Widening access to science
Argyll College provides an alternative entry route to a university degree
EDUCATION Scotland’s report ‘ Sciences for All’ highlighted the fact that sciences are vital for growth of key economic sectors in Scotland such as energy, the creative industries (including digital), food and drink, and life sciences.
It’s estimated that physics- based industries alone contribute £12.5 billion and 184,000 jobs to the Scottish economy and a further 95,000 jobs are expected to be created in the Scottish energy sector by 2020. Notably, eight out of 10 of the highest starting salaries go to graduates with science-related degrees.
From this September, Argyll students can study an HNC in Applied Sciences at Argyll College UHI, a partner in the University of the Highlands and Islands. This is an alternative entry route to a university degree for school leavers or mature students contemplating a career change. It’s a wide-ranging course which incorporates subjects such as physics, biology, chemistry, ecology and ecosystems, human structure and microbiology: it’s perfect if you haven’t yet decided which discipline is for you.
It is often thought that sciences, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers are only available to those with a university degree but many opportunities also exist for technician- level roles and this one- year course is a great entry level qualification.
Skills gained through the sciences can also open doors to careers in many other sectors, and qualities such as the ability to solve problems, make accurate predictions and draw valid conclusions can be widely applied.
The practical laboratory elements of the HNC will be delivered at the world- renowned Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) UHI at Dunstaffnage. Marine science is a major sector of the North Argyll economy and the development of this HNC reflects Argyll College UHI’s curriculum development in response to local needs, in partnership with a fellow academic partner of the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Shona Magill, head of student services and quality manager at SAMS UHI, said: ‘ SAMS is delighted to support the HNC Applied Science programme at Argyll College UHI and we look forward to welcoming the first cohort of students. The programme is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the wonderful environment of Argyll as well as providing key skills for future employment. It will also be an excellent stepping stone to university, potentially to study on the marine science degree at SAMS. ‘’
John McLuckie, curriculum manager at Argyll College UHI, said: ‘ In the five years to 2013, we have seen employment in the life sciences industry in the Highlands and Islands increase by 600 per cent, there are also a wide range of opportunities in the marine science sector so we have developed the HNC Applied Sciences course in response. We are eager to widen access to STEM subjects for students wishing to remain in Argyll, and we feel that this is a great first step for our science provision.’
The HNC Applied Sciences starts in September and applications are now being accepted. Staff at Argyll College UHI’s Oban centre can advise on entry requirements and funding options, and can be contacted on 01631 559500.
The practical laboratory elements of the HNC will be delivered at world-renowned Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) UHI at Dunstaff nage.
From this September, Argyll students can study an HNC in Applied Science at Argyll College UHI.