Access to Humanities and Social Sciences Access to HE Diploma | Level 3

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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 such as sociology, criminology and social policy. For those wanting to study social work, a social work unit can be studied in place of crime and deviance to support your progression. There is also the option of a psychology pathway for students wanting to study psychology.

You will study a range of psychology and sociology units with the option to study optional modules depending on your pathway and degree aspirations.


Who is this course for?

This course is designed for busy adult learners with other commitments. Delivery of the course is 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.

To progress on to this course, you will need GCSEs in English and maths and English at grade 4 or above. Equivalent qualifications may be considered.

If you don't meet the entry requirements for an access to HE course, we also have a selection of access foundation programmes that prepare you for our access to HE courses.

Our access foundation programmes include our Access to Social Science Level 2 programme on which you can study GCSE English and maths alongside the Level 2 access certificate. Alternately, there is the foundation GCSE programme that will support you to achieve passes in five GCSEs.

Units / Modules

The following units are delivered on this course.

Mandatory units (Ungraded):

  • Academic Writing (3 credits)
  • Information Literacy Dkills (3 credits)
  • Reflective Practice (3 credits)
  • Research Skills (3 credits)
  • Researching and Understanding Opportunities in Higher Education (3 credits)

Academic units (Graded):

  • Key Aspects of Psychology (6 credits)
  • Psychological Disorders (6 credits)
  • Developmental Psychology (6 credits)
  • Sociology: Concepts and Perspectives (6 credits)
  • Social Inequality or Statistics for Psychology (3 credits)
  • Crime and Deviance (6 credits)
  • Understanding the Welfare State (6 credits)
  • Poverty in Contemporary Britain (6 credits)

Social work pathway: if you wish to progress to a social work degree at university, you will have the option to study ‘The Role and Responsibility of a Social Worker’, instead of ‘Crime and Deviance’.

Psychology pathway:  Students wanting to specialise in psychology will also have the option to study further psychology modules including ‘Statistics for Psychology’, ‘Biopsychology’ and ‘Social Psychology’. You will also undertake a  psychology research skills project.

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, presenting 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.

Entry Requirements

You need GCSEs in English and maths 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

Students who have successfully completed the Humanities and Social Science diploma have progressed to university to study social work, psychology, youth studies, working with families and young people, criminology, sociology and social policy. Other students have also studied 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. Students have also progressed on to social work apprenticeships.

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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


This course can be funded using the Advance Learner Loan. If you progress to university and pass your degree, Student Finance England will write off any outstanding balances. This means you may not have to pay anything for the course. You can find more information about advanced learner loans on the government website ( If you are aged 19-23, and do not already have a full Level 3 qualification, you may be eligible for a waiver entitlement and will not have to pay for the course.

Health Science & Social Care
Leeds City College
Leeds City College