due to living in a hospital (literally) so trying to work out my best option to start biomed as a mature disabled student. I'm thinking foundation year so I can get a feel for uni life? Which is the quicker option? What's the work load like? I'm so unclear on what the pros and cons are of both . Give me all the details!
Thank you in advance

Hey @Tashacogz 👋

I'm a mature student, just completed my second year of Applied Biomedical Science and going into my placement year in October!

I would really recommend the Access to HE Diploma in science, I did mine in person at Suffolk college so can't speak for the online access courses. I didn't study science at A level but I enjoyed science at GCSE and did quite well back then. I was out of education for about 13 years so the access course for me was a great chance to get back into formal education and re-learn how to learn before jumping straight into a university setting.

It's an intensive year but definitely manageable if you have been out of school for a while. There were quite a few parents on my course that wanted to go into adult nursing, some chose radiography. I had a friend who went on to do zoology, another friend is doing biochemistry, and I chose biomed.

I wasn't sure about the foundation year as I didn't know much about it and I actually ended up applying for both the standard BSc and the foundation year degree via UCAS as I wasn't sure if I would be accepted with just the access course, didn't know if I'd be able to keep up academically etc. I shouldn't have worried because I got mostly distinctions for the access course and was accepted for my chosen degree at both Essex and Suffolk and ultimately chose Essex because of their STEM facilities.

I would definitely say go for an access course, as the first year of uni is all about getting everyone up to the same level anyway. What is your highest qualification level so far and how old are you?

Best wishes,
Essex Student Rep - Hayley

Quick Reply