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Access to HE Diploma (Social Science/Social Work)

The aim of this Access to HE qualification is to provide appropriate preparation and a recognised qualification for progression to university. This is ideal if you have missed out on an opportunity to study previously; whether you are looking to develop new skills to boost your career prospects, you want to gain entry to university or change your career direction.

This part-time, evening course is designed for mature students who want to access university. It is the equivalent of three A levels, completed in one academic year. It is an intensive programme but will assist you with study skills, confidence building and applying for university. Your learning will take place alongside like-minded people in a supportive environment with experienced, friendly tutors.

Social work and social science are exciting subject areas. The social sciences focus on human behaviour such as; why do we do the things we do? What do we value as individuals and as a society? What motivates us?

This diploma in social work and social science is designed to give you the knowledge, core skills and confidence to progress onto degree courses in social work, social welfare, sociology, criminal justice, social policy or psychology.

When will I start the course and how long will it take?

The course will start in September. The course will last for one academic year, with attendance being for two evenings per week. There are a mixture of learning methods including attendance at college on a part-time basis, online tutorials and 20 hours of independent study.

The course takes place at St Helens College, Town Centre Campus, St Helens, WA10 1PP.

What will I study?

The Access to HE diploma in social work and social science covers units drawn from a range of topics as well as core study skills. This diploma consists of the following modules:

  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Criminology
  • Social Policy
  • Psychology
  • Study Skills

You will study alongside like-minded people in classes delivered by friendly supportive tutors.

How is it assessed?

The course is assessed via a combination of coursework and controlled examinations. Each subject offers five units; each unit is worth three credits. Students need sixty credits in order to pass the course.

Do I need any previous qualifications to start this course?

To undertake this qualification, you do not need to have been in education recently.

We do recommend that you have a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 or above (equivalent to grade C or above), including English and maths. Unfortunately we cannot accept equivalent qualifications such as functional or key skills.

However, if you don't have these GCSEs, don't let this be a barrier for realising your aspirations. We have a range of options available to help you gain these qualifications and provide the stepping stones needed to get to university.

All applicants will need to undertake, and pass a diagnostic exercise followed by interview to successfully secure a place on the course.

What are the course fees?

Course fees are dependent on your personal circumstances and you may be eligible for funding. For more information on the financial support that may be available, please visit our dedicated Adult Financial support page.

If you are aged 19+ you could also choose to apply for a 19+ Advanced Learner Loan to cover your course fees enabling you to study now, pay later. Loan eligibility isn't dependent on income or employment status and there is no credit check. Loan repayments don't start until you have finished your course and earn over