Social Sciences - Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma

Level 1 Diploma
Course Location


Stockport College


Stockport College

Further Details



Course Start Date


Course Duration

Full-Time - 1 year


Access to Higher Education

Course Overview

If you want to work in Health & Social Care, Social Work, Primary Teaching, Law and many other careers with a strong social sciences basis, this course will provide excellent preparation for a suitable Higher Education degree.

In 2019-20, 100% of students on our Access Social Sciences diplomas secured offers of university places. This compares with a progression rate of just 67% across all Access diploma courses in England and Wales.

The course runs over 3 days per week, classes between 9am and 3 or 4pm each day.

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.

Psychology, Criminology, Sociology.

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!

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.

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

If you are aged 19-23, and have not yet completed a level 3 course (e.g. A-levels, BTEC level 3 Diploma, Access to HE Diploma), there are usually no fees to pay. This is because your course fees are covered by the Level 3 Learner Entitlement.

If you are aged 19-23 and have already completed a level 3 course, or if you are aged 24 or over, the Access Diploma fees will be covered by an Advanced Learner Loan and if you go on to complete a higher education course, Student Finance England will ‘write off’ any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances you owe. Further information can be found at Advanced Learner Loan – GOV.UK (

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