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Access to Higher Education: Land-based Studies (Animal and Countryside management), Level 3

  • 3

    Level 3

  • Duration
    1 year

  • Start Date
    September 2024

  • Venue
    Easton College

  • Course Code

Start Date

  • September 2024, Full Time


The Access to Higher Education Diploma in Land-based Studies is a qualification delivered at Easton campus which prepares students aged 19 and over, without relevant qualifications, for study at degree level. The Access programme will qualify you to study a range of ecology and conservation degrees, including agriculture, wildlife and conservation.

The programme is modular and will be delivered over 2.5 days a week. It covers relevant aspects of science including science of life, biochemistry and bioscience.

Further units in this course will cover business, study skills and land-based skills. Additionally you will study a research project across the year and also choose a pathway pair of units, normally from animal science and welfare and ecology and conservation, although which pathway is offered is dependent upon enrolment numbers.

Please note that, should you require further study in English, Maths or Digital Skills, these sessions will be offered at both Paston College in North Walsham and in City College Norwich.

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Entry Requirements

This course is suitable for students aged 19 or over and acceptance onto the Access programme is conditional on:

Providing evidence of achievement in English Language and Mathematics at GCSE grade A*-C or Grade 4 and above. In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to accept a Functional Skills Level 2 pass in these subjects instead but this is very much dependent on individual applications and planned progression routes. Please note that most Universities will require GCSE qualifications.

As this course contains science modules, a Grade c/4 pass at GCSE Biology would be beneficial but a good understanding and ability to study science is necessary.

Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading), the required minimum is; IELTS (SELT); 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components) International candidates are also actively encouraged to access the International Students webpage.

Selection to discuss your suitability for the course and whether the course is right for you is by interview and evidence of your GCSE (or equivalent) qualifications. As part of this process you may be required to complete online assessments and submit a short piece of writing. Advice can be given about alternative ways forward if necessary.

All candidates will be given a Digital Skills assessment and will be offered a short course to improve this area of their knowledge if this is deemed suitable.

Please research Higher Education requirements very carefully.



You will be supported throughout the course by a personal tutor who will also give you guidance in applying for Higher Education courses. There are 60 credits across the diploma with 45 of these graded Pass, Merit or Distinction. All credits are awarded at level 3 which broadly equates to A-level study. Assessment is continuous over the whole year and is based on a number of set pieces of work such as essays, projects, presentations and examinations.


The Access to Higher Education Diploma land-based at Easton campus is widely recognised by UK universities. If you are planning to study a degree course at a specific university, it would be useful to contact them to check that the Access Course you have chosen is in an appropriate subject area and is recognised by the university or college. Please be aware that university entry criteria can change at any time.

Students progress to a range of higher education institutions and frequently undertake degrees at Easton and University of East Anglia.

Career Progression

After completion, many students progress into the following careers: zoo-keepers, vet assistants, animal charity workers, vet nurses, conservationists, wildlife conservation, sustainability, rangers, estate workers and more.


Please contact the Advice Shop for information on fees and financial support which may be available. We recommend you also check our Finance pages for further information including student travel offers.

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