We're the TOP FE College for Education and Training in Cornwall

Science Gateway

at Newquay University Centre Cornwall College

Find a courseFAQs

Discover Science Gateway

This programme is ideal if you would like to study any of the science-based Foundation Degrees (FdSc) we offer, but don’t have the right qualifications or grades to do so. The Science Gateway will prepare you for success on our FdSc programmes by helping you develop your knowledge in relevant areas of biology and chemistry, your practical skills, and your academic study skills. The programme runs for one year at Cornwall College’s thriving Newquay campus.

Progression from Science Gateway

All of the following FdSc programmes are available with a prior Science Gateway study option:

FdSc Animal Behaviour and Welfare with Science Gateway

Apply on UCASCourse Information

The programme is for students interested in working with animals, for example in a zoo, on a farm or with companion animals. Applicants wishing to increase their knowledge in areas such as animal behaviour, training, nutrition, welfare and biology and those interested in improving their practical skills and experience with a range of animals, will benefit from this programme.

FdSc Marine Biology with Conservation with Science Gateway

Apply on UCASCourse Information

To us at Newquay University Centre Cornwall College, there’s nothing more exciting or enigmatic than our oceans. With so much still undiscovered, our marine habitats are the last of the wild frontiers left to explore. And with human impact on our underwater world at an all-time high, now is the crucial time to better understand and protect it.

FdSc Surf Science with Science Gateway

Apply on UCASCourse Information

If you are passionate about surfing and the surfing environment and want to pursue a career in the surf industry, then this unique course is for you.

FdSc Zoology with Ecology and Conservation with Science Gateway

Apply on UCASCourse Information

Globally we are thinking more than ever about our natural world, the world has moved on from the traditional thinking of zoology, where habitats and species exist in almost isolated units, to more progressive thinking of ecosystems operating with both animal and habitat reliant on the other.

Find out more about Newquay University Centre

Frequently Asked Questions

What if after completing my Science Gateway year I want to study a different programme than the one I initially applied for?

Sometimes your interests change during your course, or your studies help you to better understand the career path wish to pursue. If you decide you wish to study a different programme offered by us then it is possible to change provided that you complete the required internal paperwork and meet specified deadlines. If you decide that you wish to progress to a programme at another provider then you will need to apply through UCAS and they will consider your application against stated entry criteria.

The programme that is best for you will depend on your own circumstances and there are advantages and disadvantages of each route to undergraduate study. If in doubt do talk to us as we offer Access to Science courses at different campuses and can help advise you on the option that is best for you.

Access courses differ in structure, and assessment from the gateway year. As an access student you will apply to university through UCAS and will be made an offer that is conditional on passing your Access Diploma to a specified standard. Gateway students have already applied through UCAS so progress automatically to the next year of study on completion of the year to pass standard. One important difference is cost and financial support available. An access course is a further education programme whilst the gateway year is a higher education course. For most applicants, an Advanced Learner Loan is available to cover the cost of your access course. This loan is written off if you subsequently complete an undergraduate degree, meaning that it is not added to your loan repayments after graduating. The gateway year costs the same as each year of your undergraduate programme with us.

Most UK applicants will be eligible for a student loan to cover tuition costs with additional maintenance loan funding available to cover living costs, subject to various eligibility criteria that you can find on the Student Loans Company website (www.slc.co.uk).  Currently it is possible to take out loans to cover four years of higher education, for example to fund your gateway year, the following two years of a FdSc programme, and a fourth year to complete a BSc (Hons) top up (if eligible).

You will not get a recognised qualification on completion of your gateway year, which is purely to prepare you for your subsequent undergraduate programme. This type of programme, often called a ‘Year Zero’ or ‘Extended Degree’ is however well understood by universities and colleges across the UK.

During the one year programme you will study the following modules: Foundation Biology, Further Biology, Practical and Field Studies in Biology, Foundation Chemistry, Further Chemistry, Quantitative Methods and Study Skills for Scientists.

You will usually attend for two intensive days each week for a mixture of lectures, practical laboratory work, fieldwork, group seminars and 1-to-1 tutorials. If you are completing a GCSE (or Functional Skills) in either maths or English as part of your gateway year you may also need to attend evening classes.

This is an intensive programme and you will need to be committed and work hard. You will be taught for 12-14 hours per week and will be required to complete a similar amount of self-directed study at home or in our Learning Resources Centre. We will provide a reading list in advance and you will need to prepare before starting this programme.

You will study six 20 credit modules and each will be assessed using different methods. These include assignments, formal examinations, practical work and presentations.

The Science Gateway course includes modules designed to prepare you for Higher Education.  These modules will be assessed in a range of ways, including essays, reports, exams, presentations, and practical tasks.

Foundation Biology (30 Credits)
This module introduces learners to the key principles in biology – no prior knowledge is required. The module also provides a range of opportunities to complete laboratory practical work. Learners will develop competence in key practical techniques and build confidence in a laboratory setting.

Foundation Chemistry (30 Credits)
This module introduces learners to the key principles of chemistry – no prior knowledge is required. Beginning with atomic theory the module progresses to chemical bonding and organic chemistry. Finally, the module includes an introduction to environmental chemistry with a focus on plastics and pollutants. Theory is supported by practical work.

Fieldwork Techniques (20 Credits)
This module introduces basic ecological concepts such as biomes, nutrient cycles, food webs, and the classification of plants and animals.  It also provides a range of opportunities to plan and undertake field surveys. Learners will phrase and test hypotheses, develop competence in key practical and analytical techniques and build confidence in field settings.

Research Techniques (20 Credits)
This module encourages students to engage with the primary literature, becoming comfortable with identifying appropriate sources and articles, interpreting and extracting relevant information, and communicating that information through different methods.

Study Skills for HE (20 Credits)
This module helps refresh basic mathematical and literacy skills needed to start in Higher Education and develops research and study skills needed for success.

Entry Requirements

Applicants will usually possess GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade C or above in English and maths, but it is possible to complete one GCSE (or equivalent) alongside the programme (for students aged over 21 years) with suitability assessed at interview.

Fees, funding and applications

The Science Gateway year is recognised by the Student Loans Company as a Higher Education programme, so you may have access to student finance (for further information, please see the Student Finance website). The Science Gateway will be charged at the same annual fee as the FdSc that you wish to progress to.

If you would like to apply for one of our FdSc with the Science Gateway option, please use the relevant UCAS code as listed on our website.

Please do contact us if you would like to find out more about this programme and discuss whether it is the best way for you to access our science programmes.