What is the purpose of this qualification?
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.
The Diploma in Preparing for Further Study in Science (as opposed to the Certificate of the same title) is particularly suitable if learners have been advised that they would benefit from an extended Level 2 course before moving on to an Access to HE Diploma.
What skills, knowledge, or understanding does this qualification develop?
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 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 you are planning, e.g.
• Introduction to psychology
• Diet and nutrition.
How is this qualification different from other, similar qualifications?
Gateway Qualifications also offers a Level 2 Diploma in Applied Science and Technology; some of the units in the Diploma in Preparing for Further Study in Science also appear in this qualification.
Learners should choose the Diploma 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 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 you to research, produce, present and reflect on an extended project in Science, which directly mirrors the assessment approach of the Access to HE Diploma.
Which sector does this qualification support?
This qualification is not intended to support progression to employment. 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
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. However learners should take the Diploma if they have been advised that they would benefit from a significant period of time developing your knowledge, skills and understanding at Level 2 before progressing to an Access to HE Diploma, perhaps because they have been out of learning for a long while or are studying in English for the first time.
What are the progression options?
The Diploma in Further Study in Science is intended to support learners progression to an Access to HE Diploma in a related area. The Diploma will provide learner 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 practise your 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 you better prepared for further study.
Progression & entry requirements
There 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 their programme alongside the Diploma in Preparing for Further Study in Science.
Learners must be aged 18 or over to take this qualification.
Learners can also decide to take a unit, ‘Effective Learning’, which will give learners the opportunity to focus explicitly on developing the study skills will need to succeed on an Access to HE Diploma and on a degree course.
The minimum vocational content for this qualification is 90% (if you choose to include the unit ‘Effective Learning’); the maximum is 100%.