One Award Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diploma: Social Sciences

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Access to HE courses aim to prepare 19+ learners (aged 19+) for degree level study. These courses are ideal for adult learners who want to develop the skills and knowledge needed for university.

This course is for adult learners who want to study a wide range of courses at university including Social Work, Psychology. Sociology, Criminology and Social policy. We also have specialist pathways for students wanting to study Social Work or Psychology at university.

Course Information

This is a 60 credit diploma course. 15 credits are from ungraded units and 45 credits are from graded units. Graded units are assessed at pass, merit and distinction (See unit/modules for breakdown of units).

This course aims to develop the skills and knowledge required for undergraduate courses in the Social Sciences. Students will develop their academic writing skills and build a strong foundational knowledge in Psychology, Sociology, Criminology and Social Policy.


Who is this course for?

This course is designed for busy adult learners with other commitments. Delivery of the course is a mixture of class-based activities and online learning so you will attend college two days per week. In-class activities will involve lectures, group work, peer learning and project-based tasks. You will also have access to online course materials via Google Classroom, which can be accessed via your laptop, tablet and mobile phone.

Units / Modules

You will study ungraded units such as:

  • Access Project: 6 credits
  • Researching and Understanding Opportunities for Study in Higher Education: 3 credits
  • Academic Skills for Access to HE: 6 credits

In addition, you will study these specialist topics (Graded at pass, merit and distinction):

  • Sociology: 9 credits
  • Psychology: 9 credits
  • Psychology - Development in Childhood and Adolescence: 9 credits
  • Social policy: 9 credits
  • The Sociology of Crime and Deviance: 9 credits

Benefits / Skills

This course will give you the underpinning knowledge required for degree level study in specialist topics such as sociology, psychology, criminology and social policy.In addition, you will improve your academic skills such as academic writing, researching, critical thinking and information literacy skills.

You will also develop skills valued by employers. These include teamwork, data analysis, time management and problem-solving skills. By the end of the course, you will also be proficient at using a range of word processing and spreadsheet software including Microsoft Office and G Suite. For example, you will be able to use spreadsheets to analyse data.

Assessment Types

You will be assessed via range coursework including essays, exams, reports, academic posters, presentations and booklets.

Entry Requirements

GCSEs in English and maths and English at grade 4 or above. Equivalent qualifications may be considered. Additional requirements include a successful interview and demonstration of appropriate sector care values.

Career Progression

Progression may include a relevant social science degree or social work degree. Students who complete the social science pathway typically progress to university to study the following degrees:

  • Sociology
  • Criminology
  • Social policy
  • Sociology and Criminology
  • Working with families and young people
  • Youth work
  • Psychology (Including BSc in Psychology, BSc in Psychology with counselling and Psychology and criminology). Note we do have a specialist psychology pathway for students wanting to specialise in psychology.

Some students have also progressed to university to study politics, international relations and history. However, you will need to check with the universities to ensure that the units delivered on this pathway meet their entry requirements.

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One Award Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diploma: Social Sciences (With social work specialism)

Access to HE courses aim to prepare 19+ learners (aged 19+) for degree level study. These courses are ideal for adult learners who want to develop...

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Course Details


1 year

Study Type

Full time

Start Date


Course Code


Course Fee (Adult)

£3,022   You may be entitled to support with fees. Click here for more info.

Course Facts


If you are 19-23, and don’t already have a full level 3 qualification, course fees will be waivered. This means you don’t have to pay anything for the course.

Extra Curriculum

If you are 19-23 and already have a full level 3 qualification or 24+, you can take out an Advanced Learner Loan. Student Finance England will ‘write off’ any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances you owe for an Access to HE course once you have completed your degree. This means you might not have to repay the loan.

Labour Market

You will be studying alongside other adults aged 19 and over, and will be fully supported by experienced tutors.

Health Science & Social Care
Leeds City College
Leeds City College