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Access Programmes 2013-2014 Course Handbook


WELCOME! Welcome to your Access course, there is an exciting year ahead of you that will result, if you’re successful, in your passport to a degree or other level 4 courses. This Access course will be hard work, but hopefully enjoyable and challenging. Always remember the course team is here to help you achieve your potential, so do not be afraid to ask for help if you feel you need it. The course team Study Skills (Course Programme Leader & Tutor) Core English & Sociology (Course Co-ordinator & Tutor) Course Co-ordinator & Tutor English Lit. (Course Co-ordinator &Tutor) Core English (Course Co-ordinator &Tutor) Biology Biology Maths (Option) Maths (Core) Maths (Core) Computing Computing & IT (Core) IT (Core) Business Psychology Law Education Studies English as a Foreign Language English as a Foreign Language

Rachel Hunn Hayley Johnson Alison Carlisle Ann Cadwallader Peter Holden Adam Sellars Edwin Mohammed Patrick Corke Sudah Anand Hifas Faiz Mike Bean Tim Cook Sam Robinson Peter Lavender Jeff Standen Orla McMahon Jane Hernon-Jarvis Susan Dempsey Vicky Dennis

Your Personal Tutor All learners have a Personal Tutor. Your tutor will welcome you to the College, help you to settle in and generally be there to give you help and information. Your tutor is usually your first point of contact with the College and a source of help. You will meet your tutor every week, usually as part of a tutor group but sometimes for a oneto-one discussion or review of progress. It is MOST important that you attend your weekly tutorial as vital information is imparted during these sessions and there are some tutorial assignments for which you can claim credit. You will meet your tutor at Induction. The induction programme introduces you to the staff, other learners, the course and the College. If you have any problems …see your tutor. To assist with ensuring that learners have every opportunity to receive assistance as and when possible, a course representative will be selected (by learners) from each tutorial group to facilitate the flow of information between staff and learners. It has been found in the past that learners will often talk with other learners more freely than with staff when problems arise. Therefore, having a designated representative to turn to can be an asset to the course.      2

QUALIFICATION AIM You will be aiming for an Access to HE Diploma, a nationally recognised and QAA approved qualification (equivalent to three A levels), validated by Aim Awards. This will help you gain access to university or other routes of Higher Education, such as a Nursing or Midwifery Learners who do not achieve the full certificate (partial achievers) will still receive credits for completed, assessed and moderated work, which may gain them entry to other FE courses or certification at a later date. A portfolio of work must still be assessed at the end of the course for this to happen.      COURSE FRAMEWORK & PATHWAYS Each course is made up of four core subjects; Study Skills, Maths and English (GCSE equivalence) and IT. Learners must also choose two option subjects from the list below: Education Studies Mathematics Business Biology Psychology Computing. Law English Literature Sociology

Any learner undertaking the Access to Health & Social Care pathway please remember that you must choose Biology as an option AND either Psychology OR Sociology. The number of credits you have to achieve in each subject will much depend upon which Access pathway you are enrolled on. Please choose carefully! Also remember from the outset not just to aim for the minimum number of credits in every subject. Each credit you gain equates to more knowledge and skills you have learnt. You will still need to prove to universities and nursing schools that you are the best student for that place you are striving to attain. So this is an opportunity for you to show them what you are capable of. Some institutions do not always interview students before deciding whether or not to offer you a place. They rely on your UCAS academic reference and the number of merits/distinctions you have achieved.


AIM AWARDS Access to HE Diploma Programme: Combined Studies Pathway Credit Target – 60 credits to include 45 at Level Three and 15 at Level Two or above. Subjects available within Programme MAIN SUBJECTS Biology Business Computing English Literature Law Mathematics Psychology Sociology Additional units From any chosen main subjects


Minimum Credits Required

Credits available

30 @ level 3

18 - 24 credits in each subject

6 @ level 3

As above

9 @ level 3

16 @ level 3

GCSE Equivalence*

English / Maths


12 @ level 2 (See additional information)

12 @ level 2 in each subject

At least 3 credits @ level 2

16 @ level 2


Total Specified


A maximum of 30 credits (50% of the credit target) can be claimed through APL, credit exemption and/or credit transfer. *N.B English GCSE/Equivalence is required for progression to HE and should be part of the learner’s achievement prior to entry to HE Learners may also undertake the formal Maths, English or Human Health & Physiology GCSE examinations additionally if required.


AIM AWARDS Health and Social Care Professions Programme (Degree) Nursing and Midwifery Pathway

Subjects/Modules Available within Pathway. Human Biology Social Studies  Psychology  Sociology and Social Policy  Health Studies  Work Based Learning (Maximum 6 credits) Study Skills

Mathematics Maths in a Nursing Context – 3 Credits and the following three AVA Maths GCSE Equivalence units; each 3 Credits  Collecting, Recording and Analysing Data  Shape, Space and Measurement  Number and Algebra Information Technology


Additional (not specified) From main subjects above

English Language (GCSE equivalence)


Credits Required for this Pathway 24 @ Level Three

12 @ Level Three

6 @ Level Three

12 @ Level Two

3 @ Level Two

42 @ Level Three 15 @ Level Two

3 @ Level Three

GCSE/Equivalence is required for progression but credits are not available in this pathway. 60

A maximum of 30 credits (50% of the credit target) can be claimed through APL, credit exemption and/or credit transfer. 5

Credit System All work undertaken by learners is marked using a credit rating system. This means that learners must meet the specified criteria of assessment to achieve the unit credits. Work undertaken on the Access course is marked at either Level 2 or Level 3, with level 3 being the required standard for most pieces of work. The table below illustrates the approximate equivalents between the credit framework and other forms of measuring achievement. Level 3 Level 2

A Level GCSE A* - C

GNVQ Advanced GNVQ Intermediate


The credit levels are defined on the UCAS website as follows: Level Two The acquisition of a broader range of competences, knowledge and understanding which demonstrates the extension of previous abilities in less predictable and structured contexts and prepares the learner to progress to further achievements. Level Three The acquisition of a more complex range of competences, knowledge and understanding in contexts which develop autonomous, analytical and critical abilities that prepare the learner to progress to further independent achievements. Unit grading system All level 3 assignments (Option subjects & Study Skills) will also be graded at either pass, merit or distinction level if your assignments are handed in by the designated submission date and all assignment criteria are fully completed as assigned to that assignment. Each assignment grade will lead to an overall unit grade of pass, merit or distinction. (Please note if an assignment does not meet all criteria in the first submission, after feedback is given the assignment may be improved upon and resubmitted, but a merit / distinction grade may only be given if submitted with the deadline, which should be of no longer than one week.      Assessment Assessment is on a continual basis. You will be assessed in a variety of ways; written assignments, tests, computer based assignments, debates, oral presentations, group presentations and by other methods. All assignments will be set using an assignment task sheet that contains information relevant to the criteria to be met and how you can attain a merit or a distinction. It also gives the submission dates. Upon completion of the work and after marking it will offer feedback from subject lecturers e.g. comments and/or advice for future work/amendments. If at first you do not achieve all assignment criteria, for the final submission, lecturers will give support you to improve and develop your work. For many learners their level of work develops over time.


In order to pass the course, you will also need to take a time-constrained assignment in each of your Option subjects. There will also be set assessment periods throughout the year when you will be asked to produce evidence of your progress and complete your log books. Your final assessment will be on the production of a portfolio of work, which will be submitted to the moderator at the end of the course. This will contain all the work for which you have been awarded credits and should be fully indexed. Your portfolio will be examined by an external moderator (appointed by AIM AWARDS) before your Diploma can be awarded at the Awards Board at the end of June. Do keep your subject portfolios up-to-date, don’t leave it to the last minute!      Assessment feedback We sometimes use error correction symbols when giving you assessment feedback. Meaning


Wrong word








Missing word






Word Order


This word is not necessary


Articles a/the/-)


Deadlines There will usually be a two-week deadline set for completion of each assignment which is detailed on the assignment brief and front cover sheets. You must stick to these deadlines, especially if you wish to strive to receive a merit or distinction assignment / unit grade. You will be given up to 1 week maximum to re-submit your corrections. If the corrections are minor you may only get a couple of days to complete these.


If you think you are not going to be able to meet the submission deadline for an assignment, you must ask the Programme Leader for a Late Submission Request form. You will have to complete this form, giving a valid reason why you need an extension. This must be agreed, otherwise your work cannot be graded any higher than a Pass. In some cases the assignment may not be marked at all and you may be in danger of failing the course.      Learning Styles You will be expected to study for several hours a week in excess of your set lessons, remember you are preparing for Higher Education in just 34 weeks. Classroom learning will depend upon which option subjects you choose, but lessons aim to be lively and stimulating with the staff using a variety of teaching/learning methods such as theory and practice, discussion and presentations which suit a range of learning styles.      Attendance Monitoring We want you to be successful on your course and to achieve your qualifications. It is therefore important that you attend all classes as good attendance is the key to being successful. The Attendance Monitor will work with you and your Tutors to promote good attendance. What will they do?  offer support if you are having problems which affect your attendance  refer you to Learner Services who can help with a range of personal problems and barriers to learning and attendance  refer you to your Tutor who will discuss your attendance and take action where appropriate What can you do?  Avoid unnecessary absences, for example, by making appointments outside College hours  Inform the Attendance Monitor if you are going to be absent for any reason  Telephone (01205) 365701, option 2, or e-mail, or text “BCABSENT” to 88020. Texts are charged at standard network rate. This information is also on the back of your ID badge  Please remember to give your name, ID number and reason for absence The Attendance Monitor is: Gail Bevan

We realise that absences are sometimes unavoidable, However attendance is linked to your success and also affects your place on the course. It is extremely important you inform your Tutor if you are cannot attend for any reason. Communication is vital – we are there to help, but we can only do this if you tell us what the problem is!


PLAGIARISM The use of other people’s work and the submission of it as though it was your own is known as plagiarism (plagiarism means theft of other people’s ideas). Any work forming part of an assignment, project, test or other assessment must be your own and must not contain any plagiarised material. Evidence of plagiarism will result in failure of the assessment. Any new assessment arrangement will be given with a strict completion date. You will also be subject to the College’s disciplinary proceedings. If you wish to quote material from a textbook or other source then this should be referenced in your assignment. Your subject lecturer or Personal Tutor will show you how to do this.      Using Research – academic conventions Using the Harvard Referencing system – the basics. Your assignments usually require you to undertake research and then use these ideas or facts in your written work. Even if you use the ideas or facts from other authors as a source of inspiration and put it in your own words you must name the authors, i.e. ‘cite’ where you found the information from. See the simple example below whereby the relevant authors are cited at the end of both sentences. You must cite the author’s(s’) surname(s) AND the year of publication. Remember to use “quotation marks” when quoting word-for-word, and if quoting directly from the original the page number is also required after the publication year. Learners are required to stretch themselves and try to participate in learning situations even if daunting; this is to prepare them for stressful situations that may arise in future employment (Cottrell, 2012). “To cope with stress effectively, we often need to redefine the situation from one of threat to one of challenge or opportunity” (Seal, 1997, p.15). At the end of your essay (next separate page) you should include a ‘References’ section that lists each source that you have cited in your essay. Items listed within your ‘References’ section are listed alphabetically (according to the author’s surname) and are usually written in the following style:


Research source type:

Examples of how each source should be listed in your References section:

A book

Seal, B. (1997) Academic Encounters: Human Behaviour, New York, Cambridge University Press.

Journal article

Lester, P. (1999) ‘Diet and Nutrition: Students and Protein’, Nutritional Studies 12 (3), 46-49 Explanation: this shows an article by P. Lester called ‘Diet and Nutrition: Students and Protein’ published in the journal Nutritional Studies, volume 12, issue number 3 on pages 46 to 49

Newspaper article

Internet article

Nash, I (2011) ‘Adult learning’, The Guardian, 17 May 2011. Cottrell, S. (2012) ‘Effective Study Strategies’ [online]. Available at [Accessed: 19 August 2012].

Directly after the References section, on the next separate page you will also need a Bibliography section. This is where you need to list all of your research, regardless of whether you have cited from the text or not.      COLLEGE CALENDAR 2013-2014 2013 September 2nd September 3rd September 26th October 3rd October 8th October 10th October 16th October 21st – 25th October 29th October 30th & 31st November 5th November 7th November 14th November 15th December 19th

Autumn term starts. Learner Services Induction week Spalding Enrolment Higher Education Fair at BCUC HE Parents’ Briefing ‘Going to University’ BCUC Spalding College in Action Boston College in Action Volunteer Fair at BCUC Half term HE Open Event Parents’ evenings School Taster day Boston College in Action Spalding College in Action Closing date for UCAS applications (internal) End of Autumn term


2014 January 6th January 23rd February 6th February 11th February 17th - 21st March 3rd - 7th March 4th & 5th April 4th April 22nd May 5th May 26th June 10th June 12th June 26th

Spring term starts HE Open Event Boston College in Action Spalding College in Action Half term for learners Careers week Parents’ evenings End of Spring term Summer term starts Bank Holiday Bank Holiday Spalding Open Event (Information) Boston Open Evening (Information) Summer term ends

Note Any learner taking holidays outside of holiday periods will be considered absent from the course. Learners receiving support from the College Bursary Fund need to be aware that they will not be paid for holiday periods taken outside the academic breaks.

     Required purchases Option Subject tutors will provide book lists. Some books may be borrowed, but learners may wish to purchase books to support their studies. Learners will need to provide their own stationery including memory sticks. Learners may apply to the learner support fund for help with purchasing books and materials.      Visits From time to time learners are invited to Open Days at Universities or Nursing Schools and wherever possible learners will be supported by their Course Tutor to enable them to attend. There may be opportunities for other visits to enhance your studies and you will be informed about them during the course.      Financial Assistance If you have financial difficulties you can apply for help from the College Bursary Fund, 19+ Learner Support Fund or 24+ Advanced Learning Loans Bursary Fund. This may help to meet the costs of: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Travel Books and equipment (16-18, 19+ only) Food (16-18, 19+ only) Specialist clothing required for your course (16-18, 19+ only) Childcare costs whilst at College (19+ and 24+ only) Exams/tuition costs (19+ only)

Some learners aged 16-18 are guaranteed help from the Bursary Fund – this includes:  learners living in care  recent care leavers  learners receiving Income Support or Universal Credit in their own right  learners receiving Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment in their own right. For further details please check with Learner Services staff 11

Childcare If you are under 20, you may qualify for Care to Learn payments for childcare costs. Please go to Learner Services for more information, or contact Care to Learn on 0845 600 7979 or visit the website at      SUPPORT SERVICES The College Mission Statement The College Mission Statement describes the type of College we provide for all our learners and staff. ‘to be a brilliant college that transforms people’s lives and makes an outstanding contribution to the economic, social and cultural life of Lincolnshire’. All learners at the College attend voluntarily so there is not a set of ‘College Rules’. We do however have a range of policies which describe the standards we expect and what we offer in return. To access all the learner related policies and procedures please look on Moodle, or ask your Personal Tutor for details.

     SAFEGUARDING STATEMENT Boston College places a high priority on the safety and wellbeing of our learners. We are committed to creating and maintaining a friendly, welcoming and safe working environment for all young people and vulnerable adults, whether learning is taking place on or off College premises. We have a duty to safeguard all learners, and we will respond immediately if there is a concern that a learner might be the victim of bullying, harassment, abuse or neglect. All staff are trained in safeguarding and there is a designated specialist Safeguarding Team to help with any concerns you might have about your own or someone else’s safety. If you need to contact the Safeguarding Team please go to:   

Main reception Learner Services The ‘Stay Safe’ button on Moodle E-mail

If you need to contact someone out of College hours about safeguarding contact: 

Children’s Social Care on 01522 782333 In an emergency situation dial 999 and call the police

An important part of safeguarding is making sure only authorised people are on our College premises. Please help us with this by carrying your ID badge at all times and showing it if asked by a member of College staff. At Boston College we respect everyone within the College community. We also emphasise respect for personal property and for the facilities of the College. We therefore, expect learners to work with us to create an environment where everyone feels safe and valued and can work to achieve their full potential. 12

Learner Services Your tutor will usually be the first person you go to for help and advice. However, in Learner Services there are specialist staff who can provide the following help, guidance and support: Careers Advice UCAS applications Student Loans Childcare support College Chaplain Travel information Benefits .... and many other areas!

Higher Education information Grants applications Financial Assistance Confidential Counselling Service Medical advice and treatment Accommodation Progression to other courses

See the learner services information on Moodle or call in to Learner Services.      Student Union (NUS) All learners of the College are automatically members of Boston College Student Union. At the beginning of the year we hold elections to choose the President and other officers of the Union (Secretary, Treasurer, Entertainment’s Officer etc.) Everyone is welcome to become active in the Union and we hope you will support their events.      Learner Identity cards At the beginning of the year you will be given an ID card. Please wear it at all times as this helps us to promote security and safety card. Try not to lose your ID card as this will mean a £5.00 replacement charge. POLICIES & CODE OF PRACTICE Learners will be familiarised with standards of behaviour, according to the College Charter and the use of College facilities during induction. An Action Plan will be made available for the use of learners. If a learner disagrees with an assessment, or a decision concerning them, there is an appeals procedure.


Student Policies At the College we have a range of policies detailing what the College will offer you and how we ensure high standards are maintained. To access the policies click on the links below. If this is not possible please ask your Tutor to provide you with a copy. Admissions Assessment and Examinations Assessment Malpractice Bullying and Harassment Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance Car Parking for Residential Learners Compliments & Complaints Procedure Computer Services Unit: Code of Conduct and Practice and Equality Impact Assessment Coursework / Self Study Drugs and Alcohol Financial Support for Learners Functional Skills Hall of Residence Disciplinary / Sanctions Higher Education Admissions Induction Code of Practice Information, Guidance and Support International Student Late Enrolment Learner Attendance Learner Disciplinary Policy and Procedure for Further Education Learners Mobile Electronic Equipment Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Safeguarding Learners Skills for Life and Learning Support Tutorial – Full Time Learners – Appendix 1 Weapons and Search Work Experience Equality and Diversity – see our page on Moodle Examination Policy Students Copy Important Exams Information for Candidates Access arrangements – General Access arrangements – International Students Examination Clashes Conduct of Exams Internal Appeals Procedure – Students Copy Appeals Procedure – Externally Marked Exams     


Other Information Additional information that you need to know about the course and College will be given to you during induction and tutorial sessions. Do remember that your Course Tutor is there to help and to answer any questions you may have.

Good Luck!      Boston College Skirbeck Road Boston Lincs PE21 6JF Telephone: 01205 365701 Fax: 01205 352738

Boston College: a learning organisation raising aspirations and meeting skills needs


Access course handbook 13 14  

Access course handbook 13 14

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