Introduction to Humanities and Social Science (Pre-Access)

The aim of this course is to provide appropriate preparation to enable progression onto a level three course. It would form the perfect starting point for those who ultimately would like to progress to university to fulfil career aims. It is ideal for those who may 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.

The course is generic and caters for subjects across Humanities and Social Sciences. Upon successful completion, the qualification is equivalent to five GCSEs, giving you the knowledge, core skills and confidence to progress onto a level three course in a range of subjects.

This full-time course is designed for mature students who may want to access university but don't currently have the required qualifications.

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

This course has start dates in September and February. You will attend college for three days a week for 12 weeks.

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

What will I study?

The course is a useful introduction to a range of subjects including History, Psychology, Sociology and Social Policy as well as core study skills including essay writing.

Each subject area will enable an exploration of the issues and is an excellent introduction to study in the key areas of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

At the end of the course there will be an optional three weeks for tutorials, career guidance and preparation sessions to further prepare you for the full Access to HE course in September. 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, assignments and short essays.

Do I need any previous qualifications to start this course?

To undertake this qualification, you do not need to have been in education recently and you do not need any formal qualifications. However, some achievement at level two, or a GCSE in English or maths is desirable.

If your ultimate career aim is progression into primary school teaching you will need GCSEs at grade 4 or above (equivalent to grade C or above), in English, maths and Science. You could study a GCSE alongside this course if you are starting in September.

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

What are the course fees?

If you are aged 19 or over, course fees are dependent on your personal circumstances and you may be eligible for funding to cover course fees.

If you are aged 19 - 23 and this is your first full level 2 qualification, 100% of your course fees will be covered. More information can be provided upon application.

For more information on financial support that may be available, please visit our dedicated finance page.

What can I go on to do once I have completed this course?

Upon successful completion of this course, you could progress onto one of our level three Access to HE Diploma's. Access to HE enables students to progress onto university in a variety of subjects and specialisms and could lead to a career in areas such as Teaching, Social Work, Social Policy, Criminology and the Law.

Those students who successfully complete the course (and have shown commitment and good attendance) will automatically be allowed to progress onto the Access to HE programme's here at St. Helens College and do not have to complete the diagnostic test to do so.

I'm interested in this course, what do I do next?

If you would like any further information in relation to this course, please contact our enquiries team directly on 0800 99 66 99 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or drop into our next Enrolment and Information Event. Alternatively, submit an application form to secure a place.

Ref: David Harrison