Minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above including English and Mathematics
1 academic year
Key Features & Benefits
- Get an Advanced Learner Loan - pay nothing upfront for this course
- Get onto University courses with just one year of study
- You can get help with childcare costs
The Access to Higher Education Diploma - Social Sciences provides excellent preparation for people who wish to study social, youth and community related courses at University level. This course is especially designed for mature students who do not have the necessary academic qualifications to apply for University level study but who wish to study at University level in the future.
Social work is all about people. Social workers must form constructive relationships with individuals and families who are facing challenges. The social worker supports and works with their clients to help them to find long-lasting solutions to their difficulties and to make improvements in their lives. Professionally qualified social workers are helped in their day-to-day work by social work assistants and social care workers. Local authority social services departments are the largest employers, but there are also opportunities with the NHS (in hospital, community or mental health settings), charities and other organisations.
Social workers are employed within all types of communities and deal with people of all ages and backgrounds. Every case is different. Employers are keen to attract social workers who reflect society at large, so male and female applicants from different ethnic and religious backgrounds and people with disabilities are welcomed.
As problems do not only arise during office hours, social workers sometimes have to work in the evenings and at weekends. You may be expected to be able to drive - if you can't, you'll find that your choice of jobs is restricted.
Applicants to social work training and employment undergo background checks and must show that they are physically and mentally fit to do the work. Social workers need to be registered by their appropriate Care Council.
We strongly advise you to check the entry criteria for the degree you wish to progress to at University to ensure you meet all the requirements.
What will I study?
You will study on this programme for 12 hours per week, completing three subjects at Level 3 (the equivalent of A-levels). In addition you will attend a tutorial session where your study skills will be developed and you will receive excellent preparation for University level study with our 'Study Skills' module. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a modular course which involves you studying a combination of units. All units are compulsory and must be completed by all students who wish to achieve this award.
You will study the following subjects at Level 3:
- Sociology Level 3
- Criminology Level 3
- Social Issues in Health Care Level 3
All students on the Diploma will then complete the following mandatory units in a weekly tutorial:
- Academic Writing
- Preparing to Progress
As this is a demanding A-level equivalent programme, you should have a minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above, or equivalent qualifications, including English and Mathematics. You should also have evidence of study within the last five years.
Applicants who do not have recent experience of study but have relevant work or life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview, you should still apply in this case. The interview will consider prior formal qualifications, and evidence of experience gained through employment or other verifiable sources.
You must have relevant work experience for this course. The following are examples of the work we regard as suitable to demonstrate your aptitude for a career in social, youth or community work:
- Care Assistant
- Home Care Assistant
- Voluntary work with various organisations such as The Women's Centre, community projects
- Work with clubs and societies such as Scouts, Guides, Youth Clubs
Not classed as suitable work experience:
- Periods of being in care yourself
How will I be assessed?
You'll be assessed by coursework and examinations throughout the course.
Teaching and Learning
The learning environment and facilities could include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.
You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.
In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.
You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.
We endeavour to make timetables available one month before you start your course. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week.
Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity and any field trips which may take place.
We have a dedicated Student Engagement Team who will be able to provide support in the following areas;
- Study Skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
- Written English
- Academic Writing (including referencing)
- Research Skills
What can I do next?
This programme is designed to prepare you for study at Degree level.