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Access to HE Diploma - Humanities and Social Science (Teaching/Social Work)


This course is suitable for students aged 19 and over.

This nationally recognised Access to HE qualification is designed for students who have life experience outside of formal education and would like to study at university but don't yet have the qualifications to gain entry. The Access to HE Diploma will help prepare students to progress on to higher education, including University Centre St Helens. This course is delivered via a range of methods both in and out of the classroom including tutorials, lectures, group tasks and presentations. If you are looking to pursue a career in teaching, social work and law (criminal justice), then this diploma is a great first step to achieving this.

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

The course will start in September and will take one year to complete. You will attend College for two days per week.

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

What will I study?

Based on your chosen career path, you will have the opportunity to study the following:

  • History
  • Sociology
  • Law or English
  • Development units

Higher education establishments have approved this combination for progression into teaching, social work and law (criminal justice). More information regarding other humanities and social science pathways is available upon enquiry.

Support is given throughout the course, including progression advice and guidance.

How is it assessed?

The course is assessed via a combination of coursework and controlled examinations.

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), 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 to higher education.

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.

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 £27,295 per year. For more information, please visit our dedicated Advanced Learner Loan page.

If you take out an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the course fees for an Access to HE course, and then successfully complete a degree, then you don't have to repay the outstanding loan for the Access to HE course.

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

Upon successful completion, you could undertake a degree in a variety of fields including social work, teaching, psychology, sociology, politics, English and history.

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 should I do next?

If you would like to submit an application to study this course, simply fill in our online form here.

However, if you still have questions in relation to this course and wish to receive further information, please submit your enquiry here.

Ref: Peter Gore/Dave Harrison/Brenda O'Brien