Prepare for further learning or training and/or develop knowledge and/or skills in a subject area
Qualification Grading Type
Why choose this qualification?
The Pre-Access Certificate in Preparing for Further Study in Science is intended to support progression to an Access to HE Diploma in a related area.
The Certificate will provide learners with a firm foundation in terms of knowledge, skills and understanding of science, while at the same time giving them the opportunity to develop and practice their study skills. Individuals will have the chance to practise producing written work in the format expected when progressing to an Access to HE Diploma and to experience the same approach to assessment, making the learner better prepared for further study.
Each of the pre-Access qualifications has a single mandatory, graded unit which requires learners to complete an extended project in their chosen sector or subject. Learners can then choose the remaining units from a range of optional ungraded units, selecting those that match their interests and best fit with their planned progression route. They may also select a unit in effective learning skills, if they need an additional focus on these skills.
The Certificate and Diploma in Further Study in Science will support progression to Access to HE Diplomas including Science, Science and Health Professions, Life Science and Combined Sciences.
Rules of Combination
Learners must achieve a minimum of 25 credits with 6 credits taken from the Mandatory Group (M), and the remaining credits from the Optional Group (O).
Learners must achieve the single mandatory unit totalling 6 credits.
Learners must achieve a minimum of 19 credits from this group.
Biology and Our Environment
Chemistry and Our Earth
Communication for Science Professionals
Diet and Nutrition
Electronics in Action
Energy and Our Universe
Introduction to Psychology
Planning a Career in Science
Science in Medicine
Science in the World
The Living Body
Using Mathematical Tools in Science and Technology
What is the purpose of this qualification?
The primary purpose of this qualification is to support learners to progress to a higher level vocational qualification, specifically an Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma in the area of Science. This qualification is designed for adult learners who are aspiring to higher education, lack the necessary qualifications to apply for a degree course but are not yet ready to embark on a preparatory Level 3 qualification, such as an Access to HE Diploma.
What skills, knowledge, or understanding does this qualification develop?
This qualification includes one mandatory unit:
• Science project
Learners must then select further units from a list of optional units. These include a number of units introducing the main areas of science e.g.
• Chemistry and our earth
• Biology and our environment
• Energy and our universe.
In addition there is a selection of units which focus on skills useful across the various fields of Science e.g.
• Communication skills for Science professionals
• Using Mathematical Tools in Science and Technology
Learners can also choose units which are specific to the particular study/career pathway learners are planning, e.g.
• Introduction to psychology
• Diet and nutrition.
Learners can also decide to take a unit, ‘Effective Learning’, which will give learners the opportunity to focus explicitly on developing the study skills learners will need to succeed on an Access to HE Diploma and on a degree course.
The minimum vocational content for this qualification is 84% (if learners ch
How is this qualification different from other, similar qualifications?
The Certificate in Preparing for Further Study in Science is intended to support learners progression to an Access to HE Diploma in a related area. The Certificate will provide learners with a firm foundation in terms of knowledge, skills and understanding of science, while at the same time giving learners the opportunity to develop and practise their study skills. Learners will have the chance to practise producing written work in the format expected of learner when they progress to an Access to HE Diploma and to experience the same approach to assessment, making learners better prepared for further study.
Depending on the combination of optional units that learners choose they could progress to an Access to HE Diploma in any of the following areas:
• Science and Health Professions
• Life Science
• Combined Sciences
Which sector does this qualification support?
There is a Level 2 Certificate and Diploma in Preparing for Further Study in Science. The Certificate will be appropriate for most learners preparing to progress to an Access to HE Diploma. The Certificate will be appropriate for most learners preparing to progress to an Access to HE Diploma as it should give learners sufficient scope to build up the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding at Level 2 to support their progression.
The Diploma in Preparing for Further Study in Science is better suited to learners who need a significant period of time working at Level 2 before they are ready to progress, perhaps because they have been out of learning for a considerable time or are studying in English for the first time.
This qualification is not intended to support progression to employment.
What are the progression options?
Gateway Qualifications also offers a Level 2 Certificate in Applied Science and Technology; some of the units in the Certificate in Preparing for Further Study in Science also appear in this qualification.
Learners should choose the Certificate in Preparing for Further Study in Science if learners are planning to progress to an Access to HE Diploma in a Science subject, so that they have the opportunity to focus on developing the study skills needed in an Access course and in higher education, alongside Science-specific content which has been specially selected to provide an introduction to the key areas covered in Science Access to HE Diplomas.
In this qualification, for example, it is compulsory for learners to research, produce, present and reflect on an extended project in Science, which directly mirrors the assessment approach of the Access to HE Diploma.
Progression & entry requirementsThere are no specific entry requirements, in the form of prior qualifications or levels of attainment, for this qualification. However, if at the start of their course learners have not already achieved Level 2 English and maths (in the form of functional skills or GCSE), they can expect to be offered the opportunity to include English and maths in learners programme alongside the Certificate in Preparing for Further Study in Science. Learners must be aged 18 or over to take this qualification.
There are now two main sources for funding information, a straightforward ESFA Qualification Search and the more detailed Find a Learning Aim website.
The new Find a learning aim (FALA) service provides a search tool that you can use to check the funding status of any qualification, framework, unit, standard or T Level:
The Education and Skills Funding Agency search provides funding information on qualifications. It does not provide funding information for units, non-regulated activity and work placements, for this information please use Find a learning aim (FALA).
How to find a learning aim
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The following support materials will help you to deliver this qualification.