Initial Year Science

About the course


The Extended Science Degree is designed as a preparatory year to enable you to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills you need to progress to the first year of many of our science Degrees:

You apply for this course via UCAS using the UCAS Code BCF0. You don’t need to decide which course you will progress to at this point. Your tutor will support you with making a decision and supporting you through the application of progression. Progression is dependent on achievement. Please note that some courses have specific academic and non-academic requirements in order to progress such as an interview and/or satisfactory DBS.  Please contact us to find out which requirements apply to which course.

The Extended Degree is suitable for UK/EU students. Non-EU students are advised to apply to the International Foundation Programme instead:

You may choose from the following Science Degree Courses

Subjects in the Hertfordshire Higher Education Consortium

Single Honours Subjects

Study Location

The initial year is taught at North Hertfordshire College and West Herts College (subject to approval). You will be taught over two semesters (A and B). In semester A, you will study three core modules in addition to either Mathematics for Scientists or Mathematics. In semester B you will study one core module and choose three optional modules depending on the honours degree you intend to progress to when you complete your Extended degree. 

On successful completion of the initial year you will continue on to your degree studies at the University of Hertfordshire.

You will study 1 year at the college and progress onto the University of Hertfordshire for another 3 years (full-time) – 4 years total.

Or you will study 1 year at the college and progress onto the University of Hertfordshire for another 4 years (sandwich or MPharm) – 5 years total

The Extended Degree in Science is due to be validated at a Validation event which will be held on 12th May 2016. 

We anticipate that there may be further enhancements made to the programme as a result of the Validation.

Therefore our website/brochure will be updated following completion of the Validation process in order to provide applicants with further confirmed details on the following:

  • - Study location

Why choose this course?

This programme is an ideal alternative route to higher education as it prepares you for progression to a suitable Honours degree at the University of Hertfordshire. 

Entry requirements...

2016 entry 

120 or more UCAS points which can be made up of at least a full 4-unit A level (A2), a BTEC National Award or equivalent plus GCSE at Grade C or above including Maths, English Language and Science or equivalent.

Applications are also welcomed from mature applicants who are considered on the basis of employment experience in addition to formal qualifications.

Overseas students would be expected to have attained a minimum IELTS of 6.0 (with no less than 5.5 in any band) or equivalent before commencement of their studies.

If you do not have the required level of English for entry, our academic English and foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.

2017 entry 
UCAS are introducing a new tariff for 2017 entry so the points being asked for are substantially different to previous years.

48 UCAS points 

IB - 48 points with a minimum of 1 HL subject at grade 4 or above (with the remaining points to come from a combination of HL, SL and Core).

GCSE Maths, English Language and Science at grade 4 or above.


When you complete your chosen degree you may apply for jobs/ further training in the industry/ service of your choice. Your career options will depend on your chosen degree from subjects including: Applied Biology, Astrophysics, Geography, Pharmaceutical Science, Environmental Studies, Sports Sciences and Nutrition. Some examples of eventual careers are: scientific work in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry; environmental science; teaching; management; and in the food industry and retailers. 

Teaching methods

You'll spend an initial year gaining all the knowledge you need to progress to the first year of any of the University of Hertfordshire's Honours degrees. You will spend a majority of your time at North Hertfordshire College carrying out project and laboratory work. The lab sessions have been developed so you'll undertake practical activities in each of the science disciplines, while the project allows you to pursue a topic in your own chosen discipline.


Year 0

Core Modules

  • Individual Project

    This module will give students the opportunity to plan and carry out a project approved by the module teaching team. The project must be a practical scientific investigation which will typically allow students to collect data and will usually involve several laboratory sessions. Students will be expected to carry out sufficient research on the investigation to plan an extended piece of practical work. These practicals should be risk assessed by the student who will then carry out the investigation demonstrating safe working within the laboratory environment. Students will present a project report and poster presentation, demonstrating appropriate IT skills, which will summarise their findings both from their research and the practical investigation usually leading to their conclusions and evaluation.

  • Introductory Biology

    This module has been designed to provide students with a broad background in biology and will include: • Cell theory, describing how cells do the things they do; typically, we will look at the major organelles such as the mitochondria and demonstrate how structure relates to function. • Biochemistry, giving a closer look at the molecules of which we are made; the organic systems composed of chemicals reacting together; the major groups of chemicals usually including carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and DNA. • Body systems, demonstrating how the human body is the sum of its parts; this section will typically include the circulatory and respiratory systems and will normally incorporate cell theory and biochemistry. The course will incorporate many types of learning activity, including lectures, practicals and workshops. The whole is supported by the use of blended learning including VLE's, emails, and mobile technology where appropriate.

  • Introductory Chemistry

    This module will provide the students with an introduction to chemistry. Topics covered include atomic structure and the periodic table, chemical bonding and its relationship to physical properties, and an introduction to organic chemistry. Completion of the module will typically develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of chemistry and how they relate to each other. The development of practical skills such as titration and carrying out experiments safely will be important. This is the foundation knowledge in chemistry which will allow students to continue to study chemistry at a higher level.

  • Introductory Physics

    This module will typically enable students to gain an understanding of physics to support other sciences and prepare for the Physics module through a combination of lectures, practical workshops and directed study. Topics covered typically include: reflection and refraction of light; diffraction and interference of waves; the properties of the waves across the electromagnetic spectrum; the relationship between heat and temperature; electrical power and energy; speed, distance, acceleration and force. Presentation skills will typically be developed though presentation of researched information to groups of learners. Topics may be chosen to provide supporting knowledge and understanding of the use of apparatus and equipment in biology and chemistry.


  • Advanced Mathematics

    The module develops skills in integral calculus, typically enabling students to integrate using inspection, substitution and by parts. Partial fractions and trigonometric identities may be used to simplify functions prior to integration. The course also develops skills in solving trigonometric equations typically by considering the key properties of the functions. Simple graph transformations may be used to determine the number of solutions to a trigonometric equation. Simple proofs using established identities may be used to simplify and solve a variety of trigonometric equations.

  • Applied and Environmental Biology

    The module looks at the ways in which Biochemistry of DNA and protein synthesis is applied in industry and research. Students will study the principles of Genetics, Gene technology, Inheritance and what this means to the individual and the species. They will relate these to the ways in which they are applied commercially and they will also examine the impact of agriculture on plant cultivation and basic ecology. The module also studies the biochemistry of energy production and the pathways through which the energy is transferred in the biome and ways in which we seek to control the outcomes. The module gives a wide understanding of the relationships between living things and their environment, which gives a context for more specialised study at a higher level. This module will provide students with the opportunity for further study in Biology, and is particularly suitable for students wishing to study a degree in Molecular Biology, Genetics or Environmental Science.

  • Chemistry

    This module will provide students with an opportunity for further study in chemistry building on the concepts studied in Introductory Chemistry. It is particularly suitable for students wishing to study a course in biological sciences. This module provides candidates with a quantitative study of physical chemistry including rates of reaction, equilibrium and acids and bases. Organic chemistry is further developed in the context of aromatic chemistry, isomerism and the reactions of several functional groups. Students will typically carry out experimental and investigative activities integrated with the theory to develop their practical skills.

  • Mammalian Physiology

    This module offers a good base in human/mammalian biology. You will begin to understand how our bodies communicate needs and desires necessary for survival in a hostile world. Mammalian Physiology will typically include the control of reproduction, integration of nervous and hormonal control of bodily functions, the role of various healthy body systems and what happens under disease conditions. It is an ideal course for those wishing to pursue further study in Biomedical Science and Physiology.

  • Mathematics

    The module majors in the differential calculus, typically enabling students to differentiate polynomials and a selection of other simple functions. Appended to this is an exploration of the initial steps in the integral calculus, typically enabling students to reverse the differentiation of the most basic functions. Topics such as exploration of logarithmic and exponential functions with some experience of their applications will be explored. There will be some further treatment of algebra and an initial exploration of vectors. Two dimensional geometry will also be treated using the techniques of trigonometry and Cartesian coordinate geometry.

  • Mathematics for Scientists

    This module gives students the opportunity to develop mathematical skills that are needed for the continued study of science. The module majors on the use of number skills, algebra and basic trigonometry. Graph work typically includes the drawing of graphs, the recognition of different forms of graphs and the role which graphs have frequently played in scientific research. Data is portrayed with summary statistics and graphs, usually involving both manual work and the use of appropriate IT. Inferences about the data will usually be drawn from graphs or summary statistics.

  • Physics

    This module is to develop students understanding of physics as a preparation for physics based courses at the university through a combination of lectures, practical workshops and directed study. Students will typically develop an understanding of electricity and magnetism including the principles of electromagnetism; electric circuits; forces and momentum and the basic concepts of nuclear physics and radioactive decay. Students may have the opportunity to develop their skills of selection and use of appropriate formulae for calculations and recording and analysis of data from practical work.

  • Statistics

    This module gives students the opportunity to work with descriptive statistics, probability theory and some statistical inference. Descriptive statistics will typically include the study of averages (such as the mean, mode and median) and of measures of dispersion (such as the standard deviation) and may also consider the use and interpretation of statistical graphs. The study of probability theory will usually include the use of formal set notation, tree diagrams, conditional probability and the evaluation of simple normal probabilities. The study of statistical inference may cover the use of rank correlation and at least one of the non-parametric sign tests.

Fees & funding

Fees 2016

UK/EU Full Time Fee £6000

UK/EU PT Fee £750 per 15 credits

International applicants are unable to study at our associate Colleges if a Tier 4 Student Visa is required. This is due to the majority of study taking place off University Campus at one of our associate Colleges. If you do not require a Tier 4 Student Visa to study in the UK please complete a fee assessment form and we can let you know if you are eligible to study at one of our associate Colleges.

Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

View detailed information about tuition fees

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

How to apply


Start DateEnd DateLink
15/09/201623/05/2017Apply online (Full Time)


Start DateEnd DateLink
15/09/201723/05/2018Apply online (Full Time)