Course overview

Environmental Science Access to HE City of Bristol College

This Access to HE course is a one-year, full-time Level 3 course specifically designed to enable you to develop the knowledge and study skills to progress into Higher Education.

You may already have some qualifications at GCSE, NVQ, BTEC or A Level but not enough to get to university.

I studied the environmental science access course, it was split into three really interesting topics (biology, environmental science, and geography). It had been seven years since I stepped inside a classroom and the staff made it such a nice environment to get back into swing of things (even with COVID), there was lots of support and help and I learnt a lot of valuable skills. I now study conservation biology & ecology with the University of Exeter. The access course took me from tending to bars to spending a summer working in conservation in South Africa. Would recommend!

– Ben Harris, Environmental Science Pathway student 2020-2021

Dates and applications

Please hover over the ‘i’ button to find out more about course fees and applications.

Environmental Science Access to HE Ashley Down Centre
Course Code
09/09/2024 - 20/06/2025
1 years
Date/Day(s) Being Finalised
Hours per week
Start Time
Ashley Down Centre
This course costs £3384. You may be able to study for free, if you are aged 19 to 23 and do not hold a full Level 3 qualification. You can also apply for a loan to cover your fees. Please contact us to discuss your payment options or visit our financial support page.
Enquire Apply
Course Code Dates Duration Days Hours per week Start Time Location Fee
LBF1821C01-1 09/09/2024 - 20/06/2025 1 years Date/Day(s) Being Finalised 14.00 Enquire Ashley Down Centre
This course costs £3384. You may be able to study for free, if you are aged 19 to 23 and do not hold a full Level 3 qualification. You can also apply for a loan to cover your fees. Please contact us to discuss your payment options or visit our financial support page.
Enquire Apply

Additional information

Who is this course for?

This course is for adults over 19 who want to enter Higher Education. You should already have GCSE Science, Maths and English at Grade 4 (C) or above.

What you'll learn

The Access course will equip you with the skills and knowledge to achieve your goal. You need to be very committed to study and focused on your career choice.

You will study Environmental Science, Geography and Biology.

The Environmental Science pathway will enable you to undertake studies relating to environmental issues such as; the impact of pollution on the environment, how human’s impact on the environment, the links between ecology and the environment, sustainable futures and sustainable food production, conservation techniques and how construction techniques can support sustainability.

Environmental Science

  • Core Concepts in Environmental Science
  • Climate Change
  • Environmental Damage and Protection
  • Introduction to Ecology
  • Sustainable Futures


  • Handling Scientific Data
  • Population Dynamics
  • Extended Project
  • Planning and Conducting a Scientific Investigation


  • Biological Molecules and Enzymes
  • Cells
  • Photosynthesis and Respiration
  • Use of Organisms for Genetic Purposes

Course entry requirements

  • Apply online via the Apply Now button at the bottom of this page
  • You will be required to include a personal statement (approximately one side of A4), within the application form. Please prepare this in advance before starting the application process. You will need to include:
    • Why you are applying for the course
    • What you would like to study at university, and why
    • Any experience you have in relation to the Access course, this may be educational, voluntary and/or work based
  • GCSE Science, Maths and English at Grade 4 (C) or above
  • Writing skills will be assessed prior to enrolment
  • Knowledge of course required at university
  • Strong desire to study
  • Commitment to study full-time for a year
  • Good organisation, motivation and enthusiasm

How is the course delivered and assessed?

  • 14 taught hours per week in college usually spread over three to four days
  • 20 self-study hours per week
  • Support from a personal tutor and Study Skills are included in the course

Assessment is:

  • Assignment-based
  • Coursework
  • Exams

Future career and study opportunities

The Environmental Science pathway will enable you to start to carve out a career in the ‘green energy revolution’ by introducing you to important concepts that will naturally lead to a university course that will prepare you even further to join one of the biggest growing economic sectors on the planet.

Through studying concepts such as sustainability, ecology and alternative energies in Environmental Science, and combined with modules in Geography such as sustainability issues to do with population and resources, and modules in Biology such as nutrient cycles and plant and cell biology, you will be well prepared to further excel at university which will lead to high-level employment in a sector that will save the planet from the woes of climate change.

There are also a number of HND/Foundation Degrees at City of Bristol College.

  • It is essential that you know what you want to study at university or college
  • Thoroughly research your intended university course and its entry requirements before you apply for an Access course
  • We recommend you visit universities on their Open Days
  • We have long-established links with universities
  • We offer guaranteed consideration for a Foundation Degree at City of Bristol College

Additional costs

As a City of Bristol College student, you may incur additional costs to attend your course. For example, it is likely you may need to pay for travel and stationery.

Many courses offer learning opportunities that you may need to pay for. This may include things like study visits and visiting speakers. We will let you know in advance if there will be additional costs.

If you are on a limited income, you may be able to receive help from our Learner Support Funding Bursary.

  • Career Coach
    For guidance on which career path to take, to explore career options related to our courses, find out which careers are in demand, and then get the training you need.

Where to find us