Accessibility statement

Mature applicants

We welcome mature applicants, whose skills and experience are valued by staff and students. We are happy to consider applications with either A levels (normally biology and chemistry for biology courses, chemistry for the biochemistry courses) or appropriate science access or foundation course programmes.

Your application will be considered individually and on its own merit. You may wish to email us about your situation, and in any case if you are in any doubt about the suitability of your qualifications, we suggest that you contact us before making a formal application through UCAS.


To secure a place as a mature student on a degree programme in Biology or Biochemistry at York, we would be looking for recent qualifications in biology and chemistry at a sufficiently advanced level to cope with the course, together with evidence of some of the key skills needed for studying at degree level. If you do not already have these qualifications, a good way forward would be for you to take A levels, possibly on a part-time basis, at your local college.

In this case, we would require:

  • Biology
    • Biology to A level
    • Chemistry at least to AS level
  • Biochemistry
    • Chemistry, preferably with another science/maths to A level

Alternatively, you could take an appropriate Access to HE course. Access courses are designed to prepare adults for entry to degree courses, and provide the opportunity to study the necessary subjects at a level equivalent to A level, as well as ensuring that you have the key skills needed for higher level study, such as English, numeracy and ICT.

Access or foundation courses

Access courses are offered by local further education (FE) colleges, and most can be completed in one year, or over two years on a part-time or evening-only basis. You would need to make sure that the particular Access course you are considering is appropriate, and it would certainly need to include a high proportion of the more advanced Biology and Chemistry units (Chemistry units for Biochemistry courses). The Access tutors at the College would be able to confirm that this is the case. FE Colleges have regular information and enrolment events, and you can contact them at any time of the year by phoning or visiting.

Mature students may also have taken a Foundation course, and again we would be looking especially for evidence of an appropriate background in Biology and Chemistry (Chemistry for Biochemistry courses).

We usually interview mature students, especially in the case where students are taking a Foundation or Access course, as these are more variable in their content than A level courses, and in the case of Access courses are graded only on a pass/fail basis.