Access to Higher Education - Social Science pathway

Course Overview

This course is designed to prepare mature students for University level study. If you want to work in Health & Social Care, Social Work, Youth Justice or Law this course will give you an excellent introduction to the subject. The course is also essential for adults who want to read any social science related degree at university (e. g. sociology or psychology), and who may consider taking a post-graduate certificate in secondary and FE teaching after such a degree.

Individuals interested in politics, current affairs, social theory and cultural studies will find that there is much in this particular course that will consolidate their interests. In addition the course will prepare them intellectually and academically for a degree in any social science related subject.

In 2016-17, 100% of students on our Nursing and Health Science Access courses secured university places. This compares with a progression rate of just 58% across all Access Social Science courses in England and Wales. Testimonials from past students can be found on the course’s Facebook page at

Course Requirements

The course requires you to have achieved GCSE English Language and Maths at grade C or above/grades 4-9.

The pathway will run subject to minimum numbers being reached.

Mandatory Units

Psychology, Criminology, Sociology.

Course Progression

Most university admissions tutors will accept the Access to HE Diploma as an entry qualification for Higher Education, but there may be some degrees for which this certificate alone may not be acceptable. The suitability of the course for your ultimate career aim will be discussed at interview.

Progression from this pathway can be on to degree programmes such as Social Care, Criminology & Sociology, Psychology & Counselling, Social Work, Policing Law & Investigation and more.

Please note that whilst your subject tutors and Personal Tutor will make every effort to support your application for a university place, progression onto a specific higher education course cannot be guaranteed. It can be a highly competitive process, and your tutors, together with the college Careers Advisers, will try to give you realistic advice as to your chances of progression. Alternative routes into the career of your choice can be discussed.

One of past students, Sophie Porter, provided the following case study;
I studied Criminology, Sociology and Social Work on the Access to HE Course. I absolutely loved the Access course and it changed my life. It opened my eyes to the importance of education and showed me that academia can be fun. I also met lovely like-minded people who are still dear friends to this day. I am now studying a Social Work degree at MMU and feel this only happened because of the access course. If anyone is thinking of applying I would say DO IT! It’s a brilliant course and has helped so many people get into higher education – and enjoy it!

Course Assessment

Assessments include essays, practical reports, case studies, open or closed-book examinations and verbal, visual or IT-based presentations. All modules will include an element of time-constrained assessment which will contribute towards the final module grade.

Course Finance

The fees for the course in 2019 are £3022. Fees are due at enrolment and an instalment plan is available. Once you have enrolled you are liable for the full year's fee, regardless of whether the full year is completed or not.

You are able to take out an Advanced Learner Loan for the tuition fees (the registration fee cannot be included, this must be paid yourself). This loan will be wiped out once you have completed a Higher Education programme.

Course Includes

On this pathway you will study the following units:
• Sociology
• Psychology
• Criminology

The course runs for an academic year and you will be attending three days per week. You will be attending for 14.5 hours per week (13.5 hours of lessons and 1 hour of tutorial). You will also need to allow at least 6 hours for private study and assignment completion. Days of study are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.


Upon successful completion of this course you will be awarded an Access to Higher Education Diploma from Open Awards.

Quality Assurance

QA systems are embedded throughout the College and the College is regulated by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). The College is also routinely inspected by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills).

Course Additional Information