Access to HE Diploma (Humanities and Social Science)

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 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.

Our Access to HE Diploma (Humanities and Social Science) offers students the opportunity to progress to degree level study on relevant humanities and social science programmes such as History, English, Teaching, Sociology, Law and Criminology, Politics and Social Policy. It's a demanding but fulfilling course that gives students the skills to flourish in higher education, and progress to careers in areas such as education, social work, criminal justice, housing and local government, and the legal profession. You will also develop the specialist study skills you will need to be successful at university such as academic writing, research and planning.

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

The course has start dates in January and September. The course will take one year to complete.

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

What will I study?

The Access to HE diploma in humanities and social science covers units drawn from a range of topics as well as core study skills.

This diploma consists of the following modules:

  • History
  • Sociology
  • Law
  • English
  • Core Studies
  • Personal Development

Academic and tutorial support is given throughout the course, and you'll receive help and advice with your university application throughout the UCAS process.

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 recommend that you have a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 or above (equivalent to grade C or above) including English and maths.

However, if you don't have these GCSEs, don't let this be a barrier to realising your aspirations. We have a range of options available to help you gain qualifications and provide the stepping stones needed to get to university. Students with alternative qualifications may be considered and all applicants will be required to undertake a diagnostic exercise, as well as an interview, before being offered a place.

We intend to recruit students from a varied range of backgrounds and experience onto this courses. Offers of a place on the course will not be based solely upon academic qualifications alone and related skills gained in the workplace will also be considered. The final decision in terms of acceptance into the course will lie with the Programme Leader.

Application Procedure

All applicants who meet the entry criteria should complete our online application form.

You will then be invited to undertake a diagnostic exercise, upon successful completion of this, you will be invited to interview. Candidates who successfully pass the interview will be offered 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 or over, you could also choose to apply for an 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 £25,000 per year. For more information, please visit our dedicated Advanced Learner Loan page.

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

UUpon successful completion, this qualification will prepare you to undertake a degree in a variety of fields including Social Work, Teaching, Psychology, Sociology, Politics, English and History. You could also progress directly onto our foundation degree in Social Policy, Health and Housing or Criminal Justice at University Centre St Helens.

Depending on your chosen progression route, some universities may expect you to have gained experience working in a relevant setting. You are strongly advised to check the entry requirements for your preferred universities.

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.. You could also drop into our next Enrolment and Information Event. Alternatively, submit an application form to secure a place.

Ref: Peter Gore/Dave Harrison